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kevtris

FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

641 members have voted

  1. 1. I would pay....

  2. 2. I Would Like Support for...

  3. 3. Games Should Run From...

    • SD Card / USB Memory Sticks
    • Original Cartridges
    • Hopes and Dreams
  4. 4. The Video Inteface Should be...



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I question whether an Atari 2600 FPGA system would sell well enough at a premium price. I just don't think there is enough demand in the enthusiast market for it. I don't even know if adding 7800 compatibility would make much of a difference either. I'm sure I'd probably buy one, but yeah, there is a certain age demographic that likes Atari systems and they probably aren't heavy into gaming these days.

 

I think a FPGA based C64 is the oldest system that Analogue/Kevtris could make that would potentially sell well.

You'd be surprised. I think the majority of old blokes trolling AtariAge would be down to buy one. I know I would. Albert might even boost sales by offering it in the AA store. If there's a market for sub-$200 addons to classic underdog consoles like the Colecovision and 7800 that only benefit newly released homebrews, then there is a market for an FPGA 2600. Bonus points if it offers 7800 compatibility... 8)

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You'd be surprised. I think the majority of old blokes trolling AtariAge would be down to buy one. I know I would. Albert might even boost sales by offering it in the AA store. If there's a market for sub-$200 addons to classic underdog consoles like the Colecovision and 7800 that only benefit newly released homebrews, then there is a market for an FPGA 2600. Bonus points if it offers 7800 compatibility... 8)

I could actually envision a flourishing little business of Atari 2600 repros (along with re-releases of homebrews) which would follow the release of such an FPGA 2600 console. So you'd have brand new carts (with possibly boxes and manuals) to go with your brand new 2600-on-HDMI console. Of course, you could use your old 30+year-old carts if you still have any, but you know how aging old tech doesn't always behave perfectly with new tech...

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This one is the perfect C64 fpga:

 

https://ultimate64.com

 

 

 

The price is reasonable, but only 480p/576p is a tough pill to swallow.

 

This is a beautiful piece of kit. My biggest dream is a Jailbroken Firmware like the Nt mini. Imagine the more elusive/expensive 8-bit computers all wrapped into one C64 - pure bliss!

Edited by simbin

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Not trying to hijack the thread but I could use an HDMI FPGA Atari 2600 and an HDMI FPGA Genesis in my collection, now that I have all seven generations of Nintendo hardware accounted for in HD. :grin:

An HDMI FPGA Atari 2600 would be nice but I would gladly settle for a release of the cartridge adapters that Kevtris developed for the Nt Mini that would allow for original carts to be played via the 2600 jailbreak core. It's nice to be able to play 2600 ROMs off of an SD card on the Nt Mini but if I had a cartridge adapter I would start collecting original 2600 carts to play. The only other drawback to this solution instead of a dedicated system would be having to play 2600 games using an NES controller rather than a joystick. That doesn't really bother me since I have little experience playing 2600 games using a joystick, but the lack of support for the paddle controllers is the biggest loss IMO. I haven't researched the possibility of using some type of adapter that would allow a 2600 controller to plug into an NES controller port but that might be an option.

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The (now ~$1000 :lol:) NT Mini is a good FPGA 2600 of course. But yeah the controllers are kind of a bummer.. although the NES Advantage is a relatively ok compromise. The OTHER issue with it is the VCS controls. Off the bat you basically have to have a controller with extra buttons (e.g. the 8-bitdo pad) in order to access the L&R difficulty, Select button, B&W, Also I forget if it's customizable but the right difficulty switch can only be accessed by default on controller port 2, etc. Maybe someone someday can come up with a better customized controller for it because it's pretty awesome having a real FPGA VCS (in contrast to a software emulator.. which is fine as well!) running roms on an SD card outputting in hi-def. :)

Edited by NE146

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Ain't it funny that the more pretenders move in onto the ARM-emu-Pi-Class arena and the more we wish there was an FPGA version at the kevtris class level?

 

It is unfair for the emu makers for sure, for example stephena (stella) had to step in to fix some of the mess that was/is the RetroN77 or it would have reflected a pretty bad name onto his work by now for no fault of his own (there are much newer/better version out there if Hyperkin wasn't skimping on anything and everything).

Where is it that these I'll-box-it-for-you guys spend all of their money on .... if kevtris is basically a one-man band and it has to design the boards, program the FPGA, program the micro to interface with the SD card and the rest, program a safe update mechanism, program all the fancy video/audio effects etc...etc...etc... I don't see why those others guys cannot be bothered to do at least as good as a job given the emulators they use ALREADY do most of it.

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The Super Nt is a digital console, but it can be adapted to a certain form of analog video very well :

 

attachicon.gif20180720_232211.jpg

 

Love the beige box you got there. Even old-style PCs are new again in this day and age!

 

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Ain't it funny that the more pretenders move in onto the ARM-emu-Pi-Class arena and the more we wish there was an FPGA version at the kevtris class level?

