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Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?

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But I have heard the proto they showed on pics running software over a call. I cannot think a way they could have fake that.

 

I wonder if this new proto is just the reverse engineering of some SNESOnAChip ASIC design backported to FPGA.

Likely those ASICs started their life as HDL somewhere before being hardened as ASICs ... maybe the HW guy found/built them way back when.

 

It would be somewhat a sensible way to go about it, not sure compatibility would be right up there and heard that usually they sound off-pitch here and there but then again it "could" work.

 

This is all the slack I am willing to cut about this "magical" first in the world FPGA SNES core from Mr. Li.

 

They could do the same for GOAC and NOAC, I'm pretty sure those ASICs are counting gates in the 100K at the most, so an FPGA with 50K LE (or roughly 400K gates) would play the part.

 

 

OOOOOOOOOOOHHHH, I promised I would stop speculate about the HW they are NOT running .... oh well !!

Edited by phoenixdownita
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I'm confused though about the pronunciation... is it "Lee" or "Lie". :roll:

 

 

Okay, where's the 'I GET ALL MY INFORMATION FROM MR. LIE' meme?
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Yeah. First it was pipercub, then whoever it was, then John Carlsen, and now Li. These damned Hardware guys abusing Mike. This has to stop. Let's make a Go Fund Me and raise Money to save Mike from These predators.

What good exactly would a gofundme account do? We as a collective don't need to be siphoning money into this thing, good intentions or not.

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Agreed. I've been thinking along similar lines:

 

As Bryan asked earlier, why does "Coleco" even need Mike? What, exactly, does he bring to the table?

 

I thought Coleco wanted as much buzz as needed to promote their mini arcades

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Was wondering what you meant by this? Running software over a call?

 

Just to reiterate, want to remind everyone that I am still under NDA, but there is some stuff I can reveal (I guess?)

 

That Menu showing on the pics they showed on Friday; my programmer made that for them. It is an actual working compilation game.

 

I was in a call with the hardware team, live, when I sent a rom of a menu (no the one shown of the pics) for them to get the mapping done correctly (the rom sent had a combination of lorom/hirom games, when the one played on the Toy fair were all Lorom, and the mapper with mapping information was in the actual PCB I had then; this time they were using their own board, so logic had to be added to the FGPA.) So while we were live in a call, they received the rom I sent; they told me "burning it in a cart now" then they plugged it in and I heard the menu play, and I told him is it mapping correctly? and it wasn't (no mapper information on their cart). So while we were still on call, I sent them documentation about that mapper support (No$SNS documentation), they made some updates to the code (I guess code? or logic? I don't know how you write to FGPA) and they got it working, and I could hear the games map.

 

So they had something working there, while we were on the call.

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Agreed. I've been thinking along similar lines:

 

As Bryan asked earlier, why does "Coleco" even need Mike? What, exactly, does he bring to the table?

 

I guess his role would be the director of the project because no one else has any aspirations of actually going through and making a retro console? I think Coleco just gets money from Mike for their stuff, so that's probably their only reason. If it does take off, it's free money for them. Why they'd let him at their trade show is beyond me, unless Mike ponied up some dough to split costs? We probably will never know where or if any money has been thrown around in the last few months or details that would make anything that's happened make any sense.

 

One of my favorite moments was an interview he did when he was talking about Unity and how current small games are bloated in size because of that software and mentions how Donkey Kong Country was 2.5Mb. It showed exactly how stupid and arrogant he is. He compared people making a game alone or in a small group in spare time to a game that probably had a who's who of programming leaders in Donkey Kong Country. In his mind, DKC is a helluva game and really small, it can be done even if it's 10 times the pain in the ass to program so everyone should just switch back to the same software they used in the 90s to please him just because his stupid idea can't run shit. Nevermind the fact even shitty $100 smartphones with a plethora of uses can run larger games than his console will ever run. Just ignore the fact that a 100Mb game now can be run flawlessly on what today would be considered absolute shit hardware. And he such an arrogant tone when he mentioned it, like he could snap his fingers and someone was gonna make DKC for him for free using C++ in two weeks. It's no wonder people think he could be a fraud. He's either intentionally misleading or if he actually believes he can pull a game like DKC out of thin air, he's lost his mind.

