Mega SG

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DPrinny
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Mega SG

Post by DPrinny » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:00 pm

https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/16/ana ... announced/

Image
To ensure that no stone was left unturned, Analogue will recreate cartridge adapters for Sega's Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG-1000 and SC-3000. These adapters will be coming sometime in 2019.
Kinda interested

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Re: Mega SG

Post by HdE » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:07 am

That controller is pure sex.

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thebear
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Re: Mega SG

Post by thebear » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:56 am

HdE wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:07 am
That controller is pure sex.
often disappointing and only lasts few minutes?
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Re: Mega SG

Post by Gamer Guy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:05 pm

i think it looks sexy

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Re: Mega SG

Post by the_hawk » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:22 pm

Hipster Megadrive.

Looks like it'll blow all those Atgames emulation machines out of the water at any rate.
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tachi
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Re: Mega SG

Post by tachi » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:14 pm

That is a thing of beauty! If $189 is to be believed it's pretty tempting :)
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Pacific
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Re: Mega SG

Post by Pacific » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:46 pm

Sorry to dig up an old thread, does anyone have one of these and would like to share their thoughts?

The $189 is a bit of a misnomer - they add $50 for shipping (for the EU at least), which is ridiculous and knocks the price up to a whopping £200 with the current rubbish £/$ exchange rate.

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JamesC
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Re: Mega SG

Post by JamesC » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:12 am

Yes, I have one, along with the 8-Bit Do wireless pad.
It's a lovely, well made, machine and when I first hooked it up to my big HD TV I was amazed by how good the games looked.
Having said that, I somehow find the games more difficult to play on this than on my original MD hooked up to a CRT. I'm not sure why. There may be some slight lag or perhaps its the 50/60hz thing (although you can change the settings and I still find the games more difficult).
I should probably play around with the settings some more in order to get the most out of it.
To be totally honest though, I prefer playing my original machine.
As to whether I'd recommend it - it depends on your finances. If you can spend £200 on a whim, really want something that's going to work well on an HD TV and are willing to fiddle with lots of setting to get it just as you want it then I'd say go for it.
If the cost is a serious concern and you just want to get a nostalgia buzz, I'd say pick up an orginal machine with a CRT at a fraction of the price, or wait for the MD mini.

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Re: Mega SG

Post by shiffy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:36 pm

I'm going to echo some of the sentiments offered by JamesC. To clarify, I own original Mk1 Megadrive hardware (my original Pal launch model modded to 60hz), a Mega SG, and a MiSTer DE10-Nano (more on that later).

The Mega SG is a fantastic machine. But as you mention it does come at a premium price, especially as you haven't factored in the customs charge that DHL will notify you of about 2 weeks after you have taken delivery of your unit. Add another £40-ish for import duty. The games look fantastic, clear & sharp and there are many options you can tweak to get the image that suits you the most (scanlines, settings for square pixels, non-square pixels, integer scaling .... have a look at some of videos covering this by "My Life In Gaming" and "FireBrandX" among others. The sound can be tweaked to either closely mimic a model 1 or model 2 Megadrive (each MD board revision tended to sound different to the last) but I don't think you'll ever get it perfect. If you have a Mega CD attached to the Mega SG you can also select which bios is loaded so effectly you turn your Mega CD into a region-free unit. When the Mega SG was launched earlier this year it was the best modern solution to playing Megadrive games on a HDTV. a liitle over half a year later though, that is no longer the case. Again, more in a moment!

I guess the question I should ask is do you have a collection of original MD carts? If yes, then this is definitely the best way to play your original carts on a HDTV. But, if the answer to the question is no & you only intend to "jailbreak" the Mega SG to play roms off an SD card then I'd say it isn't worth shelling out the money on this as there is another viable alternative. In short, if you want a relatively simple, easy way to play your original carts and have them look the absolute best they can be then the Mega SG is the way to go .... assuming you're willing to spend the money. One thing to note is the Mega SG can't utilize the 32X without another piece of hardware that hasn't been released yet. The same is true if you intend to hook up the Mega SG to a CRT. You'll need to buy the seperate DAC board that's coming out in the near future. So, bear that in mind as well.

