Jump to content
jeremiahjt

RetroN 77

Recommended Posts

 

I just wish they would do a redesign on those flashbacks. Those giant buttons look silly :)

I mean this really cant be overstated. Those buttons are an eyesore, and make the thing look like it belongs in a preschool toy bin.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean this really cant be overstated. Those buttons are an eyesore, and make the thing look like it belongs in a preschool toy bin.

But those were the cheapest buttons available. :)

 

Actually, I suppose they could just put some bare tactile switches on there.

Edited by SIO2
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, after what 14 years there might be a flashback with an easy way to add games. Wow. Guess they are listening to the people after all.

 

I have not followed the flashbacks that closely. The newest one other than the portable that I have is FB4. I think some now have wireless controllers? Do any of them have wireless with the console switches on the controller? A lot of old Atari games rely on the reset switch to start another game. It would be convenient to have reset and select on the controller.

 

I get that Hyperkin was aiming for an authentic feel to the 1977 experience with the Retron 77. I like what they have done for the most part. The console looks and feels much better than my old FB4. Some modernization would not hurt though like wireless controllers, console switches on the controller and a pause feature. The old hardware can do pause now with mod.

 

I may just have to get myself a long HDMI cable and call it good though. Cause the pace of innovation in these things seems to be glacial.

Edited by SIO2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They've had wireless controllers for years, although they only last year moved away from line of sight ir to rf. And adding games has been a thing since the Atari Flashback Portable launched in 2016, although it has been exclusive to the handhelds in the past.

Edited by Atariboy
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ordered a long HDMI cable so I can set the Retron 77 next to me. Probably better that way since I experience separation anxiety whenever I am very far from it. :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I can't emphasize enough how strongly I feel that games should only be written for Original Hardware only. It is the responsibility of any clone manufacturer, any emulator writer, any FPGA designer, to get their product in compliance with the original specification.

 

I also can't encourage the patching of roms, not a single byte, to make them compatible with any modern-day implementation of the original VCS....

 

We had a lot of teamwork doing precisely that for the Flashback Portable to ensure new homebrews could be compatible and existing titles could be patched.

 

The reason for this seems fairly obvious - the new Atari consoles have much broader exposure than the legacy consoles. Simply put, many more players can play Atari because new consoles are being produced! :)

 

The same holds true for the Retron77 and it's far easier to support from a Development standpoint, Hyperkin designed it to encourage more game development as a programmer friendly system.

 

Consider that we support the Flashback even though it is a closed system which made it much more challenging because we had to figure out how code was broken we couldn't see. We succeeded in supporting the console with near 100% compatibility, even wrote code translators to make SuperCharger titles run using alternate legacy protocols.

 

 

I can't emphasize enough how strongly I feel that games should only be written for Original Hardware only.

 

From my perspective that's up to the programmer.

 

your perspective as a player is equally valid and also extreme - how do you feel about ARM games where the gameloop and graphics routines run on the 32-bit chip in the cart?

 

The Retron77 plays these games too but the Flashback cannot; I played Super Cobra Arcade and Super Cobra on the Retron last night and both games are pretty awesome but I only consider Super Cobra a classic Atari game.

 

The Video Game Critic expressed the opposite extreme from your perspective doing a simultaneous review of both games and gave the 8-bit Atari game an F comparing it to the much larger 32-bit ARM version of the game:

 

https://videogamecritic.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=39461&t=17053

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole emulator console thing is a little bizarre really. Taking a fairly capable little PC and making it pretend to be a long obsolete and not very capable piece of hardware in order to support game development for a platform that fewer and fewer people are using since original units are becoming harder to maintain and don't produce beautiful HDMI output.

 

Some people even use their main PC for this (GASP!)

 

Strange world that we live in. What would aliens think of us and our emulators?

Edited by SIO2
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the February 2018 Stella changelog:

  • Added emulation of 7800 initial RAM values and Pause key.

Does this mean Stella may someday meet Maria?

 

Stella 7800 would be the greatest thing ever IMHO.

Edited by SIO2
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aging gamers in their 50's and 60's aren't going to be getting up out their chair just to swap carts.

 

 

There’s a reason that the RF and power cables on a 2600 are extremely long, while the controller cables are short ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone started a compatibility list for the Retron 77?

