Cool Idea For A New Machine

leggymcjeggy

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Yeah so I had this idea today, and have only just managed to get to my PC. You guys ready?

The G3x.

This would be an open source HOME CONSOLE. Similar in size to the Gamecube, Running on a similar OS to our beloved handheld.

4 USB slots on the front of the machine (mainly for contollers) and two on the back (i'm thinking optional hard drive etc here)

Ethernet port (incase the thing wants to go online!)

SD Slot, because it's cheap, compact and quite reliable.

I know bugger all about the tech stuff, but I'd like the '3x to handle 3d graphics with ease, say up to the level of N64 emulation? If the PSP can do it i can't see it being TOO much to ask!

Look what I just did?

No one can moan about the joystick/d-pad, because you choose your own and plug it in
No one can moan about the viewing angle, or the TV-Out, as this will beam straight to your TV
No one can moan about battery supplies, this is hooked up and ready to rock!

With the Console being similar to the gamecube in size, why not add a cd drive? (I skipped on DVD, it'd push the price up) and when they make PSX4G3x and Saturn emu's and lets not forget the dreamcast here..... you can either load a rom from SD/hardrive, or slap in the original game disk!

Remember I said this thing was internet equipped? If the emus were dev'd enough, you could play with people all over the world! Xbox live arcade... we're coming for your crown!


Open source also means homebrew games, apps, utlities etc etc, you could get a right little collection going! And of course commercial games..... It'd be awesome.

USB controllers mean we could have lightgun/ddr/wii type games developed!

This is just me fantasizing here. It'd be like my entire miss-spent youth in a box.

Only better :)
 

___

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Well, you can get yourself an xbox, add a nice hdd, softmod it and there you go: your very own emulation and media center for about 80 bucks available at your local pawn shop. Or you could just throw together a nice pc100 standard computer. You can get pretty nice modules which carry a 1,6 ghz intel processor and a video accelerator. There is dirt cheap sd modules available for them aswell. USB and LAN support is included onboard on most.
 

imhotep

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xnopasaranx said:
Well, you can get yourself an xbox, add a nice hdd, softmod it and there you go: your very own emulation and media center for about 80 bucks available at your local pawn shop.
The thing that makes the old Xbox so great is that the emulators are very mature and have a common interface called 'Xport' (SNES is the only popular emu with a different interface). You don't have to spend time learning or remembering how to use most emus as a result. No more "How do I access save states again?" or "Blast I just took a screenshot without meaning to!"
 
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leggymcjeggy

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Okay, obviously a few of you misread the term "home console" despite the caps (would bold get your attention better?) :p

I want to get away from the whole pc feel. Y'know, come home, sit down, power on, get gaming. As opposed to booting through bios and OS, using a monstrous box with a mouse and keyboard hanging off it! (although noted, it covers pretty much everything I'm asking for!)

Now Xbox is a better Idea, I heard about softmodding a while back! Just checked, they've got some pretty powerful emus on there, I can grab a wireless pad too... well worth a look. Cheers xnopasaranx!
 

rokdcasbah

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actually i don't really like xport's gui. really cumbersome, especially when you are used to the slick stuff on gp2x. main thing i like about modded xbox, besides low price & the fun of doing the mod (mine was hardware), is that if i want to i can play xbox games on it. i only have one xbox game (price of persia two thrones) but it's nice to know that i could get more if i wanted, and with unleashx you just push one button to copy them to the hard drive, now you never have to get up!

leggymcjeggy said:
I want to get away from the whole pc feel.
don't put windows on then. use linux, build the kernel, don't use modules. cover everything with spash screens.

really, there's not a huge difference internally between a game console and an x86 pc. if you're talking about long boot times, that can be remedied by (a) not booting, just suspend, or (B) clean kernel, no modules & hardware auto detection.

for windows you could use what squidge posted, gamex. those via mini-itx boards are super small. but if you need a 3d card & better sound, you can go a little bigger and it will still be a small box. do suspend-to-ram, and you'll never even have to wait for it to post, and those things use very little electricity even when fully on. use wake on usb, leave a couple of wireless game pads in there.

i would actually have done all this already, if i hadn't modded my xbox.


anyway...as far as a straight up mass-produced game console, look up indrema...didn't do so well.
 
