Gp32 Review Nearly Finished


gp32boy2

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Heres what i have so far, Please tell me what you would like to see before I get it up on my site

www.ZoneIX.co.uk



Game Park is a little known company based in Korea; The Company thrives on its sales from the minority of hardcore gamers and coders. The console which they produced is called a Game Park 32, you may have seen these things around, probably mistakenly thought it was a Game Boy, you were wrong. The GP32 is far from a GBA but so alike, very few people have invested in this console to reap the benefits of retro gaming. The GP32 had been fumbling around in the development kits and produced masses of great games and applications. As a sign of there respect toward the console users scurried to the European launch petition for new games and extras, the small masses of GP32 users gathered in their flocks to sign a petition for the releases. Hundreds left there details and helped make it happen.
Each dedicated user on the forums and websites all support Game Park, the company is highly respected along with their productions. Now we see it under the media spot light, so let’s get on with the test to see if it really is what it has been made out to be.

The GP32 Console comes in 3 main varieties:

GP32
GP32 FLU - Front Lit Unit
GP32 BLU - Back Lit Unit

The GP32 specifications

CPU: Samsung™ 133 MHz ARM 9 CPU
Screen: 3.5" LCD TFT Screen
Memory: 8MB SDRAM
ROM: Smart Media Card (128MB max)
Inputs: Headphone Adaptor, EXT, USB
Speakers: High quality
Batteries: Two AA





Holding the console

The gp32 is quite a unique looking piece of equipment, the two bulges on the back do look a little ugly however are extremely comfortable. The bulges allow more blood to the fingers unlike other more known consoles that you have wrist pump after an hour. The speakers define the shape towards the bottom in which it sits in the palms, is easy and there won’t be any bruises from hard gaming as well, the outer edges are smooth and comfortable in the hands. The layout of the console is a bit cramp for larger hands; Thumbs seem to make their way onto the LCD screen. However this layout keeps the hands in a position in which blood can flow easily, Users that complain of numbness will be ok using this console.

The button layout of the buttons is familiar from Nintendo™ Game boy series, with the B button offset lower than A. Buttons are plastic so they do get hot under the action of Super Mario Kart, Each button is solid plastic with engraved letters, the start and select are a rubber membrane that is tough and durable that does not discolour. On the pictures provided by Game Park they show a more curvy console around the edges but it is a slightly less of an angle, this is another good point as it makes reaching the L and R buttons easier. The joystick 12 ways directional so it is good for all retro games, 12 ways is more than ample for any game on the GP32. The joystick is noisy, the 4 main directions are more audible. The reassuring sounds are a good reminder of its quality, we know that we aren’t going to be slamming they joystick from side to side, it is actually very delicate and precise, and it can take a little getting used to. The L and R shoulder buttons are robust and are on top of the console like the others, the shoulder buttons have grips on the top that provide more grip on the chassis.

Plug me in

For a handheld console it seems to have a fair amount of input ports. The headphones went in again with a click for reassurance and so did the DC port, USB however is a different matter. The mini-USB connector does not click into place, it is a tricky with an older USB lead, and GBAX provides a slightly wider USB lead that is better than the original.

Sound

The volume is located at the bottom left of the console, the volume is reasonably loud for any gamer. If you use the headphones it is very loud but clearer than the speakers at high volume. At the highest volume the speakers are a still a high quality on SNES. At a medium volume it is very clean and crisp. Our test for this sound is DOOM, The intro was very clear at full volume; there is no lag in sound when there are many sprites in the area, when placing the gp32 on its back the sound is quieter due to the angle, but who games with it flat on a desk?

What Can The GP32 Do?

