Gp32x Collaborative Faq


Rico

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GP32Xtreme GamePark32 FAQ
Revision 6.1

NOTE: Ever since I stopped maintaining this, replies have queued up and it has become woefully outdated. Axeman has done some great edits but more are needed. In the process of splitting this out for the FAQ forum, the info will be updated. Please be patient.

This is the current GP32x FAQ. It assumes knowledge of the console's existence :) Note: I had a few posts saying 'thanks'. While I appreciate the feedback, the replies of this thread should be additions to the FAQ. If you have anything to add please post it, I will integrate it here. The 'Todo' list is just below.

Special thanks to: Arutha (for Wind-Ups info), Bonks for dvd2gp32 guide, akumajo for gp32 retailer links, Shrike for GPFM info, plus others for suggestions, rcx21000 for test mode, vdub settings, VirtualLeech & others for reversed speakers, Chip for reminding me about FPS games, atrkid for many corrections, Evil_Cartman for some reminders, Axeman for tons of new info and corrections :)

Heavily updating going on at the moment by Axeman :)

6/16/04 Change: New Emus added, BLU information added, generally updated.

Recently added: GPCinema update, several new emus (more to go in yet!), overclocking info corrected.

Todo: info on coding for the GP32, import taxes, more info on GBA emulators

Battery life

Unlit GP32, about 8-12 hours. Lit, 4-6. Depends on battery type, rechargable 1800 mAh or higher batteries work the best. Your mileage will vary. Also, higher CPU speeds will lower this amount.

What you need

One GP32 unit, an SMC to store games etc. on, two AA batteries.
An SMC reader is optional - it transfers files a LOT quicker but if you're patient, save the case. It takes about 10 seconds for a megabyte to transfer, I believe.

Lit or unlit?

The front light unit (FLU) is very impressive, but pricey. Really, unless you're going to playing at night in the dark, or in a car overnight etc. the light isn't needed. The screen reflects well and is much clearer than the Gameboy Color screen for example. However look around for other people's opinions if you are unsure. NOTE: you can't add an GBA afterburner light to the GP32 due to the Afterburner light-reflecting membrane being too small for the gp32's screen. Edit - There is now a back-lit unit (BLU) available with slightly updated components.

SMC

128mb max, due to voltage. Anything above 128mb is 5V, GP32 only supports 3.3V cards. The brand doesn't matter but it must be a SmartMedia card, not CompactFlash. Edit - No, a voltage adapter won't work. The BIOS is setup to go as high as 128MB with the SMC cards.

Buying the unit

I suggest GBAx for the unit, if you're in the UK. However, get the SMC from somewhere else if possible, for cheaper. Other alternatives are: Play-Asia, Lik-Sang, Entware and Shibuya (for those in France). Edit - Import taxes are usually around $20 - $30 to the United States. You may be able to get them a little lower if you ask them to send it as a "gift".

Starting up

If you have the BLU, it's already set up to run downloadable games just fine. No registration hassle required :) You can skip this section. For FLU or regular GP32 users, however:

You can run commerical games now just by putting in the SMC and playing. To play free games and download games off the internet, you must register your GP32.

You do so at http://www.gp32.com/ - the steps are: download usb drivers, install them, connect your gp32 to your pc, run the identification program, get your account. With your account you can then download the free launcher. This is basically a menu of free games, put .fxe (game) files into your GPMM directory and you're set. If you have trouble registering, try clearing out your cookies and try again - this seems to have solved several problems before.

If you really can't download the stuff, you'll need to use GPS2 (a free tool from Darkfader's site, Firefly's drivers, and then get an encrypted freelauncher from #gp32. Try #gp32 on EFnet for details.

First you've got to format the SMC, then put .fxe files into GPMM. MP3s go into MP3, commerical games into GAME. Often you will get ZPK files - using PC Link, choose File -> Install to install them. Finally, emulators might require you put roms in a specific place, check the readme. For example, CaSTaway needs things to go into GPMM\ATARIST.

