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  • videogame ROM

    i have an idea, that needs developing. i want to know if anyone has ever heard of or created a ROM that reads cartridge or disk portable or console games. so far, i checked 'hack a day', 'Google' and the FAQ. i haven't seen anything except emulators, and want to know if anyone is interested in pursuing a multi-system video game ROM for the PC.
    unda est terminus. is iuguolo ambitus.

  • #2
    Re: videogame ROM

    Originally posted by sharxbyte View Post
    i have an idea, that needs developing. i want to know if anyone has ever heard of or created a ROM that reads cartridge or disk portable or console games. so far, i checked 'hack a day', 'Google' and the FAQ. i haven't seen anything except emulators, and want to know if anyone is interested in pursuing a multi-system video game ROM for the PC.
    i don't totally follow. are you talking about making something that would run off of a cartridge unit? but be playable on a PC? first thought would be, where's the medium of connection?

    you going to custom-design an interface that jacks in via USB? that would be a kind of neat project if you wanted to enable backwards-compatibility for existing old games. (of course that would just be as a sort of whacky "what if" project since every ROM for all the popular consoles has been ripped already) however, if you're making new games it would be pretty foolish to reinvent the wheel and make a cartridge hack setup. you could just make ROMs and have them play on an existing emulator... all software, no hardware work.

    giving your post a second read, it seems like you're trying to make a ROM image that would be readable in a console. i can recall black-market cartridge packs for my Nintendo that you could get in Chinatown here in philly back in the day which were like 25-in-1 or 50-in-1 game collections with boot menus to select the title you wanted (many of which were foreign)

    nowadays, many consoles already have hacks and workarounds that bypass the boot-time checks to enable folks to load non-OEM games or discs. some of these hacks involve modded boot discs and other spiffy utilities, so i'm certain most of the work is done already.

    the biggest question then becomes... if you are planning on making a custom or new game for a modern console, do you have anything close to the programming background it would take to develop a title that comes anywhere near leveraging the full range of today's hardware? it's one thing to edit the palletes and sprites of an old NES game that turns Mario into a ninja or the power-up mushrooms into pot leaves (both of these ROMs i have in my mega-emulation collection that some folks got at defcon, heh) but are you planning on making the next evolution of Madden or Need for Speed?

    don't entirely see what your envisioned plan is. more detail please.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

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    • #3
      Re: videogame ROM

      sorry i didnt go into more detail. i was considering a custom made drive that goes into the regular disk drive slots on the front of the computer, and plays existing cartridge and disk games.i.e. plug an n64 game into the drive and play, or plug a game cube/x box/ps2 etc.disk into the drive. i dislike downloading emulators, because ther so much of a waste of time in that i cant play the games i already own on it.. the usb idea isnt bad though.

      my reasoming is that i would like to get rid of my extra classic systems but still palay the games(i love the n64 collection)
      Last edited by sharxbyte; August 29, 2007, 23:00.
      unda est terminus. is iuguolo ambitus.

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      • #4
        Re: videogame ROM

        wow, ok. how do i word an answer here that doesn't come across as snarky or impolite?

        while i always love the notion of a whacky project just for the sake of doing new things with technology, there are a few problems with your approach. not the least of which is the fact that these sorts of devices already exist (how do you think the ROMs from so many old systems were ripped in the first place?)

        a bigger issue, however, is what you're trying to achieve. you presently have old game systems and the games that go with them. you want to get rid of the old systems but still be able to play your games. but instead of just downloading an emulator and having access to all of the games that were ever released for any given platform, you'd prefer to still fumble around with cartridge packs... and all the storage and dust/dirt issues that they include.

        i'd say that's roughly akin to someone in 1946 saying "well, times have changed and i'm going to get rid of this old ice box and get a refrigerator. but i'm not going to cancel my ice man service. i still want to go through all the jazz of having him make and cart ice around to me, then i'll put the ice cubes in my Maytag."

        you're considering expending lots of person-hours in order to develop technolgoy that will allow you to needlessly keep a difficult, problematic, and complicated part of a system in place... and it's technology that likely already exists somewhere.

        again... why not just get a Retro USB kit, mod your controllers, and play emulated games with the huge set of existing technology that is out there?
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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        • #5
          Re: videogame ROM

          Originally posted by sharxbyte View Post
          i was considering a custom made drive that goes into the regular disk drive slots on the front of the computer, and plays existing cartridge and disk games
          Like Deviant, I don't want to discourage you, but I'm getting the impression that you don't understand the architecture of computer systems. Just because you can read a cartridge/disk (which could be a fun project), that doesn't mean your PC is going to be able to play that game. So you could run an emulator, which you are loathe to do, or you could include the hardware for the system with the drive (i.e., the entire system without a case). At this point, your project is to, I would suppose, take control of the video of the PC when you insert a cartridge into the system. That, too, could be an interesting project, but it's not going to be nearly as convenient as a simple A/V cabinet.

