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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Well, question is simple. Are there any revisions I should avoid and how to find out?

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:16 pm 
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As long as you aren't using an emulator consol, you should be ok, either way.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:27 pm 
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dougeff wrote:
emulator consol


Do you mean NES unauthorized clones?

P.S. Thanks for awesome tutorials


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:39 pm 
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Given that you're in Canada: no, there really isn't anything you should worry about physical-NTSC-NES-console-or-revision-wise. Use whichever (front loader or top loader) you want, whatever provides you the most freedom/ease or whatever you prefer. Something to remember, though, is that the top loader doesn't have A/V output, only RF -- unless you get a modded top loader, of course.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Thank you koitsu. It is weird to find out about top loader. I came to Canada from Ukraine 4 years ago, and I didn't know top loader even existed before I started digging into NES dev. I was expecting top loader to be not just smaller but better, plus A/V should give much better picture than RF. Interesting what caused Nintendo to ditch A/V output.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:17 pm 
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Quote:
Do you mean NES unauthorized clones?


There have been many recent retro consoles that have nothing inside that resembles actual NES hardware.

RetroN, for example. RetroPie.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:34 pm 
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yaros wrote:
Thank you koitsu. It is weird to find out about top loader. I came to Canada from Ukraine 4 years ago, and I didn't know top loader even existed before I started digging into NES dev. I was expecting top loader to be not just smaller but better, plus A/V should give much better picture than RF. Interesting what caused Nintendo to ditch A/V output.

Then you'll find this just as interesting:

1983: Famicom (HVC-001, i.e. the original) released -- RF output only
1985: Front-loader NES (NES-001, i.e. the original) released -- A/V and RF output
1992: Top-loader NES (NES-101, a.k.a "NES 2") released -- RF output only
1993: AV Famicom (HVC-101, a.k.a. Famicom AV) released -- A/V output only

Are you planning on doing development with an actual dev board (i.e. a cartridge modded/rewired to support an EPROM/EEPROM), or will you be using a PowerPak or EverDrive N8?

When you're ready for real alpha or beta testing of your game/thing, be sure to have people test it on actual hardware if possible (read: not PowerPak or EverDrive), *and* have someone test it on an AVS, as well as a RetroN 5. You want to make sure your thing works on everything as possible. PPU quirks and mapper compatibility are the two areas that tend to vary.

If you asked me me personally, mano y mano, which NES to go with, I'd tell you this (and this should not become a topic of debate, because it's just an opinion):

Just buy an original unmodded NES-001 and be done with it. Yes, it has a more finicky cartridge connector than the NES-101, but the NES-101's RF-only and is subject to the "jail bar" problem that, to my knowledge, nobody has solved 100% reliably, 100% of the time, on 100% of the revisions that suffer from it (the vast majority do; the ones which don't are extremely rare and involve a completely different PCB layout done by Nintendo, apparently done near the *very VERY* end of the NES-101's lifetime (hence why they're so rare)). I say unmodded because there are a ridiculous number of systems now that have had dodgy and crappy mod jobs done to them of all sorts; those stupid "stereo" mods are the worst of the bunch, but botched up S-Video or component or HDMI jobs are common too. A lot of these dodgy jobs involve heavy use of hot glue, so your NES ends up looking like this. By going unmodded, you know you're getting something that hasn't been screwed with, and thus is pristine.

If you really want a modded NES (excluding the stupid "stereo" mod), then the only one I'd go with would be one with the HiDef NES mod done by Kevtris and Game-Tech (for either NES-001 or NES-101 -- doesn't matter). I don't particularly like the NESRGB (matter of personal opinion), and you won't find anyone selling the PC-10 mod (not to mention that PPU is not quite the same as what's in the commonplace NES). If you wanted the NES modded, then pay someone professional to do the mod -- get it done by Game-Tech or someone he or Kevtris recommends. Pay the money for a proper job, don't rely on some teenager who learned how to solder on Youtube and loves hot glue.

Otherwise, I'd suggest considering RetroUSB's AVS. While this isn't a "real" NES, it's basically the entire NES (CPU and PPU) emulated at the hardware level using an FPGA, so you could call it a "NES clone" if you want. It's done by bunnyboy (a name you might know; he also made the PowerPak) and is very a good product. Well, except for the controllers -- those are awful, get yourself a real NES controller. ;-)

I wouldn't suggest the RetroN 5 for development -- you might as well just stick to emulators on your PC/Mac/whatever.

I'm actually in the process of getting rid of all of my NES games (almost all gone!) and NES + Famicom hardware, and plan on using my AVS + PowerPak exclusively. I try hard to get homebrew games on actual carts too, just because I believe in supporting those efforts. If I encounter a game which doesn't work quite right on the PowerPak or AVS, then I'll do my best to try and get the cartridge.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:42 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
have someone test it on ... a RetroN 5.

A Retron 5 can't play cartridge dumps that aren't in its database, so (naively) testing won't work.

Also IIRC it's really just FCEUX in a box, so if it runs on FCEUX it can more or less (eventually) run on a Retron 5 if they update the database (or you use a workaround to load the ROM). Either way, not really worth going out of your way to test on, IMO.


I don't really think it's essential to test on an AVS either, as it can be soft-patched, and its maker cares about NES compatibility. If your game runs on a real NES but not an AVS, it might be considered a bug worth patching. (The incompatibilities I've heard of being patched so far weren't issues you could accommodate from the ROM software side anyway.)


Though really get people to test your game in all sorts of situations as often as it's practical to do so. While I don't think these two platforms specifically need to be specially targeted in testing, they're still a place somebody might be able to play your game.


