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kevtris

FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

637 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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4 minutes ago, blzmarcel said:

Isn't this essentially what Kevtris wanted to do with the Zimba 3000 that was mentioned earlier in the thread from time to time?

Yes thank you. My point is literally the point of this very thread!

 

That being said, I agree with your guy's points, but what I'm saying is, it's not to crazy to have the Sega system for example play all of the Sega games (SG1000, SMS, GG, Genesis), and the Nintendo play all of the Nintendo games (Famicom, Famicom DS, NES, SNES, GB, GBC, GBA). Yes it would only have one cartridge slot, but that's what those adapters are for right? Also, I would hazard a guess, most people just play off SD card anyway.

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1 hour ago, blzmarcel said:

Isn't this essentially what Kevtris wanted to do with the Zimba 3000 that was mentioned earlier in the thread from time to time?

It is, but if I had to guess I'd say that Analogue is funding R&D for all these cores, which means that they're probably calling the shots on how things progress from here on out. There's no way to know what the terms of any agreement would be between Kev and Analogue, but I imagine that there will never be an official Zimba.

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4 hours ago, XtraSmiley said:

But then again, can an open source product ever become as easy to use as a closed source system (ie MAME vs a Retron 5)

I think RetroArch and it's derivatives is a good example of OSS that works rather well from a usability standpoint and even feels quite mature. There is no getting around the fact that you need to add rom files, but one would know that going in. Scanning from within the stock interfaces and controller detection has improved a lot. I tried it on my phone and was up in running and less than 5 minutes) with an M30 that was auto recognized and all the buttons worked (only had to map the menu button, which was also simple.)

 

In other words, OSS and being nicely polished are definitely not mutually exclusive these days.

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9 hours ago, XtraSmiley said:

I can't speak to MiSTer, but it does seem like the future once it is more streamlined. But then again, can an open source product ever become as easy to use as a closed source system (ie MAME vs a Retron 5). Note I didn't say as accurate, I said easy to use. Counter point, the OSSC vs the Frameister. 

In terms of video games or stuff in general? Firefox is as competent as any other web browser and Thunderbird is probably superior to Outlook.

 

It seems we've gotten to the Zimba 3000 while I was asleep. The Zimba 3000 and the MiSTer are conceptually very similar: FPGA recreations of a bunch of stuff thrown together on one system. There was something that I was going to say about it before I went to sleep but I was tired and then I forgot when I woke up. Maybe I'll remember, but probably not.

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23 hours ago, Drunk_Caterpillar said:

It is, but if I had to guess I'd say that Analogue is funding R&D for all these cores, which means that they're probably calling the shots on how things progress from here on out. There's no way to know what the terms of any agreement would be between Kev and Analogue, but I imagine that there will never be an official Zimba.

I could see Analogue releasing a 8/16 bit multi-console after they've released each console individually. Wouldn't be much additional engineering effort and I would imagine it would be popular even amount those that purchased their prior consoles.

Edited by cacophony
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13 hours ago, cacophony said:

I could see Analogue releasing a 8/16 bit multi-console after they've released each console individually. Wouldn't be much additional engineering effort and I would imagine it would be popular even amount those that purchased their prior consoles.

It might be super ugly though, which goes against their design philosophy. They would need separate controller ports for every system and a lot of different cart slots unless they plan to use cartridge adaptors. You'd end up with a huge controller port fest, but at least some systems all use the same type of connector (DE-9). Also, what counts as "each console"? What's the limit? You mean ALL of the 8 and 16 bit systems? That's a lot of cart slots and controller ports.

 

Not related to this at all, but does anyone actually use the fully buffered or single buffer modes?

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It might be super ugly though, which goes against their design philosophy. They would need separate controller ports for every system and a lot of different cart slots unless they plan to use cartridge adaptors. You'd end up with a huge controller port fest, but at least some systems all use the same type of connector (DE-9). Also, what counts as "each console"? What's the limit? You mean ALL of the 8 and 16 bit systems? That's a lot of cart slots and controller ports.
 
Not related to this at all, but does anyone actually use the fully buffered or single buffer modes?
I'm thinking more in line with an FPGA system that delivers on the promise many were expecting from Polymega. Like, it has a CD-ROM and FPGA in the base unit and the additional platform modules can have cart slots and controller ports with an additional FPGA if needed.

What simple CD platform could the base unit replicate? Well, PC Engine CD-ROM² is the most compelling that hasn't been done to the same level as NES/SNES/Genesis yet (digital A/V with original games). Things like UperGrafx UGX-02 almost accomplish this on original hardware but, well, Hi-Def NES didn't preclude the Nt Mini, did it? ;) Besides, UGX-02 does sample analog audio from the system before mixing with digital CD audio.

