In the field of 'new' retro hardware, one name arguably stands out. Analogue started its life with the gloriously insane (and incredibly expensive) wooden Neo Geo MVS, but it was the Analogue Nt that really took the firm to the big leagues. Authentic NES hardware contained in an aircraft-grade aluminium frame – this was a true connoisseur's console, and it flew in the face of the accepted trend of 'clone' systems built on flaky emulation and generally lacklustre construction quality.
Last year, Analogue delivered what has been perhaps its most acclaimed console to date, the Analogue Super Nt. Harnessing the incredible power of Field-Programmable Gate Array chips (something the company had previously dabbled with when it released the Analogue Nt Mini), it represents the ultimate way to experience the SNES library in 2018 – and for the foreseeable future, for that matter.
During email conversations with Analogue CEO and founder Christopher Taber around the launch of the Super Nt, I expressed the opinion that, as a rabid Sega fanboy (as well as a staunch supporter of all things Nintendo, of course), I'd personally love to see him tackle the SNES' big rival in FPGA form: the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive. "Stay tuned" was his reply. I was quietly confident that sooner rather than later, Analogue would tackle the challenge.
Those suspicions have proved to be true because today the company has lifted the lid on the Mega Sg, its next FPGA-based console project, and perhaps its most ambitious yet. The Mega Sg doesn't simply recreate the performance of Sega's 16-bit hardware with complete accuracy and zero-lag – it's a gateway to the company's entire console history prior to the launch of the 32-bit Saturn.
Powered by the same Altera Cyclone V FPGA that's found inside the Nt Mini and Super Nt, this system is capable of playing every single European, North American and Japanese Mega Drive game out of the box, and – via special cartridge adapters – can also play Master System, Mark III, SG-1000 and Game Gear software, all with the same unparalleled degree of accuracy. A Master System cartridge adapter will be included with every console, but the others will come later with a price tag of around $9.99. The 'OMG' moments don't end there, however; the system will also be compatible with both variants of the Mega CD add-on, allowing players to experience CD-based games with the kind of accuracy that emulation can't touch.
For Taber, the shift to Sega was an obvious one; like myself, he was actually a Sega fan first and foremost. Even so, he's been careful to not allow his own rose-tinted memories cloud his judgement. "I grew up as a Sega kid and never owned any Nintendo systems until I was an adult," he explains. "Neo Geo and Nintendo were the first systems Analogue tackled because those are the systems I personally wanted to explore. Our approach to making systems has nothing to do with nostalgia – our own or otherwise – it is consciously something we stay away from. We design systems to celebrate and explore the history of video games with the respect it deserves. We've got no interest in nostalgia gimmicks or making toys. Either way, I've always wanted to do the be-all and end-all Sega system – and here it is."
All of Analogue's previous consoles were focused on a single hardware format, but the Mega Sg can run games for multiple systems. Factoring this functionality into the hardware was down to Kevin 'Kevtris' Horton, the same genius who worked on the company's previous FPGA-based systems. "Kevin is a one-of-a-kind talent," says Taber. "He is extraordinarily good at what he does; I really cannot overstate that. Nobody can do what he does as well as he does. Over the years we've continuously refined and re-structured our product development process. This has allowed us to continue pushing the boundaries and offer as much value as possible in each product. We're always looking to categorically outdo ourselves with each product; otherwise, what is the point?"
Taber is keen to stress that the level of accuracy present in the Mega Sg – and indeed any FPGA system produced by Analogue – is second-to-none. "Each Sega system is implemented 100 percent in FPGA – there's no BS fake 'hybrid emulation', or an FPGA in the hardware but only being used to read cartridge or controller inputs. Did you know the Retron5 has an FPGA in the hardware? Having an FPGA in a product doesn't mean anything; FPGAs are highly versatile components – they can be nearly anything. It's how the FPGA is used that matters. Like all Analogue products, Mega Sg is designed with the core functionality of each and every system implemented 100 percent in the FPGA. It's important for users to recognize that as FPGAs become more popular, there are going be other companies who intentionally manipulate technical details to make it seem like they are offering something they aren't."
