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Thread: The Supaboy - New SNES handheld from Hyperkin

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    That's correct, but it doesn't usually matter. That's why I simply told Coreykun667 to keep trying and he should have no problem getting DKC2 to work on the clone.

    EarthBound is a special case. In addition to its anti-copy device measures, it also checks for the SNES CIC lockout chip. Since Nintendo still holds the design patients for that, clones can't include it in their system designs, which means that EarthBound will NEVER be work correctly on clones.

    The game rom has been hacked to remove the anti-piracy measures, so yes, you can use the powerpak or some other flash cart to play it correctly on a clone using that, but not the original cart.
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    As far as I know, EarthBound only checks the cart to make sure it has the right amount of SRAM. Bootleg carts and cart copiers add more, so the game throws up an anti-piracy screen. Then the game checks to see if the SRAM check was removed. If so, then it spawns more enemies. Earthbound does check to see if you're playing on a PAL system, but the result of that check is just another anti-piracy screen. In order to get more spawned enemies and the final boss crash, you would have had to see checks #1 and #2, which are just anti-piracy screens, and then purposefully remove those, triggering checks #3 and #4.

    You might just be seeing a higher amount of enemies than you have on your previous playthroughs and mistaking that for 4x enemy spawn. The best way to check is see if Spiteful Crows are spawning outside the Onett Arcade after defeating Frank and his robot. If they are, then yeah you're screwed. But if not, you're safe and you're just being paranoid.
    Last edited by JSnake; 01-17-2012 at 01:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnake View Post
    As far as I know, EarthBound only checks the cart to make sure it has the right amount of SRAM. Bootleg carts and cart copiers add more, so the game throws up an anti-piracy screen. Then the game checks to see if the SRAM check was removed. If so, then it spawns more enemies. Earthbound does check to see if you're playing on a PAL system, but the result of that check is just another anti-piracy screen. In order to get more spawned enemies and the final boss crash, you would have had to see checks #1 and #2, which are just anti-piracy screens, and then purposefully remove those, triggering checks #3 and #4.

    You might just be seeing a higher amount of enemies than you have on your previous playthroughs and mistaking that for 4x enemy spawn. The best way to check is see if Spiteful Crows are spawning outside the Onett Arcade after defeating Frank and his robot. If they are, then yeah you're screwed. But if not, you're safe and you're just being paranoid.
    who knows when my supaboy is coming back - hyperkin doesn't even have any in stock right now (though they had 'em at their booth at CES....grrr) - but my Pokefami DX is arriving in a few days (it arrived in Los Angeles yesterday, but I'm in the Bay Area) - as soon as I get it, I'll run up to the last boss fight and see if my save gets erased. No biggie.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) theMot's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Satoshi_Matrix;

    In the case of EarthBound, Nintendo was heavily promoting the game, and since Final Fantasy II and III were common targets of copying devices, they wanted to ensure EarthBound wouldn't be in the similar position. So rather than refusing to boot, EarthBound would place 2-4x more enemies in EVERY AREA making the game no fun to play, and if you did manage to get your way through the whole game, you'd have your game save erased by the final boss. Nintendo: the original trollface.[/QUOTE]

    !

    I have been following all things SNES for 20 years and never knew this. Thanks for that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nusilver View Post
    who knows when my supaboy is coming back - hyperkin doesn't even have any in stock right now (though they had 'em at their booth at CES....grrr) - but my Pokefami DX is arriving in a few days (it arrived in Los Angeles yesterday, but I'm in the Bay Area) - as soon as I get it, I'll run up to the last boss fight and see if my save gets erased. No biggie.
    be careful, I'm fairly sure it erases ALL sram, meaning you'll loose ALL your saves. make sure you're prepared for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    be careful, I'm fairly sure it erases ALL sram, meaning you'll loose ALL your saves. make sure you're prepared for that.
    I'm prepared. Gives me another reason to play through it next time

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    Well, after not being able to contact hyperkin, the amazon reseller told me I can return the supaboy to them for a refund.

    Hopefully the poor manufacturing will get sorted out and I'll be able to purchase another one.

