Portable Emulator

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Kamalot

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I'm looking for a portable Emulator solution, some way to play Genesis/Megadrive ROMs on the go.

1) Laptop. You should be able to run a good emulator on a decent laptop and play your ROMs there. Kinda bulky though. What about an old Toshiba Liberetto? Do they have enough power to run a decent Emulator?

2) Palmtop. Palm devices don't seem to have the resolution to run an emulator. Some WinCE devices doo though. I have heard of an emulator that runs on some WinCE handhelds but VERY SLOWLY. How much longer before we get a decent Genesis Emulator for a handheld device?

3) Custom Solution. Is it possible to build an adapter for a Nomad that will play ROMs off of a Compact Flash card? Aren't there some devices that are, in essence, blank Genesis cartridges that you can load ROMs onto?

I think it would be great to take hundreds of Genesis games with you wherever you go. Imagine, play them on the bus, train, airplaine, wating in line. Wherever you like without having to lug around bulky cartridges.

What do you think?

(Edited by Kamalot at 4:19 pm on Oct. 18, 2001)
 

Shinshiro

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ive seen import sites like Lik-sang.com and they have flashcart writers and blank carts for a bunch of systems (GBC, GBA, SNES, NES and a few others i think), yet they dont have any Genesis cart writers (strange huh?)

i wish someone did make a Genesis cart writer though cuz i missed out years ago to buy Shining Force 1 and 2 and now they are collectors items going for easily over $50 US on ebay!!!!

but 1 thing ive always wondered about is the blank flash carts for the various systems above are REALLY expensive (GBA blank flash carts are over $100 US depending on how much space you want on them)
 

IceDigger

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Shining Force 1+2 are easily worth the 50, and cost that much when they were released too (at least here).
 

ExCyber

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Shinshiro: Yeah, I agree that the GBA flash carts are a bit overpriced. I think it's just as much the retailers at fault as the manufacturers, though - prices seem to vary pretty significantly.
 

Kamalot

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Let's see.

GBA Card for $100

If you manage to use 3 roms on it that would save you the cost of 3 GBA games. At around $35 a GBA game that should come out to $105.

With just four uses you already make up the cost of a resuable cartridge.
 

Shinshiro

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ive already figured that out kamalot, but a GBA flasher kit with a 128megabit flash cart (the biggest GBA flash carts in existence so far) costs $170 US or so on lik-sang.com, while the flasher by itself costs about $40 US, its still a good buy if you get enough GBA roms but still buying a GBA system and then that flasher kit, thats getting pretty expensive!

and most GBA games are 64megabits in size, meaning you cant cram more then 2 games onto the blank at one time, and just you watch, in a matter of months all the games will come out as 128megabits in size, which is annoying cuz you would have to flash over and over again for whatever game you feel like playing at the time (i much prefer being able to have a bunch of games on 1 cart, much more convenient)
 

Mike G

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The carts aren't really overpriced, though. 64 or 128 megabits of flash memory *is* very expensive, look in any electronic components catalogue. If anything, blame Nintendo for making the games so big :)

Flash is relatively pricey technology - it's not like SDRAM, which costs about 10 cents per megabyte but is useless for building writable cartridges.

Mike
 

ExCyber

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Mike G: I was looking at flash prices, and for the specific chips used in those carts (according to Reiner Ziegler, anyway, and I don't have any reason to doubt him). If anything, I was probably underestimating labor costs.
 

IceDigger

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batteries last 30 mins.. if you are lucky.

the GG battery pack works.

and yes, it is very good.. just not all that portable.
 

Shinshiro

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im not sure if this has already been answered but can the Nomad work with Virtua Racing without any ill effects to either the cart OR the Nomad??????

i just won a Nomad off ebay so i need to know this :)
 

Curtis

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I've heard that VR works fine with the Nomad, except that it sucks down the batteries even more.
 

DirkTheDaring

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Unbelievably, I've had one set of batteries last more than two hours playing Contra Hard Corps and UMK3. I don't think anything but a Genesis Mark II adaptor works with it.

An idea: Instead of a stupid cheap flash cart, if you have an eprom burner, get a utility called SMD2BIN and convert the roms if necessary. Then just burn to an eprom.
 

ExCyber

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Erm... "stupid cheap flash cart"? I've got news for you - Flash is more expensive than EPROM, and both have a limited data retention life and write/erase cycle tolerance. I fail to see how EPROM is an advantage unless you intend to make carts dedicated to specific games.
 
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