Taber finds it hard to conceal his annoyance at rival firms who, in his eyes, are jumping on the FPGA bandwagon in an attempt to legitimise their products. However, his bitterness isn't trivial; the effort involved when replicating each system using FPGA tech is almost superhuman, and Horton has expended countless hours of his life fine-tuning performance – there are no 'off the shelf' emulators present in the Mega Sg, and no deals have been inked with existing emulator owners to achieve this degree of faithfulness.
"It is a ton of work to implement an entire system via FPGA from scratch versus including software emulators on a PC box and skinning a user interface," Taber continues. "It's a walk in the park compared to building a system from scratch in an FPGA. Just our Mega Drive/Genesis core took one year to develop. Including Master System and original Mega / Sega CD compatibility is something we're really stoked to offer. SG-1000, SC-3000, Mark III, MyCard/Sega Card – the goal with Mega SG is to be the ultimate Sega system; everything pre-Saturn. We'll nearly be there at launch; only 32X remains."
Indeed, the ill-fated 32X is the only format that the Mega Sg isn't currently capable of supporting – but Analogue is working on a solution. "The original 32X is incompatible in HD due to its complex reliance on analog multi-link cables," Taber explains. "We're exploring solutions for using the original hardware in conjunction with Mega Sg post-launch. There are no promises just yet, but what I'd really love to do is implement the entire 32X in FPGA – no need for the original 32X hardware then."
As was the case with all of Analogue's previous systems, there are original controller ports which mean you can connect up your battered Mega Drive and Master System pads with no trouble whatsoever. However, an optional wireless controller produced by 8BitDo – the M30 – is also going to be available at launch, and Taber is confident that it will find favour with the Sega faithful, many of whom will have cut their teeth on the peerless Mega Drive 6-button pad. "It's perfect," he says when asked how the M30 compares. "Honestly a bit better, tighter, and more responsive than the originals. 8BitDo takes perfecting retro controllers to the highest level; nobody does it as good. I cannot wait to get it into everybody's hands. I'm also stoked that we're able to offer an M30 and 2.4g receiver for $24.99. Identical quality as always, but sans-Bluetooth in favour of faster and easier connectivity via 2.4g."
Just as the Super Nt and Nt Mini were timed to ride the wave of interest in systems like the NES and SNES Classics, it won't escape the notice of many people that the Mega Sg is launching in March - around the same time as the delayed Mega Drive Mini, Sega's latest attempt to cash in on the gaming public's seemingly unending appetite for retro. For Taber, the increased exposure is welcome because he's confident that Analogue's machine will prove to be the superior option. "If the Mega Drive Mini is anything like previous licensed Sega systems, it will sadly be abysmal quality," he laments. "Hopefully Sega isn't working with AtGames again and they're going to redevelop it to at least Nintendo Classic Edition quality. Anything less would be a shame and disappointment, especially with the new standards that have been established. In terms of performance and accuracy, at best it will be like Super Nt vs. SNES Classic Edition. Mega Sg will blow it away in every category; it's an enthusiast product versus a toy – there is no contest."
Sega, Nintendo and SNK are all active in the 'new' retro sector, and the hunger for these reheated vintage platforms shows no signs of slowing. Firms such as Hyperkin and Retro-Bit – which have been around almost since the revival began – continue to release new systems, and newcomer Polymega is attempting to disrupt things with console that runs physical media for a wide range of platforms, albeit almost completely via software emulation. What does Taber make of this increased competition?
"Nintendo's Classic Edition line is great; it's wonderful they are making something like this finally," he replies. "Outside of Nintendo's Classic Edition line, no other company is making anything close to that level of quality. Let's be real here – they're all sad disappointments. Then the third party guys are still shovelling out the same junk they always have been; poorly designed, poorly manufactured, virtually unusable controllers, terrible emulation (typically because of the low-powered hardware designed around it). Analogue is the antithesis to companies like this. Yeah, we're accuracy snobs. What Analogue is doing is one of a kind – we're bringing totally new products to users, designed completely in-house from scratch. No compromises. No licensing (or stealing) the same software emulators and sticking them on a low-powered Android or Linux box, ad nauseam. And this isn't a criticism towards the actual software emulator authors – the authors are the ones doing the real work – but their work just isn't going to shine on cheap hardware versus a full-powered desktop computer, which even then has its limitations, such as latency."