Unfortunately you need to register again using a different identification program to use Entware's JoyGP service and download commercial games and Movie Park.

What do I see when I boot up?

The long, annoying Gamepark intro. :) Ok not that long. Then a menu appears (press SELECT to change mode, START to go into it). There are three modes: MP3 shows up a playlist of all your songs, with play/stop/fast-forward etc. and an equaliser (R+B exits). PC-LINK will ready the GP32 for PC-Link transfer - it justs waits. Close PC-Link on your computer and unplug the USB, and the GP32 returns to the menu. Finally GAME shows your commercial games. If you have the Free Launcher, this will also appear, choose this and a list of non-commercial games will appear. Edit - Some new GP32s may have different firmware.


MP3

The GP32 can play many MP3s as long as they are renamed to 8.3 characters, like Windows 3.1/DOS. ID3 tags, however are supported so you see full filenames. However, your bitrate is limited to around 128/192 kbps. However - the new MP3 player, in beta and to be released, supports much more (between 96 and 320 I believe). No VBR support. Edit - New MP3 Player has been out for a while, works great, especially with the European Firmware which doesn't include a MP3 player. I'd recommend this over the built-in MP3 player of the original firmware.

When uploading your MP3s you can use the MP3 Basket program, built into the PC-Link. This lets you rename MP3 files to 8.3 chars and set their ID3 tags up before sending them to the handheld - very useful.

DivX

Players - either official Moviepark from Entware, which supports 10 frames per second and is very easy to use, or GPDivX (available here at gp32x) which supports up to 25 frames per second but it harder to use and perhaps buggy. Moviepark only costs £3 so I heartedly suggest it :) Edit: Plus GPDivX has no sound :) so that might put you off...

Moviepark runs DivX 4.12 movies at 10fps. However, the movies play a lot smoother as the LCD blends the frames nicely. You need the codec from http://www.divx.com/ (4.12, not 5).

UPDATE by Axeman 5/1/04

GPCinema is now available from Entware, superceding the now out-of-date moviepark. It supports 15fps at 132Mhz, and up to 24fps at 166Mhz. It is superior to moviepark in almost every way, and if you hav moviepark, you can upgrade for a discount.

There are several ways to make movies - use VirtualDub, from http://www.virtualdub.com/ to convert movies into GP32 format (http://faq.gp32emu.com/ has an excellent guide for this). Or you can use Entware's 'easy' converter but filesizes may be higher. Finally you can convert straight from DVD to GP32 movie. A 2 hour movie will just about fill an 128mb SMC in most cases. Read Bonks' brilliant guide which fully covers the process.

Just tell me the VirtualDub settings.

Cue rcx21000:
Audio:
Codec: Mpeg Layer 3
Audio Sampling Rate: 11,050Hz-22,010Hz (I recommend 11,050)
Stereo (Mono works for me but crashes some units)

Video:
Codec: 4.12 Divx
Res: 320 x 240 or 320 x 172 (320x240 strongly recommended)
Framerate: 10FPS (decimate by 2 or 3, do not type in a new framerate. Fps < 10 is also ok)
Bitrate: 64-128kbps (nothing else!)

Emulation

There are tons of emulators, check http://www.gp32emu.com/ or http://www.gp32x.de/ for emulator lists.

These use the same rom files as their PC-based counterparts, as most are ports of x86 based versions...

A quick summary of the best ones:

GPengine (PCengine) - An almost full-speed emulator. Easy to use and supports R-Type, PC Kid, Raiden and other classic games no problem. Black-- is working on a netplay version, too!

SMS32 (Gamegear+Master System) - Very speedy and easy to use. Supports Sonic 1/2, Alex Kidd, Golden Axe etc at pretty much full speed. Not being worked on, I think.

fSMS32 (Master System) - A different emu that uses the same core. Supports saved states and an incredibly fast ROM list at startup. In beta.

