Rumors have been circulating that the system’s release date will be pushed back again due to firmware issues, seemingly based on a fan’s interaction with Hyperkin at Comic-Con (original story at N4G.com). They may not have a clear picture of the whole story, because @Hyperkin tweeted today that this is not the case, and they still plan on an April 2014 release.
The RetroN 5 multi-console is the latest in the series from Hyperkin. This version can play games from the NES, Famicom, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. The system will have HDMI output, and the game selector switch has been replaced by an on-screen menu system, navigated using the included wireless game pad. It will also be able to load and save game states at any time. It can playback “cleaner” sound using interpolation (like anti-aliasing for audio), but I want the experience to be as close to the original as possible, so I’m hoping it can be turned off in the menu. One of the nicest features is the set of 6 controller ports (2 each for SNES, NES, and Genesis) to give the original feel of OEM controllers. I’ll reserve judgement on the funky looking included controller with the analog nub-looking D-pad until I’ve tried it. Hopefully, it will have microswitches like the Neo Geo Pocket Color.
After a 9 year hiatus, Warner Bros. Interactive is reviving the Gauntlet franchise, with this new 4 player title for PC. The graphics are obviously much more modern in this version, but it retains some of the classic game mechanics. Each of the 4 characters will have different skills, and different health drain rates. It’s scheduled for a summer 2014 release, more info at gauntlet.com.
Separate sounds from the individual tone generators in the NES for sampling, remixing, or just listen to your favorite game music with a different twist.
Now that you’ve built yourself a 3D printer, what else can you make with common RepRap parts and all Open Source software and hardware? Jose Julio (@jjdrones) wanted to find out, and what he came up with is the Air Hockey Robot. It uses OpenCV with a PlayStation Eye Camera to track the puck, custom Arduino firmware to control the NEMA 17 stepper motors, and a homemade air hockey table with a bunch of 3D printed parts.
Details on the build and links to the code, designs, and documentation can be found on his blog: English – Spanish
Steve Lin (@stevenplin) is so excited about this rare find that he couldn’t help but tweet some pictures he’s taken of the pre-release NES brochure right from the airport while he awaits his flight. Not that I can blame him, these images show a vision that Nintendo had for the NES that I’ve never seen or heard of before.
I can’t say I’m too disappointed that this hodgepodge of peripherals never came to be. I believe the fact that the NES focused solely on gaming and did that one thing very well is what set it apart from the all-in-one computer/gaming systems of the time like the Commodore 64, and made it a device worth buying even if you did already own a computer. I know I would have had a hard time convincing my parents to buy a system that was almost identical to the one we had, only less compact and organized.
Then again, the direction Apple has gone in with the Mac Pro having no internal expansion ports and all external peripherals shows that manufacturers still haven’t given up on that concept. Steve has assured that full, high quality scans of the entire brochure will be forthcoming.
UPDATE 2014/2/11: Now You’re Knitting With Power!