The Altera Cyclone V has been instrumental to the success of Analogue's consoles, but does this FPGA chip have a limit? Can it replicate the performance of systems beyond the SNES and Mega Drive? "It's roughly up to 16-bit with some exceptions, and then we'd need to utilize a larger FPGA for beyond," explains Taber. But exploring new horizons is what Analogue is all about; a fresh hardware challenge is unlikely to dissuade Taber and his team, and it's genuinely tantalising to think what the company could create next. "The systems that I'm the most inspired by are the ones that never received the recognition that they deserve. You know what I keep thinking about lately? A Wonderswan with an OLED screen. That would be good. Whatever we do next, you can count on Analogue continue to raise the bar. That's what we're here for. Moreover, like Super Nt, we're going to continue to develop for Mega Sg after it's released, taking user feedback onboard and developing new features. I'm beyond stoked to have an audience that loves what we do. It's a pure pleasure."
The Analogue Mega Sg launches next March for $189. Pre-orders are live now. You can view Mega Drive (Gunstar Heroes), Master System (Golden Axe), Game Gear (Ristar) and SG-1000 (Girl's Garden) footage captured directly from the system below.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Tue 16th October, 2018.
Brings me back to my days of playing games after school as a kid. Well, it makes me think about those days anyway. Used to love playing SoR2 all day. Could never beat it though haha.
So excited. I know they are expensive, but the Analogue products are simply amazing. Excellent quality, excellent accuracy, convenience of playing wirelessly & on modern TV's while my originals nap happily in their storage cases. I'd have already pre-ordered mine if their Store page was working properly...
So I guess all the UK people are going to buy the The Mega Sg and all the US people will buy the Analogue Super Nt.
@JHDK Join me in ending the war and buy them all. Then we can start a new war on poverty.
Wait... War? It's simply a niche product. Playing incredibly old titles.
Being able to play SG games was my personal faint moment. Literally no one cares enough to repackage those games. Ill finally be able to play those games... even if they are archaic
I don't have a whole lot of nostalgia for those days...and I'm not sure the kids nowadays will be interested in graphics like that.
@JHDK I think us US people mayyyyy want this more since those Genesis Mini's are garbage. Also, I literally only had one friend during elementary school that had a Sega, so I've played out so much Nintendo stuff that getting one of these would be more fun than a Super NT. Hyperstone Crisis, non-super-Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Contra Hard Corps, Sonic & Knuckles or Bloodlines versus playing Mario World, Super Castlevania, Contra Alien Wars & Super Metroid for the umpteenth time?
@Lone_Beagle Kids will play anything before they get exposed to too much modern stuff, and are introduced to the retro stuff early on. My friend's 5 year plays a Gameboy color, an iPhone and Pokemon Quest on Switch.
Okay, I'm way more interested in this than their Nintendo console efforts, I'll admit...that price is pretty high for me currently, sadly...
I'm sure this is also the reason we did not see new cores released for the Super NT, like we did with the NES NT Mini. Considering the Super NT/Mega SG are running on the same FPGA, they definitely could have released a new core to allow Sega games to run on the Super NT. It would be pretty much exact concept Kevtris was working on since before Analogue with his Zimba 3000 FPGA console. It also ran on the same FPGA. Of course, this approach makes way more sense from a business perspective, but I can't help but want an all in one FPGA console for all 16-bit consoles. Hopefully someday that product because a reality. Because I haven't given them enough money just yet.
Oh hell yeah! Preordering today. Glad I didn't bite with Polymega!
It looks really good, but their consoles are quite expensive. I have an original 50/60Hz modded multi region MD console with a SCART output, so for the most authentic experience there is that.
The other point for me is that on a HD screen I feel that emulation is 'good enough' (I'm not talking about AT Games consoles here), plus has the benefit of save states (which I don't think this would?)
Still looks great though.
Awesome news. The Super NT is an incredibly high quality piece of kit. My only dissociate that they don’t have a PC Engine NT yet. Killing me with the hint about doing handheld.
This, combined with an Everdrive? Excellent.
Edit: Site's experiencing heavy traffic ATM
It sounds interesting but not for me..... I just want the Nintendo 64 Mini to be announced. I think we will have to wait till the new year for that however.
there systems look amazing but the cost is alot
I don't remember Goldenaxe being that crappy. It's like 3 frames, then it sends you back to the title screen? And since when was there a giant at the beginning of the level?