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    To anyone interested IGN just posted a review of the machine this morning and gave it pretty lackluster reviews.

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/01/...ble-nes-review
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genesaturn View Post
    To anyone interested IGN just posted a review of the machine this morning and gave it pretty lackluster reviews.

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/01/...ble-nes-review

    I'm as big a SNES fan as the next guy, but am I the only SNES fanatic who doesn't give a care about the Supaboy?

    Don't get me wrong, more power to ya if you went out and bought one and you enjoy it. But I don't have a burning desire to play SNES games on a small screen on the go. Give me a comfortable chair, the classic controller and the old fashioned TV screen any day of the week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    EarthBound is a special case. In addition to its anti-copy device measures, it also checks for the SNES CIC lockout chip. Since Nintendo still holds the design patients for that, clones can't include it in their system designs, which means that EarthBound will NEVER be work correctly on clones.
    I thought patents expired after 15 or so years? Why is this lockout chip still covered by patent laws while the rest of the system architecture is in the public domain?

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    Without going into too much technical detail, its because the lockout is in the software and the hardware as a sort of lock and key. Since only the hardware patients expire after twenty years, the SNES CIC lockout is still under patient by Nintendo. The same is true of the N64, so it'll be interesting to see how N64 clones end addressing this issue in the coming years - because you just know there WILL be clones.
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    IGN sucks donkey balls

    Did they fix the D-pad for shooters??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Without going into too much technical detail, its because the lockout is in the software and the hardware as a sort of lock and key. Since only the hardware patients expire after twenty years, the SNES CIC lockout is still under patient by Nintendo. The same is true of the N64, so it'll be interesting to see how N64 clones end addressing this issue in the coming years - because you just know there WILL be clones.
    I believe it's 15 years for patents, not 20.

    If we're talking about code here, it's covered by copyrights, not patents. And copyrights are all but indefinite these days (For all intents and purposes). So you're saying the lockout chip has some code attached to it to function, which is why it's left off (It doesn't matter what's programmed into the cartridge that interacts with it, you can replicate the lockout chip and distribute it as long as it's just hardware and the copyrighted code that functions with it resides on the game cartridge)?

    The fact that systems like the PSOne and N64 had embedded code necessary for the system to function is going to prevent legal clones ever appearing, I suspect. You can do something like freely create a N64 emulator these days, but you can't legally distribute the system bios necessary for it to function. That's going to remain protected by copyright laws for many years to come.

    Unless they're able to legally reverse engineer it and program something that does the same things without infringing on any copyrighted code, we're never going to see legitimate clones appear for later systems (Especially more recent consoles that have full fledged operating systems).
    Last edited by Leo_A; 01-22-2012 at 01:01 AM.

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    Pokefami DX is out for delivery today! Supaboy is nowhere to be found...Hyperkin has had it for three weeks, and I've stopped expecting emails from them to let me know when the situation updates. I'm hoping to get some videos of the Pokefami DX up tonight, but unfortunately since I don't have my Supaboy with me, I can't post photo comparisons, which I think might show the difference in screen quality a bit more. Either way, I'm excited to finally get ahold of this thing.

    Should I post links to my Pokefami DX coverage here, or make a new thread? I feel like there should be one megathread comparing the three portable SNES clones....I guess that would be more appropriate once the RDP comes out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarioMania View Post
    IGN sucks donkey balls
    I am going to have to agree with you. I love their video coverage, and enjoy some of their podcasts in a buttered popcorn kind of way, but their writing is almost universally horrible, particularly when they try to editorialize. I don't think it's necessarily (most of) the writers' faults, though...IGN is a huge commercial operation that serves a million masters. I'm surprised 1UP hasn't become horrible since the acquisition.

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    Default Pokefami DX is here!!!

