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NT Analogue announces Super NT

GreenMonkey

Member
Apr 26, 2011
867
0
0
Pre-order in.

I have faith in Kevtris, the Analogue NT mini is awesome.

Passing on the controllers for now - my experience with the 8bitdo is the dpad is, well, not great. It's not awful (that award goes to the Hori Fighting Commander for the snes classic, or an OG xbox 360 pad). But it's not great. I'm hoping they improved the dpad this time around, as folks made plenty of complaints / comments / posted pictures why on the 8bitdo forums before they shut their forums down a while back.

If we don't get ROM loading via jailbreak on the SD card, it'll support a rom cart. That plus real carts plus reduced lag? Yay!

I notice no 4-ports built in either (probably another cost cutting measure). That's a bummer for Super Bomberman, Secret of Mana and the like, I'm sure a multitap will work though.
 

mrk8885

Banned
Aug 14, 2016
569
0
0
Is this FPGA v emulation issue regarding the older systems analogous to how GBA games technically run natively on 3DS (the ambassador games) rather than being emulated?
 

Sir_Crocodile

Member
Mar 31, 2009
21,807
2
755
Very interesting read. Thank you. I guess I’m just not knowledgeable enough in this area to understand these types of differences, and my eye certainly isn’t discerning enough to be bothered by emulation hiccups.

But I totally get the appeal.
Depends on the quality of the emulator. Higan accuracy gets you 99% of the way there, as it's one of the most accurate emulators ever. If you use, say, zsnes you'd see the difference instantly lol.
 

Aeana

Member
Jul 10, 2006
42,062
2
0
Is this FPGA v emulation issue regarding the older systems analogous to how GBA games technically run natively on 3DS (the ambassador games) rather than being emulated?
Sort of. I believe the 3DS actually includes a real GBA chip rather than one simulated by an FPGA (because it includes the DS hardware, and the DS itself included and relied on a GBA chip as a coprocessor). But the results would be the same if the FPGA were written correctly, yes.

At a high level, the difference is really that the FPGA approach simulates the circuitry of the hardware, whereas software emulation emulates the behavior (input/output). Given enough CPU power, it should be possible to achieve the same results in a software emulator as an FPGA hardware simulation, but challenges are introduced when the system you are emulating is comprised of many different chips all operating at different speeds and you need to keep them synchronized. This is something that simulating at the hardware level with an FPGA is very good at, and what requires CPU power in a software implementation.

I'm by no means an expert on this topic, though, and if someone who knows better than me wants to come in and set the record straight, that'd be great.
 

SmiteOfHand

Member
May 28, 2014
2,038
0
360
I didn't realize there were color options when I ordered in haste in a sleepy stupor this morning, so I put in a second order with the superior color choice. And looks like Analogue does not cancel pre-orders sooo.. guess I've got two now. Cool. ...I guess...

I'm still going to try reaching out. I'll update with how it goes.

https://www.analogue.co/pages/terms-conditions/
Pre-orders
All pre-order payments are processed immediately at the time of checkout. Pre-orders on made-to-order products are non-refundable or cancel-able. If your item has arrived damaged from shipping, please contact us.
 

GreenMonkey

Member
Apr 26, 2011
867
0
0
At a high level, the difference is really that the FPGA approach simulates the circuitry of the hardware, whereas software emulation emulates the behavior (input/output). Given enough CPU power, it should be possible to achieve the same results in a software emulator as an FPGA hardware simulation, but challenges are introduced when the system you are emulating is comprised of many different chips all operating at different speeds and you need to keep them synchronized. This is something that simulating at the hardware level with an FPGA is very good at, and what requires CPU power in a software implementation.
Don't quote me here as I'm an IT worker and not really a programmer / hardware guy. But I'll try to expand a little on what Aeana is saying.

Think like the OS/kernel level stuff that has to run underneath, and the emulation layer to give access to the emulated system for USB (for controllers), storage, etc. Think that this stuff has to function underneath the emulation later, running all of the time, and calls have to be translated from the emulator to the O.S.