As console wars go, this is the best kind for Analogue. Either way, Super NT vs. Mega SG, Analogue wins. And good for them. They seem to do good work. I think they did a nice job on the case design for this. It's minimalistic like the Super NT, but I like how they incorporated the Genesis model 1 design into it. Also nice to hear how many systems it supports. A proper Genesis FPGA core would have to support Master System since that was a built-in feature. The Power Base Converter was just a passive adapter. And Sega CD compatibility is great, but I don't require that kind of unmatched accuracy, because that means loading times. I can live without that. But I'm glad to see them doing a Sega machine. Good luck to them.
@Euler Master System version on 'demo' mode I think.
I am surprised about no mention of the word "sound". The key aspect of genesis is the sound, which is where ATGames fails horribly, so we are always cautious about that aspect.
Oh my gosh. This might be the mini console I buy. So glad 8Bitdo is making the controller.
I own the Analogue NT and the Analogue Super NT and they are incomparable in terms of using the original Nintendo and third party products and outputting the highest possible graphic quality available. I use Famicom & NES cartridges as well as a Famicom disk system on the Analogue NT and it looks flawless. For the Super NT, it makes SNES games look the best I’ve ever seen, even better than the mini SNES.
So if you treasure Sega and still enjoy playing the original carts, and have a little bit of money to spend, this purchase should be a no brainer. I cannot overstate how satisfying their other products are.
Now I hope an Analogue 64 is next.
I own two of their Nintendo consoles and sound is perfect. Zero issues.
Do we know if this is an open preorder for a while?
"403, it seems you don't have access to this page" when trying to reach their homepage
@Jimgamer8 If they re-released Wonderswan and Neo Geo Pocket Color with backlit screens, I'd buy both day one. I have a regular Wonderswan and NGPC, along with one of each that I modded with a front-light screen. While that's acceptable in the absence of any other solution, it's still pretty far from ideal.
@nesrocks As @Agent721 said, sound has been perfect so far. If I recall correctly (I didn't use the feature) one of the selling points was that the Super NT could play SNES sound files, so you could use it as a retro music player. I would expect 100% accuracy from the Sega console as well, since they are once again fully recreating system hardware in the FPGA.
@Yorumi I thought the Megadrive supported rgb, didn't really think about the US but I'm aware you dont have SCART on old US tellys?
Can't tell if this article is serious about "console wars"? (Also, why the heck do you have to scroll to the bottom to comment?? Bass Ackwards)
Best part about these Analogue systems is you can modify the OS to play ROMS right off the SD and plays them also 100% like they were the OG cart.
Only the French Megadrives had the native RGB cable in the box !
If someone is interested about the subject :
@Cobalt Ah yes, I had to buy a SCART cable, my original had an 'rf' / antenna cable which gave a really poor blurred picture, and at 50Hz. I didn't even know about better pictures at the time! Saturn came with a SCART here at least.
Nah! I already got a japanese switchmodded Megadrive (Va1) and jap megacd with Rgb scart (csync), Everdrive X7 through a Framemeister to my 4k tv. Can't be much better than that.
Don't really like the look of it to be honest.
@roadrunner343 I hear ya. They’d never do it, but a PCEngine GT remake, with a big screen, HDMI out would be great. With Switch, and Vita, it was one of the few software formats that really worked for console and handheld.
What allows these companies to make this hardware? What needs to happen in order to allow people to start making PS4s or other newer consoles?
@Jimgamer8 I would literally buy every single handheld system they put out =P I have a PC engine GT that I never use (Battery hog/awful screen) and I briefly had an LT that I purchased broken for $600 and repaired, but ultimately decided not to keep once I realized I could sell it for $1500. Having a quality portable to play that library on would be a Godsend for me. For whatever reason, I've always favored portables over consoles. Until then, my Core Grafx will suffice.
@Whalehome Limitations of FPGA chips, they are very powerful but have limitations, as they simulate, rather than emulate hardware.
I’m a bit confused. This is like having the guts of the systems in one box, right? Is the appeal (and price tag) due to consolidating shelf space?
Was I like, the only kid who had a SNES & a Sega Genesis growing up? I never understood the console wars because I had both.
