Analogue Pocket announced; can play a variety of handheld systems' games through FPGA

gaklqT4.png

Analogue is a company that has been taking retro video game consoles, and adapting them to use in the modern day, by providing a system that can play oldschool 90's game cartridges in 1080p, without any emulation. Previously, they've created the Analogue Mega Sg and the Super NT, "perfected" variations of the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo, respectively. Now, Analogue is taking on a new front: handheld gaming, with the announcement of the Analogue Pocket. This new system will play nearly any handheld game you can throw at it, from Game Boy, to Color, to Advanced, or even Game Gear, Atari Lynx, and Neo Geo Pocket Color; over 2,780 different games are compatible through two FPGA chips.

The Pocket will feature a 3.5" screen in a case similar to that of a Game Boy Color. The LCD has a resolution of 1600x1440, and offfers a ppi of 615. It will also have a function for those who wish to create music using game's soundfonts through a built-in synthesizer called Nanoloop.

Addtionally, there will also be a dock sold seperately, which can allow you to place the Analogue Pocket onto it, and play your games on a TV through HDMI, much like the Nintendo Switch.

Analogue's Pocket will launch sometime next year, for $199.99.

:arrow: Source
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
34,320
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
23,403
Country
United Kingdom
I find it really hard to believe that it will emulate all of these devices perfectly but I am a sucker so will probably try it out
Most of those devices mentioned used common chips (the Z80 was the ARM of its day really) that we know all the data for, probably even have transistor level diagrams derived from uncapped chips for. Being so old then such things are relatively easy to recreate on today's FPGAs, though you don't even need to go that far and instead we have full CPU manuals + lists of what happens when you do unexpected operations (some games used such functionality) that you can produce a simulation for quite happily. It is not a trivial thing and sticking an FPGA in a project is not a magic bullet that will render you 1:1 hardware accurate with no effort but these guys have previously demonstrated they know what they are doing, and it is not an unreasonable thing (you can probably find a bunch of kids coming out of university that are capable of performing at this level.

At this point if you want to argue things about the accuracy of the simulation you will have to figure out what are acceptable deviations within manufacture of either the chips themselves or what was used for the consoles in question -- two examples you might have heard of before are a bit later in gaming history but look at the variation in the memory speed of the original xbox ( https://web.archive.org/web/2010061...n_the_Xbox_Security_System#RAM_Initialization ), and we also have the endless fun thanks to smash brothers of those gamecube controllers that are something of a technical quirk but have a predictable latency window compared to some other batches. I don't know what we would argue for the consoles mentioned ( http://www.herbertweixelbaum.com/comparison.htm is kind of relevant, a while back I saw some people measure the clock speeds of the various things to play gameboy advance games and the differences there, https://mgba.io/2017/05/29/holy-grail-bugs/ could probably generate a test or two here, and while it is for the SNES then https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011...-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/ also highlights a few things that might be worth considering, https://www.gc-forever.com/wiki/index.php?title=Game_Boy_Interface/High-Fidelity_Edition if we must do stuff with latency).

Anyway I know I mentioned z80 above but if it was not that then around the same time it was probably the 6502. For an example of the sorts of things people are playing with there

and a related topic
https://trixter.oldskool.org/2015/04/07/8088-mph-we-break-all-your-emulators/

If this all sounds quite ridiculous then yeah it kind of is, however if accuracy is your fetish then it will do well.
 

NachoBlzzy

Member
Newcomer
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
10
Trophies
0
Age
27
XP
24
Country
United States
Most of those devices mentioned used common chips (the Z80 was the ARM of its day really) that we know all the data for, probably even have transistor level diagrams derived from uncapped chips for. Being so old then such things are relatively easy to recreate on today's FPGAs, though you don't even need to go that far and instead we have full CPU manuals + lists of what happens when you do unexpected operations (some games used such functionality) that you can produce a simulation for quite happily. It is not a trivial thing and sticking an FPGA in a project is not a magic bullet that will render you 1:1 hardware accurate with no effort but these guys have previously demonstrated they know what they are doing, and it is not an unreasonable thing (you can probably find a bunch of kids coming out of university that are capable of performing at this level.