There's always going to be a little of a layer of lag associated with that. The OS can't necessarily hand over 100% access to the hardware even if it could - it has to share the hardware with the O.S. - think doing system sounds and system storage controller access to run the OS, etc.

Byuu explains it better: (author of higan and occasional neogaf poster)

https://byuu.org/articles/latency/
 

Sir_Crocodile

Member
Mar 31, 2009
21,807
2
755
I don't think the 3DS has exactly the GBA cpu (it has a DS ARM9 though), but I think the ARM9 one is enough to be able to simulate the ARM7 as the legacy instructions are all supported.

I assume it's not perfect, as the DS actually did come with an ARM7 cpu (and I can't imagine nintendo paying extra money for nothing), but if it's not, it was nothing that was apparent when playing the ambassador games.
 

Weevilone

Member
Nov 11, 2011
3,473
0
0
I didn't realize there were color options when I ordered in haste in a sleepy stupor this morning, so I put in a second order with the superior color choice. And looks like Analogue does not cancel pre-orders sooo.. guess I've got two now. Cool. ...I guess...

I'm still going to try reaching out. I'll update with how it goes.

https://www.analogue.co/pages/terms-conditions/
I get why they do that, but it's not like you had a months long preorder they were counting on and you bailed at the last minute.

Of course if they weren't known for delays then that wouldn't be much of an issue either.
 

Sir_Crocodile

Member
Mar 31, 2009
21,807
2
755
Don't quote me here as I'm an IT worker and not really a programmer / hardware guy. But I'll try to expand a little on what Aeana is saying.

Think like the OS/kernel level stuff that has to run underneath, and the emulation layer to give access to the emulated system for USB (for controllers), storage, etc. Think that this stuff has to function underneath the emulation later, running all of the time, and calls have to be translated from the emulator to the O.S.

There's always going to be a little of a layer of lag associated with that. The OS can't necessarily hand over 100% access to the hardware even if it could - it has to share the hardware with the O.S. - think doing system sounds and system storage controller access to run the OS, etc.

Byuu explains it better: (author of higan and occasional neogaf poster)

https://byuu.org/articles/latency/
That's not really the same thing - Aeana's talking about the synchronisation between all the different chips in a console. They may talk to each other, or wait for each other an absurd number of times a second, and a truly accurate emulator would also do so - except it's an insane requirement that modern cpu's would slow to a crawl doing, and hence most emulators just find ways around doing it which work but can never be quite as accurate.

With an FPGA, you don't have to worry about the overhead as the FPGA has simulated the hardware, so the synchronisation happens as it originally did, without the unbelievable overhead that would occur if an emulator attempted the same feat.

--edit - byuu does in fact have an article that explains it:

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/accuracy-takes-power-one-mans-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/2/
 

Aeana

Member
Jul 10, 2006
42,062
2
0
I didn't realize there were color options when I ordered in haste in a sleepy stupor this morning, so I put in a second order with the superior color choice. And looks like Analogue does not cancel pre-orders sooo.. guess I've got two now. Cool. ...I guess...

I'm still going to try reaching out. I'll update with how it goes.

https://www.analogue.co/pages/terms-conditions/
This sucks. During this preorder period where they aren't even coming out until next year, they should at least give you a couple of weeks to cancel.

Don't quote me here as I'm an IT worker and not really a programmer / hardware guy. But I'll try to expand a little on what Aeana is saying.

Think like the OS/kernel level stuff that has to run underneath, and the emulation layer to give access to the emulated system for USB (for controllers), storage, etc. Think that this stuff has to function underneath the emulation later, running all of the time, and calls have to be translated from the emulator to the O.S.

There's always going to be a little of a layer of lag associated with that. The OS can't necessarily hand over 100% access to the hardware even if it could - it has to share the hardware with the O.S. - think doing system sounds and system storage controller access to run the OS, etc.

