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

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    24
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    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.
     
    Ryccardo and LonelyPhantom like this.
  2. NachoBlzzy

    NachoBlzzy Member

    Newcomer
    1
    Oct 22, 2019
    United States


    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?
     
  3. ParzivalWolfram

    ParzivalWolfram GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    5
    Jun 28, 2017
    United States
    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.
     
    Sophie-bear likes this.
  4. cashboxz01

    cashboxz01 Member

    Newcomer
    3
    Sep 28, 2008
    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"
     
  5. ParzivalWolfram

    ParzivalWolfram GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    5
    Jun 28, 2017
    United States
    but like

    video and non-proprietary shit

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

    bad analogy
     
  6. mario5555

    mario5555 GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    3
    Nov 23, 2012
    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.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited by mario5555, Oct 23, 2019
  7. zfreeman

    zfreeman GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    8
    Mar 9, 2013
    United States
    Pennsylvania
    "Pocket works with cartridge adapters for other handheld systems, too. Like Game Gear. Neo Geo Pocket Color. Atari Lynx & more."
    https://www.analogue.co/pocket/
     
    Sophie-bear likes this.
  8. Sophie-bear

    Sophie-bear The Coolest Bear Around

    Member
    7
    Jan 4, 2017
    United States
    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.
     
  9. xxNathanxx

    xxNathanxx GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    3
    Oct 28, 2011
    New Caledonia
    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.
     
  10. mezz0

    mezz0 Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    4
    Mar 10, 2009
    Belgium
    ::1
    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.
     
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    24
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    It is not their hardware. Also https://github.com/trun/fpgaboy has been around for about a decade at this point.

    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.
     
  12. ParzivalWolfram

    ParzivalWolfram GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    5
    Jun 28, 2017
    United States
    have you considered that they may have a cart slot controller? Therefore, it would handle each system individually?
     
    FateForWindows likes this.
  13. codezer0

    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

    Member
    9
    Jul 14, 2009
    United States
    The Magic School Bus
    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.
     
Loading...