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Thread: The Supaboy - New SNES handheld from Hyperkin

  1. #241
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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 06:30 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.

  3. #243
    Cherry (Level 1)
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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.

  4. #244
    Cherry (Level 1)
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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 02:29 PM.

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    any chance you could open her up so we can see the internals?
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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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 05:56 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 01:23 AM.

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    Sucks about the red pixel. I know there are NES test roms to do that, so assuming the NES to SNES RetroPort thing works with the Powerpak, you could always buy all that and get rid of it....maybe. Sorry that's all I can think of.

    How's compatibility? Do you have anything that DOESN'T work? I hear Demon's Crest stops working on I think the third boss in clones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Sucks about the red pixel. I know there are NES test roms to do that, so assuming the NES to SNES RetroPort thing works with the Powerpak, you could always buy all that and get rid of it....maybe. Sorry that's all I can think of.

    How's compatibility? Do you have anything that DOESN'T work? I hear Demon's Crest stops working on I think the third boss in clones.
    I've tested about 35 games on it, none too thoroughly. I believe it's Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts that works in the way you've suggested, though I've honestly never been to the third boss because I sucked at that game as a kid (but I'll be sure to test that this weekend as I have the game). I can test a clean dump of the Demon's Crest rom on the Super Everdrive, but that's honestly not really conclusive. I really do need to buy that game.

    In any case, expect these things and more when I post my review this weekend, but feel free to keep asking questions in the meantime.

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    Default Earthbound works fine on Pokefami DX!

    Stop the presses! Before I go to bed, I just wanted to let everyone know conclusively that Earthbound doesn't have any problems that I could see with the Pokefami DX. I played through the final battle up until the "prayer" section, and the game didn't so much as hiccup.

    If you're familiar with the situation, you'll know that at the beginning of the second phase of the final battle in Earthbound, the game famously locks up, resets, and erases all save games if the game detects shady deeds afoot. Well, there's nothing shady about the Pokefami DX, and Earthbound agrees.

    But you don't have to take my word for it. I've got about 20 minutes of video demonstrating Earthbound's final battle on the Pokefami DX that I need to edit down to 10 minutes or so; expect that to be uploaded to YouTube by tomorrow night.

    Adieu!

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    Default some quick compatibility updates...

    *Played through the Star Cup in 50cc on Super Mario Kart. Game randomly froze during the second lap of the first track; I reset and it didn't happen again. It's really hard to see Vanilla Lake 1 - details seem to get lost in the white - but it's not impossible to get 1st.

    *Played through to the third boss in Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. As expected, the boss was invisible. Bummer.

    *Played Super Mario RPG for about 10 minutes (planned on spending my whole train ride with this one, but Super G 'n G is a beast!). Even though I played with headphones (which, as I've previously mentioned, tends to completely eliminate any visual distortion caused by the sound processor's proximity to the display), there was occasional flicker, mostly during battles with paratroopas. I expect the system is struggling with SA-1.

    *Attempted to play Tintin: Le Temple Du Soleil from the Super Everdrive. Was greeted with the standard "only compatible with PAL systems" warning. PDX is NTSC only. (does anyone know if there's an NTSC patch for this game?)

    *I'm expecting my RetroGen adapter this week, but so far, the only Genesis game I have to test is Jurassic Park...

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    Default Earthbound on Pokefami DX



    Here's a 7 minute clip of me playing the final battle on Earthbound on the Pokefami DX. Apologies for the crooked video and poor lighting - wanted to get this up quickly for you guys. Note, it's been edited down from about 23 minutes of recording time. Also, duh, but this video contains spoilers.

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    nusilver, you are full of win.

    I recommend you copy and paste this into a new thread so that it gets more attention. It's a big deal now we have a winner of the current portable snes systems.

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    well, we still don't know how the RDP compares to the PokeFami DX. Although nusilver seems to think so, there is still no definitive proof that the PokeFami DX and the RDP are the same system in a different shell. Until the RDP is out and widely reviewed by people who know what they're talking about, I don't think any conclusions can be drawn just yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    well, we still don't know how the RDP compares to the PokeFami DX. Although nusilver seems to think so, there is still no definitive proof that the PokeFami DX and the RDP are the same system in a different shell. Until the RDP is out and widely reviewed by people who know what they're talking about, I don't think any conclusions can be drawn just yet.
    Correct. And I'm still hoping to get ahold of an RDP - though if someone here gets a black one (they're available now) and takes it apart, we can compare notes/pictures of insides, etc.

    Also, check your PMs please.
    Last edited by nusilver; 01-26-2012 at 06:01 PM.

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    By "widely reviewed by people who know what they're talking about" I simply meant people other than 15 year olds on youtube who decide to point a camera at it and read off the tick marks from the back of the box, as was the case with almost all of the Supaboy reviews.
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    Hyperkin indicated they would handle the warranty issues with our customers and in the end, took care of them all and stood behind their products.

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