At this point if you want to argue things about the accuracy of the simulation you will have to figure out what are acceptable deviations within manufacture of either the chips themselves or what was used for the consoles in question -- two examples you might have heard of before are a bit later in gaming history but look at the variation in the memory speed of the original xbox ( https://web.archive.org/web/2010061...n_the_Xbox_Security_System#RAM_Initialization ), and we also have the endless fun thanks to smash brothers of those gamecube controllers that are something of a technical quirk but have a predictable latency window compared to some other batches. I don't know what we would argue for the consoles mentioned ( http://www.herbertweixelbaum.com/comparison.htm is kind of relevant, a while back I saw some people measure the clock speeds of the various things to play gameboy advance games and the differences there, https://mgba.io/2017/05/29/holy-grail-bugs/ could probably generate a test or two here, and while it is for the SNES then https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011...-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/ also highlights a few things that might be worth considering, https://www.gc-forever.com/wiki/index.php?title=Game_Boy_Interface/High-Fidelity_Edition if we must do stuff with latency).

Anyway I know I mentioned z80 above but if it was not that then around the same time it was probably the 6502. For an example of the sorts of things people are playing with there

and a related topic
https://trixter.oldskool.org/2015/04/07/8088-mph-we-break-all-your-emulators/

If this all sounds quite ridiculous then yeah it kind of is, however if accuracy is your fetish then it will do well.
Most of those devices mentioned used common chips (the Z80 was the ARM of its day really) that we know all the data for, probably even have transistor level diagrams derived from uncapped chips for. Being so old then such things are relatively easy to recreate on today's FPGAs, though you don't even need to go that far and instead we have full CPU manuals + lists of what happens when you do unexpected operations (some games used such functionality) that you can produce a simulation for quite happily. It is not a trivial thing and sticking an FPGA in a project is not a magic bullet that will render you 1:1 hardware accurate with no effort but these guys have previously demonstrated they know what they are doing, and it is not an unreasonable thing (you can probably find a bunch of kids coming out of university that are capable of performing at this level.

At this point if you want to argue things about the accuracy of the simulation you will have to figure out what are acceptable deviations within manufacture of either the chips themselves or what was used for the consoles in question -- two examples you might have heard of before are a bit later in gaming history but look at the variation in the memory speed of the original xbox ( https://web.archive.org/web/2010061...n_the_Xbox_Security_System#RAM_Initialization ), and we also have the endless fun thanks to smash brothers of those gamecube controllers that are something of a technical quirk but have a predictable latency window compared to some other batches. I don't know what we would argue for the consoles mentioned ( http://www.herbertweixelbaum.com/comparison.htm is kind of relevant, a while back I saw some people measure the clock speeds of the various things to play gameboy advance games and the differences there, https://mgba.io/2017/05/29/holy-grail-bugs/ could probably generate a test or two here, and while it is for the SNES then https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011...-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/ also highlights a few things that might be worth considering, https://www.gc-forever.com/wiki/index.php?title=Game_Boy_Interface/High-Fidelity_Edition if we must do stuff with latency).

Anyway I know I mentioned z80 above but if it was not that then around the same time it was probably the 6502. For an example of the sorts of things people are playing with there

and a related topic
https://trixter.oldskool.org/2015/04/07/8088-mph-we-break-all-your-emulators/

If this all sounds quite ridiculous then yeah it kind of is, however if accuracy is your fetish then it will do well.



That sounds actually somewhat believable now that you explained it. Would it be possible to increase the speed of the gameplay for some of the longer rpg's?
 

ParzivalWolfram

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
293
Trophies
0
Age
52
XP
722
Country
United States
Most of those devices mentioned used common chips (the Z80 was the ARM of its day really) that we know all the data for, probably even have transistor level diagrams derived from uncapped chips for. Being so old then such things are relatively easy to recreate on today's FPGAs, though you don't even need to go that far and instead we have full CPU manuals + lists of what happens when you do unexpected operations (some games used such functionality) that you can produce a simulation for quite happily. It is not a trivial thing and sticking an FPGA in a project is not a magic bullet that will render you 1:1 hardware accurate with no effort but these guys have previously demonstrated they know what they are doing, and it is not an unreasonable thing (you can probably find a bunch of kids coming out of university that are capable of performing at this level.

At this point if you want to argue things about the accuracy of the simulation you will have to figure out what are acceptable deviations within manufacture of either the chips themselves or what was used for the consoles in question -- two examples you might have heard of before are a bit later in gaming history but look at the variation in the memory speed of the original xbox ( https://web.archive.org/web/2010061...n_the_Xbox_Security_System#RAM_Initialization ), and we also have the endless fun thanks to smash brothers of those gamecube controllers that are something of a technical quirk but have a predictable latency window compared to some other batches. I don't know what we would argue for the consoles mentioned ( http://www.herbertweixelbaum.com/comparison.htm is kind of relevant, a while back I saw some people measure the clock speeds of the various things to play gameboy advance games and the differences there, https://mgba.io/2017/05/29/holy-grail-bugs/ could probably generate a test or two here, and while it is for the SNES then https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011...-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/ also highlights a few things that might be worth considering, https://www.gc-forever.com/wiki/index.php?title=Game_Boy_Interface/High-Fidelity_Edition if we must do stuff with latency).