 

We're left with a clueless person as the figurehead of the project, and he's also in charge of setting crowd funding goal. How does he know what any of this is gonna cost when he doesn't have a prototype? How can he be trusted to even guess? Whether you are indifferent or hardcore into the story, once you hear all the facts there are only 2 possible conclusions. Either Mike is a liar or Mike is absolutely clueless when it comes to anything related to anything technical involving video games and is in way over his head. Even if you choose the latter to save face and not call the man a liar, it still leaves you with the last person you'd want in charge of a gaming company.

 

I just wish I knew Mike from forums or hearing him speak on subjects. Surely former friends or colleagues of his must know if he's a smart or not so smart guy, a bullshitter, whatever, they have to know his deal. They'd know if he really was clueless or putting on an act and is just enchanted by this dream and took it too far. If he really thought that his hardware guy gave him a proto board with a Jag game that ran the SNES, or if his hardware guy said he made an FPGA and Mike believed it and he himself is being screwed, then at least I'd feel sorry for him a bit and not want to be so hard on him. But the way he weasels out of everything with cunning choices of words... makes me question how easily he could be taken for a ride by someone. For all we know the hardware guy screwed him and he didn't know what to do, so he kept announcing KS tiers, buying time and coming to a decision before ultimately saying fuck it and packing it in. If he'd have left his FB "better prototype" announcement to just words, I'd have considered it an honest way of bowing out or finally almost telling the truth for once... but then he just has to go and post another obscure picture of a hidden board to keep the circus going.

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Yeah, i dont buy hes playing dumb as Piperclub stated Mike reviewed an SD2SNES before. Playing dumb is the easiest thing to do when caught in a lie.

 

And the man who first identified the SD2SNES is right once again!

 

At this point, the COLECO Chameleon has played more AtariAge members than it's played games. You guys fall for anything he says. You really need to step back and think about Mike's history before you believe anything coming from him.

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I thought Coleco wanted as much buzz as needed to promote their mini arcades

Weren't those just the vintage toys from the early 80's? It would be very difficult to relicense many of the properties involved, perhaps impossible in the case of Donkey Kong, because Nintendo does not license their game properties out to third party game devices.

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Just to reiterate, want to remind everyone that I am still under NDA, but there is some stuff I can reveal (I guess?)

 

That Menu showing on the pics they showed on Friday; my programmer made that for them. It is an actual working compilation game.

 

I was in a call with the hardware team, live, when I sent a rom of a menu (no the one shown of the pics) for them to get the mapping done correctly (the rom sent had a combination of lorom/hirom games, when the one played on the Toy fair were all Lorom, and the mapper with mapping information was in the actual PCB I had then; this time they were using their own board, so logic had to be added to the FGPA.) So while we were live in a call, they received the rom I sent; they told me "burning it in a cart now" then they plugged it in and I heard the menu play, and I told him is it mapping correctly? and it wasn't (no mapper information on their cart). So while we were still on call, I sent them documentation about that mapper support (No$SNS documentation), they made some updates to the code (I guess code? or logic? I don't know how you write to FGPA) and they got it working, and I could hear the games map.

 

So they had something working there, while we were on the call.

Thanks for the answer. Although i'm sure they could have faked something over the phone a lot easier than in person. Not saying 100% that's what they did here, but I believe that more plausible than them actually having a working FPGA SNES core.

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Weren't those just the vintage toys from the early 80's? It would be very difficult to relicense many of the properties involved, perhaps impossible in the case of Donkey Kong, because Nintendo does not license their game properties out to third party game devices.

" On top of the return of the ColecoVision, the company has also confirmed the return of the Coleco Mini Arcade units"

http://www.shacknews.com/article/85639/colecovision-primed-for-a-comeback-with-flashback

 

I can't find the press release from the toy fair, believe they would do other 3rd party arcades.

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also, could someone post pics of the sd2snes copyright screen?

 

 

 

How? was Eli noticing the copyright screen, doubt he thought in taking photos of that.