 

It is unfair for the emu makers for sure, for example stephena (stella) had to step in to fix some of the mess that was/is the RetroN77 or it would have reflected a pretty bad name onto his work by now for no fault of his own (there are much newer/better version out there if Hyperkin wasn't skimping on anything and everything).

 

Where is it that these I'll-box-it-for-you guys spend all of their money on .... if kevtris is basically a one-man band and it has to design the boards, program the FPGA, program the micro to interface with the SD card and the rest, program a safe update mechanism, program all the fancy video/audio effects etc...etc...etc... I don't see why those others guys cannot be bothered to do at least as good as a job given the emulators they use ALREADY do most of it.

 

 

All these repro consoles are half-assed (cept for kevstuff). You know it. I know it. Others know it.

 

It's precisely what happens when you get some businessmen coming into the retro scene posing as enthusiasts but only there to make a profit. They are skilled in playing tricks with money and not making something technical or retro. They don't enjoy the hobby like we do, or like how genuine retro-developers do.

 

I mentioned this other issue before. No one seemed to think it important, or at least didn't pick up on the matter. A cheap-O console hastily built around an emulator very easily has the potential to make the emulator and the author of the emulator look bad. Too bad the dev(s) of Stella will be the go-to place for tech support.

 

If a manufacturer can get away with "cheap" then that is precisely what they are going to do. If the other guys cannot be bothered to do a good and complete job. Why should they? Especially when someone else will DO IT FOR YOU!

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I don't know. I hope he's not being coopted into stopping Stella development for any reason. Not likely. Though it's a thought that crosses my head because I've seen this sort of thing happen before. I just want to see development resume on Stella for PC, as it always has been.

 

Hyperkin are big boys with big boy pants. And if they are smart enough to write code to dump cartridges, they are smart enough to make improvements to the emulator and conduct all the other fixes Stephen is doing for them.

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Well, this doesn't really belong in this thread, but I'll reply here since the statements were made here. Nobody is forcing me to work on R77 stuff. I simply updated the code to the latest 3.x version, and fixed a very serious bug where the joystick fire button stops working. I did this partly because many people have bought this device and were being left with a non-working system, and (more selfishly, TBH) because it looks bad on Stella. It took me about 4 hours total to fix these things, so it's not a drain on my time.

 

I will not be doing anything else with the hardware unless/until it is upgraded to make it possible to install Stella 5. And even then I may not get back to it, since it's really not my job. I offer advice on how to proceed (being extremely familiar with Stella in particular and Linux in general). But I feel no further obligation to work on Stella 3.x, a version that is 5+ years obsolete at this point.

 

Neither will I stop working on mainline Stella. Work continues daily, but it might not be evident since I don't check stuff into Github until it's working (so commits may be weeks apart sometimes). We are about to release beta tests for the new sound core in the coming weeks. So rest assured that work continues, and will continue.

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There was an update from RedGuy on the everdrive forums about the SA-1 chip on the SD2SNES:

 

(By MSU not "fitting", I assume that means don't expect to have any Super Mario RPG hacks with orchestrated music and FMV working on this cart anytime soon. I assume the MSU, Super FX, CX4 are not called into action unless needed)

 

http://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=7852.msg61621#msg61621

 

 

 

Here's a small status update.

Is sa1 being worked on?
- Yes.

Is it going to fit?
- Maybe. We won't know until it's further along.

Is msu going to fit?
- Assume no, but we won't know until it's done. It doesn't fit right now.

What about supporting multiple files with different features?
- I'm not interested in supporting this, but the code will have #defines for those who want to compile a version for themselves.

What currently works?
- smrpg has been played through to the end.
- kirby super star has several hours on it.
- super mario legacy and the other sa1 smw hacks are playable.
- Most other games boot, but have limited testing.
- A small set of hacks and games don't work at all.
- All games have bugs.

Will there be a beta?
- Yes.

When will the beta be released?
- ...

When will it be done?
- ...

Most of the sa1 features are implemented, but it's difficult to fit both the debugging code and all the features at the same time. The debugging code is a huge help for fixing bugs. I'm currently rewriting major parts to both free up some space and also fix slowdowns.

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It's almost a shame that we get all this gaming goodness while the normies are stuck with underpowered pi/android emulators, or hdmi clone systems with the crappiest of composite to hdmi upscaling. New generations of kids are going to start thinking classic games played like crap.

 

I don't know much about the process, but how hard would it be to develop an ASIC based on one of the more mature cores?

You'd think by now retrobit or hyperkin would be beating down kevtris' door.

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It's almost a shame that we get all this gaming goodness while the normies are stuck with underpowered pi/android emulators, or hdmi clone systems with the crappiest of composite to hdmi upscaling. New generations of kids are going to start thinking classic games played like crap.

 

I don't know much about the process, but how hard would it be to develop an ASIC based on one of the more mature cores?

You'd think by now retrobit or hyperkin would be beating down kevtris' door.

Why would they? They are outselling the Analogue stuff by miles and miles, and continue to sell. Why do they need to change anything? We get this stuff because we are the niche audience that is willing to pay a higher premium.

