Author Topic: Retro VGS: New Retro Game Console  (Read 17074 times)

guest5080

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2015, 16:21:03 PM »
Hey Everyone! 

I am really enjoying reading everyone's take on this upcoming venture.  It give's my team food for thought.  To begin, I want to assure you all, that this will not be anything like the OUYA or any other android device for that matter.  In fact, like many of you, we really want this to be as close to an old school system as possible in this day and age of HD and HD TV's, which is becoming our Achilles heal in designing our hardware. Ultimately, we wanted to write as close to the metal as technologically possible and have little to no OS intrusion. Unfortunately, because of pretty much needing to output in HD it's forcing our hand in a direction we really didn't want to go.  But, I am not going at this alone and have a very experienced team heading up hardware/software design.  And all are RETRO gamer's at heart and have ton's of industry cred and will do what is best to create a love letter of a system dedicated to all the past cartridge based consoles that have come before it.  Think about what a 2-D console would have performed like after the NEO GEO and that is where we are heading.

We are also talking with and having very positive conversations with many big publishers as well as other pretty famous game developing individuals about deving new games based on many of your favorite 16-bit game franchises.  It will be very fun to see what games will be launched with this system and could be one of the best supported launches in years, especially for RETRO gamers, if we have anything to say about it :) 

It is also very important to me/us to keep this open source and very accessible to all levels of homebrew and indie game development. In fact, we will have a dev support team that will work with the smallest of homebrewers to help get their game on a cartridge, put it in a great looking box with a high quality instruction book, so they may sell their games on their own website, expos, ebay, etc.  And if a game is presented to our team in this fashion and we think we can take it to our larger installed user base, we will negotiate a publishing deal and take their game to the masses.  And the game catalog continues to build  . . . . . .

Since the RETRO VGS won't be expected to increase its capabilities every few years we think it could have a very long life helping to maintain the culture of gaming that has been diminishing the past few console generations.  As long as there are developers who love creating RETRO style games in what has now really become an "artform" and as long as people still value classic style gameplay over real-life graphics then the RETRO VGS could be around for a very long time.

And, what has really made this venture possible is the tracking down and purchase of the original Atari Jaguar console and cartridge tooling.  This has literally saved us a few hundred thousand dollars in start-up costs and I for one think it's pretty great to repurpose what was a pretty attractive gaming console that certainly has it's roots in RETRO.  Of course, it will be completely rebranded and reengineered.  And we have a great RETRO inspired controller to go along with it. 

If you guys want to keep tabs on things as they progress keep an eye out initially at http://www.readRETRO.com and soon we will have a web page devoted to the RETRO Video Game Console (VGS) - at RETROVGS.com.  Twitter is now at http://www.twitter.com/retrovgs

And, if you are a developer and interested in learning more, please contact me directly at socalmike@gamegavel.com.  I have received many emails already and will be responding to all of you shortly.  We hope to have a developer system specification sheet done very soon and it will tell you what you need to know about deving games for the RETRO VGS.


As far as the name, RETRO VGS, it is all part of our brand with the RETRO Magazine which will go hand-in-hand with the console. Some pages will be dedicated to previewing upcoming RETRO VGS games, interviews and liner notes with RETRO VGS dev's, concept art and anecdotes, etc.

We are shooting for a March/April Kickstarter. And this will be unlike any Kickstarter you've seen as it will essentially be Kickstarting the console AND a variety of launch titles (some sequels of fan favorites) all at the same time.  So should be interesting!

- Mike

Offline AmigaJay

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2015, 16:53:48 PM »
Thanks for replying.
As i said I'm intrigued by this project and obviously hope it succeeds, of course i have some doubts.

Do you anticipate any problems with the console designed circuit board, and are you using all off the shelf parts?
Regarding the OS, you say you don't want any system overheads, surely this would rule out Android at all then?
CPU wise, again cost wise it must be an off the shelf part, but even the cheapest parts are capable of some good 3D, is the machine purely 2D based or will any game design be welcomed?
You say you have been in talks with major publishers, imo they have normally steered clear of 'small projects' like yours and Ouya (with the exeception of Sega testing the water and that was it) what makes you think you can entice these publishers, or are the games purely licensed?

