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Richard Kain

Member Since 02 Aug 2007
Online Last Active Today, 09:52 PM
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Topics I've Started

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.


Nintendo Mini?

14 July 2016 - 04:26 PM

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/277097/Nintendo_wants_players_to_turn_back_time_with_the_NES_mini.php

 

Nintendo is apparently going to be putting out a miniature version of the original Nintendo system, with around 30 games pre-installed. The current news is that there won't be any on-line connectivity, and there is still no word on whether or not there will be any external media for purchasing additional games.

 

This is a bit of an odd move, and a bit difficult to understand from a forward-thinking perspective. From a more backward-facing perspective, the entire ploy makes perfect sense. This might as well be aimed directly at nostalgia from the older generation of gamers. No one's going to purchase these things for their kids, but I could easily see people purchasing them for their parents.

 

Also, as a long-time Nintendo fan, shut up and take my money!


Disney Canceling Infinity

10 May 2016 - 09:32 PM

It was announced today that Disney is cancelling the Disney Infinity game series. While the figurines and playsets currently in development will still be released, everything past that is coming off the table. As part of this announcement, they also stated that all internal Disney Interactive development, including Avalanche Studios, is being shut down. Any and all future Disney-related video games will be on a licensing basis.

 

Personally, I consider this to be a very short-sighted move on the part of Disney's management. While I realize they are company, and this is a response to their current earnings, the Disney Infinity brand is strong. Their only real mistake with the line was possibly over-committing to supply. If they had throttled back on production, they could have cut costs while also possibly creating an Amiibo-like demand for their figurines. While it has been nice that the more recent Infinity lines have had ample supply that makes them easy to acquire, I do recognize that this likely represented considerable expense for them.

 

I'm personally very disappointed. I love the Infinity games, and especially love the figurines that go along with them. Some of my favorite characters fall under the Disney umbrella, and having a toys-to-life series that incorporated them all was a lot of fun.


Very Big 1080p TVs

12 November 2015 - 09:17 PM

My parents are moving to a new house soon, and are going to be upgrading their TV screen for a larger, deeper den. For the time being, my Mom is intent on getting something in the 75+ inch range, but is very frugal and interested in getting a good deal. At the same time, we would prefer to stick to 1080p if we can.

 

The problem is that very few recent TVs are being produced in that size range for 1080p. The chance of being able to "see" individual pixels increases significantly when your screen is larger than 60 inches. So all of the manufacturers are making this year's larger TV models with a focus on 4K. And as a result I just have not been seeing a lot of deals on 75+ inch 1080p screens.

 

Anyone here have a screen in that range, 1080p or 4K? And does anyone have first-hand impressions of screens in that size range, so I can balance quality with price?