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CollectorVision Phoenix Game Console

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This may sound silly, but if Phoenix could support Astrocade that would be awesome.

I've got even better: If Phoenix could support Phoenix (the arcade game) that would be awesomer. ;)

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I've got even better: If Phoenix could support Phoenix (the arcade game) that would be awesomer. ;)

I second the vote for Phoenix arcade...except my copy would

be a limited edition in a red/orange translucent cartridge case.

 

 

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Wait, this thing will basically have MAME inside of it?

No the arcade implementation isn't MAME. The arcade cores are recreations of the arcade circuits in the same way the phoenix recreates the Colecovision. There will be a few user steps required to make this work to compile the core with the rom so that it will load on the Phoenix.

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No the arcade implementation isn't MAME. The arcade cores are recreations of the arcade circuits in the same way the phoenix recreates the Colecovision. There will be a few user steps required to make this work to compile the core with the rom so that it will load on the Phoenix.

 

i guess it is out of scope of your project for now. But that would be very interresting (and open a even wider market) it is if the phoenix propose various arcade cores and the possibility to run Rom on it from SD Card + the possibility to output real arcade resolution in 15khz (in addition of other mode 31khz, Hdmi etc..)

 

Tyipically you could put directly the phoenix in a real arcade cabinet with CRT screen! . More or less what we did with "MameCab" using ArcadeVGA Graphic card. Except that here , you don't have sofware emulation but replication of the real Hardware with the FPGA.

 

If i could plug directly the Phoenix on a JAMMA slot , i think i would by one for each of my arcade cabinets! And i surely not alone! ;-)

 

Even if it is not the "phoenix" but another project dedicated to arcade system ! ;-)

Edited by youki

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i guess it is out of scope of your project for now. But that would be very interresting (and open a even wider market) it is if the phoenix propose various arcade cores and the possibility to run Rom on it from SD Card + the possibility to output real arcade resolution in 15khz (in addition of other mode 31khz, Hdmi etc..)

 

Typically you could put directly the phoenix in a real arcade cabinet with CRT screen! . More or less what we did with "MameCab" using ArcadeVGA Graphic card. Except that here , you don't have sofware emulation but replication of the real Hardware with the FPGA.

 

If i could plug directly the Phoenix on a JAMMA slot , i think i would by one for each of my arcade cabinets! And i surely not alone! ;-)

 

Even if it is not the "phoenix" but another project dedicated to arcade system ! ;-)

Yeah, that's another project for another day. I don't really keep up with this stuff, but I keep hearing about some FPGA gurus turning their attention to arcade games, and the CollectorVision folks are the latest guys to do it. Since each old arcade game (especially the pre-JAMMA ones) tend to have their own custom hardware architecture and setup, it's like a large ocean of potential achievements, kinda like how MAME was, in its humble beginnings. And the nice thing is that the FPGA guys can have a quick look at the MAME source code to help them map out their to-do list for any particular arcade core project. :)

 

More specifically about the Phoenix, there are some very special opportunities that should be considered: Imagine playing the arcade version of Centipede with the Roller Controller, or the arcade version of Spy Hunter with the Expansion Module #2 (i.e the steering wheel)!

Edited by Pixelboy
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Agreed, I would like to also make games works with our upcoming Arcade Controller (with both Spinner/Trackball interface)

An all in 1 solution

If the spinner and joystick are together I would say go for the gold and add a trigger to the joystick for the first decent Tron controller for a Tron port.

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Yeah, that's another project for another day. I don't really keep up with this stuff, but I keep hearing about some FPGA gurus turning their attention to arcade games, and the CollectorVision folks are the latest guys to do it. Since each old arcade game (especially the pre-JAMMA ones) tend to have their own custom hardware architecture and setup, it's like a large ocean of potential achievements, kinda like how MAME was, in its humble beginnings. And the nice thing is that the FPGA guys can have a quick look at the MAME source code to help them map out their to-do list for any particular arcade core project. :)

 

More specifically about the Phoenix, there are some very special opportunities that should be considered: Imagine playing the arcade version of Centipede with the Roller Controller, or the arcade version of Spy Hunter with the Expansion Module #2 (i.e the steering wheel)!

You can see all the arcade fpga core work that's already been done at the link below. I expect these can be ported to phoenix.

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_MiSTer/wiki

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I ordered during the Phoneix Early Access Preorder (Order #138) and I was wondering if there is a need to get that order linked to the online store that's now active? Just want to make sure my order doesn't get lost. Also, will early access pre-orders be the first to receive units?