Neo-Geo CD would be my next guess because the CD part is not complex (just tacked on to Neo-Geo hardware) and the rest of the hardware is very similar to the Genesis. Modules also solve the problem of supporting MVS or AES carts and can contain a second FPGA if the number of I/Os on the main FPGA become an issue.

I think Sega CD is unlikely since Kev shied away from MiSTer to avoid accusations of using other code and, well, he already owns a Mega SD (IIRC). Mega SD is not open source though, so... maybe. Still, CD-ROM² has a more compelling library. Reverse engineering the Sega CD could be years of work for a platform he previously implied wasn't compelling enough, and now he'd essentially be reinventing the wheel since at least two others have done FPGA Sega CD. Granted, there are multiple FPGA CD-ROM² systems as well but none replicate the base platform (PCE/TG16).

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1 hour ago, Steven Pendleton said:

It might be super ugly though, which goes against their design philosophy. They would need separate controller ports for every system and a lot of different cart slots unless they plan to use cartridge adaptors. You'd end up with a huge controller port fest, but at least some systems all use the same type of connector (DE-9). Also, what counts as "each console"? What's the limit? You mean ALL of the 8 and 16 bit systems? That's a lot of cart slots and controller ports.

That's why cartridge adaptors would be more than the little devices we've seen with the Mega SG. I would imagine the cartridge adaptors being bigger plug-in modules equiped with their own custom controller ports. Something like the Expansion Module #1 for ColecoVision.

Edited by Pixelboy

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4 minutes ago, CZroe said:

I think Sega CD is unlikely since Kev shied away from MiSTer to avoid accusations of using other code and, well, he already owns a Mega SD (IIRC). Mega SD is not open source though, so... maybe. Still, CD-ROM² has a more compelling library. Reverse engineering the Sega CD could be years of work for a platform he previously implied wasn't compelling enough, and now he'd essentially be reinventing the wheel since at least two others have done FPGA Sega CD. Granted, there are multiple FPGA CD-ROM² systems as well but none replicate the base platform (PCE/TG16).

If Kev truly intends to make cores for the Game Gear, Lynx and NGPC on the Analogue Pocket, then I think that alone is going to keep him busy for quite some time. Also, I have to wonder how much hardware will be packed under the hood of the Pocket's "Dock" module. USB, Bluetooth, HDMI output? There's some work for Kev there too.

 

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If Kev truly intends to make cores for the Game Gear, Lynx and NGPC on the Analogue Pocket, then I think that alone is going to keep him busy for quite some time. Also, I have to wonder how much hardware will be packed under the hood of the Pocket's "Dock" module. USB, Bluetooth, HDMI output? There's some work for Kev there too.
 
Yeah. I'm talking about some distant future console possibility. Like, after they've done all the individual system consoles their planning to do, they could take mostly everything they've done up to that point, add something relatively smaller on scope, and turn it into their own version of the Polymega... that delivers on the FPGA promise. :)

...a Swan Song Analogue console.

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1 hour ago, CZroe said:

I'm thinking more in line with an FPGA system that delivers on the promise many were expecting from Polymega. Like, it has a CD-ROM and FPGA in the base unit and the additional platform modules can have cart slots and controller ports with an additional FPGA if needed.

What simple CD platform could the base unit replicate? Well, PC Engine CD-ROM² is the most compelling that hasn't been done to the same level as NES/SNES/Genesis yet (digital A/V with original games). Things like UperGrafx UGX-02 almost accomplish this on original hardware but, well, Hi-Def NES didn't preclude the Nt Mini, did it? ;) Besides, UGX-02 does sample analog audio from the system before mixing with digital CD audio.

Neo-Geo CD would be my next guess because the CD part is not complex (just tacked on to Neo-Geo hardware) and the rest of the hardware is very similar to the Genesis. Modules also solve the problem of supporting MVS or AES carts and can contain a second FPGA if the number of I/Os on the main FPGA become an issue.

I think Sega CD is unlikely since Kev shied away from MiSTer to avoid accusations of using other code and, well, he already owns a Mega SD (IIRC). Mega SD is not open source though, so... maybe. Still, CD-ROM² has a more compelling library. Reverse engineering the Sega CD could be years of work for a platform he previously implied wasn't compelling enough, and now he'd essentially be reinventing the wheel since at least two others have done FPGA Sega CD. Granted, there are multiple FPGA CD-ROM² systems as well but none replicate the base platform (PCE/TG16).

Legality of BIOS distribution (or the opposite, since I am pretty sure it's illegal) is a problem. I think the CD ROM2 BIOS is contained on the System Cards/Arcade Card and the PC Engine does all of the processing aside from the CD audio, so I think PC Engine CD ROM2 would be the safest thing. Technically all that has to be done is take a regular CD player and have it interface with a PC Engine in the proper way, add a System Card, and it's done.