Byuu explains it better: (author of higan and occasional neogaf poster)

https://byuu.org/articles/latency/
Latency is definitely another issue, and it's why I'm skeptical that we'll ever see GBA emulation that allows Mother 3's combo system to feel nearly as tight as it does on real hardware.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
18,975
4,090
2,075
Got my preorder in for a SF version, out of curiosity - and to compare with my Super NES Mini.

Next I have to chase for a legit controller and extension cable, I had a poor experience with the wireless controllers with my NT Mini, they started to lag occasionally. Luckily this thing has original jacks. I might get Super Famicom version controllers since I never had one before.

I’d be interested to hear how PAL games are treated - will they show the black borders, run at PAL speeds?
 

grim-tales

Member
Oct 20, 2012
2,403
1
360
Got my preorder in for a SF version, out of curiosity - and to compare with my Super NES Mini.

Next I have to chase for a legit controller and extension cable, I had a poor experience with the wireless controllers with my NT Mini, they started to lag occasionally. Luckily this thing has original jacks. I might get Super Famicom version controllers since I never had one before.

I’d be interested to hear how PAL games are treated - will they show the black borders, run at PAL speeds?
BIB: Good question. I'd like to know that before I consider pre ordering (I have some EU/UK games). Mario RPG is tempting though, and I imagine original carts of that game are expensive.
 
Got my preorder in for a SF version, out of curiosity - and to compare with my Super NES Mini.

Next I have to chase for a legit controller and extension cable, I had a poor experience with the wireless controllers with my NT Mini, they started to lag occasionally. Luckily this thing has original jacks. I might get Super Famicom version controllers since I never had one before.

I’d be interested to hear how PAL games are treated - will they show the black borders, run at PAL speeds?
SFC cables are super short

Like FC mini short.

Go for SFC30 pads instead, they're just as good as the originals honestly (and with the bt dongle can be used on legacy hardware just fine)
 

philz

Member
Mar 30, 2005
316
3
1,395
Hype++. Have been waiting for something like this since the NES FGPA's hit the scene. Pre-ordered the SF version. My hope is that pairing this with the TCL P607 should net a close-enough-to-reference experience.
 

btrboyev

Member
Jun 7, 2004
10,086
3
0
42
MN
Call me when someone is working on a machine for turbografx or genesis. Or better yet the 32-bit machines.
 

Superblatt

Member
May 17, 2007
3,252
1
0
Chicago
www.chicagogamersclub.com
I ordered an Analogue NT in MAY.

It still hasn’t shipped — and it was supposed to early last month.

These guys aren’t getting another cent from me until I get what I already paid for. Not cool, and btw their updates re: communication has few and far between.
 

cacophony555

Member
Dec 5, 2014
150
3
0
I ordered an Analogue NT in MAY.

It still hasn’t shipped — and it was supposed to early last month.

These guys aren’t getting another cent from me until I get what I already paid for. Not cool, and btw their updates re: communication has few and far between.
There are a bunch of updates here, FWIW:
https://support.analogue.co/hc/en-us/articles/115001555652-Nt-mini-2nd-Production-Shipping-in-Oct

I preordered the Nt Mini on 8/22/16 with a promised Jan 2017 release, and it shipped out on Jan 23rd, which I honestly found quite amazing considering that Analogue only has a few employees.
 
Jun 3, 2006
790
0
0
Chicago, IL
Kevtris (the engineer for both the Nt Mini and Super Nt, and all the custom firmwares associated with them), posted a short update regarding features:

kevtris said:
It runs all custom chip carts, super gameboy (1 and 2), game saver+ (lol), even tested a doctor sf disk based thinger, and the sd2snes is what I used during dev so that works great as well. I tested the Sufami Turbo and that works as well. Basically it runs every single thing I can stuff into the cart slot. I did a lot of testing with dozens of carts and all the various add-on devices I have and could find. I have not tested the MSU-1 but since the SD2SNES itself works 100%, I don't see why this won't work either. I will try it soon just to confirm. Audio input on the cart slot is supported and that's mainly what it adds.

