While it's certainly true that Nintendo rules the roost as far as dedicated handheld games consoles are concerned, the past few years have given us a host of pocket-sized consoles that rely mainly on emulation to grab your hard-earned cash. Over a decade ago we had the Gamepark GP32, then there was the GP2X, Wiz, Pandora and even the Nvidia Shield handheld, the latter of which is a close relation to Nintendo's Switch.
In more recent times, consoles like the BittBoy and Odroid-Go have offered low-cost emulation packed inside tiny cases, with the latter opening up a high degree of customisation that has made it a popular choice with handheld retro addicts.
Some of the most "interesting" gaming gear comes out of China (as indeed does most of our other consumer technology), so it shouldn't come as a massive shock to learn that even the mighty Odroid-Go has been cloned by a Chinese rival. The RK2020 is that clone, and it offers a D-pad, analogue stick, four face buttons, four shoulder buttons, USB (both Type-C and standard) and MicroSD card support. It's also packing a bright and sharp 3.5 inch 480×320 LCD screen which really shows how far the tech has come – there's no ghosting to speak of and viewing angles are rock-solid.
While it's running on the same basic framework as the recent Odroid-Go Advance, you can flash a new OS image to customise your experience – but out of the box, the machine is capable of playing games for a massive range of systems, including the NES, SNES, Game Boy, GBA, N64, PlayStation, PSP and even the Sega Dreamcast. Performance is generally pretty solid, too; N64 and Dreamcast don't run 100% perfectly but older systems work well enough, and the console's candy bar form-factor means it's comfortable to use for prolonged periods.
While the build quality naturally isn't a match for Nintendo's systems, we quite like the look of the RK2020, and the time we've spent with it has been pretty enjoyable – although, as is the case with many of these systems, you really do need to put the time and effort in to make the most of its features and get it working just how you want, and even when you do all of that, the experience isn't anywhere near as polished as you'd find on a Nintendo or Sony handheld (plus, the topic of emulation is still a sore point for many gamers, which means this machine will be entirely off-limits).
Still, if you fancy taking the plunge, the RK2020 is available now for $65.99.
Thanks to RK Console for supplying the RK2020 used in this piece.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Thu 25th June, 2020.
I don't know man. Isn't it a bit shady you guys promote this stuff? Even with a link towards the respective store?
How come whenever we users discuss Hacking or modding consoles we get in trouble or banned but this site posts articles about the very same thing every other week? It just baffles me.
Mhhhh sounds interesting. Since Nintendo won’t give me a N64 classic, or GB / GBA classic, then I will resort to this thing
You are promoting something that rips IPs?
@Zeldafan79 @Friendly Sharing ROMs is the thing we have issue with; discussing emulation and unique pieces of hardware like this is fine, and always has been.
IMHO, promoting this sh*t is highly unprofessional.
@Max_the_German We cover all elements of gaming, and always have done. We've been looking at the weird and wonderful devices which come out of China for years - fake NES Minis, GBA clones, you name it. It's all part of the video game industry, and you don't have to click the link if you don't want to.
@Damo What are we supposed to do with a device dedicated to emulation without any ROM?
Both are very much linked to each other, so unless you also give us a link to a device that lets us extract our own ROMs, you are strongly suggesting we resort to piracy.
As if nobody on here is gonna see this and think Hmm maybe i should look for some sites to download roms! Might as well provide us with a link to that too while you're at it! Gotta get those clicks on slow news days i guess.
I felt ashamed as Chinese Indonesian people to keep seeing those fake products from China all the time.
It's a stupidity out of control.
@Rhaoulos We've shown off devices which do that already:
We've also covered the topic of ROMs in the past, which isn't anywhere near as clear-cut as people assume:
Nintendo used a ROM it sourced from the internet for its Super Mario Anniversary Collection a few years back, so you could argue this is a topic that is a LONG way from being as black and white as you make out.
Modding have come to stay.. and it will never stop regardless of what anybody will say or not. This device didn't cause harm to anyone compared to what's happening around the world now.
@Damo i support all you have said till now on this very thread.
I'm dying at the prudes in the comments.
It's an emulation device. Chill out. Emulation isn't illegal (and even if it was, don't be a narc).
This looks tight.
