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NES (Games) Nintendo Open Source Operating Systems Linux Entertainment Games Hardware Technology

Doyodo RetroEngine Sigma Is a Linux-Powered Classic Video Game Emulation Console (betanews.com) 91

BrianFagioli quotes a report from BetaNews: The Nintendo NES Classic is quite an amazing console. True, it is not as powerful as modern game systems like Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it comes pre-loaded with many classic NES titles. Unfortunately, its strength is also its weakness -- those pre-loaded titles are the only games you can play. You cannot load other games, so you are stuck with what you got. As an alternative, some folks use software emulation and ROMs on their computers to play countless video game titles. Of course, there are moral concerns here, as you are often downloading the games illegally -- unless you own the physical copy, that is. Even then, it is a gray area. Today, a company called Doyodo launched a new Linux-powered emulation console on Indiegogo. The device not only plays NES games, but Atari, Game Boy, PlayStation 1, Genesis, and more. You play using USB controllers. In addition, it can serve as a media player (with Kodi) or a full-fledged Linux desktop. Some other features include 4K video playback, Wi-Fi networking built in, and a compact and portable design. There's even a deluxe version that ships with Bluetooth, an extra controller and 32GB of storage; the basic configuration includes just one controller and 16GB of storage. You can view the Indiegogo page here.
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Doyodo RetroEngine Sigma Is a Linux-Powered Classic Video Game Emulation Console

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @09:06AM (#53439195)

    1) It's simple
    2) It's plug-and-play
    3) It's cheap (or rather, it will be when you can find them in stock)

    Most other emulator consoles only succeed at #3. Most people aren't going to hunt down ROM's from skeavy pirate sites or buy overpriced old cartridges just to play old games. They want something they can just buy, plug-in, and play.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The other great thing about the NES Classic is that you get proper NES controllers with it. Playing on the keyboard or with modern controllers isn't the same.

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        A keyboard is definitely a lousy way to play Nintendo, but I've never had a problem with a USB game pad. In fact, more buttons can be nice for some auto-fire features, and the rounded contours are a lot gentler on the hands.

  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @09:07AM (#53439197) Homepage
    All these facilities exist on plenty of devices right now. The only draw of the official ones is precisely that - they're 'official'. If you don't care about that, you've already got a myriad of ways of emulating everything.
  • What's the over/under on time until these people are sued into oblivion for contributory copyright infringement?

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @09:13AM (#53439219)

    This is pretty much exactly what you get with RetroPie [retropie.org.uk]. I wonder if the 4k video is limited to x264 or can it do HEVC (kind of doubt it)?

    • by sh00z ( 206503 )

      This is pretty much exactly what you get with RetroPie [retropie.org.uk]. I wonder if the 4k video is limited to x264 or can it do HEVC (kind of doubt it)?

      Except RetroPie, A Raspberry Pi 3 (with integrated Bluetooth) and a quality wireless controller will set you back significantly less than $70 (the lowest-priced option Retroengine available). Sure, you don't get the Cool, Genesis-looking enclosure, but I already have a *real* one of those. I just slapped an Atari sticker on my Pi's lid.

  • Looking at the specs, it appears that this is likely just a build of MAME that runs on a single board computer with an ARM chip. It may be a quad core chip but due to IPC speed limitations, only one core can be effectively utilized by emulators. You'll get better performance out of a Raspberry Pi 3 but this does come in a fun case.

  • by evilRhino ( 638506 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @10:15AM (#53439499)

    Of course, there are moral concerns here, as you are often downloading the games illegally -- unless you own the physical copy, that is.

    These games have often been out of print for decades, and legally exist in the wild only on outdated hardware. Is it not equally immoral to wait for the copyright to expire on these games to copy them, when the technology to do so may not exist in the future? Why is protecting a copyright on something that has been out of print, presumably determined by the publisher to be unprofitable somehow "moral".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So by this logic it's moral for me to violate the license of older versions of GCC, Linux, etc. simply because they are out-of-date, unsupported and thus being equivalent to an "out-of-print" game? Why should I have to wait until the copyright expires?

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      For the same reason it's not moral for me to take the Linux 0.9 source code and turn it in to a proprietary product even though it's long obsolete and most of the code was probably rewritten years ago in modern versions of the kernel. Just because I want to do something does not make it legal or moral.

    • This is precisely the reason for some emulators put a minimum age on the hardware they emulate. I seem to remember MAME having a minimum age of 3-5 years, so they are only emulating hardware that is last-gen and not likely actively sold by the OEM.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Companies have been protecting the copyright on their old games because they can now sell them again on modern consoles, via classic game collections and the Nintendo Virtual Console.

      While they mostly tolerate individuals pirating ROMs, because there isn't much they can do about it, they do go after people selling discs pre-loaded with the emulators and some games. I imagine eBay will get lots of reports of people selling this thing in a similar manner.

  • So..........they're selling a retropie box?

    You can tell from the shots its obviously just a skin for retropie, even the feature set gives it away. So they are using the cheapest PI-esque chipset they can get to keep their markup high enough for a profit. When you could just get an rpi3 and get bluetooth built in for the same price and have a faster board

    • by Splat ( 9175 )

      The only thing this looks like it has going for it is the smartphone-based setup. But then again I haven't dived into RetroPie in a few months so maybe that's just some open-source/free software project they've forked or modified.

      Either way RetroPie is a bit of a pain in the ass to setup. If these guys have made it easier than it may be worth the slight markup.

      • RetroPie a pain in the ass?

        You flash the image to a blank SD card, and the first time it boots up, it expands to fill the entire card. Then you plug in a blank USB stick and RetroPie will create the relevant ROM folders. After you populate the USB stick with ROMs and plug it back into the RetroPie, it will copy the ROMs over to the correct folder and make them available in the menu.

        On first bootup, it'll go straight to the controller configuration, and it's very easy to go through for additional controllers

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.