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Posted (edited)

I am interested also in the first sgm, is there any way to get it?

Edited by artrag

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And am I correct that sgm2 is still first and the only thing that can be pre ordered currently? I'll likely want both in the end. That should be the last of my basic questions for now. Thanks! Very excited for this.

 

I am sorry... did I miss something? Is the SGM2 on pre-order now?

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So we can use the Z80 compatible cpu for Z80 games, or we can use the 16-bit CPU to emulate other CPUs, as it has a super orthogonal instruction set. I am excited.

You're making it all sound very interesting!

 

Hmmm ... "a super orthogonal instruction set" ... OK, so you've dropped the idea of putting a 68000 in there, and I'm going to guess that you have probably gone with the ZNEO, since I don't think that there are many other 16-bit CPUs available these days.

 

I do hope that you're going to have an SD card interface/socket on the board, too. Not only would that give you an easy place to store hiscores and other persistant information, it would also open the system up into becoming a modern CP/M computer ... like a modern ADAM.

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I am sorry... did I miss something? Is the SGM2 on pre-order now?

Sorry, as the first post says, it is not a pre order list. Just a list to get the newsletter and a chance to be an early adopter/innovator. My bad in using the wrong term. I meant to verify that the Omni still had no such list, which I believe is the case.

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Posted (edited)

I am interested also in the first sgm, is there any way to get it?

 

Not sure if Opcode will do another run of the original Super Game Module since for now they may be gearing up to produce the SGM2. After the SGM2 comes out some may be willing to part with their somewhat obsolete SGM1 but that may not be for a while. eBay doesn't seem to have any listed for sale right now but in the past there had always been one or two or more for sale. Perhaps a CollectorVision Phoenix would suffice since that has a SGM1 built in and it seems like they're almost ready to release. Someone was pondering selling their SGM1 here http://atariage.com/forums/topic/291471-what-is-the-value-of-an-original-sgm/

Edited by rodge2001

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This is no formal pre-orders for anything so far, just a wait list.

I have been getting lots of requests for the SGM1, so I was planning one more run later this year. I guess DKA might also create some demand.

No need for SD cards, our cartridges can save stuff.

 

Here is a breaking. Hardware team has started designing our first full OMNI board based on schematics recently completed. This should be our first official dev board, with the required connectors to hook up the board to a PC for debugging.

 

7c9f78a82d4e215aed3f3e9b9e3c62c4.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

No need for SD cards, our cartridges can save stuff.

Thank you for the clarification.

 

I'm afraid that that almost-certainly puts it outside my particular area of interest as a developer, but I wish you all the best!

Edited by elmer

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Thank you for the clarification.

 

I'm afraid that that almost-certainly puts it outside my particular area of interest as a developer, but I wish you all the best!

I understand your concern, but here is the thing, this is a retro inspired console where we are trying to be as faithful as possible. A SD card slot would just ruin that goal for no good reason. And I say no good reason because even with a SD card there, you would still need tons of RAM memory for downloading stuff, which we don’t have, again for the reason we are trying to be as faithful as possible to something possible in late 80s early 90s.

 

Now it doesn’t mean that we can’t release a development cartridge down the road with lots of RAM and SD and USB and whatever. The pins are there, available from the cartridge slot.

 

Or if you want to develop for it in a more serious way, you can get a dev kit when they are available, hopefully later this year. But that involves using C and ASM.

 

 

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I understand your concern, but here is the thing, this is a retro inspired console where we are trying to be as faithful as possible. A SD card slot would just ruin that goal for no good reason. And I say no good reason because even with a SD card there, you would still need tons of RAM memory for downloading stuff, which we dont have, again for the reason we are trying to be as faithful as possible to something possible in late 80s early 90s.

I get that your heart-and-mind are set on the "Cartridge Console" experience, and as the project's creator, you should just do what works for you.

 

 

For me, the 1980s and 1990s "Happy Times" experience was the openness of the Home Computer gaming experience ... with floppy disks and tapes, and only-rarely cartridges. An SD card is just a "retro inspired" floppy disk. It is no more anachronistic than your use of modern CPUs and memory, that run dozens of times faster than the hardware that was actually available to designers back in those days.

 

I'd be rather surprised if you're not including at-least 256KB of RAM on the system, which is all that you'd really need to recreate that experience ... but more RAM is always nice.

 

It's not up to me to try to change your mind ... this is your baby, and I don't think that I'm really your main target-market, just a very-interested observer. If I like what you've created, then I'll choose whether to buy/develop for it.

