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RetroN 77

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5 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Well that's exciting news.  Really?  It can play all original run carts now?  What about homebrews?  I presume that is after the update.  Just how easy is that?  I wonder if anyone has tried updating their R77 and screwed it up to the point of bricking the console and voiding the warranty.  Not that they'd admit it even if they had.  I'd definitely be interested in the R77 if it can play all my carts and any future homebrews.  You could potentially make my Friday here.

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Just now, insertclevernamehere said:

Well that's exciting news.  Really?  It can play all original run carts now?  What about homebrews?  I presume that is after the update.  Just how easy is that?  I wonder if anyone has tried updating their R77 and screwed it up to the point of bricking the console and voiding the warranty.  Not that they'd admit it even if they had.  I'd definitely be interested in the R77 if it can play all my carts and any future homebrews.  You could potentially make my Friday here.

To be clear, it can play them from the SD card. The cart loader is limited, and can't be updated in the same way. Bricking the unit wouldn't happen, since updates are on the SD card, not saved on the hardware.

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16 minutes ago, Karl G said:

To be clear, it can play them from the SD card. The cart loader is limited, and can't be updated in the same way. Bricking the unit wouldn't happen, since updates are on the SD card, not saved on the hardware.

Well this is why the R77 is far from ideal.  It can only play all original run games via sd card, not through the cart slot.  And what about homebrews?  I didn't think it can play some of them through the cart slot, nor are the ROMS available for AtariAge homebrews until they reach a certain age.

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As I'm an all or nothing kind of person and the Retron 77 does NOT play ALL Atari carts through the cart slot, I would only consider buying one for the SD card slot. But as the Flashback 9 also has an sd card slot and is considerably cheaper, what reasons, if any, are there for choosing a R77 over a Flashback 9?

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1 hour ago, insertclevernamehere said:

As I'm an all or nothing kind of person and the Retron 77 does NOT play ALL Atari carts through the cart slot, I would only consider buying one for the SD card slot. But as the Flashback 9 also has an sd card slot and is considerably cheaper, what reasons, if any, are there for choosing a R77 over a Flashback 9?

The RetroN 77 can be updated as Stella continues to improve and support new bankswitching formats. The Stella developers continually strive for accuracy and compatibility for all 2600 games. Not sure what's under the Flashback 9's hood, how compatible it is, and how upgradeable it is for new homebrews.

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We need wireless Atari 2600 joystick/spinners like the “official” ones released for the “official” VCS that will work with the Retron 77. Those controllers look brilliantly designed. An updated wireless trakball controller is also crucial; classics like Centipede and Missile Command are simply unplayable without a trakball, sorry. Also, I really wish the VCS was a proper FPGA for all classic Atari consoles with cart slot plus adapters and SD ROM loading capability. Analogue REALLY needs to release the Analogue Av, and 8BitDo needs to add some 2.4G wireless Atari controllers to their lineup!

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9 hours ago, insertclevernamehere said:

As I'm an all or nothing kind of person and the Retron 77 does NOT play ALL Atari carts through the cart slot, ...

That is not correct. the Retron 77 doesn't play ANY cartridge AT ALL. It never did and never will.

This was clearly explained in the first posts of this same thread, back in 2017, a full year before the release of the device.

The Retron 77 only plays roms.

The cart port is just a gimmick that tries to dump the rom from the cartridge and then feeds it to Stella. This might give the illusion of running the game from the cart, but it's not what is really going on. You're still playing a rom of the game, while the rest of the hardware on the cartridge (ram, bankswitching logic, coprocessors, etc.), is emulated in Stella.

Even with a good cart dumper (and the Retron 77 one is by far not a good one, often failing even in the simple task of detecting the presence of the cartridge in the slot), this trick cannot work for all carts. And both the dumper software and the emulator need to be continually updated as new bankswitching schemes are developed.

A real Atari 2600 doesn't dump the rom from the cart.

 

 

9 hours ago, insertclevernamehere said:

... I would only consider buying one for the SD card slot. But as the Flashback 9 also has an sd card slot and is considerably cheaper, what reasons, if any, are there for choosing a R77 over a Flashback 9?