    As the title says, my Pokefami DX arrived! A few points I know many of you are wondering about:

    -first impressions are everything and this thing feels much, much better in the hands than the Supaboy. It's smaller, thinner, and lighter. the buttons, though not matching the exact spacing of a real SNES controller, are perfectly spaced, and though the d-pad looks wonky, I was able to pull of signature moves in SFII Turbo without much effort. It feels more like....well, between the two, I prefer this.
    -The screen appears softer than Hyperkin's unit, but the colors are nicer, the image is brighter at max brightness, and the overall effect is a smoother picture than the Supaboy. Me likey.
    -The audio is much better than the Supaboy. There is still some feedback present when turning up to higher volumes, but it's much, much less noticeable. Also, the Pokefami DX's sound at the lowest volume is about as loud as the Supaboy's at max volume... meaning, when your devices are run at equal volume, with the Supaboy maxed out, the Pokefami DX sounds richer, fuller, and much more like what you'd expect from the SNES sound processor. I'm very, very happy with it. ***Results are even better with headphones - having said that, when I first plugged my Apple headphones in, there was a horrible buzzing - I thought my head was going to explode. I tried a different pair of headphones, and the problem went away. I'm going to chalk this up to the fact that my Apple headphones are going out, but it's something to keep in mind - your phone/iPod headphones might not be compatible with this device***
    -Shoulder buttons are much nicer than the Supaboy's - less clicky, easier to operate.
    -The unit is compatible with the Super Everdrive.
    -The unit is compatible with the copy of Super Mario RPG I have on hand - I'm anticipating my spare copy, as well as my copy of Kirby Superstar, will not run, but I will test this when I get home.


    and a couple other things:

    -The device seems to power off if you move the power adapter a little or touch the power button in the slightest. I may have been imagining this, but I'm pretty sure this happened twice. I'll update later once I've tested it more (aka, when I'm not at work).
    -I am going to charge it and leave it running without the adapter tonight to see how long the battery lasts...but if it's anywhere near the Retro Duo Portable's advertised "8 hours", it'll be even more likely that the devices are one and the same.
    -my unit has a bright red dead pixel near the center of the screen, but as it's an import, I guess I'm stuck with it. I can live with it, as it only shows up on black backgrounds (Super Metroid no!!!!)
    -The paint is cheap, and was flaking/fading in several places on the back. I guess this is to be expected.

    I'll try to upload some pictures tonight, and expect a video to be uploaded around the time I get my Supaboy back (or quicker, if you guys would prefer a standalone review first.)
    Last edited by nusilver; 01-23-2012 at 05:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nusilver View Post
    As the title says, my Pokefami DX arrived! A few points I know many of you are wondering about:

    -first impressions are everything and this thing feels much, much better in the hands than the Supaboy. It's smaller, thinner, and lighter. the buttons, though not matching the exact spacing of a real SNES controller, are perfectly spaced, and though the d-pad looks wonky, I was able to pull of signature moves in SFII Turbo without much effort. It feels more like....well, between the two, I prefer this.
    -The screen appears softer than Hyperkin's unit, but the colors are nicer, the image is brighter at max brightness, and the overall effect is a smoother picture than the Supaboy. Me likey.
    -The audio is much better than the Supaboy. There is still some feedback present when turning up to higher volumes, but it's much, much less noticeable. Also, the Pokefami DX's sound at the lowest volume is about as loud as the Supaboy's at max volume... meaning, when your devices are run at equal volume, with the Supaboy maxed out, the Pokefami DX sounds richer, fuller, and much more like what you'd expect from the SNES sound processor. I'm very, very happy with it. ***Results are even better with headphones - having said that, when I first plugged my Apple headphones in, there was a horrible buzzing - I thought my head was going to explode. I tried a different pair of headphones, and the problem went away. I'm going to chalk this up to the fact that my Apple headphones are going out, but it's something to keep in mind - your phone/iPod headphones might not be compatible with this device***
    -Shoulder buttons are much nicer than the Supaboy's - less clicky, easier to operate.
    -The unit is compatible with the Super Everdrive.
    -The unit is compatible with the copy of Super Mario RPG I have on hand - I'm anticipating my spare copy, as well as my copy of Kirby Superstar, will not run, but I will test this when I get home.


    and a couple other things:

    -The device seems to power off if you move the power adapter a little or touch the power button in the slightest. I may have been imagining this, but I'm pretty sure this happened twice. I'll update later once I've tested it more (aka, when I'm not at work).
    -I am going to charge it and leave it running without the adapter tonight to see how long the battery lasts...but if it's anywhere near the Retro Duo Portable's advertised "8 hours", it'll be even more likely that the devices are one and the same.
    -my unit has a bright red dead pixel near the center of the screen, but as it's an import, I guess I'm stuck with it. I can live with it, as it only shows up on black backgrounds (Super Metroid no!!!!)
    -The paint is cheap, and was flaking/fading in several places on the back. I guess this is to be expected.