@Anti-Matter nothing wrong with creating a hardware that emulates a console so it's not illegal. Software distribution without purchase is unlawful and therefore is illegal.
@gojiguy you really do get it.👍
@Rpg-lover Thanks, I appreciate it. These devices are interesting to me personally, yet I'm someone who has spent countless thousands on games over the past 30 years. If I'm a pirate for being interested in this, then I'm a pirate who has poured cash back into the industry!
@Damo exactly. Wish more people will try to understand your point of views than rushing into conclusions.
WTH!? I thought I entered nintendolife, not obscurehandhelds.
I'd gladly pay for some official hardware, or something from a third party like that high end metal case gameboy clone - but meanwhile this is fine too!
@Bl4ckb100d That's a great site, I go there a lot
@Scollurio I wish Nintendo would release something like this packed with GBA / GB games. Fingers crossed!
Portable PC's, like the GPD Win Max are going to be even better for portable emulation, since they'll be able to emulate Wii U, Switch, PS3 and below.
I follow and love this kind of device.
The RK2020 had decent review overall. Mostly due to its power and what it can emulate.
In terms of popularity, firmware modding scene and build quality, the RG350 and RG350M are pretty much leaders.
I personally have a New PocketGo v2 (yeah, New + v2, weird, but that's a new revision of the New PocketGo) and it supports the RG350 firmware, but is a bit cheaper (and was easier to get, via Amazon Prime).
I love it! I can play games (I own) on a handheld that fits in my pocket. A LOT more useful than plugging my SNES to play Chrono Trigger (that, I repeat, I own).
The build quality looks a bit chunky to me.
As for roms / emulation. I have no objection to defunct hardware being emulated. Heck there are some wonderful home brew scenes that aren't hurting anyone.
Grabbing a rom of a genuinely lost game is case of no harm, no foul to me. Anything that is still relevant today (and let's face it, that's most of Nintendo's output because it's so industry leading) should be met with contempt and called for what it is. Piracy.
Sure, we all want free games. I'm not unique. When I hit a certain age and started earning my own money, I drooled at being able to own every game I couldn't afford as a kid. But unfortunately, Capitalism isn't some long term scheme where we pay enough in and we get rewarded. A console that can play everything is mighty! But wanting it all for free is nothing but entitled nonsense, regardless of whatever self delusional notions of preservation anyone has.
(No hate. So if you love this thing, fill ya boots! I don't get paid to prevent anyone losing money etc lol!)
The plastic sure looks cheap. If you press a button, you are probably squeezing half of the handheld at the same time.
NintendoLife the site that promotes roms & hacking! Good stuff!
@nkarafo they're not promoting any hacking and distribution of softwares illegally. From what i am seeing nothing of that nature have been done.
Looks a bit on the cheap side. Would be nice to have a device loaded with ROMs tho. I've got no issue with downloading free games that are no longer sold anywhere. Even then, if I actually like the game my obsessive nature usually makes me spend money on the real deal. No harm done imo.
Dreamcast, psp ans n64 for that price? No way that that’s good, or even near okay-ish.
@Damo I have used my fair share of emulation in the past, either because games weren't available in europe, or simply because I was broke like most students and I don't feel bad about it, now I buy all the remastered version of games I loved.
I just find it very hypocritical to censor anything on ROMs in the comment as other mentioned when you post articles like this.
I played my old games GBA, NDS and PSP with actual machines and actual cartridge / UMD.
I have vowed to my oath I will not play with pirated games & jailbroken machines anymore after i have experienced with my first Original gaming from 3DS.
I do like the look of it.
I get that you guys want to talk about this and is ok. I think is perfectly fine to talk about this type of hardwares and what they are capable and their origins and stuff, but when you start offering people where they can go to buy it along with the price, that's stepping a boundary! You should not be promoting sales of this in your website, is unprofessional and immoral and makes Nintendo Life look really bad... please take this into consideration as to not provide a link to where consumers can buy the items, it makes you look no different than the pirates themselves!
Why Nintendo won't release handhelds that take the old carts makes no sense to me. Those old carts already exist, collectors are a thing and rereleasing the carts would be very lucrative.
It would be simple to sell it with a 3 in 1 cart to start and go from there.
@Damo I see, but what use does the machine have without ROM's?