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Squidge

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leggymcjeggy said:
Okay, obviously a few of you misread the term "home console" despite the caps (would bold get your attention better?) :p

I want to get away from the whole pc feel. Y'know, come home, sit down, power on, get gaming. As opposed to booting through bios and OS, using a monstrous box with a mouse and keyboard hanging off it! (although noted, it covers pretty much everything I'm asking for!)
The box doesn't have to be monstrous, it can be the same size as a typical dvd player if you look around. Also, on standby they can draw minimal power and take literally a few seconds to boot. Mouse and keyboard are not required. You can run some with just a joystick and dvd-type remote control.

leggymcjeggy said:
Now Xbox is a better Idea, I heard about softmodding a while back! Just checked, they've got some pretty powerful emus on there, I can grab a wireless pad too... well worth a look. Cheers xnopasaranx!
and guess what? An XBox is a PC in a different box :D
 
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sand_man

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I have to agree.
Build a compact PC, connect it to your TV and use MAMEWAH software to run all your beloved games (emulated or not) with whatever controllers you choose to use and without the annoyance of windows (or linux).
And get this, you can even run your own homebrew!! :eek:
 

Dex

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I and a small team are code a OS for such a box, as well as running on a PC, there a old xbox and gp2x port in the making.
It's coded in 100% ASM.
http://www.dex4u.com


Note: The main forum is down for up dates, but theres a back up one.
 

Squidge

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Dex said:
I and a small team are code a OS for such a box, as well as running on a PC, there a old xbox and gp2x port in the making.
It's coded in 100% ASM.
Any particular reason why?
 
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Dex

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Squidge said:
Dex said:
I and a small team are code a OS for such a box, as well as running on a PC, there a old xbox and gp2x port in the making.
It's coded in 100% ASM.
Any particular reason why?


As in why we are coding such a OS ?, If so the answer is simple, take any good game console OS and you will find that they are all like a supper Dos like OS, as in no memory protection (eg: run in ring0 and no-paging), have direct hardware access, no-multi-tasking.
Now linux is a great desktop OS, but its no good for games, Now you may think it make little difference, but take the old xbox as a example, it a very slow Intel Celeron 733 PC, but it can run game much faster, than much more powerfull PC, because of the way the OS is designed.
Now this is all fine, but there no free console type OS, i know because i want to use one, so me and a team code one over the past 4 years.
The more coder we get the better and fast its will be done.
If most of the coder on this forun new how easy, it is to code for the gp2x, without linux getting in the way, they would never go back to code on top of linux.

Here as a example see the old xbox spec http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1670116,00.asp

PS: Its not just for games, but for running a single program as fast as possible.
 
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rokdcasbah

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this bad boy has piqued my interest...

56-101-032-08.jpg


kinda like a black matte wii :D

hopefully it's fanless...and using compactflash or SDD for storage...it'd be super quiet and low-energy. never have to shut it down.

obviously it's a bit more expensive than a wii, and that's without cpu, ram or disk. but it has high-definition video ;D

anyway this is one of many of these sorts of computers. many are cheaper and with some shopping around you could do much better. the small form factors used to be a lot more expensive. the itx size never really made the splash people thought it would, but it's still cool for projects like this.
 
M

Magus 86

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Um... I don't think anybody missed the point you were getting at. First of all, a PC doesn't have to be a huge box with anything hanging off of it. Secondly, if it emulates, you'd still have to go thru some extra time that you wouldn't go thru with a regular console(like say... a playstation) because you'd have to pick what you want to play. You do that with a regular console anyway, just not thru some interface... You browse thru your discs/cartridges til you find the one you want to play, and there's still some loading time invovled if you use CDs. And have you ever heard of a laptop? You don't need a keyboard either. You need at least a mouse OR a keyboard, but not both. And if do happen to use a laptop, it's even more portable, which is better than having to unplug some crap from the back of your TV. The screen already comes with the device itself, and you have all you need in one nice little package. Get this! They even have USB ports! Imagine that!

A PC is the same thing you're suggesting. A laptop is the same thing but slightly more portable, and a GP32/GP2X/many other devices is the most portable version of this. Besides, I could have sworn you could hook a GP2X up to a TV and get extra USB ports, so what's the difference other than the fact that your idea can't be used without a TV or monitor that's not in the package already? Okay, I guess it would be more powerful, but it's still not as portable as a laptop, which can handle N64 or PSX emulation just fine already.