Onto the alternative, "The MiSTer" DE10-Nano. Like the Mega-SG the MiSTer utilizes an FPGA chip from the same family of FPGA chips that is in the Mega SG, except it's a little more powerful! The MiSter is an open source project that aims to recreate the original consoles in FPGA, the only caveat is that the DE10-Nano board does not take carts and nor is it likely to in the future. The big advantage of the DE10-Nano has over the Mega SG is that several "cores" have been made for this machine. The Mega SG is essentially locked to 3 cores, the Megadrive, Master System & Game Gear. The MiSter can do all these as well as Nes, Snes (which rivals Analogue's Super NT in terms of performance), PC Engine, various Atari consoles, an extremely polished Neo Geo beta core is out there and plays extremely well. And that's before I've even started on the computer cores (Atari ST, Amiga, BBC, Speccy & c64 among others, as well as a growing number of arcade core recreations (Ghosts and Goblins, Commando, Galaga, Arkenoid, 1943, Burger Time & Pac Man are just a few of the highlights) .... back on topic.

When the Mega SG came out the "MiSTER Megadrive core" was in it's infancy and was quite rough around the edges. When the Mega SG launched it was miles ahead of the Megadrive core on MiSTer in terms of performance. But the progress on the MiSTer Megadrive core in the last 12 months has been nothing short of remarkable. In fact, for convenience the MiSTer has become my default way to play my Megadrive games and the MiSTer easily matches the Mega SG on every level. Granted, the options are not as tweakable as the Mega SG, instead being mostly on/off toggles in the menu system. The picture quality rivals that of the Mega SG, it sounds as good, most glitches that were present a year ago have been ironed out with the only remaining ones matching the same issues as Mega SG. You can use any USB wired controller, wireless bluetooth controller (yes, PS4 pads work), and with devices that are currently in the works (the LLCoolJoy, Blister, & SNAC) you can also use your original controllers. And if you prefer to use a crt you're covered there as well. Admittedly, I have a seperate I/O board for analogue video if I choose to use it, but within the last few weeks someone has discovered a way of getting an analogue signal from the HDMI source. (I've not looked too closely at this as it's not something that I'm really interested in at this time).

So, what's the cost? It certainly cheaper than Mega SG coming in at about $130 for the main Terasic DE10-Nano. Then you'll need a micro SD card. The larger the better but as it is everything fits comfortably on a 128GB card. You will need to buy an additional ram board though to take full advantage of the cores (there are one or two that run without the ram board but I forget which they are). The ram board is currently in a state of limbo though due to the ongoing Neo Geo core development. If that's important to you then you'll want to hold off until the new ram board design has been finalized. If Neo Geo is of no interest to you you can get a 32MB Ram board for about £25 now and have everything you need to get an FPGA Megadrive up and running as well as several other systems. I've included a link of where to get the DE10.

If this piques your interest (and you enjoy tinkering, it's far simpler than a Raspberry Pi) there is a lot more info over on Atari-Forum where the "Project Leader" and programmer for MiSTer resides and "Classic Gaming" Discord channel where many other active developers for the project hang out. The creator of the Mega SG, Kevtris, has been known to show up there on occassion as well. Also, have a read of the Github page for a lot more information than I can provide. And finally, check for videos on Youtube from Smokemonster, Game Sack, Retro Man Cave detailing the MiSTer (some of these videos are a little out of date due to the speed at which developements are happenning.

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/ ... ND/6817231
https://www.mouser.co.uk/ProductDetail/ ... z6Hfo58%3D
https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_MiSTer/wiki
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5yPbzD-W-I

In short, while I don't regret getting the Mega SG, if I had known a year ago just how good the MiSTer Megadrive core was going to turn out I wouldn't have ordered the Mega SG as the MiSTer Megadrive core easily matches the Mega SG in terms of performance. If I was in your position now, given the cost of the Mega SG and associated shipping+import duty costs along with the appalling exchange rate (thank you Brexit :( ) I wouldn't have a moments hesitation in ordering the MiSTer over the Mega SG. I should also add that my reason for buying a MiSTer was for the Amiga core, the most mature core on the system. For me, the rest was just a bonus!

