VOGONS


First post, by Dosboxxer

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I was fortunate enough to buy a superNT before it sold out and I'm pretty sold on FPGA "emulation"

I had a 1-chip snes which i really enjoyed but at the end I decided to sell the SNES and keep the SuperNT.

I'm really hoping they release a $200 NES clone next because there is no way i'm paying a ebay scalper $1000+ for a NT Mini.

Anyone else here own a system?

My RetroRig: IBM 300gl, Pentium II 400, 192mb Ram, S3 Trio64 2mb, SB16 Value
Win98 SE 4.10.22222 A

Reply 1 of 14, by ZellSF

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I'm guessing you are aware that there are other FPGA devices? The Retro AVS is a popular NES device, and the MiSTer is a popular multi system device.

I don't own one. Considering getting a MiSTer, but runahead has made emulation really catch up in input latency for a lot of titles so not sure I need it any longer.

Reply 3 of 14, by newtmonkey

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I own the Super NT and Mega SG. They're fine but not perfect, with issues when using any resolution other than 1080p on the latest firmware (480p: image is cut off on left by several pixels, 720p: scanline filter does not line up properly with the image).

I also own the RetroUSB AVS and would recommend it for sure. If you want an FPGA NES and don't want to pay scalper prices on Ebay for an NT mini, this is the way to go. It "only" supports 720p resolution but NES games look great (especially with scanline emulation) at this resolution, but it offers a feature that the NT mini does not—optional (slight) horizontal interpolation to eliminate uneven pixel shimmering when the image is scaled to a non-integer aspect ratio.

Reply 4 of 14, by Kerr Avon

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I just wish that someone would make an N64 clone with HDMI output. By far the best HDMI solution currently available for the N64 is the UltraHDMI, which stopped production a couple of years ago, and scalpers are now selling them for ridiculous prices (I saw one for almost $1,500). Lesser solutions produce inferior picture quality, and aren't usable for me anyway, since I have a PAL N64 (being in England) and some N64 + HDMI solutions don't work with PAL consoles, and also because I also play NTSC games upon my PAL N64 (the Everdrive 64 makes this possible), and some N64 + HDMI solutions can't show the NTSC signal that a PAL N64 outputs.

Of course, if N64 emulation becomes good enough, then I'd be happy emulating the console on my PC or laptop, but it still has problems at the moment. I've heard that emulation of the Gamecube and the Wii are more accurate than emulation of the N64, which baffles me. Mind you, emulation of the PS3 is apparently quite good now, too, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.

Reply 6 of 14, by leileilol

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Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-10-17, 14:31:

Of course, if N64 emulation becomes good enough, then I'd be happy emulating the console on my PC or laptop, but it still has problems at the moment.

libretro's Mupen64next has a very fast good ParaLLEl Vulkan backend that takes in all of its dithered+smoothed+antialiased 240p glory. There were major improvements to it earlier this year so it's the best balance for accuracy and speed. and is definitely not very FPGA-able at this time.

(it also has a silly option to render N64 in higher resolutions with those effects, but it'll break some buffer effects and also doesn't do anything about the fog.)

apsosig.png

Reply 7 of 14, by SScorpio

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Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-10-17, 14:31:

I just wish that someone would make an N64 clone with HDMI output. By far the best HDMI solution currently available for the N64 is the UltraHDMI, which stopped production a couple of years ago, and scalpers are now selling them for ridiculous prices (I saw one for almost $1,500). Lesser solutions produce inferior picture quality, and aren't usable for me anyway, since I have a PAL N64 (being in England) and some N64 + HDMI solutions don't work with PAL consoles, and also because I also play NTSC games upon my PAL N64 (the Everdrive 64 makes this possible), and some N64 + HDMI solutions can't show the NTSC signal that a PAL N64 outputs.

Of course, if N64 emulation becomes good enough, then I'd be happy emulating the console on my PC or laptop, but it still has problems at the moment. I've heard that emulation of the Gamecube and the Wii are more accurate than emulation of the N64, which baffles me. Mind you, emulation of the PS3 is apparently quite good now, too, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.

There's a Kickstarter live right now for something called the Warrior 64. It seems kinda sketchy in that it's funded in Hong Kong dollars, but it's $95 for the installable kit or $150 for one already installed into a console along with one of their controllers and a new console shell. The page says it's not able to play PAL games, but it would at least let you run NTSC games to HDMI without issue, and for much less than an UltraHDMI.

