Help me decide between GP32 and Zodiac


khephren

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Ok, here goes. I work in the games industry so I know a bit about hardware :)
The PSP is encrypted up to the eyeballs-you need an expensive dev kit to develop for it. But it is lovely-not retro, just vary powerfull.

The N-gage doesn't have the resolution for SNES, Genesis, PCE, AtariST etc emulators. It also has less grunt than the GP 104 MHZ vs 133 (and above if your lucky!). As for costing 60 euro's, iv'e only seen it for 120 euro's with a tarriff. I don't want a tariff phone, and very few parents will give their kids one. Otherwise its a good £250 at least. I think the resolution (and portrait at that!) kills it.

The zodiac is very sweet. I want one. But then I use a PDA (even if it is a knackered old Psion). If you don't use the PDA functions, then it is very over priced. All though it is faster than the GP, it will have to use that power to fill a larger screen (and a very nice one too). The GP could run much of the zodiac software, just at a lower res (similar to a my old Pentium 90 being able to run games that my mate with a 133 ran, but he used a higher res with more detail).

It's early days for GP dev. As far as I know the SNES and Genesis Emu's use very little assembler, when they do, you can expect much better performance. Expect an influx of new coder talent once the machine is officialy available too.
 

EvilDragon

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extremegamer posted on Oct 14 2003 at 04:34 PM said:
Just a reminder, the gp32 as 4 action buttons not 2, l & r, and also the select button is not that far from the other buttons and possibly could be used in SNES emulation, so then you'd just have 1 button missing.
Err, no, if you count L/R as action buttons, you have to count them on the SNES as well.

SNES has:
L, R, A, B, X, Y, Select, Start

So there still are two missing buttons on the GP32.
 
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Cpt_Kirks

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Dozer posted on Oct 14 2003 at 07:52 PM said:
I hope we dont lose ryleh. Most of his work is so close to being perfect. I know im just bein selfish but i hope he doesnt stop his work on the gp in favour of the zodiac.
I got an email from him last night. He has pre-ordered a Zodiac 2 (128MB version) and will start porting his emulators over when it arrives.


He didn't mention stopping GP32 work.

Several GP32 developers are going to do work on the Zodiac. Look at it this way, power wise (faster CPU, tons more RAM, video chip) the Zodiac will be easier to develop for.

The documents, SDK and support developers are getting from Tapwave is an order of magnitude better than Gameparks.

Plus Palm development is YEARS more advanced than the GP. True, most of it is pre-ARM, but the Palm OS is pretty mature.
 
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I dont know what you people are moaning for, the gp32 emu's are all in beta stages and even very early. Because they arent even complete and not fully optimised we wont see full speed on them ( yet! ) but im very certain that most emulators up to genesis and snes will be great in a matter of time.

As for the zodiac i havent heard of it before.. but considering the difference in price i'd go for gp32 since the zodiac is not that much faster 64mhz to be precise and you can even overclock gp32 up to 166mhz which means its only 44mhz behind PLUS the fact that the zodiac is a touchscreen device hardly any good for games it looks like a palm hand PC with buttons at the bottom this thing would be murder to play games on, why are we talking about a palmtop PC!? this is supposed to be for handheld consoles! we already knew about palm tops. in my opinion gp32 runs divx brilliantly, i had a whole film ( great quality ) happy gilmore on my smc and was only 74mb's for the whole film.

Whichever you get you should be pleased but i really dont think you should get the zodiac ive seen screenshots of it, in fact its just a palm pc and not even a hand held console like the Gp32 no wonder it costs so much more
of price obviously. Get the gp32 if your a gamer, get the zodiac and you will be dissapointed by the button layout for games, better for divx and mp3's perhaps but you can get all these features on gp32 anyway.

nuff said
 

generalnmx

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Why pay $100 more for possible SNES emulation?

True, the Zodiac has better specs than the GP32, but most of its glamour lies in its PDA functions. If you don't care about that, it's more sensible, in my opinion, to get the Gamepark32. I'm not really speaking as a Gamepark fanboy here, but logically, Zodiac seems like far more of a gamble for you right now. Just because rlyeh joined the Zodiac team doesn't mean fSNES will be his first port...in fact, he'd probably start on something smaller to get a feel for the system.

Wait about 6 months, and maybe there will be a decent SNES emulator for the Zodiac. But right now, the GP32 has two almost decent SNES emulators, which haven't even been optimized, and two more as WIPs.
 

Shane

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Thats the crappiest investment ever. 400$ and you get 200mhz and 128Mb of ram?Crazy way to waste money. You can get many PDA's around 350mhz and 128Mb of ram and many capabilites, like real web browsing plus a real hardrive all for the same amount for an Zodiac 2 with extras!! I could buy a whole new PC for that. Nokia :lol: (falls over laughing, forgets whats funny, looks at computer, laughs some more)

I forgot to mention already made emus and quake. Gp32 rules for the price/everything else
 

roylazarovich

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Well, it's not just 200MHz it's also 128 MB of RAM compared to 8 MB on the GP32 as well as dedicated video and audio chips.

I agree that it is a bad investment for a person who only wants to play games and not use it as a PDA, however, as it stands right now, I don't know if the GP32 will ever be able to run SNES games at a good playable speed while the Zodiac seems to be more promising at the department.

