Jump to content
sm3

MEGA65 preorder to start next week (it seems)

Recommended Posts

I have heard the figure of 600-700E being bandied about, which for me does fall into the "silly" range.

 

I'm sure it will sell out nonetheless, the problem is it will also severely restrict the user pool and consequently the new software available. Perhaps a core will appear for some other FPGA boards, but still, it's a small outreach. So overall it's kind of  and "art for art's sake" type project...

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, youxia said:

I have heard the figure of 600-700E being bandied about, which for me does fall into the "silly" range.

 

I'm sure it will sell out nonetheless, the problem is it will also severely restrict the user pool and consequently the new software available. Perhaps a core will appear for some other FPGA boards, but still, it's a small outreach. So overall it's kind of  and "art for art's sake" type project...

While I agree the price is more than some folks will want to pay, you don't need to own the hardware to use or create something for it. There is an emulator and I'm pretty sure you can run it on another (Nexys) FPGA board.  

 

I see there are some YouTube videos out there on it, here is one I found: 

 

 

Well, I guess this video is just a quick look at a Nexys board he intends to use.

 

Here is another video of his on the emulator (on a Mac)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was originally interested in it but it seemed to take a while too long for me and I became more interested in the 8 Bit Guys computer and with a Ultimate 64 I now have I do not see a reason for me to get this anymore.  I am also concerned about how much support it will ultimately have by a community.  Still looks like an interesting piece of kit.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As awesome as it looks, it is too niche for me to get in.  This does not feel like something you get if you expect to be just a casual user.  You need to contribute to help it grow, and that ain't in my stars.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid this will fly even less than the DTV did, and that one was reasonably cheap, hacked to death and since several years emulated by VICE. As far as I'm concerned, the DTV could be the modern successor to the C65 but I understand it never was considered as such.

 

And no, I never looked into DTV programming details to do something beyond C64 mode anyway so I'm no better than anyone else.

Edited by carlsson
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, carlsson said:

I'm afraid this will fly even less than the DTV did, and that one was reasonably cheap, hacked to death and since several years emulated by VICE. As far as I'm concerned, the DTV could be the modern successor to the C65 but I understand it never was considered as such.

 

And no, I never looked into DTV programming details to do something beyond C64 mode anyway so I'm no better than anyone else.

Well, it will sell out. The DevKit sold for EUR 999 and it wasn't even the final product! I don't think the MEGA folks are in for the profit of this, just a labor of love. I'm sure they will be happy if they recoup the cost of development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, sm3 said:

I don't think the MEGA folks are in for the profit of this, just a labor of love.

Yeah, in their forum (in German), they say, they're selling at such a price, that they don't make any profit, but also don't have losses (so plus/minus 0). That even made me a bit sad, I mean, they deserve a bit of profit, don't they?

And still the price is way too high.

 

My ideal would be the "MISTer Multisystem" in the Mega65-case / with the Mega65 keyboard (the smaller one, without the floppy (though when I think about it, having an integrated Amiga floppy drive would be really cool, too)). I'd like to run all kinds of cores on it, Atari 8-bit for example, so the Mega65 itself is a bit too Commodore 64/65-orientated for me.

Edited by Pokeypy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe after additional cores are ported to the MEGA65 platform, it will have more value in the eyes of folks who are hesitant to spend the money on it.

 

I believe the C64 MiSTer core was being ported to the MEGA65 platform if I'm not mistaken. Maybe some others as well? 

 

I found this post. It lists other cores like ZX Spectrum and Gameboy are already done for it:

 

https://www.stevencombs.com/mega65-3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well maybe there will be such a demand that a second, higher production run will be done at a lower price. I would love one but the wife may not be too happy on me dropping $1000 on such a hobby item. Its going to wither on the vine if the machine is to scarce and too expensive.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Arnuphis said:

Well maybe there will be such a demand that a second, higher production run will be done at a lower price. I would love one but the wife may not be too happy on me dropping $1000 on such a hobby item. Its going to wither on the vine if the machine is to scarce and too expensive.

Yes, I suppose time will tell!

 

I've been wanting to get a ZX Spectrum Next.  Have missed out on both Kickstarters now.  They don't seem to make them outside of Kicktstarter it seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I nearly did get Spectrum Next during the second KS, but it was actually more expensive so I passed. I don't really regret it because there isn't any must-have soft for it (despite being around for quite a while) there is already a MiSTer core (and couple of emulators) but the scene is pretty quiet anyway. And its price was only about half of what Mega will cost.

 

These things are nice, but definitely niche gadgets which won't be starting any real 8-bit revivals. I think something like Pico-8 has actually a livelier scene...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you. I got the 'next' on this go around. It was pricey and is the upper limit of what I will pay for things like this but I did it to support retro efforts as I want to see more projects come along. The Mega 65 was on my radar until I saw the anticipated price. Frankly the X16 looks a more likely contender.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Arnuphis said:

I hear you. I got the 'next' on this go around. It was pricey and is the upper limit of what I will pay for things like this but I did it to support retro efforts as I want to see more projects come along. The Mega 65 was on my radar until I saw the anticipated price. Frankly the X16 looks a more likely contender.

Nice, hope you enjoy your Next. I need to sign up on the main ZX Spectrum Next website so I don't miss out on "Issue 3" of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to figure out which customer categories the MEGA65 caters to. I came up with a few, but probably missing out on several others.

