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Retro-GAF unite!

Chacranajxy

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
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While I have no desire to buy something from Analogue, I think it's fucking awesome that there's finally FPGA alternatives for the SNES. I've got at least a couple friends that got saddled with Retrons at some point who would love this.
 

Fuzzy

I would bang a hot farmer!
Jan 11, 2005
31,107
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i'm curious why it's so cheap vs. the nes
The biggest difference is that it’s not in an aluminum enclosure,” Taber said in an interview with Polygon. “The second biggest difference is that it doesn’t have analog audio and video components. Both of those things add an enormous amount of cost to the system.
Plus only 2 controller ports instead of 4 and 1 cartridge slot instead of 2.

I posted an interview from Polygon in the thread about it.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=252176228
 

Vespa

Member
Apr 10, 2007
1,097
2
870
I wonder if it can run MiST cores? It possibly being jailbroken so it has SD2SNES like functionality is another potentially cool feature, definitely interested to see how things progress with this.
 

PumpkinSpice

Banned
Aug 27, 2013
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Care to elaborate? Bad experience with them or just the business model (stuff like sacking real nes consoles for components)?
They made some shotty stuff in the past + the original NT took a very long time to come out w/ very poor communication and a lot of people thought it was vaporware or a scam.

Wait no I got Analogue and retrousb AVS confused lol

Analogue does FPGA now?
Since the NT mini yeah.

That didn't stop them in the past. The original NT was clearly marketed as a luxury product with fancy features.

Them doing plastic, fpga, reduced features and cheap prices is a complete turnaround.
It's the smart thing to do. Larger market. Whole thing is even cheaper than an SD2SNES lol.
 

Chacranajxy

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
17,536
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holy shit i had forgotten how awful the wiring was on the mvs units they sold, that was pretty amateurish stuff.
The wiring on the MVS units was supposed to be bad, and was still an issue on the first run of the Analogue NTs. The MVS stuff also had shitty video quality, despite using an encoder that should've otherwise been just fine.

But again, I have no idea whether they've improved with subsequent products.
 

BTails

Member
Jun 3, 2014
2,143
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My experience with Analogue wasn’t a favourible one. I bought an original NT (second run, still using salvaged famicom PPUs) with the HDMI board upgrade. It was a really slick piece of hardware, but compatibility with an Everdrive was insanely spotty: half the games would lock up within 20 minutes of play. After a couple months back and forth with both Analogue and Krikzz, they eventually allowed me to return the system for a full refund.

It kinda soured me on their brand, considering how much I had spent on the product.
 

thelatestmodel

Junior, please.
Dec 17, 2008
6,156
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Ontario, Canada
Willing to see some reviews of it. It's price makes me skeptical mostly.
The price is actually a bargain when you consider that it's an FPGA (i.e. hardware simulation, not emulation like Retron or Raspberry Pi) system with HDMI. FPGA is wonderful, and is a big part of the future of retro gaming.

It would cost you more than that to buy a real SNES plus an upscaler to connect it to a modern TV.
 

Chacranajxy

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
17,536
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Question: With an FPGA clone of the SNES like this, what's the value of software emulators like Higan? Not to shit on byuu's efforts or anything, but it makes me wonder if emulation is losing its relevance for these older systems... because it sounds like hardware simulation has none of the downsides.
 

Fuzzy

I would bang a hot farmer!
Jan 11, 2005
31,107
0
1,475
Question: With an FPGA clone of the SNES like this, what's the value of software emulators like Higan? Not to shit on byuu's efforts or anything, but it makes me wonder if emulation is losing its relevance for these older systems... because it sounds like hardware simulation has none of the downsides.
Retro Roundtable went into this last month.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPMjQ1Kbi0s&t=3825s
 

tomwhite2004

Member
Jul 10, 2013
644
1
330
Question: With an FPGA clone of the SNES like this, what's the value of software emulators like Higan? Not to shit on byuu's efforts or anything, but it makes me wonder if emulation is losing its relevance for these older systems... because it sounds like hardware simulation has none of the downsides.
In the long term yes, but right now I see FPGA as a replacement for original hardware, not software emulation.

Current emulation has its place as all you need is a CPU which are only becoming more capable, this opens up the experience to so many more devices like mobile phones, android devices and smart tv's etc.