 

I am very excited about seeing the new cases. It feels like we are getting so close!

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I ordered during the Phoneix Early Access Preorder (Order #138) and I was wondering if there is a need to get that order linked to the online store that's now active? Just want to make sure my order doesn't get lost. Also, will early access pre-orders be the first to receive units?

 

I am very excited about seeing the new cases. It feels like we are getting so close!

You do not need to get the order linked to the new site. Your order is still good and won't be lost. We will be sending out an email in the next week to all early access users to collect some information for their orders.

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I read on several sites that some of the cores written for Mister have errors and glitches in them. There's also discussion about the ARM processor and its support for ARM applications and interfaces. This confuses me again about what the FPGA is doing in hardware that is superior to software emulation. I believe my understanding is that a core essentially runs as the firmware or ROM configuration and the game files run on the hardware rather than within a guest operating system.

 

What confuses me still is the precise function of a core on the hardware. There appears to be a lot more going on to output to modern HDMI, support SD cards as well as act like original hardware. With the talk of buggy arcade cores, it sounds like there's potential for original roms to behave differently that they do on original hardware. I thought the entire point of an FPGA was to behave just like the original chips, but if a core can be "buggy" what does that mean to the final product? I'm not being critical, I'm just genuinely confused and interested. Sometimes the rose colored glasses effect makes it difficult to tell what kind of end result these different methods will deliver.

 

Also, I'm given to understand the Collectorvision device maxes out before 16 bit system capability. Where does it lands in that regard? Is NES operation feasible, and/or what are the specific limitations? Are the chips too small? Not enough of them? etc. Is it simply an issue of the FPGA chips used not having the capacity to run additional functions simultaneously, or is there some speed or performance limitation in different FPGA chips? Can additional chip capacity be added through the expansion port, or does the main board lock in those limitations?

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Any buggy cores can be rewritten and a firmware update to remove the bugs. Systems that use 100% software emulation can receive software updates to remove the bugs.

 

It does not matter to me if the system uses software emulation or cores, as long as its bug free and operates like the original equipment. Firmware and software updates might be needed to obtain that bug free performance.

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I read on several sites that some of the cores written for Mister have errors and glitches in them. There's also discussion about the ARM processor and its support for ARM applications and interfaces. This confuses me again about what the FPGA is doing in hardware that is superior to software emulation. I believe my understanding is that a core essentially runs as the firmware or ROM configuration and the game files run on the hardware rather than within a guest operating system.

 

What confuses me still is the precise function of a core on the hardware. There appears to be a lot more going on to output to modern HDMI, support SD cards as well as act like original hardware. With the talk of buggy arcade cores, it sounds like there's potential for original roms to behave differently that they do on original hardware. I thought the entire point of an FPGA was to behave just like the original chips, but if a core can be "buggy" what does that mean to the final product? I'm not being critical, I'm just genuinely confused and interested. Sometimes the rose colored glasses effect makes it difficult to tell what kind of end result these different methods will deliver.

 

Also, I'm given to understand the Collectorvision device maxes out before 16 bit system capability. Where does it lands in that regard? Is NES operation feasible, and/or what are the specific limitations? Are the chips too small? Not enough of them? etc. Is it simply an issue of the FPGA chips used not having the capacity to run additional functions simultaneously, or is there some speed or performance limitation in different FPGA chips? Can additional chip capacity be added through the expansion port, or does the main board lock in those limitations?

Hardware can be buggy too; no doubt some of the cores you see might be a work in progress. All that information should be out there, it's all open source. I've read the genesis core wasn't ready as well. Like hdtv1080p said, they're easy to update. The arm processor is used to load cores and roms to the fpga, handle I/O, and even software emulate things like tape drives and disk drives rather than have real drives. The systems are hardware emulated at the circuit level in fpga, the same as the original hardware. Software emulation must run an algorithm sequentially at high speed to produce a similar result. Digital video output is handled by the f18a fpga. Yes, the size of the fpga chip limits what it can emulate. Everything has limits. I'm no expert but I don't think you can expand it by adding another fpga board; probably best to replace the board.

 

Is hardware emulation better than software emulation? Not necessarily but it is closer to the original.

