Author Topic: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console  (Read 1007 times)

yoshi41 (OP)

  • Posts: 473
MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« on: November 13, 2019, 04:44:50 pm »
I have a MiSTer since a couple of months and it's just great!  :D

This little device clones old hardware almost perfectly (depends on the core quality of course), provides a crystal clear image on CRT (VGA->SCART cable) or LCD TV (HDMI), uses standard USB input devices (very easy to configure) and connects to a network.

There is already an impressive number of open source cores for home computers, consoles and arcade boards.

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_MiSTer/wiki

I've bought a complete assembled MiSTer with 128 MB SDRAM (required for Neo Geo). I use a mini keyboard and a wifi dongle (to automatically update the cores with script). Setup is pretty straight forward, directly on the microSD card or via network (Linux OS).

The latest console core is for Neo Geo. It's almost perfect already.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZPLVssmXc8" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZPLVssmXc8</a>

There is pretty much zero lag on a CRT. It beats my GroovyMAME  / CRT Emudriver setup easily.

Of course, there are far more consoles and arcade boards supported by software emulation. But the future is FPGA!  8)

« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 10:38:10 am by yoshi41 »
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pcercuei

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Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 04:45:49 pm »
Didn't know about that one. Looks nice. FPGA programming is fun  ;D

VanZan

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Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 03:14:27 pm »
I have one but I haven't used it much. Found it very early days in terms of everything. For NeoGeo don't you need 128mb RAM and that costs a fair bit? I will say one thing though, and hopefully it's not the placebo effect, there was zero lag on the few games I could get going.

yoshi41 (OP)

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Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2019, 11:17:26 am »
I have one but I haven't used it much. Found it very early days in terms of everything.

Really? There's a lot of development activity and cores are constantly improved.

I have a MiST and didn't use it much, since configuring is complicated and the console cores are kind of incomplete.

But the MiSTer does a much better job. Just prepare an SD card using the SD card installer, download and run the update script. The update script will automatically download and update all available cores, support files and the Linux image. Couldn't be easier.

Joystick configuration is very easy as well. After configuring, everything can be controlled with the stick/pad and switching between games/cores is a matter of seconds. And all cores use the same menu structure.

For NeoGeo don't you need 128mb RAM and that costs a fair bit?

32 MB SDRAM plays about 70% of the Neo Geo games library. But yes, 128 MB is required to play all games.

I will say one thing though, and hopefully it's not the placebo effect, there was zero lag on the few games I could get going.

A friend of mine instantly recognizes any sort of lag. He plays games like GnG and Contra on a CRT without dying. He's totally convinced of the device and bought one as well.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 11:19:05 am by yoshi41 »
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eltehero

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Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2019, 06:00:29 pm »
@yoshi41,

The MISTer is looking to be a very good neogeo alternative to software emulation. Have you seen Terraonion NeoSD MVS? This is another quality device using FPGA for neogeo MVS games. Terraonion does an AES version as well (NeoSD AES) .

Terraonions products are supposed to be awesome for playing neogeo MVS/AES games. I really want to see how they compare to the MISTer

« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 07:50:46 pm by eltehero »

yoshi41 (OP)

  • Posts: 473
Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2019, 10:22:56 pm »
I have all Terraonion products.  ;D

The NeoSD / NeoSD Pro works like a game cart on the original system. No difference between NeoSD and a real cart, apart from having all games on a SD card. Once the game is flashed, it starts immediately like a real cart. The pro version has 1 SDRAM (volatile, for faster loading) and 4 flash RAM (non-volatile) slots. It also supports Neo Geo CD games. The regular version has just 1 flash RAM slot and no CD support. Both carts are awesome and work perfectly. Best choice if real hardware is required.

I would say the question is more, what's the difference between the Neo Geo hardware and the MiSTer. It might not be perfect yet, but very close and the games I play work like on the real system. I was amazed about the quality of the initial core release. It played everything smoothly I tried and the few sound glitches have already been fixed. And loading time is much faster compared to NeoSD.

A complete MiSTer costs about 300 EUR. Not particularly cheap. But still cheaper compared to a NeoSD.  :)
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eltehero

  • Posts: 308
Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2019, 11:24:10 am »
I have all Terraonion products.  ;D

The NeoSD / NeoSD Pro works like a game cart on the original system. No difference between NeoSD and a real cart, apart from having all games on a SD card. Once the game is flashed, it starts immediately like a real cart. The pro version has 1 SDRAM (volatile, for faster loading) and 4 flash RAM (non-volatile) slots. It also supports Neo Geo CD games. The regular version has just 1 flash RAM slot and no CD support. Both carts are awesome and work perfectly. Best choice if real hardware is required.

I would say the question is more, what's the difference between the Neo Geo hardware and the MiSTer. It might not be perfect yet, but very close and the games I play work like on the real system. I was amazed about the quality of the initial core release. It played everything smoothly I tried and the few sound glitches have already been fixed. And loading time is much faster compared to NeoSD.

A complete MiSTer costs about 300 EUR. Not particularly cheap. But still cheaper compared to a NeoSD.  :)

@yoshi41

Thank you so much for the very helpful explanation. I'm getting very interested in fpga to replicate retro systems.