That's is for now, cheers!
Old School Gamer Since 1982 - Creator of various gaming websites and blogs 1998-2018

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2015, 17:05:45 PM »
Thanks for stopping by and filling us in Mike :) It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this and I like the sounds of it all. My only concern is the cost of cartridges and how much games will end up being. Any idea what kind of price point you're looking at for the games?

Offline TrekMD

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2015, 17:31:09 PM »
Hey Mike, thanks for the all the information!  I'm excited that you are using the Jaguar tooling.  I think that is awesome. 
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline zapiy

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2015, 17:36:04 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to fill us in Mike, really liking the sound of this, as alluded to before, is the OS going to bespoke?
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline hamie96

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2015, 19:17:40 PM »
I really hope this runs on Linux versus Android.

Offline Ben

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2015, 20:46:05 PM »
I appreciate Mike responding, and I have to say I'm more interested after hearing his plans directly.  I'd just say this:  The key is going to be (as others have said) whether this is an open development platform (i.e. Linux or even BSD based), and if there are quality retro style games made.  If there are shmups, turn based RPGs, 2D platformers, etc. I can only get physically on this console, I'd probably make the purchase.  That's a big if, but I hope it pans out.

Offline AmigaJay

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2015, 21:01:12 PM »
Yes, it HAS to have exclusive decent games otherwise it will fail straight away. Though even the Ouya had exclusives. I.e Towerfall, but like most things in life, as soon as anything good enough turns out and gets noticed, money entices the exclusives to other platforms thats another worry.
Old School Gamer Since 1982 - Creator of various gaming websites and blogs 1998-2018

Offline sunteam_paul

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2015, 17:55:24 PM »
My main concern is that it would be too powerful.

Offline zapiy

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2015, 20:12:29 PM »
What do you mean Paul?


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Offline Gorf

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2015, 13:50:31 PM »
2D console after the NEO GEO? It was called the Jaguar. We all saw where that went.
What you need is an arm based processor like the OUYA, except it needs to be the latest
of the arm with a latest of the GPU. This time however, you do not use an operating system
like Android which requires evil Java, but instead you need a simple boot strap with built in libs
that will do just about everything you need, including 3D. Also, you will need a TRUE C/C++ and
assembler based dev kit. Make a few rules where you call these libs so future versions will work
with old software. OUYA missed the mark on most of these points. Make it wide open. Make it
not only cart based but also allow the ability for other media. Linux would be acceptable BTW.
But I would just have a Linux kernel without all the bells and whistles. It's light and easy to
deal with and it has an enormous following. As much as I loved the Jaguar, I'm not so sure it
is the best way to package this new console. If this new machine requires a scripting language like
LUA or JAVA...you can bet I'll have no part of it. Just my $0.02.

Offline zapiy

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2015, 14:07:26 PM »
Brilliant feedback so far guys..

Yeah i would love to know what the O/S ideas are or even the thinking at this point.
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline Ben

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2015, 14:08:11 PM »
Picking up on what Gorf said, if this is going to be a 2D, Linux based console, I would seriously consider the Ruby scripting language with the Gosu dev library (it's MIT licensed).  For more on Gosu - http://www.libgosu.org/

Offline Gorf

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2015, 14:22:40 PM »
Quote from: "Ben"
Picking up on what Gorf said, if this is going to be a 2D, Linux based console, I would seriously consider the Ruby scripting language with the Gosu dev library (it's MIT licensed).  For more on Gosu - http://www.libgosu.org/

Obviously you did not pick up on what Gorf said......Gorf said NO scripting languages.

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! No scripting languages. It should
be based SOLELY on C/C++ and assembler. Then of course one could waste his time
using scripting languages ON TOP of A PURE C/C++ system. Scripting languages, no
matter which one you chose are managed code and completely take the ability of some
one like myself going pedal to the metal. I'll take the responsibility of blowing up an app
due to a bad pointer.....but its MY CODE and not someone else's idea of what should be.
Managed code is for untalented wimps who need their hands held. Managed code is the
illuminati of developer programing.....no thanks.

Base this system on managed code or ANY scripting language and you can forget seeing any
of my apps on it.

Offline Ben

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Re: New Retro Game Console
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2015, 14:50:09 PM »
I guess I should have said "offering a counter-opinion to" rather than "picking up on".   :21:  I respect your view though, you definitely know more than I do, I was just throwing Gosu out there because I'm a big fan of it.

 

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