          I like the enthusiasm, but I just want to make sure you know what you're getting into while it's still early in the game.

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          • #6
            Re: videogame ROM

            Admittedly, I kinda like the idea of a full size bay unit that I can jack an Atari 2600 cartridge into like an 8 track. When it detects a cartridge it should also immediately queue up Moving Pictures by Rush. I'm not being sarcastic either..I seriously think that would fucking rule..

            I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

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            • #7
              Re: videogame ROM

              I would love to see a compact system that could take all my legacy carts from different systems and emulate them well upon cart insertion... possibly with a USB-fronted connector that allows me to plug my legacy controllers in unmodified (ie http://www.retrousb.com/index.php?categoryID=79 with more of a hub feel for all supported systems). There is certainly room for a stellar project here.

              Simply a tower with 5 1/4 drives to accomplish? .. not so hot. The uphill battle is that you're designing something for the handful of folks that still have the actual carts in opposition to the millions that have either long been in the emulation scene and/or are buying into the Virtual Console idea that Nintendo has thrown out into the works.
              if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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              • #8
                Re: videogame ROM

                Ok. So you want a piece of hardware that accept cartridges from different gaming systems, and then allows you to play the game on your system.

                Ok. Right.

                Cartridges for game systems tend to use proprietary interfaces, and over the years, the number of pins/conductors used by cartridges has increased, and the width of the conductor surfaces has decreased. I've not disassembled and done a pin-out of any of the game console cartridges but I would guess that over the past 30 years (is that right?) cartridges have had different power requirements, and clock rates for reading data. The location for the any pins providing power could also be purposefully placed at "non-standard" location (security by obscurity) to further complicate an attempt to make a generic card reader.

                Sarcastic: Now, what would be great would be an oil filter that works on every car ever made.

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                • #9
                  Re: videogame ROM

                  The bestest oil filter.

                  All-in-one standalone reader unit, of course not.. I'm talking overall semi-compact system, which apart from physical aparture would not be too far out there. Most legacy carts could be trivially read into memory for emulated operation. Combining multiple legacy systems into one would benefit power, video, input, and interface. Sane physical arrangement would be the trick.
                  if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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                  • #10
                    Re: videogame ROM

                    Originally posted by converge View Post
                    Combining multiple legacy systems into one would benefit power, video, input, and interface. Sane physical arrangement would be the trick.
                    Yup. And tricky as hell to implement since manufacturers didn't want physical compatibility between cartridges for different systems. Effectively you'd end up with massive libraries selecting between banks of cartridges (Atari 2600 ROMScanner; Intellivision Videoplexer).

                    Quite frankly, I really don't get how dealing with an emulator is more difficult than physical hardware. Despite owning several older computer systems and video game consoles, dragging out the Vectrex to play a quick game of Armor Attack is a pain in the ass and risks hastening the demise of hardware that falls into the 'largely unreplaceable' category.

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                    • #11
                      Re: videogame ROM

                      two things. first, my goal is to be looked on as a personal challenge, and im looking for input into what you think would be a good idea. second of all, as long as it fits, and is functional, i dont care how much work it is, or how long it takes.

                      anyway, thanx for your input
                      unda est terminus. is iuguolo ambitus.

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                      • #12
                        Re: videogame ROM

                        It's been done, try using a search engine sometime. It's not too hard to do. It's not really worth the trouble either.
                        "They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet or fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason."

                        -- Ernest Hemingway

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                        • #13
                          Re: videogame ROM

                          Originally posted by Exist View Post
                          It's been done, try using a search engine sometime. It's not too hard to do. It's not really worth the trouble either.
                          i did. all i came up with were a bunch of trashy emulator sights. please leave links to the sights that found.
                          unda est terminus. is iuguolo ambitus.

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