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VectorGamer

RetroPie Killed It For Me

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It's always been, "Whatever does it for you."  Some people like one thing now, but can change later as income or living conditions change.  I've dumped a ton of money into my TI obsession, but even that is miniscule compared to what others have dumped into the hobby.  I prefer Real Iron for my TI stuff, but on occasion still use the emulator for fast and dirty testing.  Same with the Atari 5200, I had to have the real thing.   As for the Maggotbox O2, it's been in a closet for years now and I don't even want to emulate it.   Now when it comes to the TRS-80, would I have "liked" one, hell yes.  Could I have "justified" one, hell no.  I don't have the space and because of other current situations, can't dump the money into an overpriced system which would require even more money to bring up to my standards.  So $5.00 on a emulator with some programs to stick into a RPi gives me the functionality for nostalgia's sake, but much better video quality.

 

So, I sit firmly on the fence!

 

 

 I really wish I could justify the money to buy an IBM 5150. Thankfully theirs VMware. It’s tough to always stay in one camp or the other. Besides Keatah Ofcourse, it seems to come naturally to him for some reason. Just being on the AA forums makes me pay more attention to retro hardware on eBay. It’s hard to kill that tactile physical memory. If one day voice control becomes the thing, like Star Trek, I will really miss using a keyboard and mouse.

 

 

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Understanding is easy. The demographic that buys the stuff isn't known for making sound financial decisions. Just ask their ex.


That’s probably more true than people would like to admit. I don’t have an ex, but Honestly I could see that happening. She almost divorced me when I lugged my Trinitron down stairs. I think cell phones might be causing more separation now days than retro tech.
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1 hour ago, adamchevy said:

 I really wish I could justify the money to buy an IBM 5150. Thankfully theirs VMware. It’s tough to always stay in one camp or the other. Besides Keatah Ofcourse, it seems to come naturally to him for some reason.

 

The reasoning is simple. Ever since I was a kid I always wanted an All-in-One console. Besides being a savior by bringing long-lost arcade games to the home, emulation allows for that imaginary console to exist.

 

I wanted 1 console to play my Apple II, VCS, and Intellivision games. It was a pain in the ass always setting up one system then tearing it down. Parents rules and regulations suck.

 

One day I got a ColecoVision and Astrocade and that was the final straw! I got a big cardboard and wooden box and started disassembling my consoles and began mounting the boards, controls, and cart slots inside. I did the same to small portable color TV and am/fm radio and tape player.

 

And it worked! By flipping switches and turning rotary dials (switches too) I could "patch-in" the console I wanted with the controllers I wanted. I had my own Videogame Command Center - my own homemade UltraVision (vaporware console). I could play The LOOP or B96 radio stations and game on one unit. Simultaneously!

 

The next day everything overheated and the TV cum monitor didn't work anymore. And while moving it to my repair area it broke apart into like 8 pieces loosely held together by the immense amount of wiring. My 10-yr old self was in tears. It took me weeks to "restore" the disassembled consoles. And more weeks to do extra chores to get money for another tv/monitor.

 

1 hour ago, adamchevy said:

That’s probably more true than people would like to admit. I don’t have an ex, but Honestly I could see that happening. She almost divorced me when I lugged my Trinitron down stairs. I think cell phones might be causing more separation now days than retro tech.

 

 

Cellphones.. Retrotech.. both promote isolationist introversive behavior. Negative characteristics the tech industry doesn't care if you adopt - just so as long as you click on the like button and share. Sharing with 500 imaginary friends makes you feel good. Those 500 friends sharing yet again makes someones bank account feel good. 

 

A neighbor has 2 kids. One of them doesn't mess with social media too much and is capable of interacting with peers and our family. The other is holed-up in the smartphone seemingly 24/7, has issues in school, doesn't know how to make change from a dollar, or figure anything out. Not even make a piece of toast for crynoutloud. But the kid knows all about the top teen idols and what toothpaste they use and how often. And their travel itinerary for the week - that's a slam dunk! The kid seemingly lives and dies by what social networks their idols are using.. ugh! I'm done!

Edited by Keatah
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The minis are there for folks who don't want to ford through the murky parts of the web for games, don't want/don't know how to muck with an RPi and/or want a professional product that works. Not everyone who lands here has the gumption, potential time and maybe the knowhow to do RPi and similar emulation stuff.

 

It's like baking bread-some people would rather learn how to make it, spending the time and resources to make it themselves. Others would rather spend the couple bucks or less for a loaf from the store. 

 

Me, I *could* fuddle with an RPi to get it working the way I want but finding the time to sit and do it is the prohibiting factor. With what time I can get, I rather spend it playing than tinkering and the minis fit the bill.

