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Project Prometheus (a new ColecoVision compatible console)

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I vote for Zookeeper to be a pack in (if you are doing pack ins. Otherwise, it should be a launch title.) IMHO, a well programmed Zookeeper would really show off what the machine can do.

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Will it be compatible with the roller controller? If so, I would love to see Crystal Castles and Kickman.

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What we have is a CPU that is roughly equivalent to a [email protected], although it is still 8 bit. Graphic and sound wise it can do what most 16 bit systems could do back in the day.

 

So, PC Engine? :P

 

In all seriousness though, definitely looking forward to hearing more about this. If it's really that powerful, maybe something like Outrun and After Burner would be nice to have. Otherwise, I'm a sucker for Berzerk, and/or Frenzy (with music, voice, maybe even updated graphics, possibly?), and Zaxxon sounds great too. Gyruss, Truxton, R-Type, just to wishlist a few shmups... Would be nice to see M.U.L.E. as well, as unlikely as that is.

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Opcode I know you and the rest of us here on the forum love the ColecoVision, but wouldn't it be much more practical to produce games for the Sega Master System than to make a whole new system?

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I am not sure practical has anything to do with it.

On one hand I'd like to see new consoles but in this day and age I am not sure I would use "hardware that can run 16bits or equivalent" as a starting point. On the other hand there's so much choice with modern components, ARM SoC, FPGA SoC, Intel SoC that is almost silly.

 

I mean:

https://www.arrow.com/en/products/deca/arrow-development-tools

at 65US$ for a 50K LE FPGA with flash based config 512K SDRAM onboard, HDMI connector, USB etc...etc.... it's hard to compete.

A SoftCore Nios II (a 32bit soft CPU for the Altera FPGA) runs at 2.5K LE, just saying.

 

I'm interested in seeing the specs of this Prometheus out of pure curiosity, the CV backcompat seems more of "we can do that too" but I suspend judgment until I know more.

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Opcode I know you and the rest of us here on the forum love the ColecoVision, but wouldn't it be much more practical to produce games for the Sega Master System than to make a whole new system?

 

I agree if its going to be a whole new system why not a MAME system where you could put MAME Roms on a cart and play them on a home system, something that hasn't been done before. I just don't get creating a whole new system to convert arcade and NES or Sega games to this system when it could easily be done on an existing system like the sega master or genesis or NES or SNES. I love what you do for the colecovision ED and there is nobody better but I just don't see any demand for this I hope I am wrong.

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OK, so when your ColecoVision finally fails and there are no CVs available anymore, you wouldn't want a new machine that plays ColecoVision games? I think that's the whole point here. The Prometheus will be a ColecoVision that not only plays ColecoVision games, but will do more.

 

 

 

 

I agree if its going to be a whole new system why not a MAME system where you could put MAME Roms on a cart and play them on a home system, something that hasn't been done before. I just don't get creating a whole new system to convert arcade and NES or Sega games to this system when it could easily be done on an existing system like the sega master or genesis or NES or SNES. I love what you do for the colecovision ED and there is nobody better but I just don't see any demand for this I hope I am wrong.

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I am not sure practical has anything to do with it.

On one hand I'd like to see new consoles but in this day and age I am not sure I would use "hardware that can run 16bits or equivalent" as a starting point. On the other hand there's so much choice with modern components, ARM SoC, FPGA SoC, Intel SoC that is almost silly.

 

I mean:

https://www.arrow.com/en/products/deca/arrow-development-tools

at 65US$ for a 50K LE FPGA with flash based config 512K SDRAM onboard, HDMI connector, USB etc...etc.... it's hard to compete.

A SoftCore Nios II (a 32bit soft CPU for the Altera FPGA) runs at 2.5K LE, just saying.

 

I'm interested in seeing the specs of this Prometheus out of pure curiosity, the CV backcompat seems more of "we can do that too" but I suspend judgment until I know more.

FPGAs, Pis, anyone can do those things nowadays. Those aren't fun IMHO. First they don't force any practical restriction on what you can do, second the moment you start emulating several different hardwares in a single box we don't show respect for any of the originals, they are just another brick in your retro emulation wall. It is just retro promiscuity.

Prometheus is nothing like that. It is actual hardware from the 80s, we have limitations, each game must be programmed, not just emulated. And it is unique, no commercial machine ever used some of the chipset.