I can't justify the price right now given that I have a Mega Drive 1 + OSSC but if this thing had 32X support built in and a CD slot to allow the playing of Mega Drive, 32X and Mega CD games out of the box...
Likewise, if they made a single unit capable of playing PC Engine, TurboGrafx, SuperGrafx and PCE CD games I'd order in an instant. I highly doubt they'll ever do an optical drive though. Maybe support for the images from SD... (again, I doubt it)
Will the sound be based on a Model 1 or Model 2?
Because the timing differences mean certain games won't play properly (most infamously, "Hellfire" on a Model 2, which plays the music at half speed)
Wait, so this thing doesn’t have preinstalled games, does it? You have to buy a bunch of old Sega cartridges to play on it?
You can put roms on an sd card which you'll need to update the firmware if you don't care about piracy
Anybody able to order one today?
patents need to expire
@Hikaru Hai, Captain fuzzy~
The moment you said that it's compatible with the original Sega CD
Totally radical!!! 😀🙌🎮
Thats, pretty impressive. Everything SEGA before the Saturn bar the 32X which they're trying to resolve (No big loss really). Game Gear should be neat enough, at last a way to play those games on a TV without Frankenstein-ing a Game Gear and with a HD upgrade too.
Wish I could afford these systems but well done regardless!
@tguk911 so there’s no legal way to buy games for this that supports the devs? Considering the games are all out of production, you only can get used copies or pirate?
@mikegamer That's not entirely accurate, and there's a bit of a mixup in the terms being used. It's not software emulation, but an FPGA does not simulate the hardware. It emulates the original hardware, in its own hardware. The issue is, 99% of the people that hear "Emulation" immediately jump to software emulation. Emulation historically referred to a combination of hardware/software emulation, and a simulation is purely software based. Of the two terms, simulation would be the least accurate reproduction method. So while I get why they are avoiding the term "Emulation" to avoid confusion with running a software emulator, saying that the FPGA emulates the original hardware is still accurate.
@ShadJV Correct. Either use your original carts, or your own legally dumped ROMs, which is what I am sure everyone will do =P
@HobbitGamer I think the price tag is simply a result of the insane amount of research and development work needed to replicate the systems in an FPGA implementation, coupled with the relatively small market for such a device.
@ShadJV Actually buying cartridges shouldn't be a big deal, at least on the Genesis side (I can't speak to Master System or SG-1000).
At least in the US (I can't speak for Europe), Genesis games tend to run cheaper than SNES games do (except for, say, MUSHA). Especially if one is fine with buying loose cartridges and isn't worried about having the packaging.
I have commented on here many times about how I prefer original hardware, RGB, and a CRT (I have a PVM but even my ‘portable’ 14” no brand CRT looks great). And I still think this is the best way to play these consoles.
However, my set up is relegated to our second lounge, and because I want to spend most of my time with my wife and daughter in our main lounge with the HD TV, I wasn’t getting to play my retro consoles as often as I’d like. So I went against all my preaching and bought the Analogue Super NT.
I’m so glad I did. It truly is an amazing clone console, and I never realised how good SNES games can look on a 40” HD TV. I still say original hardware and CRT is the best way to play. But being able to spend more time playing these games is just as important too.
I’ll definitely buy this at some point. Hopefully second hand after someone has already imported it. The postage + import duty to the UK is quite a hit.
I presume this will work with the Mega Everdrive X7?
@Hikaru it's possible that they could make it an option with games that have known issues. I don't recall if such things happened in reverse, meaning things that work better on later revisions than earlier. If there are only issues on later revisions, then it makes sense to base this on the model one. Perhaps they'll address this on their page when it comes back up.
@sdelfin I know there's at least one game that had timing issues on a Model 1 (I think it was one of the Earthworm Jim games).
I suppose it's possible both chips could be reproduced in the FPGA and it will know which one to load if an affected game is loaded. I don't really have the experience with that to say for sure, though.
@GravyThief it should support Everdrives. The other ones do. If it doesn't, then their FPGA core would be flawed.
Nice to hear your experience with the Super NT has been so good. It illustrates that the "ideal" setup(console plus CRT) is not always the best in every situation.
Yea basically but thats true of most retro hardware but we have seen data east(i think) put out retro carts recently but it's very rare, mostly the only developers you'll support for retro consoles are homebrew ones for like a pier solar. I'm pretty sure the mega drive is actually still popular in brazil and tec toy even ported street fighter 1 and a bunch of other games for the mega drive but theres no english afaik.