There's a completely new scaler designed specifically for this (vs. the nt mini's) and I spent a lot of time to make sure video output is the best it can be. It's still zero lag like before or you can have the fully buffered experience like on the framemeister.

Yes it does do deinterlacing so RPM racing works as well as the menu screens and such that use that.

There is a cool blending mode so i.e. Jurassic Park's overlays and Kirby's Dreamland 3 look great (you can turn that on/off) too. Scanlines were improved and gamma correction is in there if you prefer it to have that CRTish look.

Yes, it uses the Cyclone V similar to the mini but it's the A4 version instead of the A2 so lots more resources! (yeay)

I tested all the SNES peripherals except the light gun, and they work fine including multitaps, the mouse, etc.
He declined to confirm if he would release custom firmware for the Super Nt, or if he did, that the cores he wrote for Mini Nt would be ported over.

link to forum where he posts updates
 

Bubba_Sparks

Member
Mar 11, 2015
1,520
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0
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
The price for this seems kind of insane! Like the value it offers for $189, especially with the possibility of jail-breaking, makes it a much better investment than a NES/SNES Classic Mini.

EDIT: Also, why doesn't Nintendo just hire these guys to do a premium Classic Mini product for them? Seems like it would be win-win.
 

jrDev

Member
Jan 19, 2012
3,080
0
0
So how can they make a profit off this? Am I missing something? Did they license from Nintendo? How? Why? Especially with Nintendo's 'classic' line hardware?
 

Bgamer90

Banned
Mar 20, 2007
20,961
0
0
I love their designs. I would buy an NES/SNES/GBA system from them in an instant if they made one.
 

Aeana

Member
Jul 10, 2006
42,062
2
0
So how can they make a profit off this? Am I missing something? Did they license from Nintendo? How? Why? Especially with Nintendo's 'classic' line hardware?
They don't have to license from Nintendo because they don't use any property of Nintendo's.
 

HotHamBoy

Member
Jul 21, 2015
10,088
11
0
The price for this seems kind of insane! Like the value it offers for $189, especially with the possibility of jail-breaking, makes it a much better investment than a NES/SNES Classic Mini.

EDIT: Also, why doesn't Nintendo just hire these guys to do a premium Classic Mini product for them? Seems like it would be win-win.
It's $200. Is it because it isn't emulated?

Because for most people I think a Haxchi SNES Classic is the way to go and it's $80.

I have faith that the SNES Classic will get enough resupplies in the long run.
 

Alastor3

Member
Jun 28, 2012
2,932
2
610
If I don't have any SNES cartriges, I guess there is no point of getting this right? Isn't SNES games cost a lot? like 10-30 each game still?
 

byuu

Member
Feb 6, 2013
69
0
0
Latency is definitely another issue, and it's why I'm skeptical that we'll ever see GBA emulation that allows Mother 3's combo system to feel nearly as tight as it does on real hardware.
Latency is indeed a serious problem with software-based emulators, but that's only the case because computers have decided to not take the issue seriously at all.

As time goes on, we just keep making things much worse for latency in an effort to make things more convenient for non-demanding cases.

We used to have CRTs, then we moved to LCDs. I've never seen an LCD with a latency response below a CRT. The closest I've seen was an LCD with no built-in menu/scaler that managed 30ms more latency than a CRT next to it.

We used to have DB-15 gamepad ports that you could literally poll instantly and get back shift-register button states. Now we have 100hz USB polling, often through hubs.

We used to write directly to video card display registers, now we talk through complicated 3D APIs to render scenes and then composit the result together to one of many windows presented on a desktop.

We used to write directly to sound card I/O ports, now we have OS APIs that mix audio with lots of other applications.

We used to run in DOS where the program had full control sans a few interrupts, now we run in massively multi-tasked operating systems where everything goes through window managers, compositors, etc etc. The OS can just randomly decide to freeze your software for 10+ ms if it wants.