 

The reason I wanted to see the screen is because Piko said: 'I paid more attention to the main OS, and I noticed a Copyright note of some sorts and then I realized it was a SD2SNES.... I tried to explain Mike that the cart he had brought, you can buy it online; but the way he looked at me, I realized he didn't know what I was talking about. He tells me " No, I don't think so, this was made for me"; '

 

My point was, if this thing has a copyright on the splash screen, or says SD2SNES, how could Kennedy think it was made just for him?

 

After getting home, I did a quick google search. Here's the splash screen:

post-12607-0-39304900-1456789997_thumb.jpg

 

Looking at this, can you reasonably expect someone to think is is not an SD2SNES, or that it was made in 2015 or 2016, exclusively for the ChameLIEon?

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The reason I wanted to see the screen is because Piko said: 'I paid more attention to the main OS, and I noticed a Copyright note of some sorts and then I realized it was a SD2SNES.... I tried to explain Mike that the cart he had brought, you can buy it online; but the way he looked at me, I realized he didn't know what I was talking about. He tells me " No, I don't think so, this was made for me"; '

 

My point was, if this thing has a copyright on the splash screen, or says SD2SNES, how could Kennedy think it was made just for him?

 

After getting home, I did a quick google search. Here's the splash screen:

attachicon.gifsd2snes.jpg

 

Looking at this, can you reasonably expect someone to think is is not an SD2SNES, or that it was made in 2015 or 2016, exclusively for the ChameLIEon?

Perhaps the hardware guy used a custom splash screen? Everdrive 64v3 for instance let's you change the bitmap for the background graphics. I don't actually own an SD2SNES so I wouldn't know. Too rich for my blood and still no support for SA-1 or FX.

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So it appears Mike is being taken for a ride by his hardware men rather than trying to directly scam the retrogaming community himself. In short, he is a puppet, or a "mushroom" as Flojomojo so eloquently put it. I almost feel bad for the guy now. :sad:

 

Are you kidding me?

 

RetroVGS/Chameleon has had five (FIVE!) hardware guys over a span of two years -- all of which have either dropped out, or attempted to screw Mike over and make him look bad. That is some severely rotten luck in an industry where rotten luck isn't in short supply. There's more evidence for the existence of Bigfoot than for a working prototype from this outfit. You might be able to handwave the lack of a prototype once, maybe twice, due to having to start from square one when your hardware guy bailed but using that excuse at the present time is bordering on ridiculous. Even the Government isn't this inept!

 

So are Carlsen and this mysterious 'Li' part of a secret hardware engineer's cabal twirling their moustaches and cackling at how well their smear campaign to make Mike (and the entire Retrogaming community) look bad is progressing?

 

Occam's Razor time: When there's one guy constantly pointing fingers and blaming the failures on everyone else it's far more likely it's that person who is the problem.

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One other thing... why are we expending any amount of energy and mental gymnastics to rationalize how Mike might have been duped by his hardware guy (again!) than the more likely (and depressing) truth that he's being intellectually dishonest about the garbage he brought to the ToyFair?

 

He had his chance and squandered it.

 

Twice.

 

Are we really gluttons for punishment enough to tolerate this rodeo a third time?

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Perhaps the hardware guy used a custom splash screen? Everdrive 64v3 for instance let's you change the bitmap for the background graphics. I don't actually own an SD2SNES so I wouldn't know. Too rich for my blood and still no support for SA-1 or FX.

You cannot change the menu screen as of yet on the sd2snes. I think it's on the to do list though.

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Unfortunately, I was away on vacation so I missed the entire debacle. After inspection of the new "prototype" pictures, it's obviously phony for the reasons people have stated. I did notice a few other things though. The USB connectors do not appear to be soldered to the PCB. the connectors are in front of it by the looks of things, so they are most likely just placed/glued in.

 

As for the capacitors, the row of 4 on the right are definitely not power supply related- they are near those SOICs and there's no regulators, diodes, FETs, inductors etc. nearby so I'm guessing they do something like audio/video. The others on the left are a bit more muddy but I highly doubt they are power related, but I could be wrong.