I should point out I'm in no way affilated with the MiSTer project, I'm just a simple end user! But I will sing the MiSTer's praises wherever & whenever I can. In terns of pound for pound value, nothing beats the MiSTer ... and probably won't for a very long time!

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Pacific
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Re: Mega SG

Post by Pacific » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:57 am

JamesC and Shiffy - thanks so much for the detailed responses, that's really useful to know!

It seems I now have a really difficult choice to make! :D

I have a fair collection of carts so ideally wanted some way to use them. That being said, the forthcoming Mini MD does look appealing (if for nothing else, that it has some games on it that are quite rare and seem to go for almost the price of the Mini console itself) - providing they do a Mini SNES rather than Mini PlayStation job with the emulation!

I'm now leaning towards getting a 2nd hand MD, trying with one of the specialised RGB SCART output cables, if necessary might try with an Open Source Scan converter. It's expensive but then I could potentially use with other consoles in future too and they seem to have had good reviews. Do you have any experience of those and how close they get to the performance of the Analogue MD or Mister DE-10?
An additional import tax (on top of the already outrageous postage costs) definitely puts me off the Analogue MD machine - it's a shame they can't just have been more honest with the price-per-unit if they're having to recoup costs via the postage.

CRT is another option and I have read multiple pieces of advice about this being the best way to play - but I have trouble enough sneaking in games like contraband into the home, and not sure how I would manage wheeling in a great big Sony Triniton (or where I would store it!) :D

The MiSTer DE10-Nano sounds really interesting - will do some more reading up on it!

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Re: Mega SG

Post by JamesC » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:16 am

As someone who has more CRTs than is sane I'd say don't rule out a 14" portable.
We've become conditioned to thinking bigger is better regarding screens but a Megadrive is eminently playable on a decent 14" tube (it's how most of us played them back in the 90s in our bedrooms after all) and you can get yourself a decent little 'bookshelf' set up that doesn't take up much space. You can pick up portable CRTs on Facebook marketplace for next to nothing (or free in some cases).

shiffy
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Re: Mega SG

Post by shiffy » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:03 pm

Hi Pacific,
You're welcome! As JamesC says don't write off a CRT set. In my opinion there is nothing that looks better than a retro console being used on a well calibrated CRT set. If you wanted to go one step further then a pin sharp calibrated PVM is the pinnacle of 240p retro goodness, whether it's a Megadrive, SNES or any other retro console. But PVM's are pricey these days.

My experience of using the Megadrive on a HDTV is not very good. Going straight from the MD to RGB directly into the HDTV the picture looks crap. I don't have an OSSC but I do have a Framemeister XRGB mini. Personally, I always found the xRGB added too much lag for my liking and rendered me next to useless on my fave shmups. Going back to a CRT elimates this for me. I'm led to believe the OSSC is better than the Framemeister in that respect, but I have no basis for comparison. Also, a friend of mine has one of these pricey Retrovision RGB cables for the Megadrive. He swears by it, but again I haven't seen it for myself so I can't pass judgement. But he's even fussier than I am when it comes to picture quality. You might also want to look in the Megadrive "Triple Bypass mod". A fully converted MD, with a wellcalibrated CRT will give you the best Megadrive experience.

The MiSTer has it's own built in scaler with minimal lag that's as good as the OSSC (apparently!). But, where the MiSTer comes into it's own is with the I/O board in which you can hook up to a CRT. You can ahev the best of both worlds, RGB on CRT or HDMI on a HDTV. By all accounts it's as good as original hardware using the I/O with an RGB cable but I haven't hooked my MiSTer hooked up to a CRT so I can't vouch for this. I have no reason not to believe the opinions of other MiSTer users though as using the I/O board to a CRT / monitor seems to be the method of choice for using the MiSter. Incidentally, I remember reading on Discord recently that someone ran a test cart on both the Mega SG and MiSTer (the rom in the MiSTer's case). This test cart identified the Mega SG as a Mega SG, but identified the Mister Megadrive core as a real Megadrive). I really should hook the MiSTer to a CRT, but as the lag from HDMI on the MiSTer on a HDTV is negligible I've never felt the need to hook it up to a CRT.

