I Still Use My Game Park Machines


christo930

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Many thanks to the person who uploaded the new version of Picodrive. I still use my gp32 and my gp2x. One of the thngs that I really, really like about these 2 particular machines is that I am confident that the batteries will always be available. AA batteries are BY FAR the most common batteries and there are literally millions of devices that use them. In addition, the batteries in the newwer systems are not only often proprietary and irreplaceable (you can't use new old stock because these chemistries go bad with age), but they can fail by expanding and breaking the device (I have an Ipaq that has this very problem). There are only a couple of Android machines that have game controls and they are difficult to get and have these same battery problems.
 
So yes, please keep supporting the gp32 and gp2x. There is plently of life left in them for homebrew games. In fact, given that it can accurately emulate GBA games, the gp2x should easily be able to have games that are better than NDS.
 
Thanks again,
 
 
Chris
 

Nightbird

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christo930 said:
Many thanks to the person who uploaded the new version of Picodrive. I still use my gp32 and my gp2x. One of the thngs that I really, really like about these 2 particular machines is that I am confident that the batteries will always be available. AA batteries are BY FAR the most common batteries and there are literally millions of devices that use them. In addition, the batteries in the newwer systems are not only often proprietary and irreplaceable (you can't use new old stock because these chemistries go bad with age), but they can fail by expanding and breaking the device (I have an Ipaq that has this very problem). There are only a couple of Android machines that have game controls and they are difficult to get and have these same battery problems.
 
So yes, please keep supporting the gp32 and gp2x. There is plently of life left in them for homebrew games. In fact, given that it can accurately emulate GBA games, the gp2x should easily be able to have games that are better than NDS.
 
Thanks again,
 
 
Chris
 
I have to agree about the AA batteries. Can't see them going anywhere soon, and the good thing is every few years they seem to improve on the technology. Sanyo's Eneloop batteries are very good. I remember running the battery test app on the Eneloop XX's and it came in at 4:40hrs. Ansmann's 2850's came in at 4:05hrs. If I'm going away, I tend to take my GP2X rather than my Caanoo because it takes AA's. When they go, just whack another set in and your back up and running (as long as you remembered to take some spares that is).
 

geise69

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Awesome!  I was using my GP2X Wiz today.  Played Temper and Cave Story :)  Always nice to fire it up and relax with some games.
 

alxm

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It will be interesting to see how long the GP scene will live on for, both in terms of people using these devices and new software coming out. Thanks to Notaz's GINGE and Ed's archives, it looks like this bit of history will be well preserved. :gp2x
 
And speaking of, didn't DJWillis show us the early version of a GP32 emulator for the GP2X some years back? I wonder what became of that.
 

jmetal88

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I have to admit, I haven't picked up my GPH consoles in a long time.  Currently I have two GP32s (albeit both are kind of damaged) and a GP2X Wiz in my room.  I would love to have a GP2X again, although I'd prefer the F200 model this time around (couldn't stand the way they did the digital stick on the F100), but I think I'd start getting frustrated at the long boot time, so I probably wouldn't do it unless I could find one really cheap.
 

Esn

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I do still use my front-lit GP32 a lot, mostly because I really like the front-lit screen (it seems to be a lot easier on my eyes than the backlit screens that every other device has). I also like that I can turn it on and off very quickly.
 
Unfortunately it's been getting more and more hardware problems:
 
-the joypad doesn't recognize diagonals, and even some of the direction buttons are now difficult to get. This means that I can only really play RPGs or use text readers (previously for many years I could also play platformers that didn't need diagonals)
-the bottom third of the screen is a tiny bit darker than the top and doesn't display colors quite right
-especially after being exposed to moisture, I get vertical static appearing on the screen. It seems to go back to normal if I leave it in a dry room for a few weeks
-and just recently, my Smartmedia card got corrupted after I unwisely tried to save a game as the battery was running out.
 
I know the joypad at least can be fixed (at least, I remember reading something about that) but I don't really know how. I have no idea if the screen issues can be fixed or not. Does anyone know?
 

alxm

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Esn said:
I know the joypad at least can be fixed (at least, I remember reading something about that) but I don't really know how. I have no idea if the screen issues can be fixed or not. Does anyone know?
 
Just a guess, but maybe some of the microswitches don't pop back up all the way after being pressed. Does the stick still make clicky noises for every direction you press? Maybe put a few drops of superglue on the stick to thicken it and help it reach those switches.
 

Esn

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No, it doesn't make clicky noises for the diagonals, and some of the regular directions are getting hard to reach, too. It feels like there's a "dead zone" in the middle that's been slowly getting bigger. The diagonals were the first to go.

I haven't yet been able to open it up enough to reach the joypad internals. I got as far as taking the back part of the case off, but then I couldn't figure out how to get the grey plastic that wraps around the unit to come off - something's holding it in at the bottom of the unit.
 