Castaway/GP (AtariST) - Feature-packed, regularly updated ST emulator with huge compatibility (check the CastawayGP forums here at gp32x to see the comp. list and other details). Easy to use and relatively fast. Supports custom keymappings and other neat stuff.

fNES32 (Nes) - Coming soon, will be high speed! There is an existing version with OK speed and stuttery sound, this version has crystal sound and almost full-speed. And movie recording in the new ver! A matter of weeks until this comes out. Good compatibility too.

Little John GP (Nes) - Neat NES emulator with save states, conventional saving, gui, fast forward feature and compressed rom support, as well as full sound. Features galore, decent compatibility.

NesterGP (Nes) - This port of the Nester core is currently a good emulator with saved states and a fast rom browser. Try them all to see what's best for you.

fMSX32 (MSX) - Full-speed, feature packed emu with screenshots and sound.

fGen32 (Genesis) - Currently the fastest and most compatible Genesis emulator available. Was only released for 24 hours at Christmas 2003, but many people have it, and it is likely to be updated soon and released properly. Edit - Massive update was made to this emu and now it has sound and working about as well SNES9XGP.

SNES9XGP (SNES) - At the moment, has sound and saves but low speed. Almost unplayable, but it's only a straight port. Good news is Intelecto is working on a new ver which is faster than full speed without sound! I have heard reports of 75-80% with sound as C is replaced with ASM code. Edit - Project discounted. OpenSNES9XGP is faster with sound, but SNES9XGP retains higher compatibility.

SnesEMU (SNES) - ZJ's emu has been cancelled, but it runs games much faster. No sound or saves though. A beta is available.

OpenSNES9xGP (SNES) - Fantastic SNES emulator. Emulates some games at full speed at 166Mhz with no sound and frameskip 1. Frameskip 3 will give you full speed at 133Mhz. Sound slows the thing down, but frameskip 3 at 166Mhz will still give you more or less full speed at 166mhz. Allows savestates. Edit - Just to note, you can easily get Super Mario World working on 133 MHz with sound with about Frameskip 4 or 5. Because the human eye captures one image with a rather low rate, the frameskip doesn't matter TOO much. RPGs will look like they run at about full speed with sound.

GenEMU (Genesis) - About 40% compatible Genesis emulator by Zardoz Jones. Not very customizable, and in heavy beta stage, unlikely to be updated any time soon.

Frodo (C64) - Very nice emulator, good speed, with virtual keyboard like CaSTaway.

GPVGB (Gameboy/Gameboy Colour) - Incredible speed and screen resizing, and game saves. Runs a lot of early GBC games fine. Recently fixed crash bugs. Supports mono and colour games.

NeoGeoPocket GP32 - Only Alpha at the moment, can run some games overclocked to ~150MHz. No sound. update

Wonderswan Colour for GP32 - Alpha, no sound. Runs FF1j and FF2j fine with the translation patches, full speed. Does have save states. update

Also Atari 2600, Colecolvision, Vectrex and Lynx emulators are out. Plus more I'm sure I've missed, and more under production such as fMAME (MAME), and Atari800, etc.

Gameboy Advance?

Thanks to Slashdot many people believed the GP32 could emulate the GBA. Short answer no, long answer an emulator has been produced and reportedly runs at 5-10 fps, however it doesn't run many games and isn't going to be out for a while...so don't ask.

"I Want XXXXXX game ported to the GP32, it's great - can anyone do it?"

TO PORT A GAME, YOU NEED ACCESS TO THE SOURCE CODE. The source code is the original code entered by the programmer(s) and contains all the annotations, help and indicators required to see whats going on in the code, as well as containing the code itself. The majority of commercial games will NEVER have their source released, so the only way to get these on GP32 is for someone to write them as a clone from scratch. Some games are 'open-source' which means their code is freely available, and the possibility of a port is more likely.

First-Person Shooters

Doom has been ported to the GP32 and is available from this site. It runs Doom 1 and 2, plus Doom shareware, perfectly fine, as well as custom WAD files. Full speed with full sound and (albeit slow) saving. Just supply the WAD files. The doom shareware WAD is available from our download section.