However, you're not affiliated with Nintendo, so I understand it's 100% your own choice. I'm not trying to frame you guys or anything.
It's funny to see this being posted today, as I just ordered a RG350M, which isn't quite as powerful as this, but has a far superior build quality, with two analog sticks and a metal shell.
Can't wait to try it out soon.
Dreamcast emulation would be super sweet, but even my GPD Win 2 had issues emulating more demanding games like Shenmue, so I'm sticking to older stuff for now.
@Damo Well, I didn't know you guys did this too! Could you please find a way to cover the RG350M too please? That thing, according to Wulffden, is apparantly very good:
@Rebusmind Dude, you were just a second ahead of me!
@Friendly I find it a bit strange that the RG350M wasn't even mentioned in the article, as it's leading most top lists of emulation handhelds right now.
I'd LOVE to have a portable Dreamcast, but not this thing.
I wish Nintendo themselves came out with a retro handheld like this that you could download old games or even buy carts for...
This device is used for one thing and one thing only. Thanks for promoting the stealing of money from the companies we all love and have spent our lives supporting.
@Friendly if you're interested in such devices, you can slo check out Taki Udon, ETA Prime and Retro Dodo on YouTube, they cover a LOT of those
@GrailUK i don't think it could be summed up any better than how you have there really.
A hacked Switch is far better at this, I am going to just buy another Switch and hack my OG one as it is a RCM model so it can be hacked regardless of firmware and I will use my new one for all my legit Nintendo doings/online and such. I was going to wait for the Analogue Pocket but that thing won't be out for a few years now likely due to the Pandemic.
Also, as other reviews mention, the RK2020 currently comes with no firmware after some legal dispute with the owners of the firmware they stole, so keep that in mind.
Really annoys me that the Switch could do everything this handheld does, except Nintendo just don't want to get their finger out and get on with it. Switch is capable of emulating more than NES/SNES. Come on, where's GBA emulation, N64 emulation, a VC shop. Millions of users waiting to literally throw money at Nintendo and they've not got much to show us after 3 years.
@jipiboily Love ETA Prime primes videos, given me so many good ideas.
@Yas Don't expect VC to ever happen again, Capcom, Konami, Square ENIX and many others rather make more money doing compilations, nets far more money than single VC releases.
People seem to forget that Nintendolife is not an official Nintendo news outlet. They can cover, and say what they like and you have choice as to whether you visit their site.
I emulate - but I don't steal - yes it's a grey area, but if, like I do, you find a way to pay for everything you play I don't see the problem. Playing games you don't pay for, I personally I'm not ok with.
Honestly, may be better to promote the OGA instead of this POS. This device not only uses the same OS as the OGA but it also steals the Rockchip processor (this device is pretty much an OGA which has been cut down and removed six of the buttons). You also build the OGA yourself and can dye the shell whatever color you want. The OGA is also heavily supported by its own community where is this is seen as a device no one wants to support within the OGA community
@Rhaoulos It's because it's illegal to share roms, but it's not illegal to talk about emulation options. It's not hypocritical - it's common sense.
@Grocery-bag I mostly agree with you.
This is pretty much a clone of the OGA, with shoulder buttons added (and maybe a couple more things, can't recall).
One issue with that, and 2 issue with the OGA.
RK2020 issue: it depends on the OGA firmware/OS development. The OGA team could possibly just block the RK2020 devices, in some ways. Will they do it? I would bet that no, but it's not impossible as the time behind the RK2020 just builds hardware, not software, from my understanding.
Issues with OGA:
My 2 cents
16:9 screen for retro games. 🙈👎🏻 I wouldn't even take it for free.
@Damo I'd love a simple, modern Gameboy. Sharp, bright LCD or even OLED screen and maybe switchable shells, transluscent, metal, etc... I'd be all over it. Recently, as live gets louder and faster, I've been falling back on the simple joy of playing 4-greyscale games from the Gameboy - and loving it!
Looks awesome! Can Nintendo Life do a feature on where we can download roms for devices like these? Maybe you guys could do side-by-side feature against the emulated consoles?
@Friendly they need something to pay their college tuition
@Damo just reading the amount of times you've replied you must be pissed kid
@mesome713 yeah its dumb for a website to promote this but when Nintendo isnt selling their old games I'm not buying them used
We have a dedicated RK 2020 group if anyone is interested.