I guess what I need right now is some kind of an assurance from an emulator programmer or any other technically inclined user that the GP32 will be able to do SNES well eventually, and that the video and audio chips on the Zodiac won't really make a difference, than my decision would be easy.
 

kotd

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THis is easy. I was worried about buying the GP32 but I got one a week ago. And the sms emulation is sweet. THan i tried genemu and overclocked to 156mhz runs a lot of good games at a good speed. (sonic 1 and 2 street of rage 1 2 and 3!!!!!! drool) yeah and i tried snes bit to slow but SNEs emulation is fully possible on the GP32 but I reckon we will see a genesis emulator first which I'm waiting for.

In conclusion

BUY ONE NOW!!!! :p
 

roylazarovich

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That's another thing, the over clocking, as I understand it some GP32s can and some can't, is this true? has anyone had any problem overclocking his system? now that I think about it, how does one go about overclocking the system? Is there any way to be guranteed a clockable version?
 

generalnmx

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I don't know if the GP32 will ever be able to run SNES games at a good playable speed while the Zodiac seems to be more promising at the department.

The GP32 can already run a PCEngine at playable speeds. Let's compare the specs of the two original consoles:

http://www.pcvsconsole.com/features/consoles/gen4.php

Turbografx 16 (PCEngine upgrade)
------------------------------

CPU
-----
HuC6280 (PCEngine)
7.16MHz
8-bit
1.5 MIPS
Expansion (Turbografx 16)
MOS 65802
16MHz

Graphics
----------
16-bit HuC6270 (Video)
HuC6260 (Color)
320x256 Resolution
512 Colors
9-bit Palette
64 Sprites
32x64 Sprite Size
64KB Video RAM

Sound
--------
6 Channels

Data
------
8KB Main RAM
HuCard (2.5MB)

Expansion
1x CD-ROM


SNES
------

CPU
-----
WDC 65C816
3.58MHz

Graphics
----------
16-bit 16-Bit PPU
256x224 Min Res.
512x448 Max Res.
256 Colors
15-bit Palette
128 Sprites
64x64 Sprite Size
4 Parallax Backgrounds
64KB Video RAM

Sound
--------
Sony SPC700
8 ADPCM Channels
64KB Audio RAM

Data
-----
128KB Main RAM
Cartridge (6MB)

Now, back in 1991, there was a HUGE difference. However, the GP32 can give up to 133MHz without overclocking and 8MB of RAM, all without overhead such as an OS. There isn't any reason that we can't have a decent SNES emulator on the GP32. The current ones we have were either very early betas (Zardoz's, which doesn't even have sound) or completely unoptimized (SNES9xGP, even Zardoz's GUI is better). The main point here is - it's not a matter of hardware, it's a matter of programming and optimization. And even the optimization shouldn't be too hard, it just takes motivation and time.

With that said, to be completely honest, here are the SNES games which probably will be not able to be emulated: Tales of Phantasia, Star Ocean, Megaman X2, Megaman X3, Pilot Wings, any other DSP or special chip. They all needed hacks or special emulation just to run on PCs.
 

deanollive

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Go with the GP32 m8,
the NGAGE will receive loads of PS ports (trust me) which are ok to play if your willing to pay £229!!!!
If they droppped the price to £100 then it would be sick
C3
 

Daz_Genetic

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As a handheld collector, I have nearly all the handhelds made so far, and will definatly own the coming ones (Zodiac and PSP). I will probably pick up the N-Gage second hand, as it's price is outrageous, and I don't want to sign up for a phone contract, just for a games machine.

Anyone who says the Zodiac is no more than just a PDA is wrong. It features a video processor. Which allows programmers to draw to the screen faster than any other PDA that I know of. This will be the key when it comes to emulation on the system. If people make use of it properly, using assembler calls, most likely Snes, Genesis and Amiga emulation will be perfect as nearly the full CPU will be free for emulation purposes (as opposed to spending half a frame just filling the screen). Also, it has a great button layout with additional paddles so SNES emulators won't have to workaround the missing buttons.

The GP32 FLU is definatly the favourite of any of my handhelds. The screen is great outdoors. The frontlight is a lifesaver for indoors, but I'm not a fan of frontlights as they create a very washed out image. I am hoping for the PSP to have somethign similar to the TFT panel on my Cassiopeia PDA (really fantastic screen). I'm not even really that much of a retro gamer. I was really hoping for Amiga emulation, but the Atari ST has most nearly everything I could have wanted anyway (Stunt Car Racer anyone!). I'm not totally fussed about the SNES, and I alredy have a Nomad, so Genesis emulation isn't a concern to me.

Certainly, if you can afford it, get both. If you really are tight for cash, you might want to keep saving and get the best you can afford once the Zodiac scene is more mature. But if you are looking for instant portable retro gaming on a tight budget, there is only one choice. GP32 is where it's at.
 

Azure

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Well, you should first wait until what yoyo's secret project is. If its a snes emu, then you can probably expect full speed snes emulation w/ sound on at least 4-5 FS. I've seen the Zodiac and I'm very interested in it because of the fact that its like the GP32 but a lot more powerful. You should wait until at least a few months (2-4) after the Zodiac is released and see what kind of emulation is going to be released on it, especially see if there is full speed snes emulation. For the GP32, wait until yoyo announces his secret project.
 
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