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NT Analogue announces Super NT

Triforce141

Member
Apr 6, 2015
4,606
1
0
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?
Based on what Kevtris said, every SNES cartridge will work, no word on rom loading off of SD cards though.
 

cacophony555

Member
Dec 5, 2014
150
3
0
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?
If you're interested in the highest quality output possible for an HDTV then the Super NT is what you're looking for. It's not even close.
 

InfiniteNine

Rolling Girl
Jul 22, 2009
24,135
1
0
28
Wonder if it'll hit the usual people online before release. I'd like to see My Life in Gaming take a look at least.
 

the androgyne

Member
Jun 8, 2004
2,868
3
1,515
Toyoooka
I wonder how far away (if ever) we are from getting an official FPGA based retro console? 14 months for one guy is damn impressive but almost suggests it's easy (by comparison to how long emulators have been in development and still have their issues). You'd have to imagine a team of engineers at Nintendo could whip up some FPGA thing pretty quickly.

Is there a market? Consoles typically go through the process of getting cheaper and cheaper to make before getting discontinued since everyone wants the next one. They only really get discontinued because of that and the loss of economies of scale in manufacturing - can't make enough to keep the cost down.

But the Classic Mini series has shown that an official product has some serious pull (for the older systems at least), and just the last couple of months we've heard about more unofficial solutions - Retrofreak Basic and now this Super NT.

I'd like to think that an official box that offered NES, SNES and N64 (all regions) via cartridge and eShop Rom based play through FPGA would be a massive hit even if cartridges remained out of production. In all honesty though, I think there's probably a decent sized market that would buy new, official carts as well! If such a device could be offered in perpetuity there'd be no more "When's virtual console coming on X new platform?" discussions ever again.

Still, looking at the Classics with their couple dozen games, piddly storage and no official means of adding to them, I'd say Nintendo's got a few more baby steps of milking it's fans to go before we get there!
 

PumpkinSpice

Banned
Aug 27, 2013
6,334
1
0
FPGAs are way more expensive than SOCs and clone chips, and nobody except weirdos like us really cares about accuracy.
 

Shig

Strap on your hooker ...
Sep 30, 2004
15,088
0
0
Georgia
baconmcshig.tumblr.com
Not sure I want to shell out for the system, but I am all the hell over some black and transparent 8BITDO pads. I like modding my controllers with various button color combos, and different shell colors open up some tasty options on that front.

Really great that they're just selling those through Amazon. Amazon is much less likely to jerk people around on release and shipping dates, and you can get free shipping rather than whatever ridiculous cost Analogue's store piles on.

(Kinda bullshit that they force bundle a Retro Receiver to pad the price, tho. I've already got two, thanks.)
 
May 6, 2014
5,438
0
0
I wonder how far away (if ever) we are from getting an official FPGA based retro console? 14 months for one guy is damn impressive but almost suggests it's easy (by comparison to how long emulators have been in development and still have their issues). You'd have to imagine a team of engineers at Nintendo could whip up some FPGA thing pretty quickly.

Is there a market? Consoles typically go through the process of getting cheaper and cheaper to make before getting discontinued since everyone wants the next one. They only really get discontinued because of that and the loss of economies of scale in manufacturing - can't make enough to keep the cost down.

But the Classic Mini series has shown that an official product has some serious pull (for the older systems at least), and just the last couple of months we've heard about more unofficial solutions - Retrofreak Basic and now this Super NT.

I'd like to think that an official box that offered NES, SNES and N64 (all regions) via cartridge and eShop Rom based play through FPGA would be a massive hit even if cartridges remained out of production. In all honesty though, I think there's probably a decent sized market that would buy new, official carts as well! If such a device could be offered in perpetuity there'd be no more "When's virtual console coming on X new platform?" discussions ever again.

Still, looking at the Classics with their couple dozen games, piddly storage and no official means of adding to them, I'd say Nintendo's got a few more baby steps of milking it's fans to go before we get there!
I would imagine that "good enough" software emulation is easier to engineer and mass produce than something like this, and the mass market doesn't care about the advantages FPGA has.

