General Old Game Hardware Thread

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 05, 2024 8:00 pm

Analogue Pocket's v2.0 firmware is the update that means I don't need my Game Boy EverDrives anymore. (Unless I want to do some multiplayer, I guess; I've got a GBA link cable around here somewhere.)

I was still using them because in v1.x the screen filters only worked with cartridges, not OpenFPGA cores. 2.x lets you use the filters with the cores, though as of right now most of them require manually editing JSON config files.

See, Analogue has advised developers that they need to test compatibility with the filters and enable them in future releases, but there's a configuration file for each core that specifies which filters it's compatible with and you can edit it to enable them manually. And for the most part it works; I haven't gotten any of the original monochrome Game Boy filters to work, but everything else I've tried has.

So now I can use third-party OpenFPGA cores and run games right off the Pocket's internal microSD card; no need to use the EverDrives anymore. In fact, this way is better, since it means GBA save states (the EverDrive GB has a version that allows save states but the EverDrive GBA doesn't), and should hopefully mean I won't lose any more saves because I forgot to load up another ROM so they'd copy from the battery into persistent storage (that's how I lost my Oracle of Seasons save and I'm still kinda bummed about that one).

I feel like maybe I should put a game in that slot that can't be reproduced through an FPGA alone. How's Kirby's Tilt 'n' Tumble? And given that the Japanese version is a lot cheaper on eBay than the US version, do I need to be able to read the text to play it?

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 26, 2024 1:09 pm

Virtual Boy Emulation Finally Arrives on 3DS

I only have a 2DS but this is the kind of thing that tempts me to get one of the 3D models on eBay or something.

Wario Land just doesn't play the same without the depth.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Niku » Mon Feb 26, 2024 7:28 pm

hot damn, that makes me wanna figure out how to CFW my 3DS finally
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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 26, 2024 8:06 pm

I think it probably would have been easier before they shut down the eshop, but I'm sure there are still ways.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Brantly B. » Mon Feb 26, 2024 9:56 pm

I followed instructions at https://3ds.hacks.guide/ to run homebrew on my (second, refurbished and unregistered) unit. Not on the latest firmware version but it looks like you still don't need anything fancier than an SD card and the screwdriver from an eyeglass repair kit.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Brantly B. » Mon Mar 04, 2024 7:29 pm

Citra team is pulling support and repos are being taken down, in case you don't have the hardware for the above/wanted to stream anything you own on 3DS ever.

Might want to make a backup or... something. It's kinda already too late for official channels.

(Yuzu's also being discontinued but like... that's fair.)

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 05, 2024 1:00 am

At a glance it looks like Citra's gone from AUR (since those builds just pulled from Github anyway) but still available from the Snap and Flatpak hubs. That means it's *probably* still available in the Steam Deck software center but I haven't actually checked yet. It looks like the Retroarch core is still available too, though my (possibly not up-to-date) experience with that was that it was missing some important functionality that the standalone app had.

(And of course Citra was GPL so I wouldn't be surprised to see somebody or somebodies else pick up the project, though I'd expect them to be anonymous, operating outside the WIPO countries, or both, and I wouldn't expect it to show back up on Github.)

I don't have much to say about Yuzu (which is still available in the Arch "extra" repo). I *do* think it's pretty funny how relevant Sharkey's first >8)> comic is if you just update the Zelda game in the punchline.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Upthorn » Tue Mar 05, 2024 2:44 am

Today's news regarding Citra and Yuzu has left a really sour taste in my mouth
How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 05, 2024 12:34 pm

Found it

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 05, 2024 5:34 pm

Yeah, I checked and Citra's still in the Steam Deck Software Center.

EmuDeck still has a menu item to update Yuzu but it fails.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Tue Apr 09, 2024 5:23 pm

The N64 core's made it into mainline MiSTer. I haven't messed with it much yet but it seemed to work on a few different games I threw at it. The Super Mario 64 Last Impact romhack locked it up but I'm not sure if that one runs on real hardware either.