    I'll try to upload some pictures tonight, and expect a video to be uploaded around the time I get my Supaboy back (or quicker, if you guys would prefer a standalone review first.)
    If possible would you also include if there is indeed a Earthbound piracy check active in the video?Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog View Post
    If possible would you also include if there is indeed a Earthbound piracy check active in the video?Thanks.
    As a matter of fact, I have a video on my phone of me engaging in the final battle of Earthbound on the Pokefami DX - no freezing, no SRAM erasing. All good. I'll try to upload this quickly today so people who don't believe a clone can possibly get around this issue can ...erm...believe it. I'll put up a better video over the weekend, once I've had time to shoot and edit an actual review.

    Also - a few more observations:

    -I tightened the screws on the device and the power switch works properly now - no more shutting it off simply by touching the switch.
    -Apple headphones work fine...mine are just busted.
    -I left the Pokefami DX running the title screen of Super Mario World (with the sound off, since we were sleeping) when I went to bed last night around 1am. When I woke up at 6:30, it was still running. I'd been testing it for about an hour before that...so you're looking at a battery life that is *at least 6.5 hours!*
    -Almost every game has visual distortion when using the included speakers....like the RF interference kind of distortion I mentioned seeing in Yoshi's Island on the Supaboy. However, plug headphones in or plug the unit into a TV, and the problem goes away completely. Obviously this is an issue with space, as the louder you turn up the sound, the more distortion occurs.
    -Again, headphones or no, the sound is fantastic out of this device.
    -I put in my copy of Kirby Super Star last night - the one that never booted on the Supaboy - and it ran. I turned it off, then went on to test other carts. Then I tried to test Kirby again, and couldn't get it to boot again. I tried re-inserting it around 30 times...no dice. I hear this is a common occurrence amongst users of clones. The cart still works fine on my SNES.

    I'll upload that Earthbound video shortly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nusilver View Post
    As a matter of fact, I have a video on my phone of me engaging in the final battle of Earthbound on the Pokefami DX - no freezing, no SRAM erasing. All good. I'll try to upload this quickly today so people who don't believe a clone can possibly get around this issue can ...erm...believe it. I'll put up a better video over the weekend, once I've had time to shoot and edit an actual review.

    Also - a few more observations:

    -I tightened the screws on the device and the power switch works properly now - no more shutting it off simply by touching the switch.
    -Apple headphones work fine...mine are just busted.
    -I left the Pokefami DX running the title screen of Super Mario World (with the sound off, since we were sleeping) when I went to bed last night around 1am. When I woke up at 6:30, it was still running. I'd been testing it for about an hour before that...so you're looking at a battery life that is *at least 6.5 hours!*
    -Almost every game has visual distortion when using the included speakers....like the RF interference kind of distortion I mentioned seeing in Yoshi's Island on the Supaboy. However, plug headphones in or plug the unit into a TV, and the problem goes away completely. Obviously this is an issue with space, as the louder you turn up the sound, the more distortion occurs.
    -Again, headphones or no, the sound is fantastic out of this device.
    -I put in my copy of Kirby Super Star last night - the one that never booted on the Supaboy - and it ran. I turned it off, then went on to test other carts. Then I tried to test Kirby again, and couldn't get it to boot again. I tried re-inserting it around 30 times...no dice. I hear this is a common occurrence amongst users of clones. The cart still works fine on my SNES.

    I'll upload that Earthbound video shortly.
    Actually, I just realized from looking at other videos online that you have to finish the first part of the battle with Giygas before the freezing/crashing/SRAM destroying happens. I'll have to test again tonight as I don't have Earthbound with me.

