A bit of babbling...


AVahne

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I'm just gonna ramble here for a bit. Anyone who wishes to read...well, it's your time that you're using.

So, I have a PS Vita and a Nexus 5 and plan to get next year's Shield (if that's the one that houses the future Tegra "Parker" SoC). Now, I'm pretty satisfied by Vita's graphics output; with its ability to push beautiful visuals on nearly the same level as the PS3 and 360, but on a handheld device. 

I also like how the Snapdragon 800 in my Nexus 5 could potentially push out better visuals than the Vita. Now this next bit is probably pointless, but I also have 2 PSPs, a 3DS, and an overclocked Xperia PLAY for what I call my "legacy gaming" (I guess gaming with 6th console generation level graphics). My Vita, Nexus 5, and the Shield I'll obtain in the future fall into what I call "modern gaming" (I guess gaming with graphics that satisfy me enough on handheld devices; beautiful and fast enough that I could stare at environments and models and appreciate the graphics artists' work for longer periods of time). Reason I'm waiting on the Shield is because I only want ONE Shield and do not want to be feel buyer's remorse knowing that the next version comes out within a year with much more power; I believe that a version with Tegra "Parker" should keep me happy for a long time.

I guess my point in all this is that I believe that for something as complex and potentially very powerful as the Pyra, the OMAP 5 probably isn't the greatest choice. Your choice of display is already perfect and that 2 GB sounds great (would be even better if this increases by the end of development), but if you guys were to somehow get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 or equivalent for the Pyra, it'd be a device that I would really love to have. If you do end up going for the OMAP 5, then I'll hope for the success of the Pyra and hope that a Pyra 2 would become viable in the not-too-distant future.

Anyway, I do understand that you guys are a small company intending to manufacture a small amount of devices and that sourcing your components (especially current higher-end parts) is extremely difficult, but that's all the things I've wanted to say. I really liked Pandora's concept, but didn't like the high price for something that's essentially just for emulation enthusiasts, device enthusiasts and Linux developers. I'm glad that you guys chose to continue the concept and improve on it and would love to own one in the future once there's a version that I won't regret purchasing. And I thank anyone who actually bothered to read this entire things; have a good day/night.
 

klapse

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Yeah, I don't think the Pyra is for you. Although it will almost certainly run newer Android games quickly, you are in that category of consumers that wants the latest, "greatest" SoC for commercial games with maximum eye candy, otherwise you're not satisfied.

Qualcomm isn't a wise choice for the Pyra because they don't have the track record of Linux support that TI does. ED has to pick his battles very carefully to succeed with his next device.
 

thatgui

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I'm with klapse, my guess is that the Pyra won't be suitable for you.

Altough there is nothing new in your comment (see "SoC back and Forth" in the news section), it is always nice to have some kind of evaluation from the outside - as long as it is not like "oh you guys need to make a tablet" or "we need a mobile steam machine, everything else will just fail" (which yours isn't).
 

doragasu

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I'm also a bit disappointed about the SoC choice, but as a happy 1st batch Pandora customer, who continues using it every day (and still getting amazed with releases like the latest Starcraft port), I know exactly what to expect of the Pyra. If it honors Pandora's philosophy (and doesn't get delayed as much as the Pandora was), I know it will be the pocket gaming device I will use the most for years to come.

OpenPandora/Pyra aren't suited for everyone. If you believe a Shield suits better your portable gaming/computing needs, no problem, just go for it. Pyra is not a product intended to delight everyone. If you don't value things like the keyboard, the community or the freedom of a full desktop Linux OS, why would you want to buy a Pyra?
 

Hồng Thất Công

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Yawn...

W0Ixick.jpg


Edit: Not this crap again.  OMPA5 is just as good.  It's not all about the SoC you know.  It's about devs talent to optimize programs/games for SoC.  Look at Pandora SoC, it's outdated, yes, but pandora devs like notaz, exophase, ptitSeb keeps churning out amazing stuff for it.  Look at StarCraft, look at DraStic, look at RTCW, etc...
 
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EvilDragon

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You do all know that the Vitas SoC is slower than the OMAP5...?

Okay, let's do it like this:

No more different SoC wishes, until someone can actually provide me a different SoC which we can buy, which has good documentation and with support (some TI employees are helping us out in their spare time with development).

Qualcomm is still looking at it (though I have the feeling it won't work out, as it's taking too long already) and Allwinner wasn't even able to provide is with more information.

nvidia doesn't work if you want to do your own hardware design.
 

WizardStan

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I'll hope for the success of the Pyra and hope that a Pyra 2 would become viable in the not-too-distant future.
You are probably not aware of everything that's happened so I'll summarize as best as I can. Some things may have changed.For SoCs there are basically four possibilities worth considering: OMAP5, Snapdragon 805, AllWinner A80, and the Intel Z3770.

Qualcomm originally had no interest in selling to a small company like EvilDragon's, then suddenly there was some interest, but even after contacting them again it looks like they're not really pushing for it. He could probably get them if he were really, really aggressive about it but that would be a lot of work, and if they are this uninterested in selling the things how much support can we look forward to? They also have a traditionally poor track record of Linux driver support. Even if he could get them, it'd add about 6 months delay to the development.

