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An interesting console with hardware for loading original Gameboy cartridges but running with more modern hardware like a hi-res backlit LCD and a rechargeable battery.

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    The second FPGA (reportedly a Cyclone 10) is pretty exciting to me. It could be a fun entry point into learning about FPGA development since you already have all these peripherals attached to it. Hopefully someone starts porting some of the MISTer cores to add more systems.

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      When I read their announcement tweets on Twitter, it was pointed out that this is awesome for preservation of games that require proprietary hardware.

      What confuses me though is how that is a fix, as this hardware itself is proprietary, so is prone to precisely the same problem a decade down.

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        But at least this is hardware you can buy right now that is expected to last for a while.

        Plus the intellectual property issues (patents) should be sorted out by now, so given enough effort, anyone can try to make a new, open source one themselves. Hardware is, however, expensive, so I’m not really upset that they’re trying to make money.

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          But at least this is hardware you can buy right now that is expected to last for a while.

          That said, if you compare the complexity of these devices I am pretty sure the original Gameboy (DMG) will easily outlive this device. The DMG has a very simple construction with rather low complexity (even for its day, 1989) and runs of AA (or AAA in the case of the Pocket) batteries and is pretty rugged.

          There is a point of being able to buy the hardware right now, but the games you’d need to buy second hand anyway, since the only thing left are a few indie releases.

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            There is a point of being able to buy the hardware right now, but the games you’d need to buy second hand anyway, since the only thing left are a few indie releases.

            That part, however, can’t be avoided without the cooperation of copyright holders. Good luck with that.

            Most likely, none of us alive right now will see a Game Boy title enter the public domain because of the rather long expiry times (plural, since you have to keep track of the death date of every member on the team) involved.

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            You can totally make money with non-proprietary hardware.

            From a utility perspective, you are right.

            From a preservation perspective, it’s not very useful to replace one undocumented thing by another.

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            I think they’re leveraging “preservation” for marketing, you’re right, it’s not really a proper solution for that.

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            Well that looks pretty cool, but so far I’m happy enough with ODROID-GO and LSDJ.

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              That one is nice too, but it is basically a single-board computer running presumably Linux and some software emulators. The Analogue Pocket is emulating the CPU cores.

              Also it comes with Nanoloop so I am hoping that the sound quality will be good and usable for LSDJ, so I don’t have to keep modding DMGs.

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                One of my favorite things about ODROID-GO is that it doesn’t run Linux, it’s an ESP32 device with a custom OS. Way more power efficient and less hassle to maintain than (e.g.) EmulationStation on a Pi Zero. You just put roms on an SD card and done. Runs CircuitPython too but I haven’t played with that. The buttons feel pretty good, and you get to put it together yourself with a screwdriver in like 5 minutes. It supports all the major 8-bit platforms (not just handheld), and you don’t need physical carts. The display is nothing fancy, but its resolution is well matched to the emulated systems; I don’t need fake scanlines on such a small display! Ditto for the actual play: I can’t detect any latency or jitter. If I have good control feel, 60fps and all the pixels, why should I care whether I’m using software or hardware emulation?

                But I’m sure the Pocket will sound much better. The ODROID-GO has a buzzy little speaker and three volume levels, all too loud, not even a headphone jack. I don’t mind; when I want to play 8-bit audiophile (sort of a silly thing to do, honestly) I use my C64 rig.

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              Are these hardware designed to play the original cartridges?!

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                Yeah

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                  Without emulation?… How cool :O :O

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                    The original cores are implemented on the FPGA, so depending on how you look at it, sort of without emulation. But also unlike e.g. the Super Game Boy, without using the original parts.

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                      Yeah. which is pretty cool :)

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                So now product placement is allowed and even gets more upvotes than actually interesting content? mmmm

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                  I was thinking of posting an article to the various announcements on different sites but decided to post the product page instead to avoid the complaint about blogspam.

                  Here’s why I think that thing is interesting:

                  • A complete reimplementation of a Gameboy in FPGA. If I posted a Github link to that it would’ve been exciting for the hack-value of that alone
                  • An insanely hi-res screen (that some commenters here including me didn’t know existed)
                  • A second FPGA that might be useful for programming and is meant to be programmed
                  • A seller with a reputation of shipping good products, so it is not just vaporware and pretty renders
                  • A niche product that many people might miss. If I had posted the new iPhone, that would’ve been pretty boring

                  I am sorry you don’t find it interesting and I agree that this is a borderline post, but rest assured I used my best judgement to post something that is actually interesting at least to and a few other fellow crustaceans.

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                    There’s no code on this page, there’s no link to Github, and the thing isn’t even being sold until 2020.

                    It’s product dev-washing.

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                      Maybe, but it wasn’t posted by their company dev (see leonidas’s comment above), it’s kinda cool, it looks closed source anyway so I doubt there’s a github .. I mean you’re probably right, but it was still posted in good faith as something tech peeps would be interested in.

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                      What surprises me the most is that even though your comment is even more in the realm of advertising, it still got upvoted.

                      I am not saying you are doing it in bad faith but you should be aware that you are still doing advertising, whether you are paid or not (at this point I hope you are), that is the exact same practice.

                      I will not counter any of your points as it will only lengthen the discussion about this specific product.

                      My point is that here you get many articles with some vague value, surrounded by self-promotion of whatever company/product/job the author is working on, and they are not well received, how can an actual product page be any better?