 

I did not see any RAM chips at all. There's basically two large 240ish pin QFPs, and two smaller 100ish pin QFPs (maybe 64 pin, can't tell). All four of them are square. I highly doubt the two smaller chips are RAMs because the QFP SRAMs I know of are all oblong/rectangular packages. There's no large SOIC/SSOP/TSSOP chips at all, so no flash ROMs, and no SDRAM/DDR/etc which you'd obviously need.

 

The other chips on the board seem to be small SOICs which would be analog-ey or digital logic things... In short, there's absolutely no hardware on this board which would be found on an FPGA based system. I agree that the cart is probably just an empty shell sitting in the well, and the board is not being powered or hooked to anything. The obvious taped in power LED is a huge lol as well. Come on Mike... really? REALLY? you can't expect us to swallow this tripe. (Now, as a special treat courtesy of our friends at the Meat Council, please help yourself to this tripe). We're not grade-A morons. (sorry for the simpsons refs) If you're going to tape in a power LED, couldn't you just put it where it belongs and not have so much obvious deception?

 

It definitely is not any kind of FPGA dev board due to the missing things, and it isn't any other kind of dev board IMO due to the total lack of connectors along the long edges. It obviously isn't a prototype board because it simply doesn't fit inside the case properly. there's mounting holes for it but they are not being used and aren't even in the right place. If it was a prototype board, the power LED would function and be in the proper place. The PCB being blue kind of dates it in this century because blue was very uncommon until 10-15 years ago. It was available but it just seemed most people kept using green until then.

 

Those two smaller QFPs are very very interesting to me- there's two of them and they appear to be identical. They both appear to have a similar complement of components around them, and there's waaay too many parts around them for them to be purely digital (i.e. RAM chips, etc) so that smells like some kind of ADC, DAC, or similar type thing. The SOICs above them just adds fuel to that fire.

 

The board's very odd shape is weird, too. Dunno what it's from, but it ain't no proto and is not even related to FPGAs, devboards, or videogames by the looks of it. Oh yeah don't rule out that pieces of the PCB edges might be covered with electrical tape, like fingers for PCI/AGP/etc ports. The two mounting holes on the end and the board being quite long and narrow reminds me of a PC card. I don't see any other mounting holes which is highly suspicious. With a board this long you need them to prevent it flexing too much due to the length. Those holes would be used to attach one of those metal brackets you find on the ends of PC cards.

 

So that's my grade B opinion on the latest masturpiece (yah spelled that way on purpose).

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PS Would love to know if "Li the hardware guy" has taken any of MK's money.

 

 

I highly doubt MK has money to give. He wanted me to basically work for free on the project, and tried to coerce me by appealing to greed, which doesn't work on me. It was all about how many they were going to sell, how much money they were going to rake in, and how big the project was going to be. I am an engineer, so I tend to approach things from a more conservative standpoint and think things through before jumping in with both feet. I listened to his song and dance about it, but knew that the project probably wasn't going to do very well. After all, I do have the Z3K I have been thinking about for a long long time and that it's a fringe product at best, and nothing something that you'd find at Wal-Mart.

 

This is why I offered my cores for a set price. I will be damned if I was going to put anything into someone else's project without getting paid first. Just hope that "Li" (if he exists) didn't get suckered into the "work now, pay later" thing. The Kevtris Core Store definitely only accepts cash on the barrelhead and doesn't take credit.

 

 

It's very apparent in this thread that people like Kevtris and whoever else with decent technical know how on these forums would openly help Mike, even if indirectly, if Mike would have just opened up and been honest. If Mike would have kept his fans updated every step of the way, whoever this Li guy is would have been exposed to be full of shit before Mike got publicly embarrassed.