In the future though when FPGA is more commonplace, smaller, cheaper and easier to integrate into other devices then you could see a shift away from software.
 

Chacranajxy

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
17,536
165
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In the long term yes, but right now I see FPGA as a replacement for original hardware, not software emulation.

Current emulation has its place as all you need is a CPU which are only becoming more capable, this opens up the experience to so many more devices like mobile phones, android devices and smart tv's etc.

In the future though when FPGA is more commonplace, smaller, cheaper and easier to integrate into other devices then you could see a shift away from software.
Yeah, basically what I thought. I have precisely no interest in anything other than a pure hardware replacement, so the FPGA stuff is cool. Listening to the Retro Roundtable thing now.
 

PumpkinSpice

Banned
Aug 27, 2013
6,335
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yeah i hope they offer a limited version with it.
Yeah that would be nice. I'd pay an extra $50 or so if I could get raw RGB output.

I mentioned this in the other thread but it'll be interesting to see if the (assumed) jailbreak firmware supports chip games. The SA-1 is the same CPU as the SNES at a higher clock so it should be relatively easy to port the HDL to add that... which would out-do even the SD2SNES at a lower cost.
 
Dec 10, 2014
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Yeah that would be nice. I'd pay an extra $50 or so if I could get raw RGB output.

I mentioned this in the other thread but it'll be interesting to see if the (assumed) jailbreak firmware supports chip games. The SA-1 is the same CPU as the SNES at a higher clock so it should be relatively easy to port the HDL to add that... which would out-do even the SD2SNES at a lower cost.
i'm going to assume if they do offer it it will be about 440-500. that's my guess.
and yes! i would love to have those features. it'll justify the cost if it can outdo SD2SNES =)
 

Chacranajxy

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
17,536
165
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If they added RGB and there aren't any issues with build quality, I'd consider buying one, even at a substantial premium. A real SNES has too many random video quality issues... non-1chip blurriness, that white line in the middle of the screen even on 1chips, ghosting on 1chips, etc. Just gimme a thing that does that shit right and won't give me issues with special chips, and it becomes interesting.

No 240p output makes the current offering useless to me, though.
 

Jinto

Member
Sep 10, 2013
1,164
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355
When I picked up the NT Mini, I planned on hooking it up to my PVM. Since then, I've pretty much exclusively used the HDMI option. Looks and performs really great. The only caveat is you need a low lag display.

But yeah, I wouldn't mind a premium version with all the bells and whistles of the NT Mini, except without the controller to keep costs down. I much prefer using original controllers.
 

InfiniteNine

Rolling Girl
Jul 22, 2009
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The price is actually a bargain when you consider that it's an FPGA (i.e. hardware simulation, not emulation like Retron or Raspberry Pi) system with HDMI. FPGA is wonderful, and is a big part of the future of retro gaming.

It would cost you more than that to buy a real SNES plus an upscaler to connect it to a modern TV.
Oh I was more wondering why it costs so much less than the NT mini. lol
 

BTails

Member
Jun 3, 2014
2,143
2
0
There's an auction that eBay keeps recommending to me for some reason of a "Mortal Kombat Sub-Zero Halloween costume" but the picture is clearly of Scorpion and it's driving me insane.
Imagine if you order it and you actually receive Reptile.
 

Khaz

Member
Jan 22, 2012
6,272
3
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You know, I'm always cautious about hardware kickstarters, but the one for the ZX Spectrum Next seems to be doing quite fine. They're giving regular updates, quite detailed about what they're doing and how they're doing it, and may manage to keep their deadline, which is a feat in itself for a kickstarter project.

I mean, look at this view. Doesn't that scream professional to you?



Please don't be vaporware

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1835143999/zx-spectrum-next/posts/2016736
 

Peltz

Member
Apr 26, 2014
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You know you play a lot of Japanese videogames when Facebook advertises an "Asian4Asian" dating app in your feed
and you're white.
 

socksfelloff

Member
May 5, 2015
1,702
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Question: With an FPGA clone of the SNES like this, what's the value of software emulators like Higan? Not to shit on byuu's efforts or anything, but it makes me wonder if emulation is losing its relevance for these older systems... because it sounds like hardware simulation has none of the downsides.

I think Byuu wrote a fantastic breakdown of it.


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.