The Flashback 9 uses Stella 3.x series, which is ancient by now and lacks the new TIA and sound emulation and the other countless improvements that Stella had in the last several years.

The current Stella is extremely accurate, and if you fire up a rom you can be 99.9% sure that what you're seeing on the screen is what you would see on real hardware.
In fact I don't think I've seen any bug about inaccuracy of TIA emulation reported in the last couple of years.

 

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5 hours ago, WaverBoy said:

We need wireless Atari 2600 joystick/spinners like the “official” ones released for the “official” VCS that will work with the Retron 77.

If you plug an OTG cable on the micro usb input on the back of the console you can use any existing usb (non bluetooth) wireless controller.

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10 hours ago, Nathan Strum said:

The RetroN 77 can be updated as Stella continues to improve and support new bankswitching formats. The Stella developers continually strive for accuracy and compatibility for all 2600 games.

It's been fun watching it evolve over the past 20+ years.

 

2 hours ago, alex_79 said:

The current Stella is extremely accurate, and if you fire up a rom you can be 99.9% sure that what you're seeing on the screen is what you would see on real hardware.

Pretty much this. There are two Gold Standards for the VCS, IMHO. The original early model VCS consoles themselves like the H6 or L6. And modern-day emulation via Stella.

 

2 hours ago, alex_79 said:

In fact I don't think I've seen any bug about inaccuracy of TIA emulation reported in the last couple of years.

Ohh there's one in there. MMmmHmm. It's in there. MMhhmm.. AND I'M GONNA FIND IT!!

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5 hours ago, alex_79 said:

That is not correct. the Retron 77 doesn't play ANY cartridge AT ALL. It never did and never will.

This was clearly explained in the first posts of this same thread, back in 2017, a full year before the release of the device.

The Retron 77 only plays roms.

The cart port is just a gimmick that tries to dump the rom from the cartridge and then feeds it to Stella. This might give the illusion of running the game from the cart, but it's not what is really going on. You're still playing a rom of the game, while the rest of the hardware on the cartridge (ram, bankswitching logic, coprocessors, etc.), is emulated in Stella.

Even with a good cart dumper (and the Retron 77 one is by far not a good one, often failing even in the simple task of detecting the presence of the cartridge in the slot), this trick cannot work for all carts. And both the dumper software and the emulator need to be continually updated as new bankswitching schemes are developed.

A real Atari 2600 doesn't dump the rom from the cart.

 

 

The Flashback 9 uses Stella 3.x series, which is ancient by now and lacks the new TIA and sound emulation and the other countless improvements that Stella had in the last several years.

The current Stella is extremely accurate, and if you fire up a rom you can be 99.9% sure that what you're seeing on the screen is what you would see on real hardware.
In fact I don't think I've seen any bug about inaccuracy of TIA emulation reported in the last couple of years.

 

Yeah I know all about that controversy.  What I meant was whether or not the R77 can play the game after the cart is inserted.  The answer is not all of them.  I don't really care how it does it.  As long as it does and it's reasonably accurate.  However, good to know about the differences between the R77 and Flashback 9 when it comes to emulating ROMS.

 

I go back to my first point from yesterday though.  There is no perfect replacement for original hardware IF you want to still play from your carts.  CV fans have the Phoenix.  Atari fans are still waiting for such a machine.

Edited by insertclevernamehere

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6 hours ago, alex_79 said:

If you plug an OTG cable on the micro usb input on the back of the console you can use any existing usb (non bluetooth) wireless controller.

So what you’re telling me is...I can use the super duper fancy schmancy new Atari VCS JoySpinnerThingy with the Retron 77...? Is it? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME??? (Sorry, Young Frankenstein reference, couldn’t resist, you understand...)

 

WOW...I think I might finally be ready to pull the trigger on the Retron 77. I’ll at least be able to play all the 2600 games wirelessly except for trakball...waitaminnit...unless...hey, if I get one of these, will the Retron 77 work with the OEM Atari 2600 trakball?