Reply 8 of 14, by newtmonkey

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Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-10-17, 14:31:

I just wish that someone would make an N64 clone with HDMI output. By far the best HDMI solution currently available for the N64 is the UltraHDMI, which stopped production a couple of years ago, and scalpers are now selling them for ridiculous prices (I saw one for almost $1,500). Lesser solutions produce inferior picture quality, and aren't usable for me anyway, since I have a PAL N64 (being in England) and some N64 + HDMI solutions don't work with PAL consoles, and also because I also play NTSC games upon my PAL N64 (the Everdrive 64 makes this possible), and some N64 + HDMI solutions can't show the NTSC signal that a PAL N64 outputs.

Of course, if N64 emulation becomes good enough, then I'd be happy emulating the console on my PC or laptop, but it still has problems at the moment. I've heard that emulation of the Gamecube and the Wii are more accurate than emulation of the N64, which baffles me. Mind you, emulation of the PS3 is apparently quite good now, too, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.

Have you looked into the RetroTINK-2X MINI? The RetroTINK series of products won't produce as nice of an image as the UltraHDMI of course, but I've got my N64 hooked up to a 4K TV using the RetroTINK with Svideo and it looks great.

I wouldn't hold my breath on a decent quality clone coming out, since such a clone would likely use a cheap composite>HDMI converter that would likely be no better than just plugging the N64 straight into your TV.

Reply 9 of 14, by newtmonkey

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Thanks SScorpio for bringing up the Warrior 64. It look sketchy indeed, and I suspect it's just a low quality upscaler attached to a reused N64 motherboard and jammed into a custom case, which would probably make it worse than just plugging the N64 directly into your TV!

RetroRGB points out a bunch of red flags with the info that's available on it:
https://www.retrorgb.com/intecgaming-makes-du … -warrior64.html

Reply 10 of 14, by Kerr Avon

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leileilol wrote on 2020-10-18, 00:25:
Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-10-17, 14:31:

Of course, if N64 emulation becomes good enough, then I'd be happy emulating the console on my PC or laptop, but it still has problems at the moment.

libretro's Mupen64next has a very fast good ParaLLEl Vulkan backend that takes in all of its dithered+smoothed+antialiased 240p glory. There were major improvements to it earlier this year so it's the best balance for accuracy and speed. and is definitely not very FPGA-able at this time.

(it also has a silly option to render N64 in higher resolutions with those effects, but it'll break some buffer effects and also doesn't do anything about the fog.)

Sound interesting! I'll have a look, thanks. N64 graphics look great (well, relative to the real console's output) when scaled up normally in an emulator, even the N64 emulator on the original XBox looks really good, though that emulator is based on very old emulator code (newer versions of the emulator, which are released only on the PC, are closed source, sadly), plus the original XBox isn't fast enough to run that emulator at full speed with every N64 game. Some games are nearly perfect on it, others have varying levels of problems, and a few games won't run at all.

SScorpio wrote on 2020-10-24, 22:03:
Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-10-17, 14:31:

I just wish that someone would make an N64 clone with HDMI output. By far the best HDMI solution currently available for the N64 is the UltraHDMI, which stopped production a couple of years ago, and scalpers are now selling them for ridiculous prices (I saw one for almost $1,500). Lesser solutions produce inferior picture quality, and aren't usable for me anyway, since I have a PAL N64 (being in England) and some N64 + HDMI solutions don't work with PAL consoles, and also because I also play NTSC games upon my PAL N64 (the Everdrive 64 makes this possible), and some N64 + HDMI solutions can't show the NTSC signal that a PAL N64 outputs.

Of course, if N64 emulation becomes good enough, then I'd be happy emulating the console on my PC or laptop, but it still has problems at the moment. I've heard that emulation of the Gamecube and the Wii are more accurate than emulation of the N64, which baffles me. Mind you, emulation of the PS3 is apparently quite good now, too, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.

There's a Kickstarter live right now for something called the Warrior 64. It seems kinda sketchy in that it's funded in Hong Kong dollars, but it's $95 for the installable kit or $150 for one already installed into a console along with one of their controllers and a new console shell. The page says it's not able to play PAL games, but it would at least let you run NTSC games to HDMI without issue, and for much less than an UltraHDMI.

I've seen it (the webpage, I mean of course, not the console) and I agree that it doesn't inspire confidence. I don't much care that the console shell is so extremely ugly (it's a box that sits next to the TV, so I don't much care about it's aesthetics), but people who seem to know about such things say that the quality of the HDMI output is likely to be pretty bad, similar to the way standard N64 output via composite looks on a compatible TV. That will still be much better than I currently get on my TV, so I'd buy the Warrior 64 for that, but it does seem to have other potential worries about game compatibility and maybe even TV image latency (which you definitely don't want when playing games), so my hopes for the warrior 64 aren't too high.

newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-26, 02:38:
Kerr Avon wrote on 2020-10-17, 14:31:

I just wish that someone would make an N64 clone with HDMI output. By far the best HDMI solution currently available for the N64 is the UltraHDMI, which stopped production a couple of years ago, and scalpers are now selling them for ridiculous prices (I saw one for almost $1,500). Lesser solutions produce inferior picture quality, and aren't usable for me anyway, since I have a PAL N64 (being in England) and some N64 + HDMI solutions don't work with PAL consoles, and also because I also play NTSC games upon my PAL N64 (the Everdrive 64 makes this possible), and some N64 + HDMI solutions can't show the NTSC signal that a PAL N64 outputs.