Anyway I know I mentioned z80 above but if it was not that then around the same time it was probably the 6502. For an example of the sorts of things people are playing with there

and a related topic
https://trixter.oldskool.org/2015/04/07/8088-mph-we-break-all-your-emulators/

If this all sounds quite ridiculous then yeah it kind of is, however if accuracy is your fetish then it will do well.
please keep in mind, for accurate posting, the Gameboy and Gameboy Color were a modded Z80 (GBz80) and a Sharp clone of such, respective. We don't have 100% accurate emulation of either console, either. Not much issue with the actual post, just a footnote.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sophie-bear

cashboxz01

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
142
Trophies
0
XP
916
Country
United States
These are the same kids who compared an iPod nano to a cheap Chinese mp4 player and said "but I paid $20 for something that looks the same and plays the same music"
 

ParzivalWolfram

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
293
Trophies
0
Age
52
XP
722
Country
United States
These are the same kids who compared an iPod nano to a cheap Chinese mp4 player and said "but I paid $20 for something that looks the same and plays the same music"

but like

video and non-proprietary shit

and also sound quality may not dip at all between them depending on several factors

bad analogy
 

mario5555

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
121
Trophies
0
Age
52
XP
351
Country
United States
This new system will play nearly any handheld game you can throw at it, from Game Boy, to Color, to Advanced, or even Game Gear, Atari Lynx, and Neo Geo Pocket Color; over 2,780 different games are compatible through two FPGA chips.
That's cool and all, but how about WonderSwan?

I skimmed all 7 pages and only saw 3 or 4 posts mention anything about this, but this but white elephant in the room everyone is missing is this....

Not all of the cartridges have the same PIN OUTS so unless they are going to create some kind of frankenstein monster of an adapter how do they intend to support ALL of these systems?!?

They can get away with the GB/GBC/GBA because they all used similar pin outs. But I just looked at the Lynx and NGPC (which had a split pin out) so if they did an adapter, it would have to have a GB end adapter with at least 2-3 pin outs for the three different styles of boards for the different systems.

If the GB form factor is already flush with the back of this thing, then those games are going to be sticking out over the top.

I appreciate the enthusiasm of some of the people interested in this thing, but I think they need to think ahead (same with Analogue) before this thing turns into an overpriced "enthusiast" device in need of euthanasia because it wasn't well thought out before being released.


4NsGMK3
4NsGMK3
 
Last edited by mario5555,

Sophie-bear

The Coolest Bear Around
Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
1,000
Trophies
1
Age
27
Website
thebearsden.web.fc2.com
XP
2,348
Country
United States
They can get away with the GB/GBC/GBA because they all used similar pin outs. But I just looked at the Lynx and NGPC (which had a split pin out) so if they did an adapter, it would have to have a GB end adapter with at least 2-3 pin outs for the three different styles of boards for the different systems.

If the GB form factor is already flush with the back of this thing, then those games are going to be sticking out over the top.

We already know it's using adapters (a different one for each additional non-Game Boy system). That's not even a big deal. I believe it's conjecture to assume that these adapters will make these carts "stick out over the top". Every one of these carts are smaller than an original Game Boy cartridge, and can be adapted accordingly to fit the console in a way that is both functional and looks good. Analogue is pretty good about making things look good and function well.
 

xxNathanxx

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
397
Trophies
0
XP
447
Country
New Caledonia
These are the same kids who compared an iPod nano to a cheap Chinese mp4 player and said "but I paid $20 for something that looks the same and plays the same music"
A higher price alone doesn't mean a thing, and the saying about fools and their money will always remain relevant. As you mention mp3 players, some cost a fortune, others you literally got for free with a bag of chips. However, some of the greatest mp3 players of all time were pretty cheap, and could do a whole lot more than their super expensive counterparts. Even more, they could do the same things a whole lot better.
Analogue can basically ask whatever they want for their products because they know their target audience will buy them anyway (and also because they have no competition) . Of course, as a niche company, they wouldn't be in this position if their products didn't actually work well.
 

mezz0

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
66
Trophies
0
Location
::1
XP
601
Country
Belgium
Cool! might pick this up when it's released.
Pre-order, nah I don't think so.. Chances are good this will go sideways somehow..
ie what do nintendo etc think of their game hardware being 'ported' into an fpga so people can play roms ?!
I'm sure their legal dept will have something to say about this.