Yes one great thing about this is that you can upgrade the firmware so I'm sure they'll patch anything that slips through the cracks.
@GravyThief I'm in the exact same boat as you, not getting as much time as I would like to play my original consoles on my CRT led me to give Analogue a shot initially, and I've since been hooked. Regarding the Mega Drive, I used both the NT-Mini and my Super-NT with an EverDrive-N8 and SD2SNES respectively with no issues, so I would expect the same here.
I also know that with a firmware update, you could play directly from SD. In the case of the NES NT-Mini, Kevtris stated that it supported more mappers and should actually have higher compatibility than flashcarts. I don't know if the same was true for Super-NT, but I would imagine the compatibility would be great there as well.
@roadrunner343 I don’t have original carts as I never owned any Sega systems.
@roadrunner343: Where you able to order one of these yet?
@Hikaru Buddy who programs these things is very meticulous and will have a solution for those games, potentially a model 2 mode that kicks in for the games that need it.
@Hikaru it’s not about cost here. Whether I buy carts used or went with ROMs, neither action supports the devs. Neither choice gives money to them. If I bought this, after the initial purchase it no longer matters where I get the games from because there is no way to purchase games from them (and, unlike the SNES Classic, it doesn’t come with games). Just seems odd to me, that’s all.
@ShadJV That's where your own "Legally dumped" roms come into play =) That was code for piracy.
@Ryno Still not yet. I've checked every 30 minutes or so and the site's been down. Rotating through a bunch of different HTTP errors, ranging from not found, not authorized, and currently no response.
Hell, it’s about time 😊
@roadrunner343 yeah I got that. It’s just a shame that the only legal way to acquire games from this is buying old used copies (and giving no money to the companies who made them).
Does it support sd cards for playing roms? If yes, I’m interested, if no, let it be for those who can afford spending their hard earned cash on overpriced old cartridges.
Pretty epic looking console. They have alot of talk behind their quality, but you can't deny their track record. Pricey, but you get what you pay for. This is definitely one of those cases.
@sdelfin yeah, I must say it’s much harder to argue the original/RGB/CRT route is the best when the Super NT looks and plays as good as it does. Especially if you didn’t grow up with the consoles back in the day.
I’ll always keep my consoles and CRTs for as long as they function, but I’m glad there’s an acceptable alternative for me now. The only downside is that I don’t see the FGPA route going past the PS1 and N64 era anytime soon, but that’s still plenty to be getting on with!
@Axlroselm If history holds true, the official response will be no roms supported via SD card, followed by an anonymous patch the day after launch that enables it. Both the NT Mini and Super NT can load ROMs from SD. If it's a deal breaker for you, I'd suggest waiting until the device is released just to make sure that this also gets the firmware jailbreak treatment.
@roadrunner343 thanks, I did think it would work but normally I see this mentioned so wasn’t sure.
I would love to get their NES/Famicom Analogue console, but I can’t justify its cost, especially as I don’t hold much nostalgia for the console (I was more Master System / Mega Drive until the SNES). I’m happy with my little AV Famicom at the moment, but I’m always keeping an eye out for the original Analogue ones, if they ever re-release them at a cheaper price.
@GravyThief I don't blame you. I had a bit of spare cash at the time, but if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't buy the NT Mini again simply because it's so expensive and I just don't enjoy the games as much as the SNES library. I don't regret buying it, but life changes and I just wouldn't be willing to drop $400 on an NES anymore. No regrets buying the Super-NT, though, and I'm all over this as soon as I get their store page to load...
Cool! But the pre-order link doesn't work...
@roadrunner343 Useful info. Thanks.
Wasn't much of the SMS and Genesis built with standard off-the-shelf parts (like the CPUs)? So wouldn't they only need to FPGA the custom stuff?
Or are some components not built anymore? I do remember Ben Heck saying one the Z80s in his collection was only from a couple years ago.
@roadrunner343 Thanks, I hadn’t even considered R&D. Makes sense, with it not just being a knock off copy.
Bamm! The one retro box I’ve been waiting for! And CD compatibility! Bring on March 2019!
Also... Supergrafx! Let’s see it!!
