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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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52 minutes ago, blzmarcel said:

Huh, strange that they would do that. I can't think of any other console that came to NA from Japan in the 80s or 90s, that didn't originally have hard-wired controllers (ahem, Famicom), that used a different port when it was brought over. The closest I can think of was the model 2 Genesis and Mega Drives using a smaller DIN for A/V over the model 1.

It sucks that they did it.  Especially if this uses TG-16 ports, can't use my pc engine controllers without getting an adapter.  I would have thought analogue would put both in, but hey embedded 2.4 ghz and blutooth is pretty sweet.

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1 hour ago, zetastrike said:

It's also 2020, where huge corporations like Nintendo have the power to nuke small outfits like Analogue if they feel that their products are encouraging piracy of their back catalog.  It's a very fine line to straddle.

These systems are in the public domain. There's nothing an outfit like Nintendo can do. Patents are expired and no copyrights are being violated.

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8 minutes ago, Atariboy said:

These systems are in the public domain. There's nothing an outfit like Nintendo can do. Patents are expired and no copyrights are being violated.

That's not what I mean.  The games are not public domain.  The OP was referring to ROM support as a standard feature.  I think Nintendo would take notice and act if a small company like Analogue was selling and profiting off of a device that openly allows playing illegal copies of NES/SNES/whatever games.  In the case of the PC Engine, I think Konami owns all of that.  I agree with the OP that ROM support is a necessary feature, but we're not the ones taking on the risk of incorporating it into a commercial product.

Edited by zetastrike

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Again, there's no risk. The hardware is in the public domain and isn't Nintendo or Konami property in 2020. They can hardly say you can't include the SD slot and a software feature when the hardware being recreated in FPGA isn't even theirs's in 2020.

 

Analogue doesn't advertise it since it's not kosher for a business to advertise a feature that is going to predominantly be taken advantage of to play rom files downloaded from the internet. But the only thing questionable legally is the end user downloading those copyrighted rom files, not the incorporation by Analogue of the feature that allows the playing of both legal and illegal roms.

 

What you're arguing is akin to claiming that a computer CD/DVD drive is potentially illegal since it can be used for illegal purposes. And if that doesn't convince you, think about this. If Analogue thought at all like you do, would they have quietly looked the other way while their systems were quietly jailbroken (One of which was done completely openly by their own FPGA programmer)?

 

If they at all thought this was treading into potentially volatile territory where legality is concerned, they'd of been idiots to have taken the risk. Particularly when a substantial slice of their customers interested in the feature already had SD multicarts like Everdrives on hand for their NES/SNES/Genesis systems that enabled it day 1 without a jailbreak.

 

Our firmware fairy wasn't risking his livelihood just to save us the price of an Everdrive cartridge. Clearly, the view internally was that there's no risk and hopefully that continues to hold true.

Edited by Atariboy

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Remember Bleem and Virtual Game Station? Those were legal as well and yet Sony managed to shut them down. The more popular Analogue becomes the higher the risk to anger some big company like Nintendo and if one of those then find something that looks even slightly suspicious from a legal standpoint (for example their case designs, which are very close to the originals, especially for the Duo) they will drag them to court and keep them busy for years. The "jailbreaks" of all of Analogue's devices were done by Kevtris. Everbody uses them but they are not officially endorsed by Analogue. It is kinda weird but I'm pretty certain it's solely done that way to try and reduce the risk of something like Bleem happening - can't think of any other reason at least.

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34 minutes ago, eebuckeye said:

I believe Bleem won against Sony, however, legal expenses still killed it.

And VGS was shut down when Sony bought the tech from Connectix after Sony lost in court. AFAICT, the PS1 emulation used for the PSP, Vita and PS3/PS4 is based on VGS. Go figure. The evidence is somewhat circumstantial, but based on the fact that the PSP version of the emulator in particular turned out to have very similar compatibility bugs, and even having similar toggles (quirks modes) for improving compatibility on a game-by-game basis.

 

40 minutes ago, RobDangerous said:

Remember Bleem and Virtual Game Station? Those were legal as well and yet Sony managed to shut them down. The more popular Analogue becomes the higher the risk to anger some big company like Nintendo and if one of those then find something that looks even slightly suspicious from a legal standpoint (for example their case designs, which are very close to the originals, especially for the Duo) they will drag them to court and keep them busy for years. The "jailbreaks" of all of Analogue's devices were done by Kevtris. Everbody uses them but they are not officially endorsed by Analogue. It is kinda weird but I'm pretty certain it's solely done that way to try and reduce the risk of something like Bleem happening - can't think of any other reason at least.