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OK, so when your ColecoVision finally fails and there are no CVs available anymore, you wouldn't want a new machine that plays ColecoVision games? I think that's the whole point here. The Prometheus will be a ColecoVision that not only plays ColecoVision games, but will do more.

 

Pretty much this. I said in the other thread how, even if Prometheus was only a new system that could play CV/SGM games, I would be more than happy with that. Obviously they are doing more than just that, but to me, it's a secondary, bonus appeal. :P

 

I mean, let's face it, the ColecoVision is getting on in years -- and these things weren't exactly reliable from the very beginning, either. And unlike the current alternatives available for something like, say, the far-more-popular NES (Analogue NT/Mini and retroUSB AVS being two great examples), the only way to play ColecoVision cartridges is with a genuine ColecoVision system. (Or that Dima 2-in-1 system that plays SG-1000 games too, but, those are crazy-rare and also pretty low-quality.) Sooner or later, most of the ColecoVisions out there will be nonworking plastic boxes, and maintaining them will only get harder. Same with a lot of other older hardware, really. Then what use are all those cartridges? Homebrew makers might as well stop releasing physical versions after a point -- and that saddens me, because I've grown to love the quality and care put into those physical releases. It's just not the same, dragging a ROM file into an emulator with barely a flick of the wrist.

 

So that's why I appreciate it, personally, that Opcode is taking the initiative to craft a modern CV alternative for not just the people who already love ColecoVision, but for people in the future as well, who may be interested in getting into CV collecting but can't because they can't find or can't afford a working unit. The fact that they are making it so that it can support its own, system-exclusive games entirely on top of the CV compatibility is just icing on the cake. Maybe I'm preaching to a more optimistic, idealistic mindset, but wouldn't it just be cool if we had a all-new new, retro-inspired platform to get behind? Something that, unlike similar software-based platforms like PICO-8, is an actual, physical machine that you can load cartridges both new and old into? Maybe I am a tad biased, but I think it's a wonderful concept.

 

It's not really about "why don't you just make games for [x] system instead?" or "why not just make a modded emulator box and slap a sticker on it?", it's about supporting and breathing new life into a platform we already care about, whilst elevating it beyond its original capability at the same. (At least, that's my take on it.) In a perfect world, people would be doing similar things for every other platform and system in general (a new Intellivision with nicer controllers, for instance :P), but I'm really happy that it's happening for the ColecoVision now. I think it really needs it.

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^^ Pretty much this. That is why I am interested in getting a devkit for Prometheus. I PM'ed you opcode ~_^

 

We need new consoles that can run classic games. You can't count on old stock forever. You can't count on the brain power (and aging tools) behind classic development to be around forever. If opcode is supported we continue to make Coleco gaming relevant.

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OK, so when your ColecoVision finally fails and there are no CVs available anymore, you wouldn't want a new machine that plays ColecoVision games? I think that's the whole point here. The Prometheus will be a ColecoVision that not only plays ColecoVision games, but will do more.

The Nt Mini jailbroken FW with the CV core does that, and it does it today .... and once SGM and MegaCart are implemented I think we'll be set wrt Coleco.

And being FPGA is NOT emulated in the way a SW emulator would, it's cycle accurate, logic gate level reproduced it's just right.

 

As I said I suspend my judgment but I don't buy the argument "they will break so for the future gen ...." because the games have the same problem too but I guess repro for those or flashcarts are fine while repro (FPGA based for example) of the CV is not?

 

FPGAs, Pis, anyone can do those things nowadays. Those aren't fun IMHO. First they don't force any practical restriction on what you can do, second the moment you start emulating several different hardwares in a single box we don't show respect for any of the originals, they are just another brick in your retro emulation wall. It is just retro promiscuity.

Prometheus is nothing like that. It is actual hardware from the 80s, we have limitations, each game must be programmed, not just emulated. And it is unique, no commercial machine ever used some of the chipset.

So we should have a new console just for your FUN, just to be different because the other 2 tech (FPGA, ARM SoC) already are used .... OK.

Multiple HW in a single box allows me to reduce the footprint of 30Y old CRAP I have in the house and reclaim much needed space, and that is respect for oneself imho.

The fact that no-one used a actual/unique chipset from the '80 does not make it any interesting per se, just obscure ...

