Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another one bites the dust. Part 2

What can be done about it? Well, the systems themselves read the data from the CD in chunks. That is why you run into loading screens as you play. I am hoping we can download the data in pieces just as the system would have done from the disk. Again, this would require a bit of reworking. The server wouldn't be sending an entire ROM file. Instead it would be sending the chuck that the system was about to need.

At the moment it seems plausible, but this is all currently theory. I have yet to see how the emulators load CD games. I can tell you that they don't load the 640 Meg image into RAM, just by looking at it logically. However, I don't know exactly what it is they actually do at the moment. Before I can be sure that we can do this I've got look inside the code for each emulator.

So, as you can see there are two distinct hurdles we have to jump before we can offer CD system games. We have to be able to send a BIOS file and we have to be able to chunk the data up.

With things like this I like to move slowly. I prefer to roll out one change and see how it works before I roll out another. Because of this I am looking at launching the 32X. Now at first you may reject that idea. It wasn't a very popular system and some would even question it's quality. However, it is a classic and it is going to end up on CC some time or the other.

The advantage is that it also requires a BIOS image. So I should be able to get that up and working. We can test it in both beta and real world environments. After we know the BIOS system is working we can look into the CD systems and add data chunks. It's a way of reaching the goal one step at a time while adding an additional system.

While we are all musing that over a bit I though I would mention the fact that there are a few more systems we could add easily. First, the Super Famicom and Mega Drive spring to mind. I know, I know, that's just the SNES and Genesis... Still, are you saying you don't want us to offer any of the games for them? Are there no Japanese only releases that interest you?

If our fan base wanted those two we could start adding games for them in the next few months. Running along those same lines we could add the Famicom Disk System. (I least I think we could. I have a pretty cool idea for getting it working.) The real point is that we could add more games that would play in the emulators we have up and running.

Considering all of the above, what do you guys think?


  1. I'd say try to take care of systems which require less memory to load first, like the N64, then move on to the larger memory systems.

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  3. Good point by Nikitas there.

    As for systems that people might like to see, I'm thinking you might find an audience for the MSX2. The shivering, huddled masses that have never played Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake or the original Metal Gear as it was intended, would appreciate it. :-) Of course, they could buy MGS3: Subsistence for them if they have a PS2, but that's not an option for some.

    I've always thought that offering some of Atari's systems that followed up the 2600 would be a pretty natural addition. At the very least, the 7800 would be good. I'd have to imagine that there are emulators out there that handle both the 7800 and the 2600, too, as the 7800 was backwards compatible with the 2600.

    I also think the Famicom would be a worthy addition. I don't know too much, but I'm positive that there were some Japan-only releases that would be fun to play. Seems like it wouldn't be too tough of a transition, either. Oh, and there has to be a Sumo title in the mix. I mean, come on, what says "tons of fun" quite like sumo? :-)

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  5. The one question that seems worth asking when it comes to the BIOS issue is simply whether there are going to be sufficient hardware units available for the number of games you'd want to offer.

    Of course, there's also the funds issue, but from what I'm seeing on EBay, these older, less popular CD-based units sell relatively cheap.

    Do they have to be working systems to get what you need from them? I'm sure there are broken systems out there in large number.

    Once a bit more clarity is found out regarding the process of loading the CD's content, etc., I think it will eventually be a worthwhile endeavor. You've gotta start somewhere, after all.

  6. The N64 is almost certainly going to be the next system. The Beta test is going very well. I hope to launch it by the beginning of April.

    The MSX systems and more Atari systems are great ideas. We just have to look at cost vs. interest at the moment.

    As far as the BIOS are concerned there is certainly enough hardware around, we just have to buy it. Plus in the long run we could potentially develop our own. So quantity shouldn't be an issue.

    The systems wouldn't actually have to work. So goo point there. In fact we would only need the chips themselves.

  7. i think you should add some dos games and emulators like desent desent2 hexson warcraft