Gameport/wanga


Javacat

Founder of the WarmFluffyUK fan club
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
Messages
2,093
Age
36
Location
England
Website
Visit site
Has anyone heard anything about the Gameport recently? Just been doing some quick searching after remembering about it to see whether it's still that huge brick they showed a few months back, but it appears to have changed it's name to Wanga. They've got some new site @ http://www.wanga.tv/, but it doesn't have any info on it and no forums appear to be available.

So anyone got any info, or is it all dead now?
 

palmertech

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
432
You might already know this, and sorry for bumping an old post, but as there are no replys...It seems appropiate. Benjamin Heckendorn was working on the GamePort for a while (In charge of case design), and promised an update shortly. However, that update never materialized, and it seems that he is avoiding any questions about it. As I see it, the gameport is dead. Personally, I thought that while a great idea, there was no way it could ever be cost effective. I mean, come on, reconfigurable FPGA hardware emulation of atari, nes, and snes? No way that could ever be accomplished at a reasonable cost. Oh well, nothing the gp2x cant handle! :D
 

Javacat

Founder of the WarmFluffyUK fan club
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
Messages
2,093
Age
36
Location
England
Website
Visit site
Thanks for the late reply, I hadn't found any more info since making the original post, so the info you've provided is appreciated :p

It's a pity that the project as died as it seemed really interesting. Guess we'll just have to wait and see whether any other similar projects appear in the future :/
 

palmertech

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
432
The gameport was a good idea as a proof of concept, but in the end, it provided no advantage over traditional software emulation. For a while, there was the lure of perfect hardware emulation, but when they realized they would need to have a dedicated sound chip for snes and nes... It kinda ruined the whole appeal.
 

Javacat

Founder of the WarmFluffyUK fan club
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
Messages
2,093
Age
36
Location
England
Website
Visit site
I didn't realise about the sound chip, I'd assumed that they really were doing EVERYTHING on one awesome FPGA. It'd be cool to have similar project to the Gameport, but where it is mainly focused on just producing the schematics and software so that people can then hack together their own machines with parts specified. Doing it like that would make the entire hardware completely open and would just be totally awesome :p

Would cost quite a lot though for somebody to build their own, although I'm sure a few £££ could be made from building them for other people and by providing specialised components :p

Kind of like the Open Automation Project!!
 

palmertech

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
432
Originally, it was only planned to incorporate systems from 2600 to NES, with the possibility of adding more via updates. However, they announced a redesign that made full snes emulation possible. To reduce costs, they actually switched to two separate FPGAs, one for Atari 2600 and NES, and one that would handle SNES and possibly others. Unfortunately, as people who follow the pirate SNES clone scene know, the SNES has a very strange sound chip that pretty much needs a separate part to emulate in hardware, and even that lacks finesse (For example, Chrono Trigger wind sounds like a staticy version, and swords sound like they go "Wong" instead of "Whishk". A few of these problems carried over to the PSX version). At this point, the only people who would possibly be remotely interested in it (The purists wanting perfect emulation via hardware) went decidedly sour on it. I think that the company behind the Gameport decided to just call the whole thing off because of this. Besides, most TRUE purists would be willing to drop some dough on a custom made system using the original hardware. I am almost done with my portable n64, if anyone wants pics.
 

MWeston

Internal Development
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Messages
1,256
Location
Canada
Website
openpandora.ca
Out of pure coincidence, I happened to check out the Wanga page last night and they have updated it to show the project is still moving ahead. Here are the specs:

* 1.5 million gates
* 2 banks of 64mb DDR memory on independant busses
* >1gb/s bus on each side
* Component and Composite video (HD Capable)
* Digital and Stereo analog audio
* SD memory card, USB host, USB device and Ethernet ports

Based on this, it looks like a nice fully programmable console system and might be a bit power hungry for a handheld, but the idea sounds pretty cool. Over a Gb/s bandwidth probably means 133MHz DDR memory.

I had looked into putting an FPGA into my old handheld gaming prototype back in 2006, but those things can be pretty power hungry if you need a fast clock to a large percentage of logic in the chip. I guess we will find out more about how it works and how much power it uses as the summer goes on. :)
 

palmertech

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
432
YEAH! Looks like they redid it. Hooray for progress! I have no idea why I should want one ever a gp2x, but I do.... :p
 

palmertech

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
432
Gruso said:
palmertech said:
I am almost done with my portable n64, if anyone wants pics.
Er, YES. B)

Ok... My camera is on loan, so take these with a grain of salt, as they are from about a month ago:

No pics of insides yet, but here is a much earlier version of the case, painted with primer for a newround of sanding. Note the big hole where the joystick should go (This has been fixed):
PIC_0043-1.jpg


Here is a picture of the Side of the case, see the pretty grooves? That is where the speakers go:
PIC_0044-1.jpg


Expect some photos of it in action in about a week, I just need to finish my power supply circuit, wire up the controls, paint it, and I am ready to go! You interested in buying, Gruso? :D

EDIT: Oh, I better show my N64 themed DS too. The inside looks cool, but I only took a pic of the outside. :(
PIC_0046.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Exophase

Nothing good will ever come of Exophase.
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
10,308
Age
38
Location
Cleveland OH
I heard rumors over at Atari-age that they no longer plan on making it a handheld but a set top box instead. I was never all that interested in this to begin with, but I'll admit that a powerful FPGA sounds interesting. I'd really like to learn how to program them some day too... the thought of making console implementations in them sounds a lot more difficult to me than conventional emulation.
 
Top