    I DO, however, have a short video of me walking around before the battle, and you can see there don't appear to be any more enemies than usual. I can upload that now if anyone wants to see.

    *also* - I set the Pokefami DX on the SMW screen again (this time via Super Everdrive rather than real cartridge) and let it go for a bit, to see how long it would last. It died after about 5 minutes. No weird hazy, flickery screen, but no warning, either. The battery light doesn't change color either - it just shuts off abruptly. All told, the battery lasted probably around 7 hours on a single charge, at max brightness. 5 of those hours were without sound - so I'd say you're going to get a good 6-7 hours off a single charge on this one. (Also, the battery is huge, and the battery cover is the same size/shape as what's on the RDP).
    Last edited by nusilver; 01-24-2012 at 01:29 PM.

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    any chance you could open her up so we can see the internals?
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    Default You know...

    That was the first thing I tried to do when I got home last night, but there's some glue holding the top of the unit together somewhere, and I didn't want to break something trying to figure out where. I will probably give it another stab this weekend.

    If I can find the post on whatever site it was where the guy took his Supaboy apart, I can probably ask him how he dealt with the glue, because I ran into the exact same thing with that unit.
    Last edited by nusilver; 01-24-2012 at 04:56 PM.

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    Glue? What kind of bush league manufacturing are they using for this thing?

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    Default Well...

    Maybe it's not glue, but there's definitely something still holding it together, and I can see glue when I peek inside - possibly meant to stabilize the LCD. As I said, I'll take another look soon.

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    Ah. There are probably just some plastic clips that need to be pushed.
    I've seen glue used to hold parts in place, but never to seal the shell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kedawa View Post
    Ah. There are probably just some plastic clips that need to be pushed.
    I've seen glue used to hold parts in place, but never to seal the shell.
    Alright, alright, alright.

    So there were actually two more screws hidden under a sort of rubberish strip that was attached to the system near the cartridge slot. I figured they would be hiding there and ripped the strip off, for the sake of all of you guys. It's kind of mess and I'll have to finish cleaning it up later. Also, the only glue inside was holding the speakers in place. Easy to deal with.

    So I got the Pokefami DX apart and snapped shots of everything that I figured was important (tried to get model numbers for chips, etc). A couple of things:

    1) I couldn't get the red stuck pixel to settle with vigorous rubbing or tapping. This is one I may have to just live with. Hopefully it goes away after awhile (unless someone can link me to an SNES rom that will run on real hardware that will rapidly color cycle...which I would take graciously as payment for opening this guy up!)

    2) You can't swap out the buttons for any other buttons (at least without some modification that I don't have time to perform right now), except probably the Retro Duo Portable. The face buttons are smaller than any Nintendo-brand buttons (I tried Gameboy and SNES); the Gameboy d-pad doesn't work; the SNES d-pad does fit and feels great until you put it together again and realize that the PDX's rubber pad and the SNES d-pad just don't work well together (I had to press really, really hard for directions to register).

    And with that, the pictures.


    The rubber stuff blocking the last two screws.


    The first shot of the inside.


    On top is the back of the board which contains screen, sound, and controls. Notice the sound processor in the very top/middle: It sits directly behind the screen, separated only by a medium thickness black rubber strip. This is likely what causes the screen interference when using built-in speakers.


    Front of board mentioned above, with screen "in position". Notice the SNES Test rom playing in a Wario's Woods cartridge. Psyche! Super Everdrive!


    Same board with screen flipped up.


    Closeup of sound processor.


    Closeup of main board, right side. The yellow epoxy is holding in the external controller connector.


    Same board, left side.

    Alright, I wanted to test Earthbound before bed, but I've got a powerpoint deck to throw together for tomorrow. I'll try to get that finished quickly so I have time to test Earthbound more thoroughly, but I'm not promising this will happen tonight.

    Man. I think this is one of my favorite handhelds ever...shame about that stuck pixel. Even with that, I'm probably not going to end up getting the RDP after all.
    Last edited by nusilver; 01-25-2012 at 12:23 AM.

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