Optimus

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My new toy is the GCW0 now but I look back to my gamepark devices with nostalgy. They can still be quite playable, even the GP32 has some 8bits emuls I use to play a lot, 16bit mega drive where streets of rage 2 was 30-40fps, not perfect but enough. And many interesting homebrew stuff I still have to explore. I bought one more recently. I'd wish to find a BLU+ in the future, I haven't seen how it is, if it improves screen, and how software must be BLU+ and maybe I could rewrite BLU+ versions of my old code. Then again, GP32, because I started with it, great nostalgy. I was trying to port GpMark there, just to compare the performance, curious. I had to optimize memory, since it only has 8MB, but possible. I think I was very close last time. I hope I can get back to this and release a version. I think I am at 10megs, ran it without the bunny3d so far. But challenging and what one can do with just 8MB. People where arguing why the GCW0 didn't have 1GB, but it's crazy that 8MB can still be enough if you like to optimize (maybe not for emuls with bigger ROMs but ok). I'd wish I come back to GP32 one day for one more project, probably a game this time. Depends on my time and other projects.
 
GP2X, I recently bought the F200 one. Was really good, the exception for me is batteries don't last long. And somehow didn't like the stick. Interesting graphics hardware though, not just your regular framebuffer, more layers I didn't know. Tried something with F-Cycles gp2x lib, really good I want to try more, I wanted to make one more demo but stopped for a while. Maybe next year.
 
I have a strong affection for Caanoo, my favorite gamepark ever. It's not about performance, it's how nicely it feels in my hands, I like the controls and that analogue sticky (others dont), improved touch, and great amount of stuff (Ginge and a almost proper PSX emul, a thing the GCW0 still doesn't have). I regret to never have done something with it's 3d hardware. Not many releases use this. We have never seen it utilized really good. I hope this is not the fate in GCW0 too (ports of old soft rendered stuff and emuls but not much to be seen with the 3d hardware) even though I am happily addicted to software renderers. I was thinking to make a 3d accelerated demo, but abandoned this too (cause I am busy with other stuff now).
 
And Wiz. Didn't liked it so much as Caanoo, diagonal tearing, smaller screen, dpad I am not sure I like, but the type of organic screen started making blotches full. Might get a new one just for collection. Long time to even feel it.
 

christo930

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I'd like to see a whale trail clone that can use either a button or the touch screen (on the f200). I really like that game, but it kills the battery in my iPod touch.
 
Honestly, I don't see the reason to buy any of the newer GamePark machines over the GP2X. They are only marginally faster and I don't see that they take emulation any further and I don't think any homebrew game really pushes the hardware of the GP2X. It can run most GBA games through an emulator, so given how much faster a machine has to be to emulate another machine, I would think it should easily have more complex games than at LEAST the NDS. I really wish the interest for the machine was higher, especially the 2x. But even the GP32 could still get new and interesting games with the hardware it has and would certainly be able to run games that are as sophisticated as the GBA (if written for the native GP32 hardware). The really nice thing about the GP32 is the battery life. I can play it over-clocked to 166 for quite a number of hours (non-lit version).  My spell checker isn't working in this frame, anyone know why?
 
Chris
 

iprice

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Honestly, I don't see the reason to buy any of the newer GamePark machines over the GP2X.
 
You mean other than longer battery life, better screen image (especially OLED Wiz), touchscreen (excepting the F200), better controls - the F100 nub is awful as well as better build quality then no there's not much to recommend the newer machines. :p
 
I personally love them all, and unless you own them all you won't truly understand the benefits of the Wiz or Caanoo over the GP2X.
 

Orion4874

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I still pull out all my GPH units. I've managed to put together a decent collection of these handhelds over the years including a black GP32, an F300 and an even rarer Voca Master branded F200.
The only ones I'm missing is a FLU, a BLU+ and one of those neon green GP32's but I think ED is the only person with one.
 
These were my first "open" consoles so they'll always be special to me!
 
Now, if only GPH had stayed in the hardware biz and released a Caanoo with a dpad and upgraded internals...... that would have been sweet!
 

christo930

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iprice said:
 
Honestly, I don't see the reason to buy any of the newer GamePark machines over the GP2X.
 
 
You mean other than longer battery life, better screen image (especially OLED Wiz), touchscreen (excepting the F200), better controls - the F100 nub is awful as well as better build quality then no there's not much to recommend the newer machines. :p
 
I personally love them all, and unless you own them all you won't truly understand the benefits of the Wiz or Caanoo over the GP2X.
I get about 5 hours with 2- 2500MAHAA cells, and I carry a spare set. The batteries for the newer machines aren't being made AFAIK and when they are dead, well, no more portable. AAs will be around for at least 2 decades.  I am not crazy about the controller, but I could always replace it if I really wanted to. Screen is another story, but it's too small for reading even if it had a better screen (and it's not like the screen is BAD, it's just not the best). 
 
But my real point is that there is plently of life left i these machines. It's not like homebrew games just bumped up against the limits of the machines (particularly the 2x which has more ram).
 

iprice

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But my real point is that there is plently of life left i these machines
I agree and it's a real shame that development has pretty much ceased as a result of newer, faster and fancier devices - especially mobile phones and tablets. But time and tide march on - it's always been, and will always be, this way. However there are still some devs that support the older machines (myself included, although this year has been really rough for me).
 
It's amazing some of the stuff you see coming out for the old 8bit machines (C64, Speccy, CPC etc.), despite them being officially dead for well over a decade.
 
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