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Thread: Analogue's next new console: FPGA N64 in 2024

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Default Analogue's next new console: FPGA N64 in 2024

    So far dubbed Analogue 3D, the release states it's an N64 in FPGA. It supposedly sports 4K resolution and can (I'm assuming by how it's written) mimic certain CRTs and PVMs. Completely region free. There are some notes at the bottom that this system "does not support openFPGA" and that "this system does not play copyrighted ROM files", so I'm thinking this means that it's not "hackable" to run ROMS on board or if it's just legal speak so that they don't get nailed by the Mario Police. I'm not familiar with the workings of Analogue's other hardware, so I'm not sure if this info is standard fare.

    This is a surprise. I didn't think something like this would be attempted but here we are. For years, and I still am, I've been a huge fan of the N64 right from the beginning. Heck, I was so into it I was able to write the N64 section of the Digital Press Advanced Guide! These days the system hasn't gotten a lot of love due to time and place, this would open up the capability to play on modern TVs elsewhere in the house. On top of that, I wonder if they'll have Bluetooth on it and if so, would Nintendo's wireless N64 controllers work? Eh, probably a pipe dream but I wonder if 8bitdo's N64 mod kit would work (or would be made to work)? Time will tell, time will tell.

    If this has the functionality of their other systems....this might be my first Analogue system. I'm stoked at the possibilities. Anyone else potentially excited about this revelation?

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    Will be interesting to see how well it gets emulated. I know Rogue Squadron is a pretty famous test case game, but I imagine there are many other games that are going to have problems without a fairly high level of accuracy.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Niku-Sama's Avatar
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    according to them its not emulation, says so right on that page they linked to.

    although sure its an FPGA it has to be Programmed in order to function the way it does so yea i get it.
    i think of it as hardware emulation...

    I wonder what they are going to stop selling to make room for this, Analogue pocket has been out longer than the Duo. I want the duo but i am curious to see if any special editions are going to come out like has with previous systems and the pocket.
    i missed them but if i am going to get a duo i might as well plan it out this time

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    When it comes to FPGA, "configurable" would have been a better name than programmable. The chips can be configured to act just like other CPUs and whatnot. While it could be thought of as hardware emulation, it's much closer to running on the original hardware, or a clone of the original hardware, than using software emulation.

    But I'm really only interested in these sorts of things from a technical standpoint, not really something I have any interest in buying.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Pear (Level 6) retroman's Avatar
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    I just got my Duo and was able to compare it to my real Duo. Sorry, but end of the day. Real hardware still wins against this emulation trash. Yes FPGA is still emulation crap. Better crap, but still crap. My point is why would anyone want this garbage. Just go buy a real system and a EverDrive. Will save you a lot of money and will perform so much better than any emulation garbage could ever dream of.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retroman View Post
    I just got my Duo and was able to compare it to my real Duo. Sorry, but end of the day. Real hardware still wins against this emulation trash. Yes FPGA is still emulation crap. Better crap, but still crap. My point is why would anyone want this garbage. Just go buy a real system and a EverDrive. Will save you a lot of money and will perform so much better than any emulation garbage could ever dream of.
    Way, what? Save a lot of money? How? An Analogue Duo preorder is $249 (not including the shipping, which I hear is horrendous but still). Turbo Duos typically go for $500 or so on eBay for the American one (at least that's what I saw after a quick look. Japanese systems go for about $300, so YMMV depending on the day). Based on those prices, you could buy a Analogue Duo, get an Everdrive (unless it gets jailbroken and can read ROM files, then skip the Everdrive) and save MORE money. You get a brand new, (hopefully) reliable system with technical support and a warranty. With a used TurboDuo there's a chance parts need replacing and not everyone has the ability to fix it or has access to someone who can (or want to pay the price).

    Usually, crap is crap but FPGA crap can be fixed, shined up and eventually turned to gold. They already have a firmware update and there will be more down the road.

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    Pear (Level 6) retroman's Avatar
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    Everdrive does not work on the Analogue Duo. YET. Again, more issues with emulation garbage. You are right about the price of the Duo. Its a good price point for someone who does not have one and is looking into getting CD games. If it just HuCards they are looking for, then just get a PC Engine and a Everdrive. Way cheaper. My main point was at their other FPGA systems. Which are way over priced. Real hardware and a Everdrive/Flashdrive is cheaper and 100% the way the game should be. No lag either. The Pocket is another argument.
    Last edited by retroman; 01-17-2024 at 11:19 PM.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retroman View Post
    Everdrive does not work on the Analogue Duo. YET. Again, more issues with emulation garbage. You are right about the price of the Duo. Its a good price point for someone who does not have one and is looking into getting CD games. If it just HuCards they are looking for, then just get a PC Engine and a Everdrive. Way cheaper. My main point was at their other FPGA systems. Which are way over priced. Real hardware and a Everdrive/Flashdrive is cheaper and 100% the way the game should be. No lag either. The Pocket is another argument.