The A80 would be awesome, it's a beast of a chip and Allwinner has been pretty good on support from what I hear. Unfortunately when asked about development boards EvilDragon was told they don't have anything ready for commercial production yet. There's bound to be another 6 month delay or so here.

The Intel Z3770 would work well, it's plenty powerful and can be purchased in the right quantities for a reasonable price, BUT it's an x86 processor, not an ARM, which has a completely different set of risks that EvilDragon doesn't feel comfortable taking, mostly involving growth surges and support issues his tiny company isn't ready to handle. In a few years he probably can, but not now.

Which leaves the OMAP5: a significant upgrade (overall 6 times the power of the Pandora), TI with a proven record of Linux driver support and customer relations, available for development right now, and a reasonable price. It may not be the best option but it is the only option that won't set the project back by 6 months.

And that 6 month delay is important: the Pandora's parts are running out, production is going to have to stop soon and he's not going to have anything to replace it if he doesn't get the Pyra ready to go as quickly as possible.

Which brings us to the final bit of news: gta04, the guy doing the board design, has come up with some kind of clever and cheap daughter board. The main board has the keyboard, the game controls, the SD cards, everything that is unlikely to need upgrading in the next few years, the daughter board has the SoC, RAM, and storage: the things that everyone wishes they could upgrade over time. By doing it this way he has not only managed to shave a couple bucks off the production costs but also made it possible for branch devices in a few years by producing just a new daughter board with a different SoC on it. That's not to say that he will have different daughter boards, but if the demand is there and he can afford it it's something that could happen. Once the Pyra Original is released that 6 month delay isn't much of a problem, he can take the time needed until it's ready, or even a year longer for whatever the next big thing is.
 

crosspoint

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I really liked Pandora's concept, but didn't like the high price for something that's essentially just for emulation enthusiasts, device enthusiasts and Linux developers.
But that's at least partly the niche the Pandora was able to fill and the Pyra should follow on this path to become a success. It's totally fine if you don't consider yourself as a part of this niche demographic, but then the Pyra is not the right device for you. Just buy the new Shield and be happy with it.
 
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Grench

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I really liked Pandora's concept, but didn't like the high price for something that's essentially just for emulation enthusiasts, device enthusiasts and Linux developers.
But that's at least partly the niche the Pandora was able to fill and the Pyra should follow on this path to become a success. It's totally fine if you don't consider yourself as a part of this niche demographic, but then the Pyra is not the right device for you. Just buy the new Shield and be happy with it.
The misconception here is that the Pandora/Pyra are "essentially just for emulation enthusiasts."

It is far more than that.  It can do pretty much anything a desktop or laptop can do.  Emulation is just one of many capabilities.
 

SNESFAN

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if you are looking for *JUST* emulation, specifically game console emulation, the shield (even current gen shield) will be a better option, not to mention cheaper. There is no doubt in my mind that tegra 4 will destroy the omap 5 in single core and even multi core processing. This is where the bulk of emulation relies on. So squeezing every single frame out of your emulation the shield is the better option here I feel.

The GPU in the tegra 4 should also be better than the omap 5's and with native android and commercial games to take advantage of it the shield will be the better option there as well. If you are looking for a mobile gaming device outside of emulation.

I haven't even seen the pyra prototype design ideas, but I'm 1000% certain that the shield will be more ergonomic, and have features more catered to just gamers. It has cornered and dominated the market in pure gaming open mobile device IMO. I can't even fathom a better gaming device than the shield, it's the holy grail of game console emulation and mobile gaming.

However if you want PC functions or a PC replacement, or computer emulation (Amiga, Commodore etc) the pyra will be the better option. Also something that can fit in your pocket, get a pyra. The pyra should also be capable of emulation of game consoles as well, and the same consoles as the shield at comparable levels. "good enough" and "when things are full speed more doesn't matter" definitely will come into play.

The pyra and the pandora are convergence devices combining an emulation and homebrew gaming handheld into a pocket computer. That's what you're paying for. The shield is not a convergence device, it's a game console.
 
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AVahne

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I thank you all for your replies, especially WizardStan's and SNESFAN's as their replies were insightful for me rather than another "this isn't for you" comment. Which could be true; I don't really know the extent of what people use the Pandora for and I'm not a Linux programmer. Perhaps I should install Linux on my PC and play around with that before going for a mobile option?

Anyway, SNESFAN, I'm not looking at any of these products (whether Pyra or Shield) for emulation; if I wanted to play older games, I could play them on their original console or get them off Virtual Console or PSN. With what I originally said about emulation, I was just making an assumption on what the Pandora could be used for based on some of the things I read on the official site and what I assumed the specs would be capable of.