In addition both Spear of Destiny and Wolfenstein have been ported and both run fast also. Edit - Rise of the Triad has been ported as well, and it runs great! Sound is available for these ports, of course.

Finally, other games are being ported or ports have been attempted, such as Descent. News of these ports will be released as they become available.

ScummVM?

Not so much an emulator as a replacement engine, ScummVM runs great. phox ported it, and it's still being worked on. Current version plays tons of games, Monkey Island 1/2, DOTT, Sam & Max, etc. fine.

The garbage on your screen means it's loading, wait a bit... :)

GP File Manager

GPFile Manager is very, very good as it allows you to move programs and files around on the SMC and also has compress and decompress functions. It allows you to look at jpgs, listen to MP3s and has an equaliser function that allows equaliser settings to be imported from WinAmp, has text viewer function, can load fxes from there. JPG images have to be under 1024x768 and 110KB in size, however.

After flashing your firmware you can even set GPFM to start automatically instead of the default menu (if you flash with Pacrom).

Atrkid notes: "it's well known for corrupting files". I've never heard this before, but you might want to look into it before use.

Edit - A lot of people now prefer COMI (by Don Miguel) or YAFL (by wookie) as their file managers.

Screen flicker/Blanking

If your GP32 randomly resets, flickers or goes white in places, it's probably your battery. FLU users get the advantage of seeing their front light go out first, others cry in fear until they realise their batteries have run out... :D

If you're still having troubleshooting problems, try the test mode. At the official ROM menu (PC-LINK/MP3/GAME) press L,R,R,L,R,R,L,L and you can test various things, using Start+Select to skip through each test. Ask around on these forums as well.

Reversed speakers

That's right - L sound comes out of the R speaker and vice versa. This is only true for the real unit; if you use headphones, sound will be correct. Since the speakers are right next to each other the L/R swap doesn't matter much.

Replacement shells

Wind-ups and WinGP both allow you to search your SMC for files, run files, place icons on the desktop and run custom applications like notepad, ebook reader, address book. Wind-ups is out already, WinGP isn't. Edit - WinGP released, it's just a FXE loader for right now. Project was discounted unfortunately.

Ok so tell me about Wind-ups.

Wind-ups is available from http://www.f-labs.com/gp32/wind-ups/index.htm and gives the GP32 a "windows" like feel, including a desktop with changeable backgrounds and icons. To create/modify icons just move the cursor over a blank area of desktop and hit B... its easy to learn! Wind-ups also includes a text editor, text viewer and address book application. It can be run just like other home-brew creations via the freelauncher. If you prefer using Wind-ups to the default GP32 firmware, you can flash your firmware to Mr. Spiv's multi-firmware, which allows you to directly boot into Wind-ups so you do not have to start it using freelauncher every time. You do NOT need to flash your firmware to use Wind-ups however! Spiv's version can also run crunched FXEs.

Download from http://www.emu.pl/gp32/gp32download.php?do...=fileinfo&id=95 :)

Speaking of flashing...

Flashing your ROM

If you like you can flash your ROM, which is risky unless you have full batteries. Edit - Flashing your "ROM" means you will change the firmware on your GP32, which is what you see when you first boot-up the GP32. You have to download Darkfader's flash program with a new ROM image. Then it takes from 30-60 seconds to flash your ROM. What do you get? Well instead of booting into the PC-LINK/GAME/MP3 menu, you can boot into Wind-ups, Pacrom (a very simple environment with file manager, music (?)), or any other firmware that has been created. Mr.Spiv's firmware is best, as you can choose between Wind-ups, Pacrom or the default menu at start up. Spiv even hacked out the stupid GP32 startup animation :) Plus you can access PC-Link faster by using Darkfader's alternative PC-link program.

However ... while not risky by itself, it's easy to mess up if you're inexperienced (wrong file to flash with, low batteries) so don't do it unless you feel safe doing it!