    Actually according to RetroRGB, the Turbo Everdrive Pro will work with the Duo but you have to take the acrylic cover off. The earlier models are "hit and miss". Analogue states "Duo supports everything that an original Turbo Duo, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16 or SuperGrafx supports. To use an Everdrive with an acrylic top you may need to remove the acrylic piece to allow it to fit." So if anything, a firmware update may fix earlier Everdrive issues, or maybe there's an update for the Everdrive?

    Also you have to remember that these devices are niche/boutique type items made by relatively small companies and in small quantities. Even RetroUSB's AVS clocks in at $209 currently. If there was a big enough market to crank out thousands of these things with the manpower to assemble, you'd bet the price would drop (or not, hey, look at Apple) due to quantity.

    One thing we haven't discussed is when CRTs become like hen's teeth when more of them start to die/get recycled. What are your thoughts on upscalers on modern TVs because that's where we'll be, which would not be the optimal way to play (lag, colors not as vibrant, etc.) I personally have two CRTS-one from 2006(?) that's a 13" and either a DVD or VCR 9" combo sitting in storage at the Air Bnb (that I have no clue if it even works or how good it looks). Due to storage constraints with the sheer size of my family under one roof, I can't have any more. But eventually, like my Commodore monitor, they will die and then it's either composite to an LCD or an upscaler or something emulation. It's a reality I have to think about. And if a console or computer dies, what then? Do I buy another used machine and hope it lasts? I dunno. My horse hasn't been really in the collecting/using all original hardware as much as in the past due to time and space. I play old games on my Switch more than anything.

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    I would have preferred Analogue worked on a FPGA Sega CD or JVC X'Eye because those CD drives are rickety and I enjoy the game library.

    If I had an N64 with a few games I wanted to be able to play on an HD TV I would probably just spend $30 for some cheap N64 HDMI AV cables. But since I have a large collection of N64 games I will definitely purchase the Analogue 3D, even though I already have both an RBG mod and HDMI mod N64 consoles. And this is in spite of the fact that my experience with my HDMI modded N64 was disappointing.

    I don't know why, but I was somehow expecting the HDMI mod to improve the low resolution 3D textures and to improve the short draw distance to something better and it did not. Neither will the Analogue 3D, I expect. 2D games look great on HD TV's and the N64 has several 2D games that will no doubt look great. As far as preservation goes, I do not think the Analogue 3D will be more reliable than the rock solid original N64. Nor would I be surprised if a modded N64 console is actually cheaper to buy than the Analogue 3D!

    I stocked up on CRT's when everyone started setting them out on the curb after purchasing HD TV's, but I hope to God I'll never have to use one again. I have no nostalgia for it's pixely presentation and am in disbelief when I see Analogue users using filters and scan lines to recreate a CRT look on a HD TV. To each his own I guess.

    I would be very surprised if the Nintendo Switch Online N64 Wireless Controller did not work with the Analogue 3D. But I don't know if Analogue will partner with Nintendo the way they have previously with 8BitDo. I own some Retro Fighters wireless Brawler64 controllers, but that was just to get away from the Nintendo's trident style controller design. I do hope they work because I'm not at all nostalgic for trident controllers. That's why I have a bunch of Hori Mini's, just in case.

    Haven't all of Analogues products been compatible with flash cards? Don't know why the Analogue 3D would be different. I've never used software emulation or a ROM in my life because I wanted to own things, not pretend to own things. To each his own I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    For years, and I still am, I've been a huge fan of the N64 right from the beginning. Heck, I was so into it I was able to write the N64 section of the Digital Press Advanced Guide!
    I saw on the recent How many games are in your collection? post that you had not listed any N64 games in your collection. Did you manage to write the Digital Press N64 section via emulation?
    Last edited by Spartacus; 01-30-2024 at 03:14 PM.

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    I highly doubt Nintendo will offer to partner with any clone console marker. Certainly not one that isn't a prestigious electronics manufacturer.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    I saw on the recent How many games are in your collection? post that you had not listed any N64 games in your collection. Did you manage to write the Digital Press N64 section via emulation?
    I thought I added my collection, which isn't much at this point.

    The Advance Guide came out almost exactly 20 years ago and I was living a different life back then. No kids, a group of friends that were gamers who all chipped in on games since making a group purchase of the N64 back on launch of 1996. When I wrote that section, we as a group didn't own a ton of games (we traded a lot) but we did PLAY a lot. I had been given the N64 and a modest collection of games around the time of publication or not long after it, which over the next 11 years I added to. A divorce later I sold my N64 collection as I needed the money. Then my next marriage came with a LOT of step kids (not complaining-they are awesome and my daughter does well with them. My kids number 12: 10 step and 2 of my own) and a not a lot of room so what I had of my collection got paired down (and is still going through evaluation).

    The N64 I have now I got on the cheap with a gift card around the start of the pandemic. Of course that's when cartridge prices went through the roof. I have an Everdrive for it which is loaded with games to save on space.

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    The people at techradar.com were much more observant of the Analogue 3D announcement than I was. I quote them:
    "Based on what we can see of this controller's design and the image's file name (which is "11-8BitDo Analogue 3D controller tease"), it seems safe to assume this pad is going to be manufactured by 8BitDo - presumably as some kind of official collaboration." I was aware that 8BitDo sold a Bluetooth Mod kit for the original N64 controller. The faint image from Analogue does not appear to be a legacy trident design.