 

As it is, I still question the legality of Analogue using Nintendo's/Sega's/Atari's names and the names of their products as well as the Neo Geo Pocket Color in their marketing, but I'm not a legal expert. Someone else in one of the other forum sections told me it's fine a while ago, but I'm still not sure. Maybe it's legal. Maybe it's not. I don't get paid to care if someone takes Analogue to court.

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Legality of BIOS distribution (or the opposite, since I am pretty sure it's illegal) is a problem. I think the CD ROM2 BIOS is contained on the System Cards/Arcade Card and the PC Engine does all of the processing aside from the CD audio, so I think PC Engine CD ROM2 would be the safest thing. Technically all that has to be done is take a regular CD player and have it interface with a PC Engine in the proper way, add a System Card, and it's done.
 
As it is, I still question the legality of Analogue using Nintendo's/Sega's/Atari's names and the names of their products as well as the Neo Geo Pocket Color in their marketing, but I'm not a legal expert. Someone else in one of the other forum sections told me it's fine a while ago, but I'm still not sure. Maybe it's legal. Maybe it's not. I don't get paid to care if someone takes Analogue to court.


You're right. There has been an attempt at writing open Neo Geo BIOS but Kev would probably need to make his own or Analogue would have to license one since they don't want to commercialize open source projects. There is some RAM in the CD-ROM² docks but that would be replicated along with the rest of the base system hardware just as easily.

As for using the names, think back to unofficial products sold back in the day. They often had small-print disclaimers to assert that they weren't affiliated with the company or product named, but they didn't shy away from saying things like "Nintendo compatible!" They couldn't use "SNES," "Megadrive," or "Genesis" in the product names so they often incorporated some shortened version of the system's name, like the Fighter Stick SN, Fighter Stick SG-6, etc. They also might say "Super" or "Mega" in the name, like Super Advantage joystick or Megafire controller. Analogue just did both. ;)

8BitDo, on the other hand, was using compatible system names in their product names and later ended up discontinuing and rebranding them. They even renamed the old products on their product pages: No more NES30, now it's the N30. No more SNES30, now it's the SN30. If Analogue has a similar concern at all it's because they bundled the NES30 with their Nt and My Mini before 8BitDo rebranded them.

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6 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

They would need separate controller ports for every system and a lot of different cart slots unless they plan to use cartridge adaptors.

I would image that you could have one set of controller ports and adapters for others that could properly map the pin outs and which could be left connected to each controller that you use making swapping easy. Also wireless controller support could also help here.

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7 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

It might be super ugly though, which goes against their design philosophy. They would need separate controller ports for every system and a lot of different cart slots unless they plan to use cartridge adaptors. You'd end up with a huge controller port fest, but at least some systems all use the same type of connector (DE-9). Also, what counts as "each console"? What's the limit? You mean ALL of the 8 and 16 bit systems? That's a lot of cart slots and controller ports.

 

Not related to this at all, but does anyone actually use the fully buffered or single buffer modes?

 

There would be a single cart slot and a single controller port. All carts and controllers would be supported via adapters. If they did it there would be official support for all the major systems, but maybe just unofficial support (roms) for systems like Gamate. Depending on price they may include a bunch of these adapters or maybe they'd mostly be purchasable separately.

Edited by cacophony

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Eventually Analogue is going to hit the wall doing individual console releases. There are only so many that will fit on an affordable FPGA that will scale to the masses at reasonable prices. I think we will eventually see an all in one system, like Kev's original idea with the Zimba 3000. We aren't getting updated JB firmware adding functionality for their older consoles. Also, I wouldn't rule out Analogue legitimately licensing IP, like arcade games. For sure I'd buy an Analogue system/cabinet that had online capability with a core store and/or the ability to purchase licensed FPGA'd versions of arcade games - Similar to what Atgames is doing with their latest arcade cabinet. 

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16 hours ago, CZroe said:

You're right. There has been an attempt at writing open Neo Geo BIOS but Kev would probably need to make his own or Analogue would have to license one since they don't want to commercialize open source projects. There is some RAM in the CD-ROM² docks but that would be replicated along with the rest of the base system hardware just as easily.

As for using the names, think back to unofficial products sold back in the day. They often had small-print disclaimers to assert that they weren't affiliated with the company or product named, but they didn't shy away from saying things like "Nintendo compatible!" They couldn't use "SNES," "Megadrive," or "Genesis" in the product names so they often incorporated some shortened version of the system's name, like the Fighter Stick SN, Fighter Stick SG-6, etc. They also might say "Super" or "Mega" in the name, like Super Advantage joystick or Megafire controller. Analogue just did both. ;)

8BitDo, on the other hand, was using compatible system names in their product names and later ended up discontinuing and rebranding them. They even renamed the old products on their product pages: No more NES30, now it's the N30. No more SNES30, now it's the SN30. If Analogue has a similar concern at all it's because they bundled the NES30 with their Nt and My Mini before 8BitDo rebranded them.