If you flash your ROM with Mr.Spiv's firmware, you'll also need to install Wind-Ups on top (link above) as it contains graphics, files etc. not included by the firmware.

UPDATE: The GP32 European firmware is now available. It is a little prettier, and includes the Freelauncher built-in, at the expense of the MP3 player (which is now available seperately)

Edit - There is now a mod of Mr. Spiv's firmware by Aquafish which has the original GP32 Firmware, Pacrom, Wind-ups, and PC-Link built-in. There is also another version with the new European Firmware instead of the original one. It also has the ability to run four programs of your choice straight from the boot menu!

Is over-clocking safe?

Amended by Axeman 5/1/04

It used to be thought that it was risky to overclock your GP32 to over 133Mhz. However, this was more due to scare stories put out by various people than due to pure fact. Basically, no-one wanted to risk their gp32 to test it. However, since then, many of us have risked the demise of our lovely little handhelds in order to test the theory. I'm happy to say that based on the current evidence, one of two things will happen when you overclock above 133Mhz:-

Either...

- Your GP32 will crash at one of the speeds above 133Mhz (some gp32s o/c to 160Mhz with no probs, but crash at 166Mhz) with no ill effect other than losing your place in the current game...

OR

- Your GP32 will happily overclock to a speed up to 166Mhz, with the only ill-effect being a shortening of the battery life (down to about 2 1/2 hours in my tests)

The whole thing seems to depend on the quality of the RAM chips in your GP32 - Gamepark source ram from several manufacturers.

- Xtreme Team & contributors
 
Last edited by a moderator:

justagamer

Still Fresh
Joined
Sep 14, 2003
Messages
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I have managed to find only one review of GP on the Net (July 2003) but there are many questions left unanswered. Here are the questions:

1. There seem to be a lot of emulators for GP. But which ones actually allow to play games at top speed, don't crash and have all the sound, etc? In the review I've read it usually said something along the lines "good speed but no sound", "sound by crawling speed", "good speed and sound but too dark"... etc., does not sound like the emulation dream to me...

2. AFAIK, emulators are not supported by GP, they are just a voluntary action on the part of arcade/console fans. How often are the new emulators or updates released? Will there be some major improvement in the speed/quality of emulation in, say, 6 months or a year?

3. Is there a possibility that emulators will never be able to emulate adequately because of GP hardware limitations? I remember playing some MAME games on my Pentium 100, it was not an enjoyable experience with frame freezes, etc. I guess it is a rule of thumb that a machine that tries to emulate another has to be around 10 times more powerful, does GP hardware have enough room to provide top-notch emulation?

4. Are Divx movies really almost "DVD quality"? Again, I am quite used to playing Divx on my PC, it is a 1Ghz Celeron, which I think (I hope, given that it's a 100 times bigger ;))) is much more powerful than GP, but there are still some movies with annoying framerate skip. It's somehow difficult to believe that GP will manage to play those Divx without a glitch. So, the question is, apart from the "WOW!" factor of impressing your friends, is playing Divx on GP practical?

5. Is MP3 emulation stereo? Is there a headphones jack? Does it support playlists or random shaffle?

6. What are the news on the hardware front? The GP is what, 2-3 years old? I guess, the hardware in general should have improved from the days when they made the first prototype, can we expect a faster version any time soon? GP2?

7. The original games, not console ports - are they any good? Is there news of any major developer supporting GP? Or is GP 100% retro-machine?

8. Was GP officially released in Europe or US? Are there plans?

9. Who is backing GP? Does the manufacturer has big enough pockets to have the required marketing, etc. I heard it was Samsung?

Well, that's a lot of questions, hopefully somebody will answer them ;) !!
 

Dozer

Efram the retarded rabbit
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Only managed to find one review? There are loads of reviews, all u need to do is type gp32 review into a search engine. Try here. And the gp also has loads of good emulators. what review did u read?
 

justagamer

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The one I read was on Classicgaming.com.