@spirit_flame that’s not going to happen.
Emulation is the way of the future. When you stream a game onto your console that isn't powerful enough to play it, you're essentially emulating it through your console's software. Even the big 3 know this and are transitioning away from console development since closed platforms are more limiting than having access to all your game library from one device.
My LG V20 is a phone you can get on ebay for $100 and it can run NES, GB/GBA, SNES, N64, DS, Atari 2600, PCE. MSX 1+2, Neo Geo Pocket, MAME, PSX, SMS, GG, MD, SEGA CD, Dreamcast and OpenBOR all at near 100% accuracy. I myself still prefer to game on my homebrewed Wii, but it's nice to have almost all my games on the go right now
Also, if you have a problem with roms and emulation, it's probably because you're too dumb to find a good rom site or have no clue how to use IPS patches. If you don't want to emulate that's fine, more Zelda and SMW hacks for us!
@mesome713 Actually emulation is LEGAL
So get off your high horse
@Papichulo I'm sure many of these people would rather we just keep buying the same games over and over again, most of which would have to buy 2nd hand off an ebay seller
It's like my copies of crash trilogy, crash bash and CTR for PS got stolen about 6 years ago.. Nowadays I just emulate those games or play the remakes, does this mean I'm "stealing money" from sony and naughty dog? because my parents bought those games for me back in the 90s and their money went straight to sony and naughty dog at the time.. And buying all those games 2nd hand off ebay isn't exactly cheap
It's because of people like that though that companies like Rockstar will try to sell GTAV to people a THIRD time lmao
If I can play GBA games on it, I may be up for it. Since Nintendo refuses to legally sell me them on 3DS or Switch
@Doktor-Mandrake Actually it's not. Go ask Disney if you can legally emulate their movies. Es ask NFL if you can legally emulate their football games. You cant
@mesome713 You can't "emulate" movies, or american football
This really does show your lack of understanding in this area
@mesome713 Emulating a piece of hardware is perfectly legal. Movies and sports broadcasts do not constitute hardware.
@Grocery-bag sounds like it was a paid advertisement 😉
@Mando44646 have you considered CFW for 3DS? That’s how I play my GBA.
Game emulation is completely legal. As an example, many LucasArts games that are sold by Steam and other platforms run emulated through SCUMMVM.
@rjc-32 Copyright laws states any unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. So therefore, unless Nintendo gives you permission, it's illegal.
We never should have just handed them such useful knowledge and skills. All they did was use it to make the world worse.
A 320p screen to play 240p games ?
No thanks. That's just dumb : games won't look nice.
@mesome713 Copyright laws apply to software, not hardware. It is perfectly legal to produce a piece of hardware with an FPGA that performs the same task as another piece of hardware. Please do your research, if your facts were true then Analogue would not me able to sell the NT, Mega SG etc.
@rjc-32 No one said anything about hardware. You own it, you do what you want. But you don’t legally own the game. Your leasing it. Unless the company says you can reproduce the content, it’s illegal.
And this device has one purpose, to play illegally reproduced content.
@mesome713 Even the NES and SNES are just emulation machines that come with preloaded ROMs.
Also, if you want to bring examples from another types of media, then I will too: It's totally legal to burn a music CD on your computer and play it from your hard drive or your iPod without the need of using the original physical media in which it was sold.
The problem isn't the emulation per se, but the source of the ROM files.
@PickledKong64 I wrote the original piece, and whenever anyone tags me I get a notification. I'm also the editor of the site - why would I not reply?
@mesome713 Well you stated emulation is illegal, which it isn’t. The only thing that is illegal is the possession of copyrighted material such as game images or BIOS files. Hardware and software emulation solutions are fully legal, provided no illegal BIOS files are involved. In addition to this the device could be used to play homebrew software that is legally open source, so the device does not have “one purpose” as you state. Illegal roms are one function it performs, yes, but not the only function.
@rjc-32 It was promoted as an illegal device. It stated it can play NES, SNES, etc. which is illegal and not authorized by Nintendo.
@Rhaoulos I read the article and didn't feel like it strongly suggested I share ROMs or go try to get ROMs. I'm left wondering what you read.