 

 

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1 hour ago, insertclevernamehere said:

Yeah I know all about that controversy.  What I meant was whether or not the R77 can play the game after the cart is inserted.  The answer is not all of them.  I don't really care how it does it.

That's the same for most people, and that's why many are fooled by the false advertising on the R77 web page: "It plays your favorite 2600 cartridges".

If you know "how it does it", you also know in advance why it won't always work and why it never will, so I think it's worth stressing the point.

Software emulation can offer a lot of advantages over real hardware, but one thing that cannot do is playing cartridges. No controversy, it's just how it works.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, WaverBoy said:

So what you’re telling me is...I can use the super duper fancy schmancy new Atari VCS JoySpinnerThingy with the Retron 77...? Is it? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME??? (Sorry, Young Frankenstein reference, couldn’t resist, you understand...)

 

WOW...I think I might finally be ready to pull the trigger on the Retron 77. I’ll at least be able to play all the 2600 games wirelessly except for trakball...waitaminnit...unless...hey, if I get one of these, will the Retron 77 work with the OEM Atari 2600 trakball?

 

 

I'm not familiar with the "new" VCS, but I think the controllers use bluetooth, and that wouldn't work.

The 2600-daptor should work, but I don't have a R77, so wait for confirmation by someone who actually owns it.;-)

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12 minutes ago, alex_79 said:

I'm not familiar with the "new" VCS, but I think the controllers use bluetooth, and that wouldn't work.

The 2600-daptor should work, but I don't have a R77, so wait for confirmation by someone who actually owns it.;-)

Dammit, yep, you’re correct, they’re BT, not 2.4G. Thanks, Atari. 🙄

 

So then, there’s no good way to get wireless paddle control. Do regular old Atari paddles now work properly with the Retron 77, with the latest custom firmware? Last I heard they didn’t work so well...?

Edited by WaverBoy

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5 minutes ago, WaverBoy said:

Do regular old Atari paddles now work properly with the Retron 77, with the latest custom firmware? Last I heard they didn’t work so well...?

They work as good as it gets with the pretty bad signal (varying jitter, one paddle signal affecting the other one) coming from the consoles controller ports. They work perfect using OTG and a 2600-daptor.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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31 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

They work as good as it gets with the pretty bad signal (varying jitter, one paddle signal affecting the other one) coming from the consoles controller ports. They work perfect using OTG and a 2600-daptor.

Gotcha, that’s excellent news, thank you! Do you know if the trakball controller works using OTG and 2600-daptor?

Edited by WaverBoy

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10 minutes ago, WaverBoy said:

Do you know if the trakball controller works using OTG and 2600-daptor?

Yes, with the 2600-daptor II.

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As a longtime Atari enthusiast like many others here, I definitely think that the market needs a new commercial hardware option that is more compatible with some of the amazing aftermarket stuff that is being made.      

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22 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Yes, with the 2600-daptor II.

Great, thanks! Question: by using the 2600-daptor II, can I use 8BitDo’s M30 2.4G wireless Sega Genesis controllers that I currently use with my Mega Sg? Or would I need to get the USB dongles for the controllers (I think it’s the same 2.4G controller unit for both the USB compatible and Genesis compatible 8BitDo controller sets, isn’t it?)? Or perhaps a better question would be, what is the best 2.4G wireless controller solution for the Retron 77?

Edited by WaverBoy

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Sorry, I have no idea here. Maybe you ask the 2600-daptor developer? 

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4 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Sorry, I have no idea here. Maybe you ask the 2600-daptor developer? 

A-ha, good idea — thank you for all your help sir!

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7 hours ago, WaverBoy said:

So what you’re telling me is...I can use the super duper fancy schmancy new Atari VCS JoySpinnerThingy with the Retron 77...? Is it? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME??? (Sorry, Young Frankenstein reference, couldn’t resist, you understand...)

 

 

 

Edited by ColecoJoe

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Also, if you plug a USB hub on the back, could you use a modern fightstick with the Retron & the latest stella build? 

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