But again, I guess the Pyra isn't for me. I assumed that it's something I could use for Internet browsing, using Flash and .exe applications (via WINE), playing desktop games that were ported to Linux (I like the sound of Starcraft working on something like the Pandora), and other things I can do on desktop but on a pocket-sized mobile device rather than carrying a laptop everywhere. I don't know what the OMAP5 is fully capable of and what its limits are. I already have devices to fill my Nintendo, Sony, and Android mobile gaming roles; when I looked at this, I thought it could fill the niche of a desktop-like gaming or other experience in my hands.

Sorry if I made the wrong assumption about the Pyra, I think what I'm looking for is probably much farther off in the future. And no, I'm not looking for a netbook.

Keep up the good work for the people who know what they want the Pyra for and have a good day.

EDIT: And sorry to ED if I ticked him off.

EDIT 2: Wow, I really do come off as a whiny outsider.
 
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Natsu

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You would think a "convergence device"  would be even or outpace at least a tegra 4.

Can't really go with the "it's powerful" route with this SOC.

Edit: Not this crap again.  OMPA5 is just as good.  It's not all about the SoC you know.  It's about devs talent to optimize programs/games for SoC.  Look at Pandora SoC, it's outdated, yes, but pandora devs like notaz, exophase, ptitSeb keeps churning out amazing stuff for it.  Look at StarCraft, look at DraStic, look at RTCW, etc...
Oh please. A better SOC is a better SOC, period. Base on you posts, you would just buy it if it was the Pandora SOC repackaged and called the Pyra 2. :lol:
Okay, let's do it like this:

No more different SoC wishes
Not going to happen, so go get some tylenol. :lol:
until someone can actually provide me a different SoC which we can buy, which has good documentation and with support (some TI employees are helping us out in their spare time with development).
I thought it was said we don't need the best support by the polls?
Qualcomm is still looking at it (though I have the feeling it won't work out, as it's taking too long already) and Allwinner wasn't even able to provide is with more information.

nvidia doesn't work if you want to do your own hardware design.
I know you are under a lot of work and pressure, but as said, are you really being aggressive with these other SOCs?

I doubt the A80 is going to take 6 months to come out.
 
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AVahne

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Yeah, I don't think the Pyra is for you. Although it will almost certainly run newer Android games quickly, you are in that category of consumers that wants the latest, "greatest" SoC for commercial games with maximum eye candy, otherwise you're not satisfied.

Qualcomm isn't a wise choice for the Pyra because they don't have the track record of Linux support that TI does. ED has to pick his battles very carefully to succeed with his next device.
Actually, I'm in that category of consumers that wants the latest, "greatest" SOC....that can probably satisfy me for at least 5+ years. Personally I'm happy with the graphics output of the Xbox 360 and PS3 and even the Vita. I feel we're either at the point or close to the point where mobile SoCs could produce graphics at that level on handheld devices; it's personally enough to keep me satisfied even when better hardware comes out in all the years to come. But then again, for a computer I guess the CPU would be much more important than the GPU's capabilities for gaming AND other applications.

Perhaps I'll come back much later on and see if I can look at the Pyra's OMAP5 in another light.
 
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Klumpen

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Actually, I'm in that category of consumers that wants the latest, "greatest" SOC....that can probably satisfy me for at least 5+ years.
Pandora is from 2008 - still happy with it in 2014. ;)

BTW: Pyra will be severely upgradable, as ED mentioned in his talk about the exchangable daughterboard.
 
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SNESFAN

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The omap 5 should meet and exceed the requirements of internet browsing. Running windows apps with wine won't be as easy it is on a x86 Linux but I'm sure it will be possible with qemu/wine, I just wouldn't expect a polished experience here. For its main use case goal, its just fine, it just may not be top of the line. Omap 5 is powerful, and in line with some of the best arm socs on the market. We pick at it for maybe being the weakest performer in the group of a15 on the market, but it was also the first announced and demoed, and will still mutilate an a9 based device in almost every aspect. Ed has the challenge of having few options and trying to turn that into a successor, he is doing a fine job, all the nitpicking we are doing is not to criticize him, but to make our points in where things should be improved if they can. I hope ED doesn't lose sight that we and him have the same goal in our discussions, having the best community driven handheld on the market. We have these types of discussions and disagreements in my job all the time, the pool of ideas are much much smaller. I wonder what price you could put on it, we get paid for our brainstorming at work, and here we are giving the same thing in a larger scale for free because it interests us.
 
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Klumpen

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http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2493

Good looking and easy to use. The installation disc is also a live-cd.

I'm using Mint since November 2013 and am quite happy with it.

You can use the common Ubuntu-packages for apps and games for it

and "Synaptic" does the installations for you, so you do not even have to use the terminal.
 
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Wally

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Not to bring this into a Linux Distro War.. but Mint has never given me joy. Debian is the OS of choice here (ED has clearly made this point too) :p
 

God Ginrai

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Not to bring this into a Linux Distro War.. but Mint has never given me joy. Debian is the OS of choice here (ED has clearly made this point too) :p
I'd have to agree. I would never recommend any of the ubuntu-derivatives. I always recommend Fedora for people who are trying out Linux.

-God Ginrai
 
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