@mesome713 It doesn’t matter how the company promotes it, no illegal software files are included so the device is perfectly legal. The only way for the device to be illegal is if BIOS files for the systems it emulates are present.
@mesome713 I happen to love emulating NFL games! I didn't know I was breaking the law...
Thank you for sharing. This is very affordable, and a good way to help clear out my backlog. I finally finished all three DKC games on a device similar to this, but it was way too big to lug around.
Also, get off your high horses, people. Sega is not still making money off dreamcast games, Nintendo doesn't make money off N64 carts. Video game preservation is on the line.
I really don't understand everyone getting bent out of shape about this. Nintendo has one of the most incredible collections of IP in the industry, and yet they are so behind the times that a vast majority of these masterpieces can't be enjoyed by newer generations. Never mind the difficulty for some of these games to be found physically, there are so many games from the era of cartridges that are nearly impossible to find for less than $100. Three years into the switch's life span and not only are we missing N64 games, but there are so many SNES games that are still missing from the service. We are not actively taking any money from Nintendo for using this device for a number of games. Nintendo isn't losing any money on games they are not providing a modern release for. Getting bent out of shape about this is downright silly. The more access that the layman has to these incredible games, the more Nintendo's current IP can flourish and be passed down for generations to come.
@60frames-please you aren't
@PickledKong64 Yeah, it was just a poor attempt at humor. Emulating NFL games might become something real though if Covid 19 keeps having the path cleared for it to spread.
@bluemage1989 Just being honest.
Crap 64 and Dreamcast compatibility. Save your money.
@AshenLion Have you tried the ReDream emulator on Android? It's incredible and plays every DC game and homebrew I've thrown at it full speed. Also try M64 Plus FZ for Nintendo 64 games. Just make sure you're using an 8bitdo controller with twin thumb sticks
@Bl4ckb100d Obscurehandhelds should be a real news site.
I have this device a few weeks now and it’s an amazing fun device. And yea I do own all the devices it’s emulates including DS, GBA and Dreamcast. Was pleasantly surprised it also has support for Amiga CD32 and Wonderswan Color. Both are fun devices
Amazing device and the portability is excellent. I have my whole library minus 3ds, Vita and Switch on this device <3
@mesome713 homebrew is possible and selfmade cartridges are also allowed. Companies can also make legal nes and snes clones. Rights are lost after 20 years.
Nothing illegal here.
@mesome713 are you saying that eBay your game copy is illegal because it’s not yours?
Copying of owned software is allowed in the country I live in. But only for personal use. Guess what this is...
@smashboy2000 they fixed that with borders. Also you can decide via menus how you want to display games. For GBA it is excellent because of the double resolution by example.
Almost everybody here are so excited with a device which can play old games with ROMs that possibly illegal from internet. 🤔
Meanwhile, i still keep my oath to not playing with pirated games and jailbroken machines anymore. Not even got temptated to try those shady made in China products whatsoever no matter how temptating their features. 😇
I'm not sure why everyone is up in arms about emulation... what problems does it actually cause? Are Nintendo or sega going broke because of it? Are the devs that made those games struggling to feed their families and dying on the street? Is it because it's "illegal?" Or they're profiting off of something they didn't make? Serious question. I don't get the logic behind the hate. Roms and emulators aren't exactly a societal ailment.
For me, playing with actual machines and original cartridge or disc is about honesty.
@Anti-Matter You should make an oath that you will learn how to write and read properly in English. This might help you understand how copyrights work in the U.S.
I am from Indonesia.
English is not my mother tongue.
Pardon of my awful English.
Btw, I have found my excitement by keep playing with original games and actual machines to play.
I will keep maintaining this good habit. 😇
I ordered mine about 3 months ago...I know the pandemic slowed things down but daaaaamn, still hasnt shown up. Or maybe the mailman is secretly a pirate
“ Nintendo used a ROM it sourced from the internet for its Super Mario Anniversary Collection a few years back, so you could argue this is a topic that is a LONG way from being as black and white as you make out.
That has since been debunked I believe
@Friendly Not at all shady. They are promoting a device. What you do with that device is up to you. You can play emulators on almost any console, PC, and Mac. Including the Switch. Should they shut down the site because you can play pirated games on the Switch, while we are at it? Should we not sell PCs because they can emulate? Not exactly a good moral high ground to stand on, man!
