Questions about the future of the NES

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mbrenaman
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Questions about the future of the NES

Post by mbrenaman » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:25 pm

Hello everyone. I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so I'll post it here. Ever since I got back into writing programs for the NES, I've had a few questions I wanted to ask people still involved with either developing or even just playing new home brewed games.

When do you think we will reach a point where most NES units have stopped working and there are no more replacement parts to service them?

Will there ever be a source of new parts for our machines?

Will there ever be a true NES replica that behaves exactly like the original?

Will NES development continue even when there are no more working units available?

I honestly don't think I would continue NES development if I didn't have a working system to run games on. It would also be a terrible shame to not have a NES to play the cartridges I own and all the new home brewed games out there. What are your thoughts? I imagine some people here have considered these things. Would you continue to develop for a system that only exists through emulation?

tepples
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Re: Questions about the future of the NES

Post by tepples » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:58 pm

mbrenaman wrote:Will there ever be a true NES replica that behaves exactly like the original?
It's possible as soon as someone translates the existing photomicrographs of the CPU and PPU into a netlist.
Would you continue to develop for a system that only exists through emulation?
Java application developers do.

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Post by WJYkK » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:59 pm

In regards to hardware, I don't think it will be such an easy task. The system itself consists of two parts: the CPU with the APU, and the PPU. While the 6502 CPU can be easily and cheaply bought as they are manufacture and sold to this day, however good luck getting a non-emulated way to produce sound and video out of the system.

(Of course, that's more of an opinion, and I'm not sure if what I've said is accurate.)

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GradualGames
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Post by GradualGames » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:51 am

The way I see it, the NES was a piece of hardware originally yes, but its soul and essence consists of a set of ideas and constraints. Since this can be emulated almost perfectly by modern hardware, I think I'd be just as happy playing NES games on emulation hardware as the real system. You could almost think of an emulator as a bytecode game scripting engine for retro games. But, it would definitely be awesome if the hardware is perfectly replicated some day. I really hope it will be. The NES on a chip isn't so bad if it weren't for the horrible sound!

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Post by tepples » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:59 am

That's why we need someone to translate the APU and PPU scans into netlists, so that we can finally have an accurate description of the hardware that can be automatically translated into an emulator core or synthesized into hardware. I wish I knew how to read photomicrographs and use FPGA tools.

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Post by mbrenaman » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:26 pm

So someone is doing something similar to this, or at least part of the effort? I'm very glad to hear that if so. At least if the hardware is never reproduced, NES emulator authors would have something to test against. Maybe even one day computers will be powerful enough to run a complete simulation at a speed adequate for gaming.
The way I see it, the NES was a piece of hardware originally yes, but its soul and essence consists of a set of ideas and constraints. Since this can be emulated almost perfectly by modern hardware, I think I'd be just as happy playing NES games on emulation hardware as the real system. You could almost think of an emulator as a bytecode game scripting engine for retro games.
I have to admit your perspective is reassuring. The reason I enjoy programming for the NES is in fact the ideas, constraints, and the simple joy of 6502 coding. Even if NES development where restricted to emulation, it would still be alot more fun then programming in Java :wink: .

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Post by Jeroen » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:01 pm

mbrenaman wrote:So someone is doing something similar to this, or at least part of the effort? I'm very glad to hear that if so. At least if the hardware is never reproduced, NES emulator authors would have something to test against. Maybe even one day computers will be powerful enough to run a complete simulation at a speed adequate for gaming.
fpgas can already run "simulations" at the proper speeds :D

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Post by MottZilla » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:27 pm

All parts that will fail anytime soon in the NES can be replaced. The parts that can't be replaced will last for a very long time. Technology may advance in the future to a point where cloning the NES is trivial. I imagine eventually someone will make a 1:1 clone of the NES given its huge popularity.

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Post by Denine » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:12 am

Will there ever be a true NES replica that behaves exactly like the original?
Like tepples said.
Hmm..Nintendo has returned to retro gaming introducing Virtual console.
Maybe some,wonderful day,Nintendo will make such a replica :wink:
Will NES development continue even when there are no more working units available?
I hope so.
Would you continue to develop for a system that only exists through emulation?
Hm...yes.
I'm dedicated to NES.

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Bregalad
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Post by Bregalad » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:40 am

Who care the wolrd will end in 2012 so most NESes will still be functionning :wink:

Aside of that the #1 source of NES disfunctionnements is the stupid connector.
Life is complex: it has both real and imaginary components.

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Post by Zepper » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:49 am

Bregalad wrote:Who cares the world will end in 2012 so most NESes will still be functioning
Image

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Post by 3gengames » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:28 am

Haha, I think my 14 NES's will be fine for my lifetime, so after that, why do I care? :wink:


But considering like 80 Million were sold, and the collecting community finds more and more per year (I even have 14 NES's!) I think we all should have a good stockpile to last us a long time. :D

Wkter
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Post by Wkter » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:36 am

Zepper wrote:
Bregalad wrote:Who cares the world will end in 2012 so most NESes will still be functioning
Actually, the world will end on October 21 this year according to my very reliable sources.

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Post by tepples » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:13 pm

If it really is a week of 1000-year days after the Flood, then 2011 is early. Adam was created on the sixth day, and that has been variously dated as 3760 BC to 4004 BC by more established sources. Jehovah's Witnesses, on the other hand, believe that Earth already entered a new era almost a century ago, starting with World War I.

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Post by marvelus10 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:33 pm

Wkter wrote:
Zepper wrote:
Bregalad wrote:Who cares the world will end in 2012 so most NESes will still be functioning
Actually, the world will end on October 21 this year according to my very reliable sources.
You must all send me your NES stuff for I will be the sole survivor and shall preserve all that is NES for Millennia. For you contributions you shall all be spared a from a painful annihilation.

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