Nintendo's Mini consoles aren't selling on the strength of the emulation, they're selling because they look like those things we had as kids and there's a Nintendo logo on the box.
 

cacophony555

Member
Dec 5, 2014
150
3
0
... rather than whatever ridiculous cost Analogue's store piles on.
For a shipment to California, Analogue only charged ~$20 for shipping, which seems reasonable. The Analogue NT mini had a special shipping box outer box with a custom foam system that suspended the Nt Mini box inside. Much better protection than what Amazon/etc do to protect their shipments, and I'm happy to pay a bit extra for that, especially after my SNES classic packaging arrived with a crushed corner due to lazy/cheap Walmart packaging.
 

Cynn

Member
Nov 15, 2006
2,280
154
1,185
I wonder if there’s any hope they’ll ever do a Genesis / Megadrive NT. SEGA gets no love outside of horrid clones and poor minis.
 

Fuzzy

I would bang a hot farmer!
Jan 11, 2005
31,107
1
1,635
I threw out all my games in college i am crying now. Pre ordered and now looking super gameboy cart :(
Get a Super Game Boy 2 since it has the correct clock speed. The Super Game Boy runs slightly too fast.
 

Lynd7

Member
Dec 8, 2012
2,564
12
515
Australia
I wonder if there’s any hope they’ll ever do a Genesis / Megadrive NT. SEGA gets no love outside of horrid clones and poor minis.
I think they will probably do a Mega Drive next, cause they probably won't go further than 16bit systems for quite some time.
 

TheWraith

Member
Jan 9, 2013
924
0
0
Hong Kong
I think they will probably do a Mega Drive next, cause they probably won't go further than 16bit systems for quite some time.
I think chances are higher a Mega Drive core will be added in a software update, like Kevtris did for the Nt Mini. Possibly at a cost instead of giving it out for free though.
 

Patrick Young

Member
Apr 17, 2016
866
0
240
I'm glad this stuff exists, but it's not for me. I prefer to use my original consoles. When they eventually stop working, I'll just move my stuff to PC emulation. If I can't have 100% accuracy, anything else will do.
 

amardilo

Member
Jun 22, 2012
985
0
0
UK
I'd like to get one but shipping to the UK is $49.99. Is there a UK or European stockist/seller I can order from that won't charge so much for delivery?
 
Jan 4, 2009
1,186
0
0
I’d be interested to hear how PAL games are treated - will they show the black borders, run at PAL speeds?
Same. I finally got one on order to the UK after their ‘no shipping avaliable’ Problems on the website. I want to start collecting some carts now before the Feb delivery and it’d be nice to know if I can haunt eBay for PAL carts or if I should be looking at US/JPN carts off the bat.

I’m really excitied about getting this. I was looking at cash I set aside for an iPhone X pre-order and decided not to get one and splash out on this and another few bits instead.
 

Bgamer90

Banned
Mar 20, 2007
20,961
0
0
Are there any good NES and/or GBA cartridge adapters for the SNES? I would love to get the Analogue Super NT to replace my Retron 5 but I also love the convenience of having multiple classic Nintendo systems in one box.

I play SNES games the most out of the three since I grew up with the Super Nintendo; I still like playing a few of my NES and Game Boy (Color/Advance) games too though.
 
Jun 21, 2011
5,418
720
965
Same. I finally got one on order to the UK after their ‘no shipping avaliable’ Problems on the website. I want to start collecting some carts now before the Feb delivery and it’d be nice to know if I can haunt eBay for PAL carts or if I should be looking at US/JPN carts off the bat.

I’m really excitied about getting this. I was looking at cash I set aside for an iPhone X pre-order and decided not to get one and splash out on this and another few bits instead.
Using PAL carts would be problematic I think. Should the system run them as they were, black bars and slowed down, or should it speed them up. But what about games that were already PAL optimised? Will it be able to handle the speed based region lock-outs?

Just buy US or JPN carts, they are cheaper (especially in the case of Japanese carts) and better. From experience,
 

InfiniteNine

Rolling Girl
Jul 22, 2009
24,135
1
0
28
PC emulation is a major downgrade from FPGA.

That's like saying if you can't eat steak you'll eat mud instead of burgers.
Not really, playing SNES titles in Higan is around 99% accurate and that is still very good. Your comparison is really off the mark.
 