@Anti-Matter Most people that force themselves to be honest in one realm are also dishonest in others. Better to just accept the fact that human nature is both great and weird at the same time.
@Anti-Matter I mean, can you keep your oath in silence? You’re not impressing anybody on here, and it’s better to lead by example if you truly believe that.
I have an rg350m and play it more than my switch....
If I could get a switch with aluminum casing and had full backwards compatibility all the way up to gba I wouldn't have to
I did it by naturally.
I have no longer interest with pirated games and jailbroken machines anymore after i played my first Original 3DS games and machine.
I will not return to my old habit (playing with pirated games and jailbroken machines in the past) because i found playing with actual machines was more interesting.
@Anti-Matter Thats great, I’m just saying, good for you. No need to jump on every article that contains piracy related debates.
@Anti-Matter Jailbroken machines can significantly enhance the experience of your legitimately owned games though. Take the PS2 as an example; I can rip all of my legally owned games to an internal HDD, add patches to enable true 16:9 support to most of them, and output to my TV using a Framemeister. On the 3DS I can use homebrew software to remap the buttons to get around some of the awful control schemes Nintendo forces upon players, with no way to change in-game, all whilst using original game cards. I understand your beliefs on not playing pirated games, I also ensure I own either a physical or digital copy of any game I choose to play. But I don't understand why someone would feel bad about playing a legit owned game on a modded system.
Emulation also allowed people to play Super Smash Bros. Melee online with a proper rollback netcode, so...
I love the fierce spirit that people want to defended the game industry from illegal ROMs. I hope they fight the real injustices and crimes with the same passion......
No I thought not.
Morale pomposity at its finest.
I’ve bought some games 15 times many times the route to get access taken away. That’s fine though right??? As long as I don’t get a rom Of a game I’ve spent over £200 in the past that would be morale corrupt of me.
The privilege that some of you have is shocking that this is something you feel strongly about.
I can post some topics that will blow your mind if you think using a 30 year old non commercial available ROMs is bad.... you’ll need a seat and a drink coz some of this stuff is like really bad..
@Agriculture China has an odd copyright system. That requires you to file for it and actively complain about infringement.
It's actually fairly well regarded but likely Nintendo and Sega haven't bothered complaining on games they haven't released in the territory.
@Stocksy so post.
@Rhaoulos that line of reasoning is faulty and you know it.
@malcire Yeah, but it's still strange how the censors seem to ignore pirated games. Even if Nintendo aren't complaining about infringement, the government censors should be interesting in censoring the games on pirated systems as much as on legit systems.
@malcire you really need me to list things That go on in the world that might be Slightly worse than using 20 year old ROMs of games you’ve already bought????
Wow you have led a sheltered life.
How do the d-pad and buttons feel and play? They look kind of dodgy from the photos. Are they suitable for a prolonged session of a Mario-style platformer. That’s always the test for me.
@Zeldafan79 Yo ho ho.
These Chinese handheld consoles sucks. I used to have one, they are all cheaply made, mine broke down after just over six months of normal usage. Ya it’s fun to play many retro games on it, but I prefer to spend more money and buy a switch. My switch still works perfectly fine after heavy usage for two years.
I believe it's wrong to advertise pirated games on nintendo life. But everyone's standards seem to be pretty low these days.
Yay! Another Piracy box! These are a dime a dozen! And worthless without piracy!
Thanks NL! Thanks for encouraging us to break the law!
Ashamed to admit that looks amazing if delivers as supposed to. 😳
some of you guys need to take it easy. its not illegal to talk about it as a subject so relax
Im ashamed of you ninteolife, rk2020 took the schematics from the real device, the odroid go advance, and took the emu elec image from shanti with no permission, and THAT is the device you advertise over the odroid go advance?!?!?! SHAME
@DarkLloyd lets talk about how the rk2020 stole their schematics AND OS from the odroid go advance, and this unit is nothing but a cheap Chinese clone of the Korean made OGA?
@Damo why dude... why
Won't pass mustard. The Courts will kill it from getting outside of China. Theft of IP isn't looking good for China.
I use emulation all the time on my Raspberry Pi and PS Vita and still buy original games. Don’t know why people stress out so much.
If it wasn’t for emulation hundreds of games would fall into total oblivion.