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                        It would (have been) great to have put the contents of this comment in the original post.

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                        Some people, me included, get excited about new handheld gaming devices, specially if it is not emulation.

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                          I mean, it’s still emulation, in the sense that it’s Analogue’s best guess at how the Game Boy Advance worked, rather than licensing the original hardware design from Nintendo. It’s just not software emulation, so it can be more power-efficient than a general-purpose CPU.

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                            Makes you wonder what edge cases it might fail on with some of those crazy cartridges with their co-processors and other weird chips onboard. I doubt there were as many of these in the portable space as with the SNES (with games like StarFox), but there are probably a few out there.

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                              Really good point. I found this list on reddit, certainly for the newer gameboy types (GB color or GBA) there seems to be a variety of stuff; less with the original hardware, but jumping out at me is RTC. It was common enough I hope they’ve tested at least that.

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                              it’s still emulation

                              If anything it’s simulation. The hardware isn’t faked, it’s real transistors and everything else. That’s a huge difference.

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                                It’s a huge difference in technology, but does it make any perceptible difference to the user?

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                                  This is a good question.

                                  Obviously, “perfect emulation” will not be any different.

                                  The main difference is, it’s a LOT easier to simulate the system at a lower level, offering better “high level” support, than the other way around. That’s why FPGA systems have generally been better than emulators.

                                  You are right though, this is aimed at enthusiasts and homebrewers. It was the same story with Analogue’s other products. I know the creator of these FPGA cores and it is a niche market, but one that pays well. They are extremely intelligent and the company is super smart too. Actually I think this is their “secret” project that’s been in the works as a side project for a long time.

                                  As soon as I saw this I signed up to the newsletter. This device is going to be sold out for a long time.

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                                  It’s useful to distinguish “produce the same results, following the same method” (say, a hardware recreation of a hardware device) and “produce the same results, following a different method” (say, a software recreation of a hardware device).

                                  While some people use “simulation” and “emulation” respectively to mean those things, other people define them the other way around. For example, a “flight simulator” follows a very different method from a real aircraft, and “fluid simulation” generally aims to “look right” rather than throw billions of tiny particles around.

                                  To avoid confusion, I stick with “hardware emulation” to describe reverse-engineered devices like the Pocket, and “software emulation” to describe reverse-engineered programs.

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                                I think Nesh’s aversion comes from the content being an attempt to sell you this device in exchange for your hard-earned cash, not that it’s about video games

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                                  I see. Yes, it makes sense. I saw the post from a different angle which is best summed by the bullet list in this previous comment by the op

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                                  I am a gamedev and I also love gaming hardware but advertising is advertising.

                                  Some people get excited with new iPhones releases, a new Raspberry Pi version and other such IT products, should we now allow all those product pages because some people enjoy them?

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                                I’m super excited about this, but: why in the world is this using a 615 ppi display?

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                                  Likely because it already exists, google VS035ZSM-NH0-69P0 . Looks like it supports 120fps and is used in some leap motion AR kit project: https://developer.leapmotion.com/northstar https://www.reddit.com/r/leapmotion/comments/8p2joi/bulk_order_north_star_displays_as_a_group_canada/

                                  Could enable some display optimizations reminiscent of https://johanneskopf.de/publications/pixelart/paper/pixel.pdf (2011)

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                                    My initial reaction, as someone who’s bought a ton of emulation-based handhelds with like 320x240 displays, was that it’ll probably make scaling all the various device display aspect ratios and resolutions look pretty good.

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                                    The design of that website is great. Visually, it’s great.

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                                      I’m actually more excited that it will run Lynx cartridges with an adapter.

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                                        $200 for those specs without a giant company behind it to crank up economies of scale seems too good to be true.

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                                          The portability of this really sold me: I actually bought Analogue’s Super Nt (the Ghostly limited edition collab) last year, but hardly use it because I also put together a Raspberry Pi based retro game console emulator that plays SNES games and many other systems as well, which rendered the Super Nt pretty useless (other than the fact that it’s pretty and plays original cartridges). The Pocket isn’t easily replicable with an RPi, though — can’t exactly slip a Pi in your pocket.

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                                            It’s a bit DIY but you can put a Pi Zero into a GameBoy shell and it works really well.

                                            https://www.sudomod.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

                                            That site in general has really good forums and a marketplace where people sell custom parts.

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                                              There’s also the ClockworkPi GameShell: https://www.clockworkpi.com/gameshell

                                              Not a Raspberry Pi, but similar.

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                                              Is the Nt’s emulation not better, or not better enough, than the RetroPie, then? (assuming you’ve modded your Nt to load ROMs for comparison)

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                                                Yeah, I haven’t found that the Super Nt’s emulation is appreciably better than RetroPie’s — although I may not have exotic enough use cases (e.g. cartridges with SNES enhancement chips… Although some quick Googling implied that Retropie supports most of them well enough).

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                                              Looks really nice, but from experience, I know that front screen will get a thousand annoying scratches.

                                              Also, how is this not going to be sued to death?

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                                                Apparently ARM’s ARM7TDMI patents expired a few years ago, so they’re unlikely to be sued by ARM. I don’t think Nintendo had any patents on the GBA either (Nintendo are not exactly known for cutting-edge tech), so as long as they don’t ship an Nintendo-copyrighted data (like the GBA BIOS), they should be in the same category as any other third-party emulator.