InfiniteNine

Rolling Girl
Jul 22, 2009
24,135
1
0
28
Really depends on how much you value that extra bit of accuracy. For a lot of retro gaming enthusiasts it's not that far out of a comparison.
I value it quite a bit but I'm not that far gone to call 99% accuracy bad. Very interested in the product being offered because of that plus potential jailbreak possibilities since my SFC isn't one that has a clear signal and this just costs a bit more than an RGB modded SNES mini or a confirmed 1-Chip original.
 

Decider

Member
Sep 18, 2012
1,069
0
0
Same. I finally got one on order to the UK after their ‘no shipping avaliable’ Problems on the website. I want to start collecting some carts now before the Feb delivery and it’d be nice to know if I can haunt eBay for PAL carts or if I should be looking at US/JPN carts off the bat.
I can't fathom someone without any SNES games spending money on this and choosing to waste time with PAL carts. 50Hz versions were an abomination.
 

thepenguin55

Member
Apr 27, 2014
1,648
0
0
EVERYWHERE
Don't forget the Master System card slot.

Also *Mega Drive. Only Mega Drive. *complains about Yank naming schemes for a full 20 minutes*
Good call on the Master System card slot! Also, I don't hate the Mega Drive name but I definitely like Genesis better. In addition to liking the name more I feel like the Genesis name is more in line with Sega's future consoles (Saturn and Dreamcast). Having said that, I was always bummed that our Sega CD wasn't called the Sega Mega CD and I kind of wish the Master System was called the Mega Drive because Master System is a terrible name.

I don't think this is likely.

The Sega CD outputs its own analog audio, but i think Sega CD audio can be output through the Genesis (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm not sure if any Sega CD games take advantage of the Genesis hardware itself, because the Sega CD is basically just another Genesis with its own Motorolla 68k. The 32X takes the AV out from the Genesis and outputs its own analog video that mixes layers processed by the Genesis and layers processed by the 32X. This kind of neuters the whole allure of an HDMI solution. I imagine it would be a nightmare making sure the Genesis FPGA is in sync with the Sega CD and 32X and passes data back and forth correctly. I actually asked Kevtris about this and he said to not expect any action on SCD and 32X for the forseeable future.

TLDR I don't think this will happen until the entire Sega sandwich Genesis/CD/32X can be implemented entirely in FPGA. I imagine it'd be much easier to debug when you're in control of the entire sandwich than only being in control of the Genesis and having it interact with the 32X and CD which you don't control.
You're almost certainly right but with where I am now with my Genesis collection that's pretty much the only way I would be interested in a Genesis NT.


Random thought: As crazy as it might sound I could almost see Analogue team up with Sega resulting in whatever Sega FPGA consoles Analogue makes being official Sega products.
 

FrozenCell

Member
Apr 28, 2006
1,368
2
970
eurozone
Super nice and the price is right too, looking forward to RetroRGB video about it.

I wonder how much closer are we now to Zimba 3000?
 

Patrick Young

Member
Apr 17, 2016
866
0
240
PC emulation is a major downgrade from FPGA.

That's like saying if you can't eat steak you'll eat mud instead of burgers.
Maybe, but the last time I jumped into emulation properly was in the mid-2000’s and it was at least good enough back then.

It will also give me a chance to play games at a higher native res, bump frame rates and do widescreen codes without being limited to Gameshark. I used Dolphin to play two thirds of Skyward Sword and it ran beautifully.
 

thelatestmodel

Junior, please.
Dec 17, 2008
6,156
1
0
Ontario, Canada
So ELI5: what is FPGA? How are do these consoles differ from emulation?
An ELI5 answer - reprogrammable hardware that can be configured to exactly replicate the chips on your NES / SNES / whatever.

This is fundamentally different to emulation. Emulation is one system pretending to be another system. Usually software based.

FPGAs are hardware that can be re-configured to act like anything you like - whether it be a NES, Amiga, or whatever. An FPGA is useless until you configure it - you load up a config file, the logic gates in the circuit get re-arranged, and you end up with a piece of hardware that will behave exactly as the real thing would.

The key take-home message is that it's hardware that can be re-configured. This is kind of a new thing, certainly in the retro gaming world.
 

SmiteOfHand

Member
May 28, 2014
2,038
0
360
So ELI5: what is FPGA? How are do these consoles differ from emulation?
In addition to thelatestmodel, in an attempt to really dumb it down.

