Complete Atari 2600 clone the size of a deck of cards

Rob Daviau's picture

http://retromaster.wordpress.com/a2601/

Features:
* Faithful FPGA implementation of the 6502 CPU and TIA (Television Interface Adapter) custom chip.
* Composite Video (currently NTSC only) and Audio output.
* DB9 connector for a MegaDrive/Genesis joypad.
* On-board 512Kb Flash memory for storing cartridge roms.
* Support for most bankswitching schemes used by original game cartridges.
* Design fits in a 100K-gate Spartan-3E FPGA.
* Custom PCB dimensions: 3.25? by 2.5?.
* Complete VHDL source code available under GPL.

Comments

Bill Loguidice
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Fascinating, Rob, yet another

Fascinating, Rob, yet another FPGA implementation. Though you wish these guys would pool knowledge/resources so we didn't have so many options (assuming this will eventually be sold)...: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/3436

Honestly, when it comes to FPGA devices, I prefer the type that are designed with the ability to support multiple systems rather than just one, unless there was a significant cost difference. These devices are half-way between emulation and the real deal, and that's a good thing, but my non-technical self sees little reason to have multiple such devices out there when in theory just one would work just as well for multiple platforms.

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Rob Daviau
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Joined: 05/19/2006
We may need these alternatives someday.
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Fascinating, Rob, yet another FPGA implementation. Though you wish these guys would pool knowledge/resources so we didn't have so many options (assuming this will eventually be sold)...: http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/3436

Honestly, when it comes to FPGA devices, I prefer the type that are designed with the ability to support multiple systems rather than just one, unless there was a significant cost difference. These devices are half-way between emulation and the real deal, and that's a good thing, but my non-technical self sees little reason to have multiple such devices out there when in theory just one would work just as well for multiple platforms.

I can certainly see your point, sure a mini-multi platform implementation is great but at the same time I would certainly not have a problem with several devices like this even if they only emulated 1 or 2 platforms as long as it did those really well and as you touch on are cheap enough. At the size of these things a shoebox full of several of these devices would be amazing to replace many large sized consoles taking up my entire closet. Of course, having and using the original consoles is special in itself but my skill repairing and maintaining these original consoles is limited and slowly all those original consoles are breaking down so I love the fact that newer, smaller hardware is being created to fulfill our classic gaming requirements. Could you imagine pulling something like that device out back in the day? Wonderful how new tech and skill is being applied to classic hardware, so many possibilities.

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Bill Loguidice
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Thoughts
Rob Daviau wrote:

Could you imagine pulling something like that device out back in the day?

I've often said that some of us would have begged, cheated and stole to get our hands on a MAME implementation back in the 80's. Something like Pac-Man Collection for the ColecoVision would have been a game changer back in the day as well, since it's about as arcade perfect as you can get (better than even the NES version). The problem would have been the cost of the ROM to hold it, but even if the game was released for $100 back in the day, I bet it would have still sold a ton.

As we've discussed many times on Armchair Arcade, since we're in the gaming land of plenty in this modern era, where literally every game from every era is available to us in one form or another, it's difficult to appreciate what we have, and even when we have something like say, a full MAME implementation, it loses its luster because it goes from being a holy grail to something "normal".

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Plenty
Bill Loguidice wrote:

As we've discussed many times on Armchair Arcade, since we're in the gaming land of plenty in this modern era, where literally every game from every era is available to us in one form or another, it's difficult to appreciate what we have, and even when we have something like say, a full MAME implementation, it loses its luster because it goes from being a holy grail to something "normal".

Yes, we're rather like a kid who has spent the majority of his life desperately seeking after books, barely able to snatch a few minutes to look at a few scattered titles. Then, suddenly, he's taken to a huge library with tens of thousands of books and let loose. It's hard to know where to start browsing, much less which ones should be read cover to cover.

That's probably why those "Top 100" lists and so on are so popular; at least they give the neophyte some basic ideas about what's worth playing.

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Many options isn't a bad thing....

Having many options is not a bad thing as it will just produce better things.

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Chris Kennedy
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Joined: 08/31/2008
Hmm

...bah! It needs a cartridge slot. Haha.

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Rob Daviau
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Joined: 05/19/2006
lol.
Chris Kennedy wrote:

...bah! It needs a cartridge slot. Haha.

Lol it would be bigger than the unit and knock it over. Some have modded a Flashback II with an SD card though!

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Chris Kennedy
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Joined: 08/31/2008
Well...
Rob Daviau wrote:
Chris Kennedy wrote:

...bah! It needs a cartridge slot. Haha.

Lol it would be bigger than the unit and knock it over. Some have modded a Flashback II with an SD card though!

I think a cartridge slot would fit just fine. It would protrude from the case a bit up top...but it would work. Atari 2600 carts are pretty light.

It is certainly a neat little device.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
The Cartridge Slot

The Cartridge Slot Monologues...

Oh, God, I'm going to hell for that one.

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Keith Burgun
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Joined: 09/06/2010
Wow

Pretty great. Atari 2600 was my first system... I think I was living in London at the time, I was about three years old. I really have to thank my parents for being pro-video gaming for my entire life, even though they personally had little to no interest in it. I remember playing "Adventure" most clearly, but also that "Pele Soccer" game. Or whatever it was called.

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