The GP32 is an open source console that has a handful of skilled coders, the main usage of the GP32 is the emulators. An emulator imitates something and has the same qualities, for example the GP32 can play SNES games, the games are loaded onto the Smart Media Card from a computer, and the games are ROM images that play through an emulator. The GP32 emulates allot of great systems here are some that it emulates well:



Atari 2600
Atari 8 bit
Atari Lynx
Atari ST
Chip 8
Coleco Vision
Commodore Plus 4
Commodore 64
Dragon 32
Dragon 64
Gameboy Advance
Game Boy Colour
Game Gear
Game Boy mono
M.A.M.E
MSX 1
MSX 2
Neo Geo Pocket
NES
PC Engine
Sega Genesis
SG1000
SC3000
Sega Master System
SNES
Vectrex
WoderSwan Color
ZX Spectrum

Now that is a long list, some are even full speed and completely emulated, some even take advantage of the GP32 mini USB keyboard. So we have all those emulators, its time to get the games out of the loft! All these games are great! You can buy games off the internet for 50 pence, hours of mobile gaming for young and old. So now we have all these emulators to play, what was that? That’s not all the GP32 can do?



Ports

Yes the GP32 can also play MP3s

The GP32 is also an mp3 player, packed with homebrew goodies it won’t be long until the GP32 is a recording studio! Well maybe not but with the things this little beauty has it will probably happen one day, the play back is great with the speakers and headphones. So we could buy an mp3 player for £50 more, you have a console that is better than most MP3 players and stronger. So you will save allot of money already.

Movies

Ok so MP3s are getting a little old now so why not watch a music video, or a film! Yes the gp32 also has film features that you can buy very cheap. All that’s need is DVD decoder and ripper, the task is simple, the quality is superb. It depends what you are expecting though you can make it as good or as low quality as you like, a music video can be amazing quality on the 320 x 240 resolution screen.

Game Test

Test 1

Console: SNES
Game: Bio Worm
Size: 140kb
License: Freeware
Clock Speed: 133MHz
Emulator: Open Snes9x GP 0.2

Load time: 4 seconds
FPS: 21

Test 2

Console: PC Engine
Game: Raiden
Size: 768kb
License: Hudson Soft 1991
Clock Speed: 133MHz
Emulator: GP Engine 0.4

Load time: 2 seconds
FPS: 35

Conclusion

Yes, The console is great. Yes it has the power to out pefrom a GBA. The gamers have really got a great console and are lucky to have such a great piece of entertainment.The GP32 is a high power console that can out perform any of the commercial consoles by far; it has the power to out perform and leads the field a lap ahead. The console has a few minor let downs but is a definite winner. The console is very close to full speed emulation on most emulators, this gconsole runs smooth and without errors, Its wuite stunning that the GP32 isn't bigger than the likes of the GBA! If you really want addictive games, A movie player and more for under £150 then get up and get down to www.Lik-Sang.com now!
 

Gruntfuggly

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Brrrrring: REPETITION - "out perform" (crap gag for seriously older gamers). Seriously though - a few points:
* The mini keyboard isn't USB
* 133 Mhz isn't really the speed of the CPU - I think it runs at 66Mhz out of the box, but it CAN be overclocked up to and beyond (if you're lucky) 166Mhz
* You can't really say that it emulates Lynx, GBA, Vectrex or MAME very well at the moment - none of these emulators are anywhere near 100%
* You might want to mention some other distributors other than Lik-Sang - you'll get a better deal from eBay, GBAX.com, etc.

Apart from that - great review...
 
E

extremegamer

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I thought GameParks major source of income came from developing programs for the Korean military, like simulators.
 

Tobriand

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I'm just posting to echo pretty much what Gruntfuggly said - might want to take GBA and Lynx (and possibly vectrex/mame; I haven't tried either yet, though) off the list for now. It might be able to d them someday, but at the moment, whilst it emulates when, it doesn't really emulate them well... Or at least, not in a playable sense (in terms of coding excellence, especially with GBA, it emultes it *very* well, but its not really a marketable feature - yet).

Calling the chip 133MHz is good, though. Too many think its definitely 166MHz, and places like Lik-sang and such play on that ("Up to 166MHz" et al). It is, actually, the 133 model, I think. Might want to point out it *can* however vary, else there'll be people confused about different claims of CPU speed.

Oh and we aren't playing Just a Minute :p (nor do you really need to be seriously old to have heard of the show :p )

Great review, otherwise :)
 

davey g

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The d-pad/stick is 8 way.

You don't need a dvd decoder or anything of the sort to make videos playable on the GP32. If you have a .avi/.mpg etc that runs on the pc all you have to do is re-encode it.

Spell check it aswell and check punctuation. No capital letters after commas remember? Grammar is also your friend.