I'm still searching the web, there are reviews, but most are just IMO overexcited list of supposed features, not facts. I mean, here is what I just read (http://www.gbax.com/gp32review.html):

Another amazing emulator is that of the Lucas Arts SCUMMV engine which allows the GP32 to run all the classic adventure games such as the monkey island series, Indiana Jones series, Day of the tentacle, the dig, etc. etc. and yes, it includes the speech sound support (how could you play day of the tentacle without it :)!

But from this forum I found out that Sam n Max crashes, Day of the Tentacle cannot actually be played with speech, because the speech file is too big to fit on the card, etc.

Portable DivX player - Great for journeys, but not while driving :)

Yes, but what about quality?

Current emulators include SNES, Sega, Atari ST, NES, 2600, PC Engine, ZX Spectrum, MAME (only some drivers), Commodore 64, MSX, GBA

Again, reading this forum I understand that SNES is not full speed, and no longer supported and GBA is not even released.

Could you give me a link to a good review or answer my questions? Your help will be greatly appreciated.
 

Dozer

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huh? you can play day of the tentacle with speech, the divx player is excellent quality in my oppinion. If you take your time encoding i cant tell the difference between the dvd and the gp32 copy. SNES is easily playable, Sega is perfect, Atari ST, not sure not tried this one yet, NES almost perfect, runs full 60fps with full sound on most games, 2600, not tried yet but i think this ones basically perfect, PC Engine perfect (or as close to, you wont be able to see anythin wrong with it at all, ZX Spectrum, not sure, not tried it yet, MAME (only some drivers), only a few games run on any arcade emus at the moment but a new mame is in the works, Commodore 64, again not got round to trying yet, MSX, perfect, GBA, not really, just a few demos work slowly, no point in playing this one. But we also have to mega drive emus in the works, both easily playable at the moment but new releases should be even more impressive. Just take a look through the downloads section of this site to see what else there is on offer. You seem sceptical about buying one of these babys tho, which i cant really understand. Id say its worth your money even just for the divx and mp3 capabilities! and theres loads of great emus and games for it as well!
 

Octavius

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Apr 13, 2003
Messages
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the gp32 is great for me. i like to watch as new stuff gets released. it's a niche system and obviously not for everyone..

DIVX or XVID quality is pretty good. i usually run framerate at about 15fps. it's fun to watch anime episodes on it when youre bored too.
 

justagamer

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You seem sceptical about buying one of these babys tho, which i cant really understand.

I'm not, really. I just don't know anything about it, and would not like to order something that is unplayable and having been in IT industry for some time, I know how difficult it is to develop something good for a small developer and how unstable can first versions of software be.

Believe me, I would be a very happy man if I could play Doom or DotT or SNES games on handheld. I just wanted to find out if it is indeed possible on GP32. Just remembering how annoyed I was when running early versions of SEGA/MAME and trying to make it work...

Id say its worth your money even just for the divx and mp3 capabilities!

Well, to me Video and MP3 on handheld don't amount to much, they are a nice bonus, but I would not buy a system just for that. I always thought that small-screen TVs were nothing more than a novelty, as for MP3 - I have actually no need for a portable MP3 player, as I either work on computer all day or drive in my car... I remember those teenager days I was using my walkman 12 hours a day with sorrow ;)).
 

ralp99

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hmm. let's see. here we go answering the same questions AGAIN (but it's fun, so...)

perfect emulators.. none that i have seen. i havent seen a perfect emulator on any platform anyway! but you know, anyway the breakdown..

PCE/turbografx-16- very impressive, this made me buy a GP32. great interface, very bright + easy to see (has a gamma option, as do many emu's - helps a LOT). Very high compatibility and speed, not perfect as the sounds is sometimes a little off and a COUPLE important games don't work properly yet.