Not everyone can afford retro gaming since it’s hugely overpriced by collectors and scalpers.
@SwitchForce No IP has been infringed
Matt Thorson, creator of Celeste and Towerfall, released his 4-day developed gamejam prototype of Celeste a while back. It's an 8-bit platformer about a girl climbing a mountain available for free on the Pico 8 (an imaginary console with severe limitations designed to challenge programmers to be creative), with 30 levels that can be completed in about 30 minutes. Fans then ported the prototype to the GBA as a homebrew rom, and it became one of my favorite GBA games of all time.
The best way to play it is a flashcart on a GBA micro or Chinese console like this, but if you want to play his prototype free on PC (30 more levels of Celeste!), here's the link to Matt Makes Games' post:
As well as the community's homebrew port, with Matt Thorson's blessing on twitter:
The 8-bit prototype was also included as a hidden easter egg in the Switch version of Celeste. You can unlock it following IGN's guide here:
@mesome713 You are defending a corporation using a court case FROM 1982 (far detached from modern society) to better serve its own interests.
Nintendo's claims about ROM backups being unneeded and unnecessary are based on 1982 precedent, when they were looking at Atari cartridges that no "failable" parts (though I hear it was common then to use EEPROMs, which had a reported 20-year lifespan and it was probably then considered "who's going to want to play these games in 20 years anyways, good enough!")
But you know, even 1987 games had battery backup, a failable part. Failable media being THE VERY REASON FOR the "one backup rule" on floppies. Will Nintendo replace the battery in my Legend of Zelda cart when it fails? No, they will not. "But they still sell it digitally."
"But the cart still works, you just can't save." Well, if it can't save, then the game is not functional as it was intended.
What about my Famicom Indra no Hikari cart (the other 1987 BB cart I can think of I own)? If the battery dies, can I mail that to Kemco in Japan to fix it? No. Is it available on other platforms? No.
Then yes I do have a right to copy it for personal use, because it is software I legitimately paid for (by purchasing a genuine used copy). I do not have a right to give or sell the copy to others.
It is the same principal as ripping audio CDs to digital formats, something that has been ruled legal for decades. (you're allowed to listen to the copied audio files, as long as you still own the CD.)
Some would say it's the exact reason they didn't want to risk court hearing when they shut down the ROM websites (because even if the websites distribution is illegal, Nintendo would no doubt be told to get their scare claims about ROM usage up to date.)
There are plenty of legal ROMs you can play on this you dont have to use illegal ones. Thinking that's all its for is your own false projection. Nothing wrong with showing this device.
@rjc-32 I mean the chip an NES runs is IP, the bios it runs is IP. I’m sure they contacted nintendo, got approval, bought a license for all of this including the use of the name. We all know they didn’t. this is your standard IP theft China is constantly in the news about lately.
@Damo Nintendo sourcing a rom from the internet, why is this even relevant? They own the IP, they can source it from wherever they want.
@tekknik If all of the ROM sites are closed down, where do they source that ROM from in 10, 20, 30 years?
@Damo Their internal cold storage that costs a substantial amount more time and money to retrieve data from than the internet.
@tekknik The system runs using an ARM Cortex CPU. The emulator that is included is entirely software based with no BIOS included. It is perfectly legal to emulate hardware, either in software or using FPGA hardware solutions. No ifs, no buts, perfectly legal. Sony lost a lawsuit against BLEEM back in the 90's. There are many FPGA solutions available on sale today (Analogue NT, Mega SG etc), again perfectly legal. Emulation is legal, the only thing that is illegal is running copyrighted roms. Many people fail to understand that the emulation process is emulating the hardware itself, not the games. The rom files are exactly the same data as are stored on cartridges used in original systems.
@Max_the_German @Heavyarms55 Just curious. I own almost every system that has ever been released. I have purchased literally thousands of games. If I obtain (or make) a duplicate of some games that I have purchased to play all on one (this) device and not to resell or any other reason, I’m curious as to why that is a problem and why it would be unprofessional to offer these options. I understand this is not the only thing that can happen, but given this is one option, I’d really like to know how letting us know about it, is not ok.
With piss poor emulation? Sign me up!
@tekknik A lot of these companies don't retain source code for old games - check out The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers and the vital work done by the Video Game History Foundation for proof of this.