@roadrunner343 Okay, hardware emulation. Better than anything officially available otherwise, better than trying to hook up an MD to a modern TV.
@personauser0893 Bwahahahaha... ok dude. Dear lord, that made me laugh...
Managed to order mine before the servers went down. Analogue tweeted that they're getting servers back online asap. Weren't up yet last I checked. Just the notion of being able to play all of the Working Designs Sega CD games and games like Sonic CD and Keio Flying Squadron in HD sealed the deal for me. Add to that Master System games and the other adaptors and it's a no brainer if you have the cash. It's also going to give me the best option to stream Game Gear games!
@GravyThief The FPGA route wouldn't make much sense for >32 bit era consoles, because 3D graphics scale better. You don't want to play Goldeneye in 320x240/20fps these days, you want to have it running at 1080p/4k with 60fps like this:
Would love as have tons MD but especially Master System games. Unfortunately the high shipping, near 40 quid, kinda kills it for me. Registered interest as they have a box on their store for a discount code so we'll see...
@personauser0893 More ignorance. The Dreamcast was a monster; ahead of its time and elegantly designed. Also, one does not beget the other by default. Nintendo has stumbled numerous times with design and is still here. Yours is a simpleton's view of the gaming world.
SEGA would still be king of the hill or king of the hill adjacent had it not been for bad marketing decisions, regional corporate in-fighting and bad management. That all resulted in empty pockets. But everyone knows that. Except you.
@Kalmaro that game was hard. I never beat it either.
So...this guy recreated the sega genesis, master system, and more in an FPGA. That cool, but I have an issue with his statement… “What Analogue is doing is one of a kind – we're bringing totally new products to users, designed completely in-house from scratch. No compromises. No licensing (or stealing) the same software emulators and sticking them on a low-powered Android or Linux box, ad nauseam. And this isn't a criticism towards the actual software emulator authors – the authors are the ones doing the real work – but their work just isn't going to shine on cheap hardware versus a full-powered desktop computer, which even then has its limitations, such as latency."
Well technically you’re recreating another company’s work in your own system, so it’s not new. The implementation is for sure, but not the actual device. For all I know, you could have just looked at how these systems worked, put the exact system in an FPGA minus anything patent locked, added some custom software modules to it, and called it a day. So not really new, just a different paint of skin.
But it’s still legal. Heck, there’s thousands of rip off electronic products on the market like how people copy the Hakko 888D Soldering Iron, rebrand it, and then resell it. If they aren’t infringing on a patent, it’s fully legal; just lazy.
And if it gets more people curious about FPGAs good. It’s very fun to make digital circuits in Quartus using VHDL and then simulate it on my Altera DE1 board (if you’re a student, you get a discount). Most of the software tools are free, it’s just that you have to buy the corresponding hardware to program them like for Altera, Xilinx, or another board.
Why have I never heard of Girl's World and why do I want it so badly? (Along with a modern reboot)
Looking forward to when this "Neo-Retro" trend moves a few more years forward and give us N64, Gamecube, and GBA remakes. I'd love a modern clone GBA with a screen like the AGS 101, but with better speakers, wireless headphone support, and a rechargeable battery that uses a USB-C cable to charge.
I don't see how some old/retro console is supposed to reignite the console wars. This is just NL with another clickbait-y headline...
@Azikira Uhhh, Ohayo?
Their mobile site is still up and running.
Ordered mine this evening. I waited with the SNES Nt and the more time passed, the higher the shipping cost became for some reason. It wound up being 25 bucks for US shipping. At present, this unit ships for 15 or so.
@shani Click-baity? It's clearly just poking fun at the great console war of the 16-bit era, given that Analogue now produces a Genesis and a SNES console. I think it's a given that they don't genuinely think a Sega Genesis is literally going to reignite a massive console war. Analogue's homepage is also a head to head image of the Super NT and the Mega SG with the caption "Console wars are back"... so there's that.
@FlameRunnerFast You say it as if it would be a bad thing, but that's exactly what they did. I've followed Kevin's work for quite a while - before he started doing work with Analogue on the NT. He was in an interview talking about the Super NT and how he built custom hardware to simultaneously run his FPGA chips in parallel with the original chips while analyzing both in order to verify that the FPGA is functioning identically to the original chips. If anyone else were to claim a perfect replication of the original hardware, I'd have my doubts, but Kevin is a wizard.