Would be awesome if they released their verilog or whatever code, so we can tinker ourselves with cheaper store bought fpga's.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
34,320
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
23,403
Country
United Kingdom
Cool! might pick this up when it's released.
Pre-order, nah I don't think so.. Chances are good this will go sideways somehow..
ie what do nintendo etc think of their game hardware being 'ported' into an fpga so people can play roms ?!
I'm sure their legal dept will have something to say about this.

Would be awesome if they released their verilog or whatever code, so we can tinker ourselves with cheaper store bought fpga's.

It is not their hardware. Also https://github.com/trun/fpgaboy has been around for about a decade at this point.

That sounds actually somewhat believable now that you explained it. Would it be possible to increase the speed of the gameplay for some of the longer rpg's?

I can imagine some kind of "overclock" (overclock is perhaps not the best term but I will use it pending something better) being a possibility, even more so if they also control the sound, cart read and screen stuff to prevent some issues there. Whether it will be there from day 0 is a different matter.
 

ParzivalWolfram

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
293
Trophies
0
Age
52
XP
722
Country
United States
I skimmed all 7 pages and only saw 3 or 4 posts mention anything about this, but this but white elephant in the room everyone is missing is this....

Not all of the cartridges have the same PIN OUTS so unless they are going to create some kind of frankenstein monster of an adapter how do they intend to support ALL of these systems?!?

They can get away with the GB/GBC/GBA because they all used similar pin outs. But I just looked at the Lynx and NGPC (which had a split pin out) so if they did an adapter, it would have to have a GB end adapter with at least 2-3 pin outs for the three different styles of boards for the different systems.

If the GB form factor is already flush with the back of this thing, then those games are going to be sticking out over the top.

I appreciate the enthusiasm of some of the people interested in this thing, but I think they need to think ahead (same with Analogue) before this thing turns into an overpriced "enthusiast" device in need of euthanasia because it wasn't well thought out before being released.


4NsGMK3
4NsGMK3
have you considered that they may have a cart slot controller? Therefore, it would handle each system individually?
 
  • Like
Reactions: FateForWindows

codezer0

Gaming keeps me sane
Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
3,168
Trophies
0
Location
The Magic School Bus
XP
3,101
Country
United States
Analogue does have a great rep for their consoles and such. But yeah, these prices hurt to think about. Especially when one considers that, you could pick up a working gba for around $40, or an sp for $60; a working game gear would still be around $60, and a second-hand PSP would be $70 locally. Or $160 for a PS Vita.

Also as their first handheld arrangement? This doesn't appear to be comfortable at all.

Gonna be a hard pass at this time, unless some third party endeavors to make a mold or case to give it a more friendly grip.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
34,320
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
23,403
Country
United Kingdom
Can it link up GBA-GC or NGP-DC?
I don't think it is out yet, or if it is then I have not seen any testing.

Still if it is a full simulation of the GBA then I can see scope to emulate the link port at all the right rates, voltages and timings (all of which can be tricky -- even flash carts and ROM hacks have trouble with this one) and behave like a GBA for the purposes of fishing out a save or checking a given cart is there.

Whether it will have such a port, and it might need an adapter (GBA link port is not really a common port, and if they are going to do GB/GBC and anything else that gets harder, far easier to do a breakout port and make adapters) is a different matter.

Never heard of the neogeo pocket to dreamcast stuff before this ( https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/ngpc/916527-neo-geo-pocket-color/faqs/8656 ) though I imagine the same things apply as far as latency/dropped packets and adapters or not.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wonkeytonk

cashboxz01

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
142
Trophies
0
XP
916
Country
United States
The base console price is fair, but all the upsells crap are a ripoff.
  • The cables/fast charger and all cables can be found on Ali/Amazon for a fraction of the cost
  • There's nothing special about those cart adapters, and they can easily be cloned
  • As long as the dock doesn't have it's own FPGA in it, that dock isn't worth any more than $20 to the end consumer
Personally speaking, I see no point of this other than form factor, as I bought an IPS v2 GBC with custom UV printed shell and have an everdrive clone. I can easily transfer save files to my retropie via samba when I want to play on a TV.

Even better than the this or my GBC is my Vita which has an OLED display and games just look so much better on it.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    KennieDaMeanie @ KennieDaMeanie: https://www.cdkeys.com/star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-origin-pc?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=s...