Edited by mr_me

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I read on several sites that some of the cores written for Mister have errors and glitches in them. There's also discussion about the ARM processor and its support for ARM applications and interfaces. This confuses me again about what the FPGA is doing in hardware that is superior to software emulation. I believe my understanding is that a core essentially runs as the firmware or ROM configuration and the game files run on the hardware rather than within a guest operating system.

 

What confuses me still is the precise function of a core on the hardware. There appears to be a lot more going on to output to modern HDMI, support SD cards as well as act like original hardware. With the talk of buggy arcade cores, it sounds like there's potential for original roms to behave differently that they do on original hardware. I thought the entire point of an FPGA was to behave just like the original chips, but if a core can be "buggy" what does that mean to the final product? I'm not being critical, I'm just genuinely confused and interested. Sometimes the rose colored glasses effect makes it difficult to tell what kind of end result these different methods will deliver.

 

Also, I'm given to understand the Collectorvision device maxes out before 16 bit system capability. Where does it lands in that regard? Is NES operation feasible, and/or what are the specific limitations? Are the chips too small? Not enough of them? etc. Is it simply an issue of the FPGA chips used not having the capacity to run additional functions simultaneously, or is there some speed or performance limitation in different FPGA chips? Can additional chip capacity be added through the expansion port, or does the main board lock in those limitations?

An FPGA core is only as good as the programming. Think of it like this: the cores for the FPGA are like circuit design. The original chips used in the colecovision all boil down to digital circuits. The cores are recreating these circuits and connecting them in the same ways. If there is a difference ("bug") in how the circuit is built then you will see a difference with the performance of the core vs the original system. In the case of the Coleco, the cores for the chips used have been around since like 2002 and have gone through a lot of testing from various different platforms and has seen continuous improvement. The thing about open source programs is that as one bug is found, the fix can be integrated and ported from any of the platforms running it. The majority of the colecovision cores out there, including ours, were based off of a core written in 2006 by Arnim Laeuger. This core has been improved and changed over the various years with improvements and fixes.

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I read on several sites that some of the cores written for Mister have errors and glitches in them. There's also discussion about the ARM processor and its support for ARM applications and interfaces. This confuses me again about what the FPGA is doing in hardware that is superior to software emulation. I believe my understanding is that a core essentially runs as the firmware or ROM configuration and the game files run on the hardware rather than within a guest operating system.

 

What confuses me still is the precise function of a core on the hardware. There appears to be a lot more going on to output to modern HDMI, support SD cards as well as act like original hardware. With the talk of buggy arcade cores, it sounds like there's potential for original roms to behave differently that they do on original hardware. I thought the entire point of an FPGA was to behave just like the original chips, but if a core can be "buggy" what does that mean to the final product? I'm not being critical, I'm just genuinely confused and interested. Sometimes the rose colored glasses effect makes it difficult to tell what kind of end result these different methods will deliver.

 

Also, I'm given to understand the Collectorvision device maxes out before 16 bit system capability. Where does it lands in that regard? Is NES operation feasible, and/or what are the specific limitations? Are the chips too small? Not enough of them? etc. Is it simply an issue of the FPGA chips used not having the capacity to run additional functions simultaneously, or is there some speed or performance limitation in different FPGA chips? Can additional chip capacity be added through the expansion port, or does the main board lock in those limitations?

 

Someone has to write the core for the FPGA to "emulate" the chips that are in whatever system the core is made to be. Cores can constantly be upgraded when a better chip implementation is created. That being said, I have heard for a while that because the MiSTer is open source that the cores are in a state of incompleteness.

 

I recently jumped into one at the beginning of the year and I am very happy that I did this. The Turbografx-16 core is like 98% complete. It is absolutely awesome and looks, sounds, and plays great. The Genesis core I would say is also in the high 90s percentage of being complete and also looks, sounds, and plays great. I'm still awaiting my add on boards, so I can't play all of the cores yet, but I can play all of the arcade cores and that's awesome. The only complaint I have with the arcade cores are that the scalene options that are built in (I haven't tried the filters yet) are in the wrong orientation and are horizontal along the vertical games. This might be fixed with using the filter options, or possibly in the future. I also can play the Ti99/4a and Apple IIe cores and they are also in a state similar to the aforementioned cores. I also got to play several eastern European and UK computer (BBC Micro) and it's been a wonderful experience.

 

The TL/DR version is this. The MiSTer is awesome and I recommend it for any retro gaming fan. I'm also super excited for the Collectorvision system with the recent announcements of what they are doing with it. We are living in a wonderful time.

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