In general I like these mini consoles. An official way of getting hold of some stupidly expensive games where I don't have to give an Ebay seller my hard earned cash gets a thumbs up from me. And in general these collections are well curated and I will support them, maybe it's a bit of guilt on my part that I use the roms on the MiSTer that I want to show my support for these companys' back catalogues. The Nes mini was okay (again I'm spoiled because I also happen to have the Analogue NT Mini) but there was a bit of lag. Same with the Snes mini. The PS Classic was a train wreck though. I don't believe M2 will get it that wrong! Although I intend to get a MD Mini I have reservations about certain aspects of it. Again, it's mainly the lag that concerns me as it's under emulation. Every Megadrive emulator I have ever used has always had sound issues (even the Mega SG & MiSTer still haven't got this quite right, but it is extremely close ..... the character select screen in Streets Of Rage 2 will always highlight sound issues as well as the sound of when Sonic loses his rings in Sonic 1). For a casual audience wanting to revisit the Megadrive after many years the Mini I'm sure will be fine. But, I believe everyone here is more of a connoisseur and as such we demand that little bit extra when it comes to playing our retro games. For that reason I would rule out the Megadrive Mini as your only way of playing Megadrive games and go down the route of a real Mk1 console, the earlier the revision the better. I'm sure the RetroRGB Youtube channel has a video on identifying revisions from the serial numbers and other marking on the case. Avoid the Mk2 revision as it introduces "jailbars" on the picture and it uses a different soundchip to a Mk1 which causes sound issues with 2 games (Hellfire & Earthworm Jim).

Here's a thought, the cost of a Mk1 Megadrive, any mods, OSSC and Retrovison cable will probably be more than the MiSTer. A quick search on Ebay suggests a Mk1 price of around £40 (I didin't look too hard), HD Retrovision cable at £52 + shipping + any import tax. £23 for the triple bypass board + costs of getting someone to install it if you're not installing it yourself, OSSC is about £140. The MiSTer works out cheaper. But then again, you want to use your cart collection. Ultimately, you'll make the decision that suits your needs.

I hope my ramblings make sense! If you have any questions regarding the MiSTer feel free to ask.

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Pacific
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Re: Mega SG

Post by Pacific » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:55 am

Guys - thanks so much ! Really appreciative for the detailed replies.

Has given me a lot to think about. Hopefully get to a retro store over the next few weeks (brilliant how these are starting to pop up now!) and will think about where to go from there. One thing that's for sure is that if I go for an actual MD console it will be the original model, which will always hold so much nostalgia value for me (and of course has the headphone jack ;) )

Thanks again !

shiffy
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Re: Mega SG

Post by shiffy » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:59 pm

You're more than welcome!

Retro stores???!!! I take it you're not in London, the last dedicated retro store I knew of in London closed down many years ago. If you were anywhere near London I'd offer you the chance to look at the MiSTer first hand and compare it to the Mega SG.

Incidentally, there has been a big update on the MiSTer front today. The new 128MB SDRAM board has been finalized meaning Neo Geo is effectively "go"! If you're into Neo Geo this should in theory open the entire library to the MiSTer. If the Neo Geo is of any interest to you check the prices of a AES and a Terraonion NeoSD or NeoSD Pro and then compare it to the MiSTer setup. In comparison, I need to spend $60 on the new SDram for the MiSTer ..... no contest! In my opinion another plus point for joining the MiSTer club. The MiSTer is not really mainstream yet and I don't think too many people know about it, but with this Neo Geo development I get a funny feeling the MiSTer scene is about to explode and is going to get much bigger!

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