 

1. Those who adore the Commodore 65, but don't have the $XXX,XXX those go for these days, and settle with a replica.

2. Those who are intrigued by the hardware/software side of the C65 and want to experience it as accurately as possible.

3. Those who generally like vintage computers and can't pass on the opportunity of a newly made one in the old style (I suppose C64x, THEC64 Full etc belong in this category too)

4. Those who simply need to buy everything that is on the market, preferably keep it unopened in box.

5. Those who need a system capable of loading FPGA cores of any compatible kind, and enjoy an all-in-one solution.

 

I'm definitely not an 1 or 4. I have an old FleaFPGA for 5, though it is has rather tiny capacity so I can't expect many cores to run. I'm not a 3, as I've begun to thin out my collection.

 

It leaves 2 on my list, but given the C65 never was finished and I understand there exists several revisions, partly incompatible, it is a bit like completing one of the unfinished works from a classic composer. Sometimes you can figure out the idea behind the composition, but I recently read about some classic work where some conductors would call of the orchestra in the middle of the piece because that was as far as the composer got before he died, and everything following was some colleague putting together the pieces and finishing the work for them. While I haven't studied all the hardware features of the C65, I can't see it being any more interesting than any of the made-up retro systems already mentioned in the thread as well as older ones like the Xgamestation or whatever it was called, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, sm3 said:

Maybe after additional cores are ported to the MEGA65 platform, it will have more value in the eyes of folks who are hesitant to spend the money on it.

Here's what one of the developers said (2019) about it on the other forum: It's enough work already to realize just the C65-stuff (and what else they want for now in the Mega65).

He says somewhere else, he really would like to see an Amiga core for the Mega65 some day, but they can't do it now.

Someone else said in this thread, the RAM used in the Mega65 called "HyperRAM" could be a problem for Amiga usage.

That should be considered. But if I see the specs of the Mega65 - 40 times as fast as the C64, also PCM sound - it sounds a bit like Amiga to me. Although it's still supposed to be an 8 bit architecture, so that's still a bit different.

I'm just not sure. But it sure looks nice. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose we shall see what happens. The whole reason for this thread was just to let folks know that the preorder was happening soon! I'm not exactly a big forum poster, so a lot of the times I found things out by stumbling across a forum post like this one. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, carlsson said:

I haven't studied all the hardware features of the C65

Ok, so I took a brief trip to Wikipedia to refreshen myself what the Commodore 65 really is (or was supposed to be).

 

CPU: 3.54 MHz CSG 4510 (65CE02 with two integrated 6526, an UART and memory mapper up to 1 MB)

ROM: 128 kB

RAM: 128 kB, expandable up to 1 MB on the underside

Graphics: VIC-III with a palette of 4096 colours of which up to 256 on screen

Resolutions: 320x200x256 (8 bitplanes), 640x200x16 (4), 640x400x16 (4), 1280x200x4 (2) and 1280x400x4 (2)

Sprites: 8 sprites, exactly the same as VIC-II

Text modes: 40x25, 80x25, new attributes for blink and bold

Sound: Dual SID for stereo, separate volume, filter, modulation on each SID chip (as expected)

Media: Built-in 3.5" DSDD floppy drive

Keyboard: 77 keys + cursor keys

I/O ports: 2 joysticks DE9, 50-pin expansion (cartridge?), 24-pin parallel (user port), 6-pin IEC (1541), 8-pin mini-DIN floppy drive

Outputs: 2 RCA jacks for stereo sound, analog RGB through DE9, RF video, 8-pin DIN for composite video

Software: Commodore BASIC 10.0

 

The graphics system has the same video DMA bandwidth as the original Amiga of which the CPU can use half of it.

 

For comparison, the C64DTV has 128 kB - 2 MB RAM depending on model, reprogrammable palette and on the DTV2 a chunky 256 colour mode and blitter. Apparently it doesn't support SID filters, but the DTV2 has 8-bit digital sound with envelope generators. The DTV2 also has a burst CPU mode, support for illegal op-codes etc.

 

I suppose the C65 runs faster than the DTV2 would, plus that it can display graphics at much higher resolutions, probably a bigger palette too but possibly the DTV2 has more interesting sound capacities. RAM wise they seem equal and whether you store programs on floppy disk or memory card is a matter of personal preference. The DTV2 seems a little more like a souped-up C64, while the C65 seems like a C64 who is looking longingly at the Amiga and would like to try her skirts.

 

CSDb has 84 productions in the C64 DTV category including a bunch of patched games. That is over a period of 15+ years since the system was released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, carlsson said:

while the C65 seems like a C64 who is looking longingly at the Amiga and would like to try her skirts

So, a completely futile exercise, typical of micro manufactures in that era....especially in 1991 when Amiga was affordable enough even for the likes of me. No wonder Commodore's own staff dubbed it "son of  Plus/4 ".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I'm concerned, the C64DX development was some spare time pastime engineers worked on for several years in the end of the 80's, not really ordered or sanctioned by the directors, but once it had progressed far enough, perhaps they determined it might be worth making a real product out of it after all, perhaps to counter behemoths like the Amstrad CPC 6128+.

 

Sure, experimenting and own engineering can be both fun and turn out into valuable products over time. I'm thinking of the C64 games console that Andy Finkel posted images of last year - apparently years before the C64GS. Completely unknown to the fans/collectors/historians around the world and while it looked professionally made, perhaps not a project that the management had within their radar as well. I don't know how well that one would've worked if it was finished and produced, something very close to the XEGS but with the C64 popularity in 1987... yeah, I'm getting off-topic now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, carlsson said:

... yeah, I'm getting off-topic now.

Right, I just made this thread to point out that preorder is going to happen soon for the MEGA65.  I can understand if some people don't feel it's worth the cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sm3 said:

Right, I just made this thread to point out that preorder is going to happen soon for the MEGA65.  I can understand if some people don't feel it's worth the cost.

So you understand, your posts are appreciated.  The two projects you have been posting are very cool.  But everyone has an opinion on things, and lively discussion is for what we are known around here :)

  • 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...