Under ports you should have comments about Doom and such. The game tests for the emulators should really be under the emulatable system list and have a little introduction paragraph so people know what they're reading.

I don't know where you found that you can buy commercial roms online for 50p. They are illegal and not sold.

Gamepark isn't well respected at all. They are pretty much laughed at here for their lack of support for the console and inability to do anything on time.

There's also a power supply input aswell. 3v 300ma negative polarity is needed.
 

Steve-O

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Gruntfuggly posted on Sep 14 2004 at 04:08 PM said:
* 133 Mhz isn't really the speed of the CPU - I think it runs at 66Mhz out of the box, but it CAN be overclocked up to and beyond (if you're lucky) 166Mhz


I can get to 254 MHZ... :D.... Isnt the MAX Speed of the CPU 256MHZ ???
 
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SvOlli

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Gruntfuggly posted on Sep 14 2004 at 06:08 PM said:
* 133 Mhz isn't really the speed of the CPU - I think it runs at 66Mhz out of the box, but it CAN be overclocked up to and beyond (if you're lucky) 166Mhz
To clarify this I pulled out the Samsung S3C2400X Product Overview Manual (revision 1.4.3):
Samsung S3C2400X Product Overview Manual (revision 1.4.3) said:
MPLL makes the clock for operating MCU at maximum 150MHz @ 1.8V.
This also implies as well that there are higher frequencies possible at higher voltage. I've read that everything > 133MHz is concidered "overclocking", but I doubt that. SvOrbis needs to run at 136MHz to get close to 44100Hz sampling rate as possible. I guess 150MHz should be a good guess that (at least almost) every GP32 should be able to run at. Mine runs at 166MHz on the clocktester, but not on GPengine, that I'll only get to work with 156MHz.

Just my 2c. Greetings,
SvOlli
 
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Dozer

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SvOlli posted on Sep 14 2004 at 08:33 PM said:
Gruntfuggly posted on Sep 14 2004 at 06:08 PM said:
* 133 Mhz isn't really the speed of the CPU - I think it runs at 66Mhz out of the box, but it CAN be overclocked up to and beyond (if you're lucky) 166Mhz
To clarify this I pulled out the Samsung S3C2400X Product Overview Manual (revision 1.4.3):
Samsung S3C2400X Product Overview Manual (revision 1.4.3) said:
MPLL makes the clock for operating MCU at maximum 150MHz @ 1.8V.
This also implies as well that there are higher frequencies possible at higher voltage. I've read that everything > 133MHz is concidered "overclocking", but I doubt that. SvOrbis needs to run at 136MHz to get close to 44100Hz sampling rate as possible. I guess 150MHz should be a good guess that (at least almost) every GP32 should be able to run at. Mine runs at 166MHz on the clocktester, but not on GPengine, that I'll only get to work with 156MHz.

Just my 2c. Greetings,
SvOlli
Some gps can reach 132 only :ph34r:.
 
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woogal

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Splinter posted on Sep 14 2004 at 11:46 PM said:
That reminds me. can the coder of the gp32 clock speed tester (sorry but i cant remember whom) add some higher speeds to test than 200mhz cos im lucky enough for it to work at that speed and i want to try higher.
Mirko added speeds up to 256mhz to his tester ages ago - http://home.t-online.de/home/mirkoroller/gp32/clocktst.fxe

Quake will let you go up to 256mhz too (but I've not heard if anyone can successfully run it that high).
 
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Dozer

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woogal posted on Sep 15 2004 at 12:38 PM said:
Splinter posted on Sep 14 2004 at 11:46 PM said:
That reminds me. can the coder of the gp32 clock speed tester (sorry but i cant remember whom) add some higher speeds to test than 200mhz cos im lucky enough for it to work at that speed and i want to try higher.
Mirko added speeds up to 256mhz to his tester ages ago - http://home.t-online.de/home/mirkoroller/gp32/clocktst.fxe

Quake will let you go up to 256mhz too (but I've not heard if anyone can successfully run it that high).
Actually, quake is the only program on the gp that won't let me run at 166 :S. Bit annoying as I paid for a guaranteed 166 gp from gbax but quake wasn't out at the time.
 
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