Of course, if N64 emulation becomes good enough, then I'd be happy emulating the console on my PC or laptop, but it still has problems at the moment. I've heard that emulation of the Gamecube and the Wii are more accurate than emulation of the N64, which baffles me. Mind you, emulation of the PS3 is apparently quite good now, too, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.

Have you looked into the RetroTINK-2X MINI? The RetroTINK series of products won't produce as nice of an image as the UltraHDMI of course, but I've got my N64 hooked up to a 4K TV using the RetroTINK with Svideo and it looks great.

I wouldn't hold my breath on a decent quality clone coming out, since such a clone would likely use a cheap composite>HDMI converter that would likely be no better than just plugging the N64 straight into your TV.

The RetroTINK-2X MINI might be just what I want! I'll have a read up on it when I get home, thanks.

Reply 11 of 14, by leileilol

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The thing about the N64... YOU DON'T WANT them to "look good" as there's plenty of N64 games that rely on tricks that don't agree with the typical "i've a computer, i demand 4k" emulation fantasy constantly biting itself in the ass. N64 emulation has endured 20 years of graphics glitches taken for granted until the software RDP/RSP implementations were figured out (in which games like Mario Tennis, Mischief Makers, Superman64, Indiana Jones etc. finally start to render properly). Given that time and the processing required, It's also highly unlikely a hobbyist will clone that SGI hardware on a FPGA....

apsosig.png

Reply 12 of 14, by ZellSF

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ZellSF wrote on 2020-10-15, 15:33:

I don't own one. Considering getting a MiSTer, but runahead has made emulation really catch up in input latency for a lot of titles so not sure I need it any longer.

15 days from trying to convince myself I don't need one to ordering one. I should probably have one within a month or two.

newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-26, 02:38:

I wouldn't hold my breath on a decent quality clone coming out, since such a clone would likely use a cheap composite>HDMI converter that would likely be no better than just plugging the N64 straight into your TV.

That doesn't make any logical sense. If someone makes a N64 clone today, it would likely have pretty good HDMI output. That said, I don't think it is too likely anyone creates a HDMI clone at all for a while (the Warrior 64 other than probably being a scam, likely reuses existing N64 hardware).

leileilol wrote on 2020-10-29, 20:45:

The thing about the N64... YOU DON'T WANT them to "look good" as there's plenty of N64 games that rely on tricks that don't agree with the typical "i've a computer, i demand 4k" emulation fantasy constantly biting itself in the ass.

The Nintendo 64 is probably the one console (well maybe the PS2 too) where emulating it at higher resolution actually makes sense. Trying to replicate the blur-fest the N64 is not a good idea on modern displays. A lot of people didn't like it in the N64 days either.

Some of the same reasons it is a blur-fest at native resolution also makes it more suited for higher rendering standards; N64 games have very few problems with antialiasing or texture filtering (because the N64 already does it).

Of course there are compatibility cases where you have to render in native resolution, but I disagree that rendering all games in their native resolution should be the goal for N64.

newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-26, 02:38:

Have you looked into the RetroTINK-2X MINI? The RetroTINK series of products won't produce as nice of an image as the UltraHDMI of course, but I've got my N64 hooked up to a 4K TV using the RetroTINK with Svideo and it looks great.

If you plan to actually use retro consoles the RetroTINK 2x is a great product for the price, but like with all low end choices, make sure it will be enough for your needs. It could suck to use 70$ on one and end up buying a OSSC or OSSC Pro later anyway.

Reply 13 of 14, by SScorpio

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ZellSF wrote on 2020-11-01, 11:10:

15 days from trying to convince myself I don't need one to ordering one. I should probably have one within a month or two.

One of us. One of us...

Be sure to checkout the computer and arcade cores in addition to console cores. The ao486 core in particular went from slow 386 speeds to being able to run most 486 era software in less than two months. It's also interesting exploring the library of systems I didn't have back in the day.

Reply 14 of 14, by SScorpio

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Heads up on the Warrior 64, new information is out. MetalJesus did a Youtube video on one. He's normally positive for maybe products that looking a little off like the Seedi. For him to not recommend it troubling. It might be worth canceling if you had a Kickstarter pledge in.