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It's almost a shame that we get all this gaming goodness while the normies are stuck with underpowered pi/android emulators, or hdmi clone systems with the crappiest of composite to hdmi upscaling. New generations of kids are going to start thinking classic games played like crap.

 

I don't know much about the process, but how hard would it be to develop an ASIC based on one of the more mature cores?

You'd think by now retrobit or hyperkin would be beating down kevtris' door.

Not hard at all.

 

The process of going from "core" to ASIC is nothing new. Nor is it mysterious. In fact, the first uses of FPGA chips were for breadboarding and testing new ASIC designs. Make it work on the FPGA first. When all is good the engineer sent the design to be put in permanent silicon. The ASIC.

 

Making an ASIC, still, today, is rather expensive because of the tooling (that is soon to change however). Typically minimum quantities of 10,000 or 20,000 are required to "fire up" the production line. All up-front costs.

 

---

 

Hyperkin (and competitors) aren't gonna bother chasing after top-talent. It is much easier for them to grab and off-the-shelf emulator and stuff it into a crap AllWinner chip and buff the rough areas. Buffing the rough areas is almost a marketing job and can be done by even inexperienced hobbyists. No professional required.

 

Then there is the specificness of an FPGA core to be considered. FPGA core is only going to run on one piece of hardware, a very specific board. An emulator can be easily modded to fit any current or near-future cheap-o SoC.

 

And that is too bad, because this business model paints well-crafted Software Emulators on a lousy canvas. And sells them at the proverbial garage sale. In fact, the R77 implementation was so wonky, the developer of the emulator powering it had to step up and make some fixes so as not to allow his work to get a bad reputation. Ain't that the shit!

Edited by Keatah
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Sorry if this has already been mentioned already, as I've been away from this thread for a long time.

 

Now that Kevtris is actively working with Analogue, does that mean the Zimba 3000 dream of a multiconsole FPGA system is dead?

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Sorry if this has already been mentioned already, as I've been away from this thread for a long time.

 

Now that Kevtris is actively working with Analogue, does that mean the Zimba 3000 dream of a multiconsole FPGA system is dead?

Only Kevtris himself could answer that question precisely, but once all the FPGA consoles on Analogue's to-do list will have been done and released (assuming Kev is on board to do all of them) I will be rather surprised if Kev turns around and says "Hey, now that I've done all these separate FPGA consoles with their custom cartridge ports, I'm going to do an all-in-one equivalent with cartridge adaptors". I don't think Analogue would go along with that, for one thing, and Kevtris would have to find another guy or organization with deep pockets to finance the development of the Zimba 3000. I think this is unlikely to happen.

 

Just my two cents, I may be wrong about all this. :)

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Only Kevtris himself could answer that question precisely, but once all the FPGA consoles on Analogue's to-do list will have been done and released (assuming Kev is on board to do all of them) I will be rather surprised if Kev turns around and says "Hey, now that I've done all these separate FPGA consoles with their custom cartridge ports, I'm going to do an all-in-one equivalent with cartridge adaptors". I don't think Analogue would go along with that, for one thing, and Kevtris would have to find another guy or organization with deep pockets to finance the development of the Zimba 3000. I think this is unlikely to happen.

 

Just my two cents, I may be wrong about all this. :)

 

I personally feel it's the direction that Analogue might go in because it's not much additional engineering work but could result in large sales numbers.

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The slowness of Analogue news updates, no mini stock, no whatever.....gives other companies the opprtunity to step into the arena. As Anaolgue is a commercial company I like to see some competition and speed up development. Do not get me wrong, I like their products. I just like to see a much better customer oriented business from them.

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I really want to try out Kevtris's cores, and researching the topic makes me sad that I likely mostly won't be able to. I'd buy any Analogue system just to have a perfect Sega Master System and Game Gear in HDMI; handheld systems not needing awesome but expensive McWill screen mods would be fantastic as a big tv game... Lynx especially someday. Perfect Colecovision AND 7800? Wish I knew about all this when the Analogue was available- I don't even SEE them available (for $1000 or otherwise), and though the available Super Nintendo one looks great, the jailbreak firmware is only halfway there for me. To buy one, I'd need to know after some time, the other cores will get ported. IF they re-release a batch of the Analogue NT Mini, it will frustrate me that MORE hardware is needed for Super Nintendo support.

 

Waiting for a Zimba 3000 is all I can do, though I may be waiting a long time... It's likely Analogue MUST contractually prevent Kevtris from porting cores to MiST, MISTER, and maybe even the Super NT so they can release successor consoles to the Super NT, be they a Zimba 3000 or sandboxed into Sega/Atari/TG16 ones separately. I wish SOMETHING like the Zimba 3000 project comes to fruition that can play all the cores in one device. Maybe the less commercially popular cores in the list like Supervision through RCA Studio 2 will get some leeway for porting to other systems if they want to safeguard the top shelf Nes to 7800 cores.

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