NES - it's there at last, pretty much perfect. a couple mappers still aren't supported yet, but surely in no time. probably %95+ of any game you can think fo to try will run perfectly. the emulator LittleJohn has tons of great features too (zapper support, save states)

SMS - between two excellent emulators, this is spot on.
C64 - haven't tried yet but it sounds at least 80-90%

Sega Genesis/megadrive - coming along steadily, finally! stay tuned for updates. it's real fast right now with decent compatibility - frame rate needs speeding up and there's a few gfx glitches prevalent but I think in a couple months this might all be improved. Also, gamma needs to be improved, great graphics on this system but they look VERY dark.

Atari 2600 - not perfect, lots of games a re playable but a lot of indiscrepancies. between the two available emulators you'll probably find that anything you want, works pretty much perfectly (if only they could consolidate). I'd put it at 85 percent, maybe.

Atari 800 - haven't tried yet but sounds good.
Colecovision -perfect!
Vectrex - unfinished, but also probably 75-80%. I am hoping someone picks it up and finishes..
Atari ST - impressive! looks perfect to me (though probably 95%, since i dont know the system too well - everything I tried seemed fine though)

SNES - when I first tried it I expected it to suck. I was very surprised! A lot of games run VERY playably and enjoyably. It's not spot on, or near it, but if you can overclock your GP32 then you'll have a LOT of good-looking SNES games running
satsifactorily. Just don't expect sound (or your frameskip will take a bad hit). On overclocked SNESemu you get mario games (world, allstars) at fullspeed, I believe! Also games like RType, etc - konami + capcom games seem slower to me still..

Gameboy - a lot of games run --pretty-- good. There's still a lot of work to be done here, but it looks like this is the next one to get released (a bunch of GB emu's in development right now)

Gameboy advance - nah. Sorry. (buy a GBA!) Who cares, when you've got Snes and PCE...

and of course Mame - the question on everybody's mind. I think we'll see a real working mame emulator at some point, and I know it will kick ass. But it's going to be some time yet. It's probably never gonna support games from nineties and neo geo/etc but should HOPEFULLY cover all the eighties games pretty well (except for the super heavy duty ones). I am no expert but that's just what's been said around on the boards - this is of course something to watch for, I think when Mame breaks (if it is high quality) then it could do a lot of GP32. Scary.

MP3 - I never tried.
DIVX - people seem to love it. i never tried it either (what's the point!) but someday I will have to take a flight somewhere so I'll probably get it just for that. It has been said if you get a movie and split it between two 128 Mb cards then it looks pretty damn perfect. That's a bit of money to spend I guess but worth it if it's important to you. If you're just watching cartoons and etc than it shouldnt be necessary.
Brightness - if you've played an old-model GBA then you know lighting hell. I have a front-lit GP32 unit and it's perfect (well, close enough). You can play it in pitch-darkness and it's perfect. I have found it sucks under sunlight where there's lots of glare (at the beach etc) but then I still am too chicken to take that cheesy plastic packing covering off it anyway, it would probably help! ANyway 90 percet of the time I have no trouble with visibility (and mercifilly, as I said, many emu authors put adjustable gamma options in their emulators)

ok.. that should cover it. fucking Gamepark should write me a check. off to bed...
 

GurtyGurt

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2003
Messages
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A GP32 is hard to catergorise. By far the main attraction is the freeware/homedev/emulation scene for it, but that's only really due to the lack of commercialisation for the software (and by that, I mean there's no advertising and you can only really get them online without being able to see the game running). In all honesty, the GP32 is not for everyone, and it ultimately depends on you.

I said many months ago don't buy it solely for NES and SNES because they don't run well yet. Things have changed. SNES emulation as I understand (haven't tried) is passable, but if you're a perfectionist, don't buy it for just that because there's no guarantee it'll ever be 'perfect'. NES, on the other hand, these days I'd say it's a safe bet. GP32 compares to NES easily.

Commodore 64 emulation, give or take, is near perfect, full speed with sound. It doesn't support tape games or cartridges and some complex games won't work. That's about it.

NES emulation is