EDIT: Nevermind - I just saw the thread for it. :P

 

I sure hope they add support for the Harmony cart and homebrews. So far I'm really digging this console :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sure hope they add support for the Harmony cart and homebrews.

 

 

Honestly, now that the ROM limit has been lifted, there is really no need for Harmony support as it would be easier to run games straight from the SD card.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this one is now gone....

Yes and no. We are waiting for Hyperkin to merge their changes with Stella 3.9.3

Yes and no. It's gone if you are using the original version of Stella that came with the R77, but if you are using the upgraded Stella, then the firmware update will not work.

Until the controller configutaion corruption bug is worked out, I am keeping the v2 of Stephana's Stella 3.9.3 build, paired with the stock release of the Retron firmware.

 

Stephena was right to rebuild Stella emu and get rid of the config bug (delete the useless broken configuration file if itstill exhibits symptoms). However as Hyperkin and 3rd parties are simultaneously applying their own fixes independantly, I can understand why Stephena wants to wait and not reissue fixed Stella code every time Hyperkin updates the boot firmware and breaks it again.

 

 

Ideally I need to make a backup img of the sd card. I've already edited and overwritten the stock gui graphics (shame on me) so I need to make backups before I break something important.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kosmic, backup everything.

 

@Mr SQL, how do I feel about additional hardware and games running on things like ARM? I'm fine with that, its ok to expand the hardware. My beef comes in when something claims it's something, but under scrutiny it's something else and we discover it isn't as compatible as we were led to believe.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just noticed on https://www.hyperkin.com/r77 that there is a download link for R77 Community Build. Is this the updated Stella 3.x.x that will work with the new R77 img?

 

I just compared the files, and that's the same image posted by Stephen in this post. (updated stella 3.9.3 but no updated frontend)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Software Emulators are the new consoles of today. Virtual consoles. They cover just about all the classic systems. Yet nearly everyone rejects PC-based Software Emulation in favor of original hardware and FPGA, and there's years of posts here and elsewhere to back that statement up. Some say lag, some say improperly stretched/scaled images, others say not-CRT, and the old standby "cartridges"! Doesn't run game X, has harsh laser-sharp rendering on LCD ..among other reasons.

 

Yet most are looking forward to the R77, and have already accepted NES-SNES minis, Flashback Portable, and other emulation based "replacement" consoles. And let us not forget FPGA consoles - which are godlike in their accuracy. So accurate that reviewers and gamers alike wax poetic in their discussions about them. The gush of goodness just doesn't stop for those.

 

It almost sounds hypocritical to me!

 

Because, now, we have the RetroN 77. This R77 console is generally getting more good praise than bad praise. And the faults in the unit are under scrutiny so that workarounds may be developed. Things like artificial limitations are being lifted. Things like changes in the emulation itself are being upgraded. That's fine. In fact it superbly illustrates that SE is so much more practical than FPGA - people are actually doing something! Whereas with an FPGA core, you have to wait on one specific developer to make a change. Here with SE anyone can change anything.

 

Once people get a taste of the SD slot their console, they're going to want more of it. Just like SE has been doing for decades.

 

FPGA projects are just like software projects they can be closed source like Kevtris' or they can be open-source like this one.

https://retromaster.wordpress.com/a2601/

Software or fpga, these things are often primarily one man projects with other occasional contributors. They sometimes get handed off or forked.

 

Stretched images, crt support can be issues for both fpga or software emulation. Input lag is more of a software emulation issue and should always be checked. Output lag from conversion/scalers and displays also applies to fpga and original hardware. Cartridge support will always be an issue with software emulation, but shouldn't be for those already using flash multi-carts. I do agree that there is an unfair bias against PC based software emulation. But consider that there are still computer phobic people and others that want an out of the box solution.

 

-------

Regarding a new game that runs on an emulator but doesn't run on original hardware; I don't understand why any developer would want to do that. I understand it happens but the risk is it may not run on other compatibles as well. If it runs on original hardware it should run on emulators. If it doesn't than it's the emulator that should be fixed not the program. Add-on processors are a seperate issue.

Edited by mr_me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean this really cant be overstated. Those buttons are an eyesore, and make the thing look like it belongs in a preschool toy bin.

