Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The CollectorVision Phoenix Part 2 - The FPGA System Built by Thieves and Sold on Disinformation

Three blog posts ago, I was rather critical of the CollectorVision Phoenix, an FPGA console which implements the ColecoVision :  I said all that I believed needed to be said, but since then I have determined that the console was deserving of further criticism.

Before we go into the specifics of my claims, let's review the basic hardware specifications of the ColecoVision and similar systems which are based off the TMS9928A Video Display Processor (VDP).

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Newly-Made High Quality Controllers for Vintage Consoles

When you see new controllers being sold for your retro video game systems in your local retro video game store and in many online stores, they are typically of the atgames, Tomee, Cirka, Retro-bit, Gamerz-Tek or Hyperkin quality, which is essentially no-quality.  When you buy these controllers, expect cheap plastic, stiff or rattling buttons, thin and short wires, useless turbo options and terrible D-pads.  Occasionally one can find quality products that go above and beyond and try to compete or exceed the quality of original, first-party controllers.  Let's take a look at some of the respectable options for your classic consoles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Analogue Mega Sg – A Preview of the Next Chapter in the FPGA "Console Wars"

Analogue Mega Sg JPN Version
Today, Analogue has made an announcement of its next FPGA retro console. This was a reveal which had been long expected. When the console was revealed as an implementation of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, it came as no great surprise to observers like myself familiar with Analogue’s history. Let’s explore some of that history, the specifications of the unit, what you will get for the $189.99 retail price and how this console may fare in today’s increasingly-crowded retro-console market.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The CollectorVision Phoenix - An FPGA Console Behind the Times?

The ColecoVision has a very driven fan community.  I did not own one and really do not share the love that those who do or did have, but nonetheless it is a classic gaming system that has new products and peripherals released for it.  The idea of recreating the Coleco in a modern, updated console, has long been talked about.  Currently, no less than three different groups have announced some kind of FPGA-based Coleco.  One of those project, called the CollectorVision Phoenix, is now accepting funding on kickstarter.  Let's look into the Phoenix's campaign and features and I will explain why I think you should give this FPGA console a pass.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sega Genesis - Compatibility Issues Across Models

When you buy a console, you might expect every game to work perfectly on it.  In most instances you are covered, but some consoles tend to be a little picky about the games they can play for obscure, rather than obvious, reasons.  Here let's look at the Sega Mega Drive and Genesis and see what kind of compatibility issues you can encounter when playing games on them.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Game Boy Colorization Examples

In a previous blog entry discussed the various tools developers had when they sought to colorize Game Boy games.  The two main hardware methods were the Super Game Boy and the Game Boy Color.  In a followup to that blog entry, this blog entry let's talk about and show examples of how each method was used.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Exciting Developments for NES ROMs

When it comes to the NES, everybody at one point or another has emulated the NES.  NES emulation has been around for a long time and has improved so much that often the experience of playing a game on an emulator is indistinguishable from playing the game on real hardware (accounting for video improvements via emulation.)  But NES emulation is continually evolving as we find more games to dump and understand better the hardware found inside previously-dumped games.  In this blog post let me share some recent developments regarding NES ROMs.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Investigating the Games on the NES, Famicom and SNES Classic Editions

Nintendo's latest efforts to "cash in" on its retro properties, the NES Classic Edition and the SNES Classic Edition, have gone very well.  The hardware is inexpensive to make and the games, for the most, part, are held in high regard.  The consoles sell very well, sometimes too well.  All across the three major markets, they were in high demand at launch.  One interesting thing about these devices for me is the software included on these devices.  These are emulator boxes and they run ROMs, just like the Virtual Console for the Wii U and Wii and previous releases for the GameCube.  Let's see what kind of ROMs they use.