Interesting fact. Sega CD has no copy protection built in as no one at the time could afford the hardware to burn CDs.
Also interesting fact I found one on the side of the road about 8 years ago with a blown fuse. I got it working but haven’t used it more than 10 minutes because I never got RGB cables for my genesis.
Separately I wonder if they’ll be able to implement 3D support for the Master System games that support it. I have a 3D tv and a few of the games. I also have a Master System and the 3D glasses but I’ve never hooked it up. RGB cables and all that.
Needless to say this thing might be under my tree this Christmas.
Edit: Or rather sometime in April since that’s when pre orders will be shipping apparently.
If people want to buy these things, good for them for providing the product. But I'm completely baffled why somebody would want a $190 that plays genesis carts when you can just buy a genesis for 1/5 the price? And if the answer is "it has HDMI out", well, doesn't that invalidate the whole 100% authentic thing? Not trying to argue against anyone who wants one.... just saying I don't get it.
beautiful.. I just got my Super NT from Analogue. Will definitely order this one.
When did console wars ever leave
Although the design is appealing, it's not worth my money.
@embison As a couple of us had previously mentioned, some definitely would prefer the more authentic experience of playing on a CRT, and I do still play that way whenever I can. Sometimes life gets in the way though, and it's just easier/more convenient to play on a modern TV.
These systems provide an extremely accurate representation of the original hardware, with the modern conveniences of wireless controllers and HDMI out. If you are a 100% purist, then I guess this wouldn't be for you - but there isn't really anything comparatively accurate on the market, HDMI or not. Personally, I do really wish that these systems retained analog out as well, like the original Analogue NT. That way you have the choice of using it on a CRT or an HDTV, and as life circumstances change, swap between the two as needed.
As for simply buying a genesis, that's an option. That will become more difficult as time goes on. CRTs are becoming extremely expensive and difficult to come by. It is also very common for systems of that era to require complete capacitor replacements. You're looking at expensive mods if you want region free, Genesis/MasterDrive/GG. You lose the ability to dump your carts and play from SD (Unofficially). If you plan on using your original console on a modern TV anyway, quality will be much lower than this, or require an expensive upscaler like an OSSC or XRGB Mini, which are expensive and introduce additional latency.
So basically... this is a simple to use, extremely accurate, high quality product with an admittedly niche audience. If you're looking for a comparatively accurate experience, and you don't already have the equipment (CRT, upscaler) or space for a dedicated retro gaming area, this could end up being quite a bit cheaper, more convenient, and produce higher quality image/sound.
Looks like a nice product, and I may well pick up one of the wireless pads to use on my real MD and MCD.
If they come back with a V2 with a build in MCD I could be tempted, as the idea of hooking that tiny little box up to a huge MCD isn't very appealing. It would look pretty absurd.
Ordered one and Super NT! Don't want to dink around with CRT's anymore. Plus, the sound these things produce is outstanding!
$189? Count me out! I have two working SEGA Genesis' anyways. Have fun with this~
I contacted 8bitdo if anyone is interested and the genesis controllers will be available in February, but no specific release day.
Very excited about this. I have a huge Genesis library, and no great way of playing them until now.
I feel like SNES games have been so well represented on Nintendo hardware over the years that I don't have as big a need for the Super NT. But the Genesis has kind of been forgotten outside of a few VC releases, and official compilations have been emulated like trash except for M2's work on the Ages line.
I'd love it if Analogue revisited the NES some day with the lessons they've learned working on these FPGA alternatives.
@Jokerwolf My Amazon order says Feb 28, but not sure if that's a placeholder date or not.
@embison I guess it boils down to having the best of both worlds, hardware that plays the actual cartridge in real time exactly as the original console would but also able to upscale up to 1080p. However your point is particularly valid with the megadrive as the original console has an EXCELLENT RGB out signal anyway.
So then give us 32X compatability in SD as a stopgap solution! It's not like I play these retro systems on anything other than an SD CRT, anyway.
@Azikira I had both to back then i didn't even know there was a console war going on , I was having to much fun playing games !
Just pre-ordered mine. I live in UK but luckily going to friends in Atlanta in May so having it delivered there.
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