Generally, the issues of copyright in this space aren't well covered in the courts. At least in the US, format shifting isn't really a right, and hasn't been defined as "fair use". Even your ability to make personal copies of a copyrighted work is a legal gray area, mostly carved out because companies aren't eager to do the work to get the legal precedent, and there's no legal framework for or against it in the US. So the risk is that you get to be the guinea pig on a particular legal case, with no real insight into what the law says you can do here. And yes, you are right that the resources Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft can spend are formidable.

 

(EDIT: And in the case of Bleem and VGS, they play original copies of games. VGS in particular would check to see if the media was a CD-ROM or CD-R, and only accept the CD-ROM. VGS didn't support ISOs either.)

 

That said, companies have been more willing to go after those doing distribution of copies. So ROM sites in the right legal jurisdiction, for example. And it makes sense since it's the best use of resources. The best bang for the buck, if your goal is to minimize piracy. This approach has worked well for the music industry, since it has let music evolve from CD to MP3 to Spotify. But that isn't to say every industry will play this way and sit back as people format shift content. Movies are still playing cat and mouse with their DRM schemes, along with eBooks and Video Games.

 

When it comes to devices that can play ROMs, how do you get them? If you don't dump them yourself, that gray area of format shifting doesn't even apply, and you are receiving a copy that wasn't permitted/licensed to be made. Nintendo has gone after flash cart makers in the past, to varying degrees of success, and mostly focused on current systems. Honestly, it seems like these flash carts for older systems really only get left alone because companies like Nintendo don't see the point in going after flash carts for the NES, when they can go after the ROM sites they can, and leave it at that.

 

So it boils down to how close to the line you want to play. Only you don't know exactly where the line is because there's no written copy of the rules, and you only find out when someone like Nintendo slaps you with a C&D. I don't blame Analogue for being cautious here.

Edited by Kaide

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Ehh, the Bleem story is kinda different.  At the time PSX games were new and relevant, so Sony HAD to do something about protecting their IP from a company who was doing stuff like that.  This isn't the same thing.  Companies like Analogue don't get in trouble because they know to stay away from marketing their products as things that can be used for illegal operation.  You can't stop people from hacking their phones and devices and downloading/using emulators, so big game companies really just avoid the cat and mouse on that. 

 

They WILL however go after anyone who openly sells their IP in any fashion for profit.  This is why we see the various ROM sites be taken down (even if they are just making ad revenue).  This is also why Nintendo goes after groups like Team Xecuter who sold devices that came preloaded with games and software (or required people to purchase a "license" to unlock the features that would allow them to play pirated games).  Analogue isn't doing anything near to these examples, so they will be just fine.

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Nobody can predict what the big companies decide to go after. If Nintendo's upper management would have decided that the Super Nt looks like a competitor to the SNES Mini the situation would suddenly have been very similar. And yes, they don't market their products as things that can be used for illegal operation - that's exactly the point.

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11 hours ago, RobDangerous said:

Remember Bleem and Virtual Game Station? Those were legal as well and yet Sony managed to shut them down.

Another important difference is that Bleed and VGS came out when the PS1 was still being sold, so it was an issue of competition, which Sony argued was unfair. Regardless of who won, it's a very different matter when it comes to consoles and games decades after they ceased being sold in the primary market.

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On 10/19/2020 at 2:02 PM, Toth said:

It doesn't seem like they sell very much stuff to cover the salaries of 12 people.  

Now we know where the shipping costs go lol.

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This iteration comes quite close to Kevtris Z3K, as in, it has embedded Wireless/BT receivers + 2 USB + CD-ROM reader ... if only it had a switchable cart adapter and switchable joyport adapter we'll be done here.

 

If I ever buy this one that'd be my third Analogue, which summed together + shipping is probably in the 700US$ range .... wish we could have headed straight for the Z3K, this bit-a-time is good for their business but not so much for my pockets given it's more of the same (refinements for sure, improvements etc.... on a basic design) ... maybe it had to go through all of the iterations, at the same time I want to have less plastic boxes around and not more.

 

With a little luck next one will have joypad adapters, and cart adapters ... with an integrated CD-ROM which appear to be cheap enough it should give us all the Z3K as it was meant to be and then some, likely about the same price point ... one can dream.