A software emulator on a purpose-built hardware device could approach imperceptibly similar results to an FPGA implementation. Not perfect, but close enough that nobody could really tell the difference, maybe ~2-5ms. And an emulator in C++ will be far more easy to understand and reason about, and more resilient in the future, than a Verilog implementation for a given FPGA chip (Cyclone V in this case) will ever be. Software emulators have the potential to run on virtually any CPU out there.

But as it stands, yeah, purpose-built FPGA emulators destroy software emulators that have to run on modern computer systems in terms of latency. Stick an FPGA into a PC and it'll have just as much latency as a software emulator would.
 

guyssorry

Member
Oct 23, 2015
457
0
280
If I don't have any SNES cartriges, I guess there is no point of getting this right? Isn't SNES games cost a lot? like 10-30 each game still?
For the all-time classics, well, let's just say that they cost a bit more than that.

: )
 

cartman414

Member
May 3, 2006
9,535
218
1,345
If there are no plans for more standard Nt Minis (for NES), hopefully there will be cart adapters somewhere down the line.

Also, any place to read about FPGA chips? I'd like to get an idea of where the tech is headed and what it might mean for this stuff.
 

cacophony555

Member
Dec 5, 2014
150
3
0
If I don't have any SNES cartriges, I guess there is no point of getting this right? Isn't SNES games cost a lot? like 10-30 each game still?
You only need one snes cartridge: Super Everdrive ;)
Also, it's likely that you'll be able to load roms off the SD card, so a flash cartridge might not even be needed.
 

Weevilone

Member
Nov 11, 2011
3,473
0
0
Kevtris (the engineer for both the Nt Mini and Super Nt, and all the custom firmwares associated with them), posted a short update regarding features:



He declined to confirm if he would release custom firmware for the Super Nt, or if he did, that the cores he wrote for Mini Nt would be ported over.

link to forum where he posts updates
I'm sure that most everyone ordering is assuming that it will happen. I suppose it would have been safer to wait, but too late now. They will definitely be tanking the customer goodwill if they withhold the cores.
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
51,668
2
0
I'm an original hardware guy so this isn't for me... but I'm super happy this exists. I do have faith in FPGA solutions.
 

SmiteOfHand

Member
May 28, 2014
2,038
0
360
I'm sure that most everyone ordering is assuming that it will happen. I suppose it would have been safer to wait, but too late now. They will definitely be tanking the customer goodwill if they withhold the cores.
I mean they did put an SD card reader in the thing, after all.

But yes, I agree, if that is 100% make or break for folks it is probably best to wait for details.
 

cacophony555

Member
Dec 5, 2014
150
3
0
Please don't encourage piracy here (because owning just a flashcart prety much means you don't own the games)
I'm not encouraging piracy. There are lots of great fan-made games/hacks available for free, plus many people own SNES games without actually owning the physical carts (eg. Virtual Console).
 

PumpkinSpice

Banned
Aug 27, 2013
6,334
1
0
We used to have CRTs, then we moved to LCDs. I've never seen an LCD with a latency response below a CRT. The closest I've seen was an LCD with no built-in menu/scaler that managed 30ms more latency than a CRT next to it.
I don't think they will ever be less latency than a CRT but there are a bunch of LCD monitors in the last few years with < 5ms, some even down below 1ms, which especially running at 120 / 144 / 240Hz is just great. Even just moving the mouse around feels nice.

And newer TVs are doing good too, mine is around 20ms with this year featuring even lower than that.
 

catabarez

Member
Mar 20, 2011
5,128
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0
I'm willing to pay the premium price if they include analog outputs. I'd want it to be as feature complete as possible. I'd pre-order it as soon as they announce it!

I can't decide if I'd rather have the Super Famicom or the transparent version.
 

shoryukens

Member
Aug 14, 2014
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300
I don't have a collection of SNES cartridges but I'm interested in playing SNES games at the highest quality possible. Is this for me or am I better off fighting for a SNES mini?
 

jwhit28

Member
Feb 27, 2010
6,102
1
0
North Carolina
Does the FPGA mimic cartridge enhancement chips too? Will roms ripped from VC of games with special chips in their cartridge like Megaman X3 work off the SD card?