I know they are very expensive but what would you recommend as the best neo geo MVS systems to use with the NeoSD MVS cart?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 11:29:04 am by eltehero »

yoshi41 (OP)

  • Posts: 473
Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2019, 04:08:54 pm »
I know they are very expensive but what would you recommend as the best neo geo MVS systems to use with the NeoSD MVS cart?

I have the Omega CMVS and very happy with it. There's also the JNX CMVS, which has very good reviews. Not sure about availability, you might have to contact James. He offers different output options like RGB, S-Video and Component, if you need it. I always prefer just RGB, but in the US it's probably easier to find a Component CRT. On a flat screen, you need an upscaler like Framemeister or OSSC anyways. RGC has now RAD2X cables as an alternative solution, which have an integrated RetroTINK line doubler.

An AES with or without Unibios is fine as well. You can force the game in MVS mode, since the game ROM is usually identical for AES and MVS. It just behaves differently when played, like having unlimited credits in MVS mode. MVS only games run also fine on AES with NeoSD.

And of course an arcade cabinet is always an option. Either a Neo Geo or JAMMA cabinet. I have the Sega Astro City. There I use either an MVS single slot board, a real arcade PCB or a PC with Groovy MAME. Just saw there is now even a MiSTer JAMMA adapter available. 8) Just wanted to add, an arcade cabinet is not just plug and play and really bulky.
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VanZan

  • Posts: 287
Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2019, 04:58:33 pm »
I have one but I haven't used it much. Found it very early days in terms of everything.

Really? There's a lot of development activity and cores are constantly improved.

Quote
I have a MiST and didn't use it much, since configuring is complicated and the console cores are kind of incomplete.

But the MiSTer does a much better job. Just prepare an SD card using the SD card installer, download and run the update script. The update script will automatically download and update all available cores, support files and the Linux image. Couldn't be easier.

Joystick configuration is very easy as well. After configuring, everything can be controlled with the stick/pad and switching between games/cores is a matter of seconds. And all cores use the same menu structure.

For NeoGeo don't you need 128mb RAM and that costs a fair bit?

32 MB SDRAM plays about 70% of the Neo Geo games library. But yes, 128 MB is required to play all games.

I will say one thing though, and hopefully it's not the placebo effect, there was zero lag on the few games I could get going.

A friend of mine instantly recognizes any sort of lag. He plays games like GnG and Contra on a CRT without dying. He's totally convinced of the device and bought one as well.

This is the post I made at the time:
http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=117&t=34710&p=380109#p380109

Never got a reply and there was loads happening with the RS-97 and other software emulation based devices so I just got drawn away from the device. I've ordered a 128mb ram module so when it arrives I'll go back and update everything and give it another go.

yoshi41 (OP)

  • Posts: 473
Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2019, 08:51:37 pm »

This is the post I made at the time:
http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=117&t=34710&p=380109#p380109

Never got a reply and there was loads happening with the RS-97 and other software emulation based devices so I just got drawn away from the device. I've ordered a 128mb ram module so when it arrives I'll go back and update everything and give it another go.

The forum is not very helpful for newbies. I was confused about the main mister, menu and console cores. They need to be in sync. This is why I setup the update script and everything is now automatically updated (I use a filter to only check updates for the installed cores). Anyways, let me know how it goes.

Regarding your questions.

When the device boots, you have 2 main menus:

1. "System Settings" for system joystick/keyboard mapping and scripts
2. "Cores" to start your installed cores

Use the menu key (in my case L+R) to switch between them.

When you start a core, you have 2 core menus (press the menu key):

1. The core menu to load ROMs and configure your core, e.g. Neo Geo
2. The "System" menu to start a new core, define core specific buttons, reboot and more

Use the left / right joystick buttons to switch between them.

Now if you want to go back to the main boot menu, just do a soft reboot in the core "System" menu.

PS: The black screen you mentioned is probably what you get when starting a new core. Some cores display the core menu, while others start just with a blank screen. In this case, just press the menu button. This is a bit inconsistent, all cores should display the menu at startup.
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eltehero

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Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 10:29:37 pm »
@yoshi41,

Thanks so much for the information. It's very helpful.

Are there MISTer cores for the capcom CPS1 and CPS2 boards so that you can play all games supported by the boards on it's own core? I hope I'm making sense
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 10:42:48 pm by eltehero »

yoshi41 (OP)

  • Posts: 473
Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2019, 12:45:59 pm »
You're welcome.  :)

CPS cores and ODE are at the top of my wish list. It looks like Jotego is working on a CPS1 core. Here's a list of rumored upcoming MiSTer cores...

https://www.retrorgb.com/upcoming-mister-cores-sega-cd-playstation-jaguar-cave-arcade-cps1-and-more.html

It will most likely take some time. On the other hand, there are always surprises in the FPGA scene. A german developer posted last week about his GBA core for the DE2-115 board. It's been ported to MiSTer a couple of days ago and other people are already helping him. It's funny that he don't know most older consoles, but is creating a GBA core. He says he's probably too young.  ;D
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VanZan

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Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2019, 01:00:28 am »
Wow. Didn't think PSX, Sega CD or Jaguar were even possible. I thought the Jaguar was notoriously difficult to emulate through old fashioned methods? Finally can have a go of Aliens vs Predator maybe and experience it properly.

VanZan

  • Posts: 287
Re: MiSTer FPGA Multi Console
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 06:55:21 pm »
Saw an update that Mega CD core is released.