 

Did we go a bit overboard on AA? Probably. Did the RVGS guys deserve it anyways? Probably. I mean, as bad as the situation had turned, imagine if their IGG was a success and no one pointed out many flaws in their campaign and they never delivered and backers were out all that dough? Then shit really would have hit the fan. I don't think there's a single person here who wouldn't like to be a part of making a console. What holds us back is a lack of knowledge and that's that. Mike doesn't appear to have that knowledge, except he's more than willing to play with other people's money in hopes that a console magically appears. He also plainly refuses to take the proper steps at launching his product. As I've said 10 times, though some people are confused with the rules, Mike could indeed crowdfund a prototype. He chooses not to, for some reason. And that really creeps me out, because why wouldn't he just do that? Why does he want to sell systems on KS before he's made a prototype? He obviously can't afford to make a prototype... so crowd fund it. Shit or get off the pot, already.

 

I'm of the type that thinks the guy making the hardware should be the one starting the KS, not some guy who doesn't know if he's coming or going but wants to get his jollies by starting a console. Really think about it, how much vision could Mike have when he knows nothing about hardware or software and brings no money to the table? I don't even know what his purpose is. 5000 people donating x dollars to Mike to spend it without knowing anything about what the money is being used for is not ideal for success. He's like the unnecessary middle man in his own equation. I don't want to fund a project with the marketing guy running around trying to get hardware and software made, I want to back the hardware guy who is gonna get shit done and worry about marketing later, because there are a million people out there more than capable of that.

 

I did help out for awhile there- I wanted to kind of direct them to something that would be producible for a price people were willing to pay. I knew I wouldn't get paid for my time at this point and it was fine. It was pretty funny to hear MK parrot out the stuff I told him during the Skype calls we had during the various interviews he did on podcasts and whatnot. I was thinking "damn, that's exactly what I told him the other day" more than once. That's fine though, I was trying to steer them into a direction where they could use my cores. I kept quiet and low because I wanted to be professional about it, and only broke the silence after he blew off the Skype call at the last second and decided to not even offer the FPGA option moments before the IGG launch. Up until that time, I figured they had pinned down the design and had a PCB well along. Then he basically drops the bombshell that literally everything changed before the launch and that's when I knew they were in deep stuff. At that point there was zero chance of success.

 

The whole John's Mysterious Proto thing is very very strange to me- why on earth did he post that video, or even make it? I think this question has been asked before but I don't think anyone knows why. That and MK blaming him for the failures was abhorrent- John was making exactly what MK wanted, and MK was well warned on the price it was going to cost, and agreed it was going to be high but kept going along with it. I tried many times to tell him he had to rein in the costs if he ever hoped to make it, but every time I talked the BOM (bill of materials) cost kept going up and up.

 

So, to recap for my edification, the progression has been:

 

1. PCB design in altium that was printed onto a piece of paper/cardboard and parts glued to it. This is the only legit engineering work that has been performed as far as I can tell.

2. The infamous John video with the various devboards under the clear shell showing a desktop and mouse movement.

3. SNES Jr. inside a Jag shell with an SD2SNES flash cart

4. Random PC card jammed into clear topped Jag shell with taped in 5mm red LED on wires and hot melt glued USB connectors.

 

At the rate they are going, the Zimba 3000 will be released before they are done playing in the sandbox.

 

I fully agree with you on re: the person making the hardware should be doing the Kickstarter, or at least be more intimately involved with it. The *idea* of having a new cart based videogame system is frankly worthless. It only has value when someone puts a lot of time and effort into making such a thing. If he wants such a thing, he needs to either bone up and learn how to make it himself, or pay someone to do it for him IMO. Just being the one to grab all the glory and money simply due to coming up with the idea is ludicrous. He seems to want to make the money and fame and not share it with those that did the real work. Whoring out the idea and giving grandiose interviews (where he parrots the same thing over and over again) only gets you so far. Eventually you have to produce and that's when the wheels fell off. I have dozens and dozens of "good ideas", but without putting time and effort into them, they are just that- an idea. If I want something bad enough no one else is going to do the work and make it for me- I have to design it, build it, debug it and write code for it before that idea comes to fruition.

 

I harbored no ill will towards him initially, but after his totally embarrassing last string of prototypes, he totally lost every shred of respect and decency. If you don't have anything just man up and SAY you don't have anything. Making these fake prototypes is the worst possible thing MK could've done. This isn't a Hollywood movie where the prop guy makes a "high tech looking" doodad for a show- this is a real thing that has to perform a function, and when he throws random garbage into a Jag shell and calls it a prototype, it's like some kind of joke.

