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Richard Kain

Member Since 02 Aug 2007
Offline Last Active Today, 03:41 PM
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Topics I've Started

SNES Classic, it's happening

26 June 2017 - 04:45 PM

SNES Classic arriving in September

 

Surprising pretty much no one, Nintendo announced the SNES Classic today. It will be coming out in September.

 

One of the big differences between this and the NES Classic is that there will be 9 fewer games for it. While the NES Classic boasted 30 NES games, the SNES Classic is only going to have 21 games total. But in order to twist the knife for classic game collectors, Nintendo announced that the 21st game on the machine is going to be the never-officially-before-released Starfox 2. You can be sure that collectors will be lining up in droves to get the only commercially released copy of Starfox 2.

 

The SNES Classic is also going to be $80, while the NES Classic was a cheaper $60. Part of this is likely due to the extra controller. While the NES Classic came bundled with one controller, the SNES Classic will have two. Also, the needed hardware to run SNES games is noticeably higher than NES emulation hardware.

 

About as predictable as the sun rising, but I will likely be trying to secure a pre-order after the debacle that was the NES Classic supply.


Atari Box ?

16 June 2017 - 05:48 PM

The Atari Box

 

?

 

What is this?

 

Seriously, what even is this? What's going on here? I'm very confused, but my curiosity is firing on all cylinders. This is a highly effective teaser, but I'm flummoxed by the possibilities.

 

Okay, a quick synopsis. Atari, whatever form that company now exists in, has made a teaser video announcing some unknown manner of box. They're calling it the Ataribox. (not the most original title, but I can roll with it) As of right now, we just a have a teaser video that gives us next to no relevant information. I'd be willing to swear that whatever it is, all we are seeing is a concept rendering, and not any sort of actual, physical product. That said, the video is reasonably well produced, and outside news sources have confirmed that the web-page and teaser video are not a hoax.

 

Supposedly, Atari is working on this product with an outside partner. (so they are likely not doing the hardware development themselves) But they have not identified which company that partner is. They also claim that this product has been in development "for years." (so it is likely at a fairly advanced stage of development, and not in the prototype phase)

 

But they have quite conspicuously failed to share WHAT THE PRODUCT EVEN IS! Is it a home console? We don't know. Is it some manner of media or streaming box? We don't know. Is it some legacy box for playing old Atari games, but perhaps with slightly higher production values? We don't know. Is it some manner of FPGA-powered hybrid console like the RetroUSB AVS or the Analogue Mini NT? We have no idea!

 

Speculation will likely be rampant until they decide to actually reveal what they're doing here. What could they be up to? My imagination is running wild.


CAG Game-Dev Interest

28 March 2017 - 05:41 PM

There's a thread for a similar subject in the PC forum, but I feel that this topic has become general enough to warrant inclusion in the general topic thread.

Game development is becoming an increasingly popular way to participate in gaming culture. Once restricted to those with the expertise and technical skill to hold a professional position, modern tools and technology have opened up this field for broader participation. Most significant to CAGs, the price-related barriers to entry have reduced considerably. These days there are many low or even no-cost options for the interested game-developer-to-be on a budget.

In this thread I would love to discuss the various options available, their strengths and weaknesses, and offer suggestions as to what solution is right for individuals interested in dappling in game development. This is a topic that I've been enthusiastic about for some time, and have managed to accrue some pretty extensive experience with over the years. With the dwindling costs of getting into this particular hobby, I think the community interest will also be increasing over time.

Analog NT-Mini

22 August 2016 - 06:24 PM

After releasing (and selling out of) the original-model Analog NT, the fine folks up in Portland are releasing a slim version of their retro-focused system.

 

Still crazy-expensive, it is going to be shipping to the tune of $450 USD. That's the bad news. The good news is that it is going to have certain benefits and extras. It will ship with a wireless NES controller dongle (by the also fine folks at 8bitdo) and with a wireless bluetooth NES-styled controller from the same company. And where the HDMI option was an extra feature on the original NT that you had to pay extra money to have installed, HDMI output will be a standard feature for the Mini.

 

The big difference between this model and the original is the extraction of the original parts. One of the selling points of the original NT was that authentic chips from the NES were used in its production. This was a point of pride for purists and collectors, as the NT did in fact have legit NES hardware inside it. (instead of clone hardware which tends to be cheaper and introduce compatibility issues)

 

This new Mini version won't have those original NES chips. It will instead use an FPGA (Full Programmable Gate Array) to "emulate" the hardware of the NES. This is becoming a popular approach to classic console emulation, as it avoids some of the drawbacks of software emulation, while still providing some of the benefits. And it is one of the best ways to provide full or near-full compatibility without using original hardware.

 

One of the big draws for collectors looking to best present their classic games is that the NT Mini will be providing full 1080p support through HDMI with zero lag. Not many hardware-focused emulation efforts can boast this particular feature.