 

As for assembly language ... well, taking advantage of the extra features that Zilog put into the eZ80, and having a chance to finally work on the Z8000 architecture (ZNEO), are basically the attractions of what you're creating (from this programmer's perspective).

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I get that your heart-and-mind are set on the "Cartridge Console" experience, and as the project's creator, you should just do what works for you.

 

 

For me, the 1980s and 1990s "Happy Times" experience was the openness of the Home Computer gaming experience ... with floppy disks and tapes, and only-rarely cartridges. An SD card is just a "retro inspired" floppy disk. It is no more anachronistic than your use of modern CPUs and memory, that run dozens of times faster than the hardware that was actually available to designers back in those days.

 

I'd be rather surprised if you're not including at-least 256KB of RAM on the system, which is all that you'd really need to recreate that experience ... but more RAM is always nice.

 

It's not up to me to try to change your mind ... this is your baby, and I don't think that I'm really your main target-market, just a very-interested observer. If I like what you've created, then I'll choose whether to buy/develop for it.

 

As for assembly language ... well, taking advantage of the extra features that Zilog put into the eZ80, and having a chance to finally work on the Z8000 architecture (ZNEO), are basically the attractions of what you're creating (from this programmer's perspective).

The architecture is really game/console oriented, total CPU RAM is 160KB (which is already more than what I wanted), but it is hard to find smaller memories these days. There is no video pattern or sound pattern RAM. It is all ROM inside the cartridge. But as I said, a cartridge can be made to increase RAM later if so we want.

 

As for clocks, most of the system runs at 12MHz or 1/3 of that (in case of sound), which I think is pretty reasonable.

 

 

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As for clocks, most of the system runs at 12MHz or 1/3 of that (in case of sound), which I think is pretty reasonable.

It's really cool that you're downclocking like that rather than running at 20MHz (or 48MHz) ... but don't forget to take into account that the modern CPUs are 3..4 times more-efficient in terms of cycles-per-instruction compared to the original Z80 or Z8000 (or M68000).

 

For instance ...

 

add ix,bc      Z80: 15   eZ80: 2
bit 3,(IX+n)   Z80: 20   eZ80: 5
inc de         Z80:  6   eZ80: 1
inc (hl)       Z80: 11   eZ80: 4
inc (ix+d)     Z80: 23   eZ80: 6
pop bc         Z80: 10   eZ80: 3

At-the-end-of-the-day, you're still in the ballpark, and doing a great job ... which is why I'm taking such an interest in what you're doing.

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Nothing new on here for a month but so much buzz and info from Tommy Tallarico about the Amico on the Intellivision forum.  I can't help but wonder if it's stolen a bit of the Omni's thunder.  I know the Amico shouldn't affect the SGM2 in any way but was wondering if the emergence of the Amico has altered Opcode's plans for the Omni at all.  I hope not but I need something new to fan the flames of my excitement for the Omni again.

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3 hours ago, insertclevernamehere said:

Nothing new on here for a month but so much buzz and info from Tommy Tallarico about the Amico on the Intellivision forum.  I can't help but wonder if it's stolen a bit of the Omni's thunder.  I know the Amico shouldn't affect the SGM2 in any way but was wondering if the emergence of the Amico has altered Opcode's plans for the Omni at all.  I hope not but I need something new to fan the flames of my excitement for the Omni again.

I am excited for both, but the Amico isn't stealing any thunder from the Omni/SGM2. Opcode often goes into work mode and not really posting mode from time to time. This is par for the course. I'm sure we will hear something within a month or so. 

 

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All right, time for some update I guess...

 

We completed the full OMNI board design, but then we started running out of money. That is the (sad perhaps) reality of things for us. Opcode isn't Intellivision, our resources are limited, they don't last long, and things cost money, lots of money.

So we have the PCB designed, but I am now forced to go back to CV stuff to finance the remaining of the project. That said, we should be back to OMNi and SGM2 soon, and I am still confident that we will have the full board working before the end of this year.

 

The main source for funds this year was going to be DK. Unfortunately a lawyer for a certain company got in touch and I had to postpone plans for a release. We will have to delay that game for later, once the dust settle (and please let's not discuss this further publicly for the time being). In the meantime we have many other games planned for this year, to make up for DK, as well as re-releases that some have been waiting for a while. 

 

Ultimately, I will keep working and investing until I have OMNI done and out. The console and its Atari era inspired games are my ultimate lifetime achievement, and certainly well worth any extra effort and money.

 

I will keep you guys posted. 

3ae638a040c76310d86a44f4fb45940b.jpg

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5 hours ago, opcode said:

All right, time for some update I guess...