AIUI there's some show-stopping bug that's preventing any further progress on the core (something to do with cartridge access speed, I think) but compatibility seems to be pretty good, at least. Probably good enough that I won't be buying an N64 EverDrive.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 10, 2024 1:44 pm

Super Mario 64 Land locks it up too.

Real ROMs (and minor ROMhacks like the D-pad controls for Yoshi's Story) seem to be working okay. I haven't played a real N64 in a very long time so I probably wouldn't notice minor differences, but Mario Kart seemed fine. I noticed one moment where the attract mode of Goldeneye stuttered, but it's possible it always did that. I can't say as I'd really get a feel for how Goldeneye is supposed to play without three other people here.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 10, 2024 1:47 pm

Meanwhile, Nintendo finally shut down online services for the Wii U and 3DS today, so you may want to check out Pretendo.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 10, 2024 7:00 pm

Still can't get the Saturn core to work. Other folks are having better luck with the newer RAM module, but the core's still under development so I'm in "try again later and stick with emulation in the meantime" mode for now.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Mon Apr 22, 2024 2:36 pm

Kinda curious about the Evercade. My initial impression after reading the Kyle Orland's review, Evercade’s retro portable made me fall out of love with game cartridges, was that I was nonplussed, but I recently listened to a Retronauts episode where they talked about what they've been up to -- in particular, their remake of the first two (pre-3D) Duke Nukem games -- and I'm starting to think you know what, this weird little thing probably is up my alley, even if it sounds like the build quality is kind of cheap and janky.

The Evercade comes in two flavors, a handheld and a console. The console allows multiplayer; the handheld doesn't.

Also, they're in the middle of a hardware refresh; the previous model of both handheld and console are discontinued. It looks like there's no significant change to the new model of the console (unless you have a monitor you can rotate 90 degrees to play games in portrait mode). The new model of the handheld drops $50 from the price but no longer includes HDMI output or preinstalled Capcom games.

Stone Age Gamer still has the old model in stock at its original price. I briefly considered that maybe I should grab one while I still can, but on reflection, why would I pay $150 for the old handheld when for $200 I could just get the new handheld and the new console? I've got other devices I can play those pack-in games on with more fidelity anyway; what am I losing out on, the ability to play 1942 vertically?

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Fri May 03, 2024 12:45 pm

Went ahead and pre-ordered the Evercade VS-R; should be getting it in August.

Lord knows I've got plenty of different ways to play old games already, but I appreciate their dedication to the niche/obscure/forgotten stuff. Again, they remade Duke Nukem 1&2 from the ground up, and you can't get that remake on any other system.

Disappointed to find that a lot of their most interesting collections -- Atari Lynx, Oliver Twins, Piko vol 1 -- are discontinued. There's a flash cart, so it's still possible to get and play those, but of course part of the point of getting an Evercade in the first place is to support and encourage preserving and distributing lesser-known old games without having to pirate them.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Wed May 08, 2024 6:46 pm

Boy I wish I'd known about threeSD before I manually extracted all my games and saves from my 2DS and copied them to my new 3DS XL!

...which I thought was a capital-N New 3DS XL when I bought it, so that kinda smarts. But oh well, it's not like I was going to play Xenoblade on it or anything anyway.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Mon May 20, 2024 1:26 pm

Anybody have any recommendations for a grip for a 3DSXL? I'm not finding it comfortable to play for very long, and most of the grips I've looked at cover the microSD slot (not a deal-breaker; I've got an FTP server app installed so I can always copy stuff wirelessly if need be) and the stylus (somewhat more inconvenient). I see there are short-profile grips available but all of them are advertised as being for the New 3DSXL, and I've got the original model. It could be that the New 3DSXL grips will fit an old 3DSXL, but I'm guessing if they did it would say that in their descriptions, and it doesn't.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 10, 2024 7:17 pm

Thad wrote:Stone Age Gamer still has the old model in stock at its original price. I briefly considered that maybe I should grab one while I still can, but on reflection, why would I pay $150 for the old handheld when for $200 I could just get the new handheld and the new console? I've got other devices I can play those pack-in games on with more fidelity anyway; what am I losing out on, the ability to play 1942 vertically?