I'd be happy if they just ditched the orange color for the buttons. It makes the system look like a cheap toy, which the hdmi models certainly are not! If they really must keep the same form factor, make the buttons silver or grey, so they don't give off a Fisher Price vibe.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kosmic, backup everything.

 

@Mr SQL, how do I feel about additional hardware and games running on things like ARM? I'm fine with that, its ok to expand the hardware. My beef comes in when something claims it's something, but under scrutiny it's something else and we discover it isn't as compatible as we were led to believe.

ARM games meet your definition in that they resemble classic 8-bit Atari games, but under scrutiny they are modern 32-bit games with nothing in common with 8-bit games aside from driving the TIA.
They also aren't as compatible as classic 8-bit Atari games, not running on the Flashback Console and not being able to run from cartridge on the Retron77 since Stella is already emulating both systems, the 8-bit Atari and the ARM. The ARM is essentially a 32-bit system on a chip whereas the 6507 is just a CPU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding a new game that runs on an emulator but doesn't run on original hardware; I don't understand why any developer would want to do that. I understand it happens but the risk is it may not run on other compatibles as well. If it runs on original hardware it should run on emulators. If it doesn't than it's the emulator that should be fixed not the program. Add-on processors are a seperate issue.

 

Games that run on an emulator but not original hardware are broken by design. The original hardware ALWAYS dictates what is correct and what is incorrect. You should never have to patch a game that runs on real hardware to work correctly anywhere else. That means the 'anywhere else' (emulator, 3rd-party console, etc) are broken.

 

We've spent considerable time making Stella as faithful as possible to a real console, warts and all. We could take out some of the limitations in the software, to allow for more colours, less flicker, more objects, etc. No doubt it would make for a great game if all of that was incorporated. It would look great from the POV of the 2600, but IT WOULD NOT BE A REAL 2600.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote that because in another thread it was suggested the retron77 can be used as part of a development system. I think the most accurate emulator should be used and I didn't think that would be the retron77. I think what they meant was the retron77 would just be another target for development in addition to original hardware.

Edited by mr_me
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Games that run on an emulator but not original hardware are broken by design. The original hardware ALWAYS dictates what is correct and what is incorrect. You should never have to patch a game that runs on real hardware to work correctly anywhere else. That means the 'anywhere else' (emulator, 3rd-party console, etc) are broken.

 

We've spent considerable time making Stella as faithful as possible to a real console, warts and all. We could take out some of the limitations in the software, to allow for more colours, less flicker, more objects, etc. No doubt it would make for a great game if all of that was incorporated. It would look great from the POV of the 2600, but IT WOULD NOT BE A REAL 2600.

Yeah, this. I completely agree. It's like people who restore old cars but put modern engines in them. I mean, yeah, sure, it drives well... but just go get a new car. The appeal of the classic hardware is that it's a window into an earlier time when game design, resources etc. were very different. Accomplishing something like Pitfall! back then is incredible. And just as fun today as it was back in the early eighties.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Games that run on an emulator but not original hardware are broken by design. The original hardware ALWAYS dictates what is correct and what is incorrect. You should never have to patch a game that runs on real hardware to work correctly anywhere else. That means the 'anywhere else' (emulator, 3rd-party console, etc) are broken.

 

We've spent considerable time making Stella as faithful as possible to a real console, warts and all.

 

Some real console are broken by design like the Juniors with defective cost-cutting TIA's and the Atari Flashback consoles emu based hardware.

 

 

 

We could take out some of the limitations in the software, to allow for more colours, less flicker, more objects, etc. No doubt it would make for a great game if all of that was incorporated. It would look great from the POV of the 2600, but IT WOULD NOT BE A REAL 2600.

^You already did this when you incorporated the ARM which came from a 3rd-party modern add-on and not legacy hardware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

^You already did this when you incorporated the ARM which came from a 3rd-party modern add-on and not legacy hardware.

I don't agree. Adding extra chips or whatever to a game is no different than what they did back in the day (RAM chips in CBS carts, The Supercharger, the chip in Pitfall II etc.) As long as you still have to write within the constraints of the console hardware, it's a legit expansion, even if the chip adds more RAM or whatever.

 

When the new hardware bypasses the Atari's core design (say by replacing the display hardware to allow for more sprites) completely, then it isn't a real 2600. If you still have to program within the architecture of the 2600, it's just fine, and honestly, really cool.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...