I always forget about the RAM in the IFU. As you said, that's no problem to implement in the actual system, and since the user would have to supply the BIOS by using the System Cards, no problem!

 

8BitDo's CMO is also the Analogue CEO, so I'd figure they shouldn't have this problem. It's kind of funny to think that Taber, who comes across as a bit arrogant in his interviews and also in the few comments I've seen him make on Analogue product reviews on Youtube, assuming that's really him and not a fake, might be the same dude who spams annoyingly cute emojis on 8BitDo's Twitter account.

12 hours ago, cacophony said:

a single controller port

Only one = what about multiplayer? What system's controller would it be? Saturn is the best choice, since not only is it easily and by far the best controller that doesn't have analog sticks (aside from keyboard and mouse), but it also has enough buttons for 6 button games and also shoulder buttons for systems that have those. As for only one cart slot, that's fine, but I wonder how ridiculous/weird it might look with Neo Geo carts if they decide to include that.

 

10 hours ago, Sneakyturtleegg said:

Eventually Analogue is going to hit the wall doing individual console releases. There are only so many that will fit on an affordable FPGA that will scale to the masses at reasonable prices. I think we will eventually see an all in one system, like Kev's original idea with the Zimba 3000. We aren't getting updated JB firmware adding functionality for their older consoles. Also, I wouldn't rule out Analogue legitimately licensing IP, like arcade games. For sure I'd buy an Analogue system/cabinet that had online capability with a core store and/or the ability to purchase licensed FPGA'd versions of arcade games - Similar to what Atgames is doing with their latest arcade cabinet. 

Yes, Analogue will eventually run out of single systems to recreate unless the prices of FPGAs that are powerful enough to do more complex systems are reduced, so a multi system thing would make sense. Once the technology/prices get there, I'd really love to see FPGA Saturn, but that's about it. Given that the PS2 runs PS1 games I think natively and the PS3, PSP, and Vita can run them through a reasonably good official emulator, I personally don't have much use for a PS1 clone. I could see them making a Neo Geo MVS cabinet or something, but can Analogue afford to license things? They are a small privately owned company. It does depend on a bunch of stuff, and I'm not saying it's impossible, but as they don't publish their financial reports, there is no way for anyone outside the company to know if that's feasible or not.

 

I forgot to mention that I read one of Taber's interviews a while ago and he said he wants to do the WonderSwan. An interesting choice, and I wonder if we'll ever see that. I don't think it got released outside Japan, though.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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Hoping for a little help here since I've been banging my head against the wall with Mega Sg all night trying to get ColecoVision games running on Smokemonster's jailbreak firmware with no success. Every time I try to load a ColecoVision .col or .rom file I get an error message saying "CANNOT LOAD BIOS". All my Genesis, Game Gear, and SMS games are running fine but I'm getting the impression that I need a to put a very specific file named "colbios.bin" in the BIOS folder to get Coleco games to run. The problem is I've spent hours scouring the internet for this file and can't find it anywhere, so I'm feeling pretty stuck and not sure how to get ColecoVision games running on my jailbroken Mega Sg. Any suggestions for where to find this mythical BIOS file or is there something else I'm doing wrong?

Edited by Skippy B. Coyote

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1 hour ago, Skippy B. Coyote said:

Hoping for a little help here since I've been banging my head against the wall with Mega Sg all night trying to get ColecoVision games running on Smokemonster's jailbreak firmware with no success. Every time I try to load a ColecoVision .col or .rom file I get an error message saying "CANNOT LOAD BIOS". All my Genesis, Game Gear, and SMS games are running fine but I'm getting the impression that I need a to put a very specific file named "colbios.bin" in the BIOS folder to get Coleco games to run. The problem is I've spent hours scouring the internet for this file and can't find it anywhere, so I'm feeling pretty stuck and not sure how to get ColecoVision games running on my jailbroken Mega Sg. Any suggestions for where to find this mythical BIOS file or is there something else I'm doing wrong?

 

Nevermind, I finally figured it out! Apparently what I had to do was take the "ColecoVision BIOS (original) (1982).rom" file I already had, rename it to "colbios.bin", then drop it in the BIOS folder. Everything seems to be working just fine now :)

 

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14 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

8BitDo's CMO is also the Analogue CEO

Huh, I did not know that. Interesting! I mean, now that I think about it that kinda makes sense but it always just struck me as a really symbiotic relationship.

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3 hours ago, Toth said:

Yep, got mine as well.  

Still haven't received mine. Hope they didn't lose track

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I just received my shipping notice email for the replacement.  Says it shipped today.   Also says it's expected to arrive, er.... today.   Historically, that means it'll get here whenever they happen to be driving by the house, I suppose.   

 

Ah, FedEx.

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