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Well, they didn't ask me to sign an NDA so I figure I might as well show pics of my early prototype:
a62e07764552e23993dc96be9fb7e0bc.jpg

Yeah, uh, the HuCards go in the back. ;)

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...
but lol it still only has 1 controller port

...unless you count the two USB ports.

Indeed
 
Although I'd point out itll do bluetooth and 2.4G for up to 4 controllers with no dongles which is pretty dope.

...and, yeah, the built-in wireless receivers too. ;) Weird that they don't support 5 players over Bluetooth.


I've never seen a wireless Avenue Pad 3, though...

Too bad all the RetroBit wireless Genesis controllers are of the 6-button variety since those likely would have been a good fit for Forgotten Worlds and other Avenue Pad 3 games. Wonder how well it will work with the wired three-button pads from the Genesis mini.

I wonder if this will affect the TerraOnion option considering this console is HDMI. Any more or less than Mister? I'm just glad there are OPTIONS for everyone.

The UperGrafx didn't seem to affect Terra Onion much.

Oh no doubt. Glad they included the original port cuz that's a must for Rondo.

I played through that game to 100% with Richter using nearly every type of PC Engine controller... even the Pachio-kun Pachinko controller and the Avenue Pad 3. Is the III button supposed to help with anything? I just use it for safer Item Crashes since I occasionally accidentally do the Run+Select soft reset without it.

They did say it was limited, so it's certainly possible, but this line is getting pretty tiresome. Every product they released prior to the Pocket and the Noir (which they were up front about being very limited) was available for pre-order for weeks. The Pocket was always going to be limited because of the screens they have to source, and the Mini because of the aluminum housing and the fact that they seem to want to just be done with it. I don't know why a Duo would need to be limited, but of course covid is effing everything up. I mean, you can only get certain flavors of Coke right now FFS. I guess what I'm saying is I'm not sure they're intentionally doing this ala Limited Run.


IIRC, the DAC was one of those "limited" items and yet it's available to order right now. Guess it doesn't always mean it will be impossible to get if you missed out early on. The real reason the Noir is a problem is because they committed to it being "One Final Run."

That would require writing a whole new core for the Sega CD, whereas, if I recall correctly, the PCE CD was really just a drive an that's about it. I wouldn't hold your breath on that, but I do believe the logical next step will be a PS1.


The next logical step is Neo Geo or Analogue 8, since they won't require a more advanced and more expensive FPGA.

I'll respectfully disagree. Sega CD is the next easiest thus logical step. I would tell you to not hold your breath on a PS1, after all, even Sony has decided they are passing on it.
 
I would venture a guess that Kevtris might be trying to come up with a 32x solution as well, but this might be a reach!

They are both a reach. Both have limited appeal and the Mega CD/Sega CD would be even less likely since there are multiple alternatives compatible with the Mega Sg now (Mega Everdrive Pro, MegaSD, original hardware, etc).


That's fair too, I just think the Sega CD FPGA implementation is easier (it's been already been accomplished by TO and Krikzz) than the PSX, which no one has done yet.

That doesn't make it easier or more appealing/marketable than a whole different platform like Neo Geo or a cheaper version of the Noir. Only way I see it happening is if one of the people working for Analogue is someone who already made Mega CD/Sega CD core (either Krikzz or the main MiSTer dev for that core).

PlayStation is WIP for MiSTer right now. It's coming eventually.

Yeah, but the MiSTer is much more powerful than anything they could affordably put inside a $200 FPGA console (remember: the DE10 Nano is subsidized). I don't think it's as simple as he was suggesting where we can expect it from Analogue when we see it from MiSTer.

Been waiting for this one, but a little uncertain if it wasn't created by Kev, whether it will get the support.  Hmmm, that looks more like a PC-E port and not a TG-16 port. Maybe a typo.

It was. They finally updated the page to fix it.

PC-Engine and TG-16 are the same console. The former was renamed to the latter for the NA market, and I could swear they used the same controller ports (I can remember a friend back in the 90s using a white PC-E controller on his North American TG-16 console.)


All PC Engine consoles used 8-pin mini-DIN. TurboGrafx-16 used 270° DIN-8. TurboDuo used the Japanese-style 8-pin mini-DIN. The one in the diagram was definitely a Japanese and Duo-style 8-pin mini-DIN complete with an offset pin in the middle row (DIN-8 has symmetry when you bisect it vertically).

