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New Intellivision console and flash cart

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We're possibly only a few weeks until the release of a new Intellivsion console with a built in flash cart! :)

 

Actually the console is already released, it's the Analog Nt Mini.

 

It's not a common console, it's a very special one because it's a FPGA console.

That means the hardware isn't based on the Nes or any video game hardware. FPGAs are programmable and thus they can simulate any hardware, including the Intellivision! It's not emulation!

 

Kevtris, an AtariAge member, is releasing many systems for the Analog Nt Mini.

Here is the thread where he's posting new platforms for the Nt Mini: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/page-1

 

Beyond the Intellivision core, Kevtris is also planning to make adapters for cartridges and controllers!

 

You can check his work on Intellivision in his youtube channell.

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This looks pretty interesting. What advantage would this have over a Retro-Pi set up?

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To be precise, the "Analog NT Mini" is marketed as a high end 100 % compatible NES replacement.

It has NES cartridge and controller ports, and its ads give no indication that it would run anything else.

It retails for $449 dollars.

 

The Analog NT Mini achieves its high degree of NES compatibility because it has an FPGA core, and the programming of that core was developed with the assistance of Kevtris, who has spent countless hours analyzing the original Nintendo chip set.

 

Kevtris is also making some of his other FPGA cores available for the machine, which will enable it to simulate other systems, including the Intellivision.

He is also looking into making controller adapters and/or cartridge adapters for various systems that could be added on to the machine.

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The advantage of this over a RetroPie setup would be cartridge support and instant boot-up.

 

The disadvantage would be the $450 base price + cartridge adapter + controller adapters on top of that.

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Its a different type of emulation than software emulation. FPGA emulates the hardware with hardware. It should be more efficient. And because of the hardware level emulation it could have direct support for cartridges and controllers. Direct controller support is important. It could be more accurate if done well and theorectically be a better replacement for an Intellivision. Kevtris had a video of his intellivision work somewhere. It will be interesting to see.

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It's more hardware a simulation rather than emulation.. As close as you can possibly get to the real thing. Cartridge and controller adapters are being made as we speak.

 

He released a jailbroken firmware update for the NT Mini that adds several different cores to the system, with a new core being added every week. It's not just an NES/Famicom anymore. ;) It has several different advantages over the Pi.. I suggest you read up on his FPGA System thread over in the Classic Gaming General section to get the full scoop. I also highly suggest checking out the latest RetroRGB Roundup podcast featuring Kevtris, he lays it all out for everyone there in his own words. I also recommend watching the latest video by My Life In Gaming that was streamed with Kevtris a couple days ago, it's on YouTube.

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One of the biggest advantages of the NT Mini over a RetroPie setup is less latency. Software emulators need to use APIs the operating system provides for sound, video, and controllers, and this layer of indirection, on top of simulating a bunch of seperate parallel chips on CPU, causes more latency.

 

Further reading by an emu dev https://byuu.org/articles/latency/

Edited by rezb1t
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Too bad there isn't some sort of machine/console readily available on internet sites for around $50 that plays Intellivision games and has Intellivision controllers already connected. :-D

post-35483-0-68407000-1488326419_thumb.jpg

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Nope, the AVS has a weaker FPGA and is only limited to the NES. The NT mini uses a much more powerful FPGA, making all of this possible, as far as different cores go. The NT mini can do any 8 bit system but not 16 bit (sans the Genesis since it uses a z80 cpu, just like ColecoVision, etc) from what I've read/heard. Again, I'd refer to Kevtris' FPGA console thread for the fine details on this and a much more technical explanation. I believe the RetroRGB podcast featuring kevtris covers this question too.

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Nope, the AVS has a weaker FPGA and is only limited to the NES.

Is the AVS limited to Nes because it has a weaker FPGA?

Since Nes is more advanced than many 8 bit systems, I would expect it could run many others too (atari 2600, odyssey 2, bally astrocade, colecovision and intellivision).

 

But I see a problem with the AVS... it doesn't have the sd slot, so you really would have to use cartridge adaptors.

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Is the AVS limited to Nes because it has a weaker FPGA?

Since Nes is more advanced than many 8 bit systems, I would expect it could run many others too (atari 2600, odyssey 2, bally astrocade, colecovision and intellivision).

 

But I see a problem with the AVS... it doesn't have the sd slot, so you really would have to use cartridge adaptors.

Correct. The AVS has a weaker FPGA and is limited to only the NES/Fc (at least at the moment). I don't know 100% if other 8 bit cores could be added or not, so I guess we'll see. Although I kind of doubt it since as you noticed, no SD card slot. ;) I just saw another new FPGA thread earlier today, it outlines some technical info and differences between all the available FPGA systems out right now. It sums things up nicely as well.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/262816-its-fun-to-play-on-the-f-p-g-a/?p=3708125

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For the kinds of prices tossed around on these FPGA solutions, I'm kinda surprised people haven't been able to source the original components and build brand-new consoles. Is the CP1610 still being made? :D From what I remember, things like the Z80 and 68K will be in production basically forever, so brand new Sega units should be doable at least.

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They stopped making that CPU in the 1980s according to Wikipedia. Mattel was by far where most of those CPUs went. You'd also need STIC and sound chips but an Intellivision clone with HDMI is certainly doable. Its just there's no market to make it feasible. There seems to be a market for Genesis and NES clones. They could have made this thing cheaper using plastic rather than aluminum; but one $500 dollar machine that can replace several cheaper machines would be a good value to some people. You still need Intellivision controllers. Many people will already have them but others would need controllers.

 

Edit:

The controller ports on this machine have only seven pins. I guess you could combine pins from two controller ports for an intellivision nine pin controller

Edited by mr_me

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Edit:

The controller ports on this machine have only seven pins. I guess you could combine pins from two controller ports for an intellivision nine pin controller

If I remember right, Kevtris planned to use the Famicom port (on the back of the console) to connect controllers adaptors.

The Famicom back port was used to connect special controllers back in the 80s.

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For the kinds of prices tossed around on these FPGA solutions, I'm kinda surprised people haven't been able to source the original components and build brand-new consoles. Is the CP1610 still being made? :D From what I remember, things like the Z80 and 68K will be in production basically forever, so brand new Sega units should be doable at least.

 

A dirt cheap PIC could emulate a CP1610 cycle-accurate at the pin level and you'd never know it. FPGA is just overkill for that part. (Maybe not as much overkill for emulating the rest of the hardware.)

 

That said, there's some overseas surplus sites that claim to have some CP1610K's kicking around. I haven't tried to buy any.

Edited by intvnut
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This quote came from the Intellixpander thread.

 

The price will kill it regardless. At $450, most would rather the Retropie option. Considering your playing multiple consoles on one unit with minor issues and hair-pulling to get it setup, vs a high-end console that only plays retro NES (or whatever it's designed to emulate). The average Joe will buy the retropie set-up/NES throwback.

There are definitely excellent software emulation systems for Intellivision like Retropie/jzintv. The Analogue NT mini is for people who want hardware emulation. Unfortunately its Intellivision support has been delayed and its currently sold out. You can see the list of systems it currently supports through unofficial firmware updates here. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/

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