 

I am not sure about the "programmed" part but if the recent streak of MSX->CV "ports" is any indications very few people want to start from scratch and rather find a way to convert existing assets (with or without authorization if I may add) as it is faster, cleaner and appeal to nostalgia which makes me believe there's very few game devs interested in brand new, not arcade ports, no "straight" ports games from similar enough systems, I really mean all new (idea, gfx, sound) games for '80s platforms. There are a few to be sure, just not as many to justify a whole new/unique platform.

Once more I am suspending judgment but I can express disbelief in the viability of the platform/idea.

 

Assume you can have Prometheus NOW, how many units are you hoping to sell? 1K, 10K?

It's important because niche products can and should be treated differently. If you plan to sell 1 Prometheus for each CV sold back in the day the you hope to cross 2M, that's a whole lot.

What's your target?

I think you said you sold ~1K SGM .... is that the scale of the Prometheus sales?

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Geez!

For someone that express so much disbelief on the platform, you seem really interested.

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Geez!

For someone that express so much disbelief on the platform, you seem really interested.

 

Maybe I'll buy it.

 

Don't forget I also was very very interested in the Coleco Chameleon:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/247145-coleco-chameleon-hardware-speculations/

 

Mine was the first post after the RVGS thread got closed, and it was all about HW, it gets me interested!

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OK, so when your ColecoVision finally fails and there are no CVs available anymore, you wouldn't want a new machine that plays ColecoVision games? I think that's the whole point here. The Prometheus will be a ColecoVision that not only plays ColecoVision games, but will do more.

 

 

 

 

How about a cart converter that lets you play Colecovision games on a Sega Master System

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Ok, time to show some progress. Officially today we have the design for the first alpha board completed, just got full schematics from the hardware team. I have attached a small piece here. Now we will be manufacturing 2 to 4 boards out of that. We hope to get the boards ready next month. First we will show it running CV+SGM software, then concentrate on the new and improved features.

 

post-1432-0-41186100-1490396119_thumb.png

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Eduardo,

 

The project looks amazing, congratulations!

 

I know you're not interested to add 'modern' features such as HDMI, but what about a 15 Khz RGB out? :-D

 

Concerning games, I'd love to see the following titles on the Prometheus library (in alphabetical order):

1942 & 1943, Bomb Jack, Commando, Elevator Action, Enduro Racer, Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters (feasible?), Exerion, Galaga, Ghosts'N Goblins, Jungle King, Moon Cresta, Moon Patrol, Pleiads, Q*bert, Scramble, Shadow Warriors (feasible?), Terra Cresta, Xevious and Zaxxon.
Edited by Marcus Vinicius Garrett Chiado
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So, PC Engine? :P

 

Well, this isn't really far fetched. The 16-bit consoles started about '88. Wouldn't the next gen CV have been 16-bit? I would think so.

 

 

I agree if its going to be a whole new system why not a MAME system where you could put MAME Roms on a cart and play them on a home system, something that hasn't been done before. I just don't get creating a whole new system to convert arcade and NES or Sega games to this system when it could easily be done on an existing system like the sega master or genesis or NES or SNES. I love what you do for the colecovision ED and there is nobody better but I just don't see any demand for this I hope I am wrong.

I think this is a good idea, but it would be a different project. Really not much more than an RPi running something like a Modded first gen XBOX might be all it takes.

Edited by Zonie

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Well, this isn't really far fetched. The 16-bit consoles started about '88. Wouldn't the next gen CV have been 16-bit? I would think so.

 

 

16 bits consoles started in 1979 with the intellivision . So you think that the next coleco would have been as powerfull than the Intellivision? :)

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16 bits consoles started in 1979 with the intellivision . So you think that the next coleco would have been as powerfull than the Intellivision? :)

True, but wasn't it used only in 10-bit mode? The word length isn't all that makes a processor better. The Z80 was a much more mainstream processor than the GI PLC processor in the INTV. The clock speed on the CV was about 2X the INTV and it more closely resembled the systems in use in the arcades by Midway, etc, so games ported resembled their arcade counterparts more closely.

 

Perhaps Z800/Z280 compatibility would be a good choice here? It came out about the time the CV was discontinued. I would think that would be a natural progression even though that processor really never saw the success of the Z80...

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