Last edited by rainwarrior on Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:14 pm 
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My point of bringing up AVS and RetroN 5: they're commonly-used systems today for playing NES games (homebrew or otherwise) (I actually know of several personal friends, of my age range (40s), who bought the RetroN 5), and will likely become even more commonplace with fewer analog-type displays being available. This is compounded by original consoles starting to break/fail due to old age/failing parts (SNES is a good example), fewer people repairing things (or knowing how to repair things) today (see: living in a throw-it-away society), and original/retro consoles having crappy mods that might make them flaky or unreliable. I was trying to be practical about the realities of the current "marketplace" (wrong word, sorry), while offering alternatives, as well as just one opinion on which model to get.

I definitely was not trying to say "go out and buy all these consoles to test your stuff!" That's definitely overkill. I was trying to say "if you can't find/get original hardware, or don't want to deal with some of the nuances, here are some consoles that might make your purchase easier, and that that others will probably be using too".

Besides: between all of us on nesdev and the general community, I'd say almost every one of us owns at least *one* of the systems mentioned. We're here to help. :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:16 pm 
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I forgot to add as an aside, the AVS seems like a really good substitute even as a development machine. I would say you'd do pretty well with just that. (I'd probably buy it instead of an NES if I didn't have one already.)

The Retron 5 on the other hand is not a good substitute for development, though. (...but probably fine for playing games on.)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Wow, koitsu. Thank you for such a big reply, I am feeling guilty for you typing such detailed response for my small question.

koitsu wrote:
Then you'll find this just as interesting:

1983: Famicom (HVC-001, i.e. the original) released -- RF output only
1985: Front-loader NES (NES-001, i.e. the original) released -- A/V and RF output
1992: Top-loader NES (NES-101, a.k.a "NES 2") released -- RF output only
1993: AV Famicom (HVC-101, a.k.a. Famicom AV) released -- A/V output only


This is disappointing. I grew up with Dendy, that had both outputs. But to be fair, they were crap and had to be repaired multiple time.

koitsu wrote:
Are you planning on doing development with an actual dev board (i.e. a cartridge modded/rewired to support an EPROM/EEPROM), or will you be using a PowerPak or EverDrive N8?


At this point I am learning basic stuff with Mesen and trying to get my brain back to understand assembler. After 8 years of not touching microcontrollers and writing c# for money, assembler feels so verbose and I need to get used to it.

But I was planning on getting Everdrive N8 first, as I saw people complaining about PowerPak here on forum. At any case, if I end up writting a game, I am going to go without mappers first. Don't want to even think about mappers until I make this pong ball work :)

koitsu wrote:
If you asked me me personally, mano y mano, which NES to go with, I'd tell you this (and this should not become a topic of debate, because it's just an opinion):

Just buy an original unmodded NES-001 and be done with it. Yes, it has a more finicky cartridge connector than the NES-101, but the NES-101's RF-only and is subject to the "jail bar" problem that, to my knowledge, nobody has solved 100% reliably, 100% of the time, on 100% of the revisions that suffer from it (the vast majority do; the ones which don't are extremely rare and involve a completely different PCB layout done by Nintendo, apparently done near the *very VERY* end of the NES-101's lifetime (hence why they're so rare)). I say unmodded because there are a ridiculous number of systems now that have had dodgy and crappy mod jobs done to them of all sorts; those stupid "stereo" mods are the worst of the bunch, but botched up S-Video or component or HDMI jobs are common too. A lot of these dodgy jobs involve heavy use of hot glue, so your NES ends up looking like this. By going unmodded, you know you're getting something that hasn't been screwed with, and thus is pristine.

If you really want a modded NES (excluding the stupid "stereo" mod), then the only one I'd go with would be one with the HiDef NES mod done by Kevtris and Game-Tech (for either NES-001 or NES-101 -- doesn't matter). I don't particularly like the NESRGB (matter of personal opinion), and you won't find anyone selling the PC-10 mod (not to mention that PPU is not quite the same as what's in the commonplace NES). If you wanted the NES modded, then pay someone professional to do the mod -- get it done by Game-Tech or someone he or Kevtris recommends. Pay the money for a proper job, don't rely on some teenager who learned how to solder on Youtube and loves hot glue.

Otherwise, I'd suggest considering RetroUSB's AVS. While this isn't a "real" NES, it's basically the entire NES (CPU and PPU) emulated at the hardware level using an FPGA, so you could call it a "NES clone" if you want. It's done by bunnyboy (a name you might know; he also made the PowerPak) and is very a good product. Well, except for the controllers -- those are awful, get yourself a real NES controller. ;-)


I was thinking about getting an original 001, our local old game store usually have a few (except today they are out of stock) and with decent cost of $CAD100 tested. And I love how it looks. Plus I spent quite a few hours with a soldering iron in the past, and think can safely mod it if I find a need. But I see that you and rainwarrior like AVS, but I just do not feel investing too much money at this point.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Sounds good! I think you're taking the correct approach to things. Looking forward to seeing what stuff you make; де́ло ма́стера бои́тся!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Thank you, I hope to show something one day. Ух, как мое дело меня боится, неделями из папки не вылазит.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:22 am 
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There are Nintendo-made top loaders with A.V. output, but apparently they are so rare that most people are not even aware of their existence, so it may not be a realistic option to get one.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:31 am 
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koitsu wrote:
... the stupid "stereo" mod
:cry:

Well, Yaros, speaking as a half-Ukrainian Canadian myself, Ласкаво просимо до розробки NES (і до Канади).
^^ bad Google Translate.

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