@rjc-32 the CPU and the layout of a chip is IP and no arm processor was used in the NES. and the BIOS is software written by nintendo/sony/sega and is also IP and forms an interface layer with the hardware. none of this is open. and if you think emulation is legal then write an x86 emulator and sell it without giving intel money and see how quickly you get a phone call.
@tekknik I'm referring to the ARM processor that is within the Chinese handheld. Well if you can create emulation solutions, be it hardware or software based, that don't infringe on any patents you will be breaking no laws. Specific design elements/engineered layouts may be patented, but you can't patent the ultimate goal. If someone creates an alternate method of achieving said goal that in no way infringes on the patents you hold then it is fair game.
I'm fully aware of what a BIOS file is. The software emulators for NES/SNES etc that run on the Chinese device don't contain BIOS files, they run using entirely different methods but ultimately serve the same purpose; the ability to run applications coded for the respective game console.
Please refer back to the legal case Sony filed against the creators of the Bleem software back in the 90's. Also you can look back to IBM, their methods were also reverse engineered to allow clones of their original PC to be created, again no copyright or patent infringements were committed so the clones could be freely produced.
@rjc-32 it doesn’t matter what processor they are running in the chinese clone. what matter is the instruction set, which is IP. if you take this instruction set and implement it without permission you are stealing it. who cares what architecture the emulator is running on?
The BIOS is code just like game code. IFF you’ve reverse engineered a BIOS then you may have some legal standing here, Oracle just tested the signature of a function being copyrighted and have so far failed but if you use a real BIOS the yes IP infringement. This is why sony spent so much effort in getting PSX BIOS taken offline in the 90s as well.
For your homework read up on AMD licensing x86 from intel and intel licensing from AMD and specifically why neither one of them can just take the instruction set and implement it.
@tekknik But Sony lost the court case, it was ruled in favour of fair use.
The Chinese clone will be running some kind of emulator for each supported console, provided no BIOS is infringed they will be perfectly legal methods of emulation. The other elephant in the room however is whether or not they have the rights to sell the emulation software itself, something Retron caused controversy with when selling their clones.
Yes I’m aware of AMD and Intel with x86/x64, however what if either company had the resources, both technically and financially, to reverse engineer the competitor’s instruction set, then subsequently pull the plug on the licensing of their own? Obviously the feat is next to impossible for either company, but let’s say one company achieved this, from a legal perspective who would be argued in favour of?
Also, how can companies such as Analogue engineer and distribute FPGA solutions for Genesis/SNES in a legal manner?
Well guys, enjoy that cease and desist from Nintendo.
@rjc-32 You'll note in that case that Connectix used the BIOS to develop an emulator, they did not release the BIOS. So they reverse engineered it and did not use the copy protected version. This is not the same as using the BIOS directly and I stated that if a company is doing this, it's a scumbag move, but legal.
In the case of both AMD and Intel they publish the instruction set , and both AMD and Intel implement each others. So there is no reverse engineering here so this point is not valid. The transistor layout and instruction set are not the same if that's what you're inferring. Either way, both are still IP.
Because the patents are expired. When you invent something you have 2 options, patent or not. If you don't want to patent it you don't have to publish the specs and then you just need to keep it secret, aka trade secrets. OR you apply for a patent and get 20 years of protection at the expense of publish your specifications. This does not make it right to steal someones work after the patent expired. How you damage them is in future sales. You notice the retro consoles coming out now? Why would you buy one when you can buy someone else's console that has more games? They also didn't pay the initial R&D costs or have anything to do with the development of these consoles. What they did is just connected a tracer and traced a circuit, slapped that into an FGPA, and sold it.
@tekknik I never said any reverse engineering was going on, I was merely offering a hypothetical scenario
Emulation isn't illegal if you dump ROMs yourself, as, instead of the software being emulated, it's the hardware that's emulated, which is why Nintendo cannot crack down on FCEU, a popular piece of NES emulation software
@Stocksy Neah. Just ones that would blow my mind.
Personally I like seeing new kit, I know Roms etc is an emotional subject for some but surely we all enjoy gaming news and if you don’t wanna support the product just don’t buy it..
@jipiboily both points are correct. I built a few of them, it isn’t extremely difficult but it is definitely a fragile build
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