I see some others think this is a good idea... Oh well. To each his own, I guess.
 

rokdcasbah

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i think what he said about not wanting it to feel like a pc was legitimate, but broad. because deep down it's all hardware & software...there are few big differences that are hard to get around but i think that a couple things have happened lately to change that:

1. pc hardware and software has gotten better. we can now build pcs that boot relatively quickly and don't draw a ton of power.
2. load & boot times on game consoles have skyrocketed. so has power consumption. i'm guessing the wii uses less power than the other two big ones but, it doesn't even have hd.

let's get specific. what do we need to bridge the gap between pc and appliance? how do we go from general purpose to sleek and dedicated?

power consumption must be low. boot time must be quick (10 seconds is a good target, maybe too hard to hit though). os must be light, and not require a keyboard to navigate. case shouldn't look like ass. must be quiet.

so...small form factor pc with nice media center case. no fans, no hard drive, light linux distro without kernel modules.


i think history has shown us though, that there's not much of a demand (yet) for open full-size consoles. best thing to do right now is roll your own, all the while dreaming of a better tomorrow :p
 
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you know, an open source game console makes sense. If you took the same concept as the xbox which is a cutdown pc, created an OS that was open source and was basically booted off the bios much like if my understanding is correct the xbox. It could be something. The problem with the xbox home brew is some of it is rather annoying to get working correctly. If you could make it simple like the gp2x home brew then we might have something. Personally I don't know where one would buy the hardware to put something like that together. But an open source game console sounds like a great idea to me, especially since pcs connected to tv with anything other then vga/dvi/hdmi looks like total bullocks. The concept in my opinion sounds great. Unfortunately I'm only at the beginning stages of my computer engineering schooling so I can't help out hardware wise. give me four years and I'd like to help that dream come true.
 
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Heh, yes but not quite. I mean.. it probably would use a linux kernel because its a good bases for a lot of OS, but well.. just like microsoft did with the xbox optimizing the windows 2k kernel to be just for running games, the same idea would apply for the open source game system. You being a programmer of an awesome emulator, I'm sure you could appreciate being able to play snes games on the tv again with out either modding an xbox or having a bad resolutions on the tv ala gp2x. I mean.. that resolution fixer for tv out that one guy is working on does have promise, but TV out with the ability to emulate n64 and ps1 games is a feature I'd really like with out having to buy a new psp since I already have the first one.
Squidge said:
So, basically you want a PC that runs Linux? :)
 
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M

Magus 86

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Like I said before, I really don't see the point of this. It's an interesting idea, or at least it would be if we didn't already have enough devices that fill this thing's niche. Yes, I can appreciate playing SNES on a TV again, but guess what? I have an SNES. I don't need a special open source machine to play it on a TV. Any game I don't have a cartridge of I have no problem playing on a desktop or laptop PC. I can take a laptop with me to most places I want to go, and for those where I can't use it, I have my GP32(and soon a GP2X). I just don't see the point.

Just out of curiosity, since I have absolutely no experience even trying to use TV out with any device, what do you mean when you say "pcs connected to tv with anything other then vga/dvi/hdmi looks like total bullocks." ? I know what you mean by bullocks, but like how does it look like bollocks? Is it blurry, just distorted, is the color all screwed up, what? Regardless, if it looks horrible without one of the three you mentioned, why not just use one of the three you mentioned?

Oh by the way... You don't need TV out for a laptop. you have the entire package with you already. And if you want to play on a bigger screen, most laptops(or at least every one I've seen in the past year or two) have a port to plug a monitor into. If you need an even bigger screen, you could always buy a PC projector. It uses the same port the monitor does, and you can make the screen virtually as big as you want. Plus it's more portable than a TV. And just in case you think that looks like bollocks too, I hooked my laptop up to a projector at school and played some NES on it. It looked perfectly fine.

I'm not trying to flame or bash this idea or anything like that. I just can't see shelling out a couple hundred bucks for a machine that does something I can already do with 4 things I already own. I have a desktop and 2 laptops. I'm probably going to buy another laptop for my girlfriend when I get my income tax check, as well as a GP2X. I also have an NES, an SNES, a Genesis, a PSX, and a PS2. I have everything I need as far as videogames are concerned. Therefore, I have no reason to buy the device you guys are talking about in this thread.
 
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