    I have a few N64 consoles sporting translucent colors - red, green, blue, orange, purple, and smoke. The Analogue Pocket is also available with the same set of translucent colors giving some reason to hope that the Analogue 3D may also have translucent versions.

    The original Analogue was the NT Mini. That FPGA NES was carved from a solid block of aluminum and was priced at $500. I held out for the Noir version which featured gold plated I/Os. I wonder if Analogue might make the Analogue 3D from a solid block of titanium and price it at $1000? Ohh, I would definitely buy a titanium N64 for bragging rights! And it would have the added benefit of keeping the ROM fleas at bay!

    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    The N64 I have now I got on the cheap with a gift card around the start of the pandemic. Of course that's when cartridge prices went through the roof. I have an Everdrive for it which is loaded with games to save on space.


    Not to pick an argument, but this is a pic of 165 N64 games sitting on 1/2 of one shelf in one closet! I don't believe anyone using space as justification to pirate IP's. Cost yes, but not space. I know what some are thinking. I might throw straw on that shelf and make it into a childs bedroom instead. Well my kids have long moved out and now "All your base are belong to us" as far as bedrooms in my house goes

    I looked around for my blue covered Digital Press Collector Guide and the N64 section is very thorough, not like other sections that merely listed titles, developers and release dates. Well done.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
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    Spartacus, I don't need to justify anything with you or need your approval for how I get my game on. If Ihave to comb through my posts so I can tick everyone's a-ok boxes, I'd rather not post. Things are exhausting enough.

    Thanks for the kudos. I worked hard at it.

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    Cherry (Level 1) fpbrush's Avatar
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    Analogue always put out prime stuff, looking forward to seeing if this ever sees the light of day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    Spartacus, I don't need to justify anything with you or need your approval for how I get my game on. If Ihave to comb through my posts so I can tick everyone's a-ok boxes, I'd rather not post. Things are exhausting enough.
    Sheeesh! People who use ROM's are sooo sensitive!
    I said I wasn't trying to pick an argument and I sincerely meant it.

    I have noticed that Analogue seems to be drifting away from allowing or encouraging using flash cards on their products. In the beginning, probably to spur sales, they lauded how compatible flash cards were with the NT Mini. By the time the Super NT and Mega SG rolled out they were no longer advertising flash card compatibility, but instead just acknowledging they would work in the FAQ's. By the time the Analogue Pocket came out, you had to jailbreak the damn thing to run ROM's. Then came the Analogue DUO which made flash cards possible, but difficult to use. Now the Analogue 3D states it will not play copyrighted rom files. I never could figure out why someone who chooses to play games using ROM's would purchase hardware like Analogue or a MiSTer anyway. Why wouldn't they use free emulation software instead? To each his own I guess.

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    I'd say hardware failure (such as dead cart saving) is a reason to use ROMs, but these devices basically are emulation devices, despite what some would say.
    Does Analog 3D allow using virtual memory cards? Using original memory cards is something I'd find annoying if I played more N64 games while digging out and setting up my real hardware.
    Sucks that many N64 games used memory cards just to allow the cheap publishers to avoid the cost of on-cart saving even when it made more logical sense. (memory cards making more sense when you want to share data with a friend)

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    Cherry (Level 1) fpbrush's Avatar
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    Yeah, analogue was exposed to me by the analogue pocket or nt, don’t remember. ROMs were a big deal feature in post 9-11 era stateside electronic videogames. I can see it going on for a little while longer too. But, with capitalism taking over China (how things are made) I could see a situation where we choose between a $1000 n64 or a boat or something

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    I would have preferred Analogue worked on a FPGA Sega CD or JVC X'Eye because those CD drives are rickety and I enjoy the game library.
    There are flash carts that can play Sega CD games on actual Sega Genesis hardware, I don't think they count as emulation but I'm not sure exactly how they run Sega CD games on standard Genesis hardware. I'll post a link that describes the differences between some of them, it was one of the first links I could find that described the hardware in detail. I never purchased from this online store personally.

    https://stoneagegamer.com/sega/genes.../plus-sega-cd/

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    And there are limited editions of Starfield GPU and CPU being sold. What a thoughtful world this is.

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    There are flash carts that can play Sega CD games on actual Sega Genesis hardware, I don't think they count as emulation but I'm not sure exactly how they run Sega CD games on standard Genesis hardware. I'll post a link that describes the differences between some of them, it was one of the first links I could find that described the hardware in detail. I never purchased from this online store personally.

    https://stoneagegamer.com/sega/genes.../plus-sega-cd/
    It would have to be emulation (or FPGA, which I guess can somehow not be emulation even though it isn't the original chips). I'd love to play with one since by the time I got a used Sega CD, it couldn't read discs (though I presume the hardware was otherwise working, it could still boot up the BIOS.) I lack the technical skill to fix that problem currently. But the prices on the capable flash carts are beyond my budget.

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