To my knowledge, the only systems to use the DIN-8 controller port were the TurboGrafx-16 (North America), TurboGrafx (Europe), and the Vistar (Korea).

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1 hour ago, CZroe said:

Is the III button supposed to help with anything? I just use it for safer Item Crashes

Yea, just for item crashes. I guess it isn't required, but it's a lot nicer with it :)

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11 hours ago, CZroe said:

...unless you count the two USB ports.

I do not, as I can't plug in my real PC Engine controllers to those without an adaptor. I could use my PC Engine mini controllers, but my first 2 choices are Avenue Pad 3 and then Shuttle, so...

11 hours ago, CZroe said:

Too bad all the RetroBit wireless Genesis controllers are of the 6-button variety since those likely would have been a good fit for Forgotten Worlds and other Avenue Pad 3 games. Wonder how well it will work with the wired three-button pads from the Genesis mini.

I don't see why those wouldn't work. I don't have a Genesis Mini, of course, so I can't test those controllers, but I do have the Mega Drive Mini's 6 button ones and also the 2.4GHz Retro-Bit Genesis and Saturn controllers that I might try just to see what happens. I'm especially curious to see if it will let me use non-8BitDo controllers with the internal receiver thingy.

11 hours ago, CZroe said:

Yeah, but the MiSTer is much more powerful than anything they could affordably put inside a $200 FPGA console (remember: the DE10 Nano is subsidized). I don't think it's as simple as he was suggesting where we can expect it from Analogue when we see it from MiSTer.

I know. Just saying that there is an FPGA PS1 in some form somewhere in the world.

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On 10/21/2020 at 9:35 PM, CZroe said:

Well, they didn't ask me to sign an NDA so I figure I might as well show pics of my early prototype:
a62e07764552e23993dc96be9fb7e0bc.jpg

Yeah, uh, the HuCards go in the back. ;)

Did you happen to test Hori’s PCE/TG16 mini USB controllers?

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Did you happen to test Hori’s PCE/TG16 mini USB controllers?

LOL! It's just a DLNA-compliant network-connected TV turner with some uncanny resemblances. ;) Officially, it's a "SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual ATSC Tuner." IIRC, it supports ClearQAM, ATSC, and CableCARD.

It let's you turn your PC into an HD TiVo-style DVR. I was surprised to find that my Playstation 3 could also see it on the network via DLNA. I could browse and watch live TV on my PS3 with no apps required... every channel had it's own thumbnail in the XMB.

I upgraded to the Prime with triple tuners/CableCARD slots but it got hit by lightning several years ago. :(

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3 hours ago, CZroe said:

LOL! It's just a DLNA-compliant network-connected TV turner with some uncanny resemblances. ;) Officially, it's a "SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual ATSC Tuner." IIRC, it supports ClearQAM, ATSC, and CableCARD. It let's you turn your PC into an HD TiVo-style DVR.

Why you little Mike Kennedy...  😜

 

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On 10/20/2020 at 12:46 PM, blzmarcel said:

Another important difference is that Bleed and VGS came out when the PS1 was still being sold, so it was an issue of competition, which Sony argued was unfair. Regardless of who won, it's a very different matter when it comes to consoles and games decades after they ceased being sold in the primary market.

This is exactly my point.  As soon as the console becomes an older generation the companies get lax on policing over it, mainly due to them no longer producing units or software for it any more.  The more time that passes, the less relevant to their bottom line.  The only time it matters is when they bring the software back for a "Virtual Console" or "Classic" affair. 

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Has there been any mention of a built-in Game Shark or whatever for Pocket? This is the one system where I'd actually like to have cheats so I can do all sorts of fun challenge runs in Pokemon and whatever and my Game Shark is in storage on a different continent. So are all of my games with their dead batteries, but yeah, cheats would be great fun and I'm not seeing anything on their website about it.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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On 10/23/2020 at 4:08 PM, Sho said:

This is exactly my point.  As soon as the console becomes an older generation the companies get lax on policing over it, mainly due to them no longer producing units or software for it any more.  The more time that passes, the less relevant to their bottom line.  The only time it matters is when they bring the software back for a "Virtual Console" or "Classic" affair. 

I would argue when they bring it back a decade-plus after it was fully superseded is more of a novelty at that point. The main product (Switch, XB1, PS4) is what they're really selling. Things like the "Virtual Console", XBL Arcade, etc, and even the likes of the "NES Classic Edition" are largely emulators, rather than a reproduction of the original hardware. The VC was even found to be using NES roms that could be found on most rom sites over the years, completely with the extra iNES header which was a dead giveaway. So while it might matter to a degree, it's not the same as when the system was in it's prime.

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I would argue when they bring it back a decade-plus after it was fully superseded is more of a novelty at that point. The main product (Switch, XB1, PS4) is what they're really selling. Things like the "Virtual Console", XBL Arcade, etc, and even the likes of the "NES Classic Edition" are largely emulators, rather than a reproduction of the original hardware. The VC was even found to be using NES roms that could be found on most rom sites over the years, completely with the extra iNES header which was a dead giveaway. So while it might matter to a degree, it's not the same as when the system was in it's prime.
Ugh. Not this again. Not blaming you, but it's misinformation. That statement was originally made by someone trying to sound smart while, in fact, expressing just how little he knows about it. A pseudo-intellectuals spreading assumptions he thought were something more due to confirmation bias and rampant unfounded speculation. Even years later people assumed he was some kind of authority or expert, believe it, and continue to spread it.

First, the iNES header is not a dead giveaway. A malformed iNES header that matches an existing one could be an indicator that they downloaded it, but not a properly formed one. Guess what? Nintendo's was properly formed. I proved this by dumping my own Super Mario Bros CHR and PRG ROMs, concatenating then into one file, reading the iNES header specification on NESDEV, and then writing my header by hand using a hex editor. The resulting file was 100% identical to the one Nintendo themselves was using and not to any known overdump or erroneous header version. That's actually evidence that they DIDN'T download it... not that they did. The moron got up on stage and convinced the world that iNES headers were like fingerprints when, in fact, only malformed iNES headers and other characteristics like overdumps and corruption could link it to a downloaded ROM.

Nintendo very well may have downloaded them, but there is ZERO evidence that they did. They weren't going to reinvent the wheel and create their own header format when a standard already existed. This obviously helps with development and cross-platfoem testing.

Who knows... maybe third parties submitted ROMs they downloaded online. Maybe some of Nintendo's other titles were downloaded from unofficial sources and then used in the VC. No clue, but the example they used to call out Nintendo did not show what they claimed at all. Just the opposite. They were exactly what you would expect if Nintendo did NOT download them online and actually made their dumps competently.
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15 hours ago, CZroe said:

Ugh. Not this again. Not blaming you, but it's misinformation. That statement was originally made by someone trying to sound smart while, in fact, expressing just how little he knows about it. A pseudo-intellectuals spreading assumptions he thought were something more due to confirmation bias and rampant unfounded speculation. Even years later people assumed he was some kind of authority or expert, believe it, and continue to spread it.

First, the iNES header is not a dead giveaway. A malformed iNES header that matches an existing one could be an indicator that they downloaded it, but not a properly formed one. Guess what? Nintendo's was properly formed. I proved this by dumping my own Super Mario Bros CHR and PRG ROMs, concatenating then into one file, reading the iNES header specification on NESDEV, and then writing my header by hand using a hex editor. The resulting file was 100% identical to the one Nintendo themselves was using and not to any known overdump or erroneous header version. That's actually evidence that they DIDN'T download it... not that they did. The moron got up on stage and convinced the world that iNES headers were like fingerprints when, in fact, only malformed iNES headers and other characteristics like overdumps and corruption could link it to a downloaded ROM.

Nintendo very well may have downloaded them, but there is ZERO evidence that they did. They weren't going to reinvent the wheel and create their own header format when a standard already existed. This obviously helps with development and cross-platfoem testing.

Who knows... maybe third parties submitted ROMs they downloaded online. Maybe some of Nintendo's other titles were downloaded from unofficial sources and then used in the VC. No clue, but the example they used to call out Nintendo did not show what they claimed at all. Just the opposite. They were exactly what you would expect if Nintendo did NOT download them online and actually made their dumps competently.

Thank you, I'm more than happy to be corrected when I've put down something that's factually wrong. What I don't quite understand is why Nintendo would go through the trouble to add an iNES (or another other) header to raw dumps, instead of just using a check-sum, which, iirc, is what the likes of RetroArch uses to identify particular roms (like for matching a thumbnail to a game.) It just strikes me as odd, which is likely what makes it easy to believe they just used readily available ROM sets (e.g., the No-Intro set from archive.org) even if that that could easily not be the case.

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