Welp, I changed my mind. Went ahead and got an EXP on videogamesplus.ca, which as of this writing still has them in stock new for their original price of CAD $200 (about US $150).

All else being equal I'd have preferred to get an old-model VS now and a new-model EXP later, but you can't get a VS for a decent price anymore, apparently because its pack-in games are discontinued.

I also snagged an original-model Evercade used, because it'll run custom firmware/homebrew/pirated games*; the EXP won't.

The EXP improves on the original in some significant ways -- better screen, you can play in portrait mode, you get a different indie game you can play for free every month, and you can remap the buttons (which you can't on the original, and there are some janky-ass defaults in some of these games).

Haven't spent a whole lot of time with either model yet but I like what I've played so far. Emulation seems solid; SNES games play at the correct ratio (8:7 stretched to 4:3) without any noticeable slowdown, shimmer, or frame-skipping, and the audio sounds right.

I can probably get some blog posts out of it, but those are my initial impressions, anyway.

* Support the publishers of weird little retro and indie collections where possible, and I'd be happy to spend $20 on Piko Collection 1 or Oliver Twins if they ever get reissued, but I'll be god damned if I'm going to pay eBay scalper prices.

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Re: General Old Game Hardware Thread

Postby Niku » Sun Jul 07, 2024 2:47 pm

Thad mentioned in his recent blog post that for some people you can just get an Anbernic device and be done with it;

well that's what i finally did.

Specifically the Anbernic RG 35XXSP which is, as it says on the tin, a clone device of the GBA SP. It's a little bit wider and thicker than the original SP and has extra buttons, but the form factor is otherwise spot on. And for me, it does exactly what I need to actually get me to play my giant list of roms.

1.) It can just sit on the table next to the couch, I can flip it open, and be playing a game in about ten to fifteen seconds.
2.) It has Wifi, which means it can hook into Retroachievements.

Not everyone is brain-broken enough to care about achievements in games, much less fan-made achievements with even less meaningful point totals and scores than "real" achievements, but achievements work on me. They get me to invest more time and energy into games and stick with them so I can unlock the next little pip; unless it seems relatively "within my grasp" I won't generally bother with 100%ing achievements, but I will do whatever I can to get the main-line and "beat the game" achievements. It'll get me to play Super Mario Land through the ending rather than just messing around in the first world or two.

But the quick in and out of being able to snap the lid open or closed combined with the achievements pushing me to actually stick with games means I've been digging into my catalogue more thoroughly in the past few weeks since getting the thing than I've pretty much ever bothered with playing games on my PC. Obviously if you want to actually SUPPORT retro releases and games, buying a chinese clone-chip system and loading it up with roms is not going to move that needle in the slightest, but for the purposes of making me really want to play through a bunch of old games, this SP has been doin' the work.

The RG 35XX series of handhelds all use the exact same chipset, so they also have a vertical (original game boy) form factor in the RG 35XX+ and a horizontal (GBA) form factor in the RG 35XXH, but the SP has the extra advantage of having a (sort of*) true sleep mode that the original Nintendo SP did not have.

*the RG 35XXSP will turn off the sound and screen when you close the lid, but not actually sleep the system so your battery will keep draining. I'm using a custom firmware (muOS) that will turn the system off automatically after 5 minutes of "sleep" mode to conserve the battery, and it will automatically save-state and then load the last game and load the state when the system resumes to make things relatively seamless.

I'm not an emulation stickler, but everything I've played has seemed completely solid; the RG35XX chipset can play everything up to PS1 basically flawlessly, and also some N64 and Dreamcast and PSP games as well as some DS stuff that doesn't actually need two screens, and the custom firmware can do Pico8 and ScummVM and has a player called "PortMaster" that lets you install certain Steam/PC games you've purchased onto the device as well (lightweight stuff like Stardew, Celeste, old Fallout games, etc for the most part) which I haven't messed around with much. It's mostly been an original GB/GBC machine for me right now because that's exactly the kind of lightweight stuff I mostly want to be playing when hanging out on the couch and half paying attention to whatever old stuff we're binge watching over the weekend.
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