Imagine your cat has a button that when pressed all the DNA, neurons, and cells are rearranged and reworked to function exactly like a dog would. Your cat now 100% believes it is a dog and acts EXACTLY like a dog would. The hardware has been completely changed.

You didn't have to teach it to act like a dog (software emulation), it is a dog, a "simulation" of a dog, but an absolutely perfect simulation.

The only limiting factor here is "how much" DNA it can rearrange (transistors, clockspeed, etc..) so while your button may not have enough of the magic sauce to make your cat act like a human, it can probably handle many mammals. This is why the NT mini can simulate a lot of 8-bit hardware like NES or 2600, but couldn't do 16-bit stuff.

The metaphor falls apart if you look at it too hard, but hopefully that helps anyone where all this is completely alien wrap their mind around it a bit more.
 

Zushin

Member
May 26, 2011
2,337
1
0
Australia
An ELI5 answer - reprogrammable hardware that can be configured to exactly replicate the chips on your NES / SNES / whatever.

This is fundamentally different to emulation. Emulation is one system pretending to be another system. Usually software based.

FPGAs are hardware that can be re-configured to act like anything you like - whether it be a NES, Amiga, or whatever. An FPGA is useless until you configure it - you load up a config file, the logic gates in the circuit get re-arranged, and you end up with a piece of hardware that will behave exactly as the real thing would.

The key take-home message is that it's hardware that can be re-configured. This is kind of a new thing, certainly in the retro gaming world.
In addition to thelatestmodel, in an attempt to really dumb it down.

Imagine your cat has a button that when pressed all the DNA, neurons, and cells are rearranged and reworked to function exactly like a dog would. Your cat now 100% believes it is a dog and acts EXACTLY like a dog would. The hardware has been completely changed.

You didn't have to teach it to act like a dog (software emulation), it is a dog, a "simulation" of a dog, but an absolutely perfect simulation.

The only limiting factor here is "how much" DNA it can rearrange (transistors, clockspeed, etc..) so while your button may not have enough of the magic sauce to make your cat act like a human, it can probably handle many mammals. This is why the NT mini can simulate a lot of 8-bit hardware like NES or 2600, but couldn't do 16-bit stuff.

The metaphor falls apart if you look at it too hard, but hopefully that helps anyone where all this is completely alien wrap their mind around it a bit more.
Thanks guys! So one day will it be possible to use this type of hardware to configure it to later consoles i.e. Ps1/2, GC/N64 etc.?
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
38,096
2
0
Ottawa, Canada
I wonder how far away (if ever) we are from getting an official FPGA based retro console? 14 months for one guy is damn impressive but almost suggests it's easy (by comparison to how long emulators have been in development and still have their issues). You'd have to imagine a team of engineers at Nintendo could whip up some FPGA thing pretty quickly.

Is there a market? Consoles typically go through the process of getting cheaper and cheaper to make before getting discontinued since everyone wants the next one. They only really get discontinued because of that and the loss of economies of scale in manufacturing - can't make enough to keep the cost down.

But the Classic Mini series has shown that an official product has some serious pull (for the older systems at least), and just the last couple of months we've heard about more unofficial solutions - Retrofreak Basic and now this Super NT.

I'd like to think that an official box that offered NES, SNES and N64 (all regions) via cartridge and eShop Rom based play through FPGA would be a massive hit even if cartridges remained out of production. In all honesty though, I think there's probably a decent sized market that would buy new, official carts as well! If such a device could be offered in perpetuity there'd be no more "When's virtual console coming on X new platform?" discussions ever again.

Still, looking at the Classics with their couple dozen games, piddly storage and no official means of adding to them, I'd say Nintendo's got a few more baby steps of milking it's fans to go before we get there!
FPGAs are reprogrammable fully parallelized chips which are generally used to prototype hardware designs.

When a design is ready for mass market release, the design is usually brought to a fabrication plant that produces ASICs, which are a non reprogrammable final design.

FPGAs can cost hundreds of dollars, while ASICs can cost just a few dollars. The problem is setting up the fabrication can cost millions.

A company like Nintendo could produce something similar in large quantities for a mere fraction of the price.