 

We completed the full OMNI board design, but then we started running out of money. That is the (sad perhaps) reality of things for us. Opcode isn't Intellivision, our resources are limited, they don't last long, and things cost money, lots of money.

So we have the PCB designed, but I am now forced to go back to CV stuff to finance the remaining of the project. That said, we should be back to OMNi and SGM2 soon, and I am still confident that we will have the full board working before the end of this year.

 

The main source for funds this year was going to be DK. Unfortunately a lawyer for a certain company got in touch and I had to postpone plans for a release. We will have to delay that game for later, once the dust settle (and please let's not discuss this further publicly for the time being). In the meantime we have many other games planned for this year, to make up for DK, as well as re-releases that some have been waiting for a while. 

 

 

 

That is of course unfortunate news but how about the new Colecovision controllers, maybe release them and bring in some capital for the SGM2/Omni? I am sure plenty of people including me is dying for a new Colecovision controller?

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5 hours ago, opcode said:

 In the meantime we have many other games planned for this year, to make up for DK, as well as re-releases that some have been waiting for a while. 

 

3ae638a040c76310d86a44f4fb45940b.jpg

Gradius seems like it would be one of the less costly to produce as a re-release or Jeff Minter's Hover Bovver if that CV rom actually exists.

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The new controller is already financing the OMNI controller, since they are cosmetically the same (and minimum orders are in the ballpark of 2,000 pieces).

So we will have games, both old and new. And that should be good news for SGM owners I guess.

As I said, no worries. We will have the full OMNI board working before the end of the year. That is the first step to start alpha testing it. We will fix any issues, remove the debugging stuff, reduce components as much as we can, and assemble the beta boards. I have been trying to avoid paying attention to what others are doing. This isn’t a truly commercial project, i have no problem saying that although someone suggested me to never say that, after I apparently blew up a deal saying that during a meeting. I don’t care. This is the ultimate dream project for me, I won’t compromise by making commercial concessions. In the current retro gaming ressurgente, Atari era isn’t properly represented. Younger people are starting to think video game started with Nintendo, and Nintendo of course works hard to make it so. Atari is still well known, but the games are getting lost because in the eyes of many anything less than NES graphics is too primitive to be worth playing. And again Nintendo works hard to make it so.

Btw, in case you are curious about the board above, that includes a lot of debugging and expansion pads, so the final board should be considerably smaller. The design is very elegant if I might say so. 2 CPUs, each with their own RAM space. Bootstrap BIOS are built in. Any CPU can be the master. The system can work with both or just one of them. Graphics are fully tile based, with no external RAM. Two RAM chips for the CPUs is all the external RAM we have in our board. Sound is close to Sega’s System 16 sound. Lots of PCM are there to help us produce analog like effects and other vintage sounds. FM gives us that distinctive 80s kind of music. Cartridge on the other hand can be pretty large with no need for bank switching. No component is clocked higher than 12MHz, which makes the hardware well within the possibilities of the late 80s.
So small amounts of RAM, low clock rates, minimalist design, lots of parallelism, leads to an architecture that is pretty much in line with the late 80s technological limitations, but yet highly elegant and efficient thanks to our custom cartridge’s high memory throughout.



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22 hours ago, dj_convoy said:

Not really sure how one has any bearing on the other.

1. They are both retro inspired consoles that take the same era as inspiration.

2. They will both have physical releases.

3. Their games will both include reimagined classics from the same era.

4. With major retailers already highly enthusiastic over the Amico, both the console and it's games will have an accessibility and price advantage over the Omni.  No extra shipping added to any purchases is a major boon for me.  

 

I know many enthusiasts will still prefer the Omni and many may buy both and I'm not saying that I will pick the Amico over the Omni,  but that's why I thought a lack of Omni news may have something to do with the Amico.  Glad to see it isn't.  I for one am still very excited about the prospect of both.  I just hope an embarrassment of riches when it comes to retro gaming choices doesn't force me to pick one over the other.

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On 7/13/2019 at 8:44 PM, opcode said:

Unfortunately a lawyer for a certain company got in touch and I had to postpone plans for a release.

In that case can you give me a refund for the copy I ordered?

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15 hours ago, SegaSnatcher said:

Is Omni going to be 100% Opcode games or are other developers on board as well?

There is no firm deals in place yet, if that is what you want to know. However we have been approached by a number of developers, and we will support them with dev kits as soon as we have those dev boards ready. Things won't be completely open though, and in addition to certain licensing terms to guarantee quality, we will also supply cartridge manufacturing and packaging templates.

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5 hours ago, VectorGamer said:

In that case can you give me a refund for the copy I ordered?

Sure, please send me private message with your PayPal account.

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