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I highly doubt MK has money to give. He wanted me to basically work for free on the project, and tried to coerce me by appealing to greed, which doesn't work on me. It was all about how many they were going to sell, how much money they were going to rake in, and how big the project was going to be. I am an engineer, so I tend to approach things from a more conservative standpoint and think things through before jumping in with both feet. I listened to his song and dance about it, but knew that the project probably wasn't going to do very well. After all, I do have the Z3K I have been thinking about for a long long time and that it's a fringe product at best, and nothing something that you'd find at Wal-Mart.

 

This is why I offered my cores for a set price. I will be damned if I was going to put anything into someone else's project without getting paid first. Just hope that "Li" (if he exists) didn't get suckered into the "work now, pay later" thing. The Kevtris Core Store definitely only accepts cash on the barrelhead and doesn't take credit.

 

 

 

I did help out for awhile there- I wanted to kind of direct them to something that would be producible for a price people were willing to pay. I knew I wouldn't get paid for my time at this point and it was fine. It was pretty funny to hear MK parrot out the stuff I told him during the Skype calls we had during the various interviews he did on podcasts and whatnot. I was thinking "damn, that's exactly what I told him the other day" more than once. That's fine though, I was trying to steer them into a direction where they could use my cores. I kept quiet and low because I wanted to be professional about it, and only broke the silence after he blew off the Skype call at the last second and decided to not even offer the FPGA option moments before the IGG launch. Up until that time, I figured they had pinned down the design and had a PCB well along. Then he basically drops the bombshell that literally everything changed before the launch and that's when I knew they were in deep stuff. At that point there was zero chance of success.

 

The whole John's Mysterious Proto thing is very very strange to me- why on earth did he post that video, or even make it? I think this question has been asked before but I don't think anyone knows why. That and MK blaming him for the failures was abhorrent- John was making exactly what MK wanted, and MK was well warned on the price it was going to cost, and agreed it was going to be high but kept going along with it. I tried many times to tell him he had to rein in the costs if he ever hoped to make it, but every time I talked the BOM (bill of materials) cost kept going up and up.

 

So, to recap for my edification, the progression has been:

 

1. PCB design in altium that was printed onto a piece of paper/cardboard and parts glued to it. This is the only legit engineering work that has been performed as far as I can tell.

2. The infamous John video with the various devboards under the clear shell showing a desktop and mouse movement.

3. SNES Jr. inside a Jag shell with an SD2SNES flash cart

4. Random PC card jammed into clear topped Jag shell with taped in 5mm red LED on wires and hot melt glued USB connectors.

 

At the rate they are going, the Zimba 3000 will be released before they are done playing in the sandbox.

 

I fully agree with you on re: the person making the hardware should be doing the Kickstarter, or at least be more intimately involved with it. The *idea* of having a new cart based videogame system is frankly worthless. It only has value when someone puts a lot of time and effort into making such a thing. If he wants such a thing, he needs to either bone up and learn how to make it himself, or pay someone to do it for him IMO. Just being the one to grab all the glory and money simply due to coming up with the idea is ludicrous. He seems to want to make the money and fame and not share it with those that did the real work. Whoring out the idea and giving grandiose interviews (where he parrots the same thing over and over again) only gets you so far. Eventually you have to produce and that's when the wheels fell off. I have dozens and dozens of "good ideas", but without putting time and effort into them, they are just that- an idea. If I want something bad enough no one else is going to do the work and make it for me- I have to design it, build it, debug it and write code for it before that idea comes to fruition.

 

I harbored no ill will towards him initially, but after his totally embarrassing last string of prototypes, he totally lost every shred of respect and decency. If you don't have anything just man up and SAY you don't have anything. Making these fake prototypes is the worst possible thing MK could've done. This isn't a Hollywood movie where the prop guy makes a "high tech looking" doodad for a show- this is a real thing that has to perform a function, and when he throws random garbage into a Jag shell and calls it a prototype, it's like some kind of joke.