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To be honest I understand why people like raspberry pi and emulation, it frees up space and saves money. That's good and all, but it loses something that can't be emulated (at least for now), atmosphere.

 

If you're like me and were born a decade or two after these systems came out, you want to experience the system just like your mother and father experienced them. Even though I can have every game I ever wanted for free, I lose the atmosphere of picking out the game on my shelf, plugging in the game, getting a blinking light, having to clean the game and then getting the game to work after 5 minutes of tinkering with the game.

 

That may sound tedious and boring to you but to me that's apart of the experience. Even though there's nothing wrong with emulating, it's like streaming movies, I can have all the movies I want for under $50, I lose the feeling of pushing in the VHS tape or trying not to scratch that giant laserdisc. It's just not the same.

 

Anyways, did you buy a premade box for your raspberry pi or did you 3D print one?

 

Edited by Magmavision2000
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For some reason I never found RPi emulation appealing, but I did like using the Retro Freak.

Mostly, it was the ease of use and that I did not have to think much about setup. But I did notice lag issues compared to real hardware.
 

Then I got into FPGAs and as cores matures, lag stopped being an issue and I found myself using real hardware less and less.

I still own the originals (and don't plan on selling for now - I do like to have them on the shelf) but I can't be bothered with RGB and upscalers when I have a solid alternative.

 

I sometimes wonder if I could make a system to use RFID tags on carts to load games.

That way we can still use our cart collections as "game selector" for added nostalgia, but with much less mechanical issues (dirty contacts etc).

Edited by Newsdee
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9 hours ago, Magmavision2000 said:

To be honest I understand why people like raspberry pi and emulation, it frees up space and saves money. That's good and all, but it loses something that can't be emulated (at least for now), atmosphere.

 

Anyways, did you buy a premade box for your raspberry pi or did you 3D print one?

 

I've been back in the hobby for over 10 years now. The nostalgia or "atmosphere" as you call it has worn off.

 

I bought the CanaKit off of Amazon. The level of difficulty setting this up I would say for someone that has no computer skills or experience with emulation is moderate. But there are plenty of resources available to answer just about any question you may have about getting this thing up and running.

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The only reason I keep real consoles around are for my kids. My two little girls love playing freeway, and my oldest two love playing smash on the Wii U. I can’t imagine if my dad would have been like here’s the emulator that you need to use and the roms are accessed like this. Also if your controller isn’t functioning let me show you how to reconfigure it. If the emulator crashes then this is how you get it up and working. If your Bluetooth goes down let me show you how to get your controllers reconnected.

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Enjoyed this topic and discussion.

 

I’m waiting for virtual pinball to get cheaper and more advanced.

 

There will be a point for me when it gets “real enough” — like when you add real solenoids to the flipper buttons and head tracking so you can see around Playfield objects, etc. And 3 displays with custom ratios for the proper backglass size and score/animations size. Then it will be nice to have a handful of great pinball games in one place, one piece of hardware.

 

The best I have seen till now is custom made. 

 

As for RPi, I have 3 that I use to emulate, along with playing emulation on Android TV boxes, my cell phone, tablets, and real console hardware using displays from RF to video mods and upscalers. 

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On 9/12/2019 at 11:54 PM, Keatah said:

 

The reasoning is simple. Ever since I was a kid I always wanted an All-in-One console. Besides being a savior by bringing long-lost arcade games to the home, emulation allows for that imaginary console to exist.

 

 

This is pretty much why I'm into emulation myself... From grade school till the end of college I've always had to move on from incompabile computers and obsolete consoles even though I still love playing the games on them.  With PC's since the 90's, I can still play my favorite games via emulation as well as the current stuff. 

 

As much as I wanted to get back into using real hardware it's just not feasable for me since A.) there's no working consoles around anymore (yea for dead caps), B.) Atari stuff is very hard to find since used stores around here only deal with Nintendo & Sega carts, and C.) I could play carts with Retrons but they use the same emulation as my gaming PC anyways.  Flashbacks & Mini Classics are great for a plug and play experience on modern displays but there's always gonna be a limited amount of games...but still the best way to support the companies like Atari, Nintendo & Sega along with compliations for consoles (which are a different type of experience).  Either way I feel there needs to be a preservation of the "Knowledge" of the non-popular games (especially of Pre-Crash systems) with all the Nintendo-Only Retrogaming Youtubers out there.

 

I understand the need for having a "tactile" experience in addition for playing retro games so I plan on having a Tankstick for arcade games (and console games ala NES Advantage) and USB adapters for orginal controllers.  With the RPi, I can get the best of both worlds...the modern convience of having classic games on a centralized storage and the use of original controllers.  Might even get a 2nd Pi for the CRT TV I use for the Flashbacks as well.

 

 

 

 

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