 

What do you think the actual cost of a prototype for something like this would be? Like to pay the hardware guy, the parts, factor in a few fuck ups, and... however you put an OS or whatever makes the games run on a system. I am not technically inclined, but wouldn't mind an expert's insight into what kind of funds these guys actually need to get shit going.

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Yes, I would like to know how much the cost of the true prototype would be as well.... to do all of the things he wants. I am not that technically inclined either, but I suspect more than $150 to play SNES, Genesis, Coleovision, and Intellivision games if one is largely using hardware.

 

Software route... no market. I can go to my retro store and get a Retron 5 and the flashbacks for less...

 

Piko... thanks for the story and sharing the experience.

 

Edited because I can't spel :-P

Edited by cybercylon

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My buddy's operation could do the board for a couple of grand at tops. Especially with SOCs of today.

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The reason the SD2SNES was resetting was probably because of the 3-in-1 power supply. They seem to be a crap shoot when used in conjunction with the SD2SNES sometimes. We have had issues with SD2SNES and the 3-in-1s before, in fact often the first question we ask a customer who is having trouble with the SD2SNES is if they are using an official or 3rd party power supply.

 

Also, I am pretty sure we (Stone Age Gamer) were the ones that sent RetroGaming RoundUp a SD2SNES for review back in 2012. So Mike should know what an SD2SNES is.

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Yeah, i dont buy hes just dumb as Piperclub stated Mike reviewed an SD2SNES before. Playing dumb is the easiest thing to do when caught in a lie.

To be honest, if you go back into the Retrogaming Roundup archives, you can find quite a few examples of Mike participating in recording sessions and seemingly having little idea of what is going on! I don't know if the mere fact that RGRU reviewed the SD2SNES is definitely proof that Mike would be able to identify one!

 

I say that with affection, though. As piperclub intimated, Mike brought a lot of entertainment and passion to those old shows. It's a shame that his entrepreneurial desires have soured these qualities. Mike's endearing bumbling doesn't seem so funny when he's asking you to foot the bill.

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What do you think the actual cost of a prototype for something like this would be? Like to pay the hardware guy, the parts, factor in a few fuck ups, and... however you put an OS or whatever makes the games run on a system. I am not technically inclined, but wouldn't mind an expert's insight into what kind of funds these guys actually need to get shit going.

 

Like what, the original plan that they had with the RVGS? Well I figured their BOM costs would be around $200-300 at least which means retail price was north of that- like $400-500ish. That's probably why mike was panicking about it and dropping everything and turning it into a Ouya in a Jag shell at the last second. The actual costs to prototype it aren't that bad if you do all the work yourself. i.e. design the PCB, buy it and then solder the parts on yourself. I'd probably end up spending $5-10K all told for a finalish prototype build of 2 or so boards. That's all inclusive from start to finish and includes 2 or 3 versions of PCB/HW. Of course that is just the sheer hardware costs themselvesm not taking into account the time requirement. For something like this I'd charge $75/hour. I am not sure time requirements but I was banking on spending 2-3 weeks to design the PCB for my Zimba 3000 which would be similar in scope I think.

 

Soldering time would be several hours a board probably. I'd use a stencil for solder paste, manually place the parts and reflow it in my toaster oven I modified. After the soldering, then there is "board bringup" which is the act of attempting to power it up and check everything, hoping it doesn't explode. After bringup then code has to be written to test everything out and make sure it all works. Once this is done then there's a couple paths that can be taken; either design final hardware based on the testing (fix bugs, etc) and roll with it and develop software in parallel, or start on software dev. Doing parallel development is faster (if you have more than 1 person) but can be a bit trickier and more dangerous if something that has to be fixed in hardware is found late in development.

 

I don't buy John's story about how "the first few prototypes never work". I have never had a totally worthless prototype that didn't yield SOME insight and development results. Anyways, that's my take on costs. The lions share of time will be taken up with code development rather than hardware no matter what IMO. I can get HW done in a month but coding always takes 4-5x longer or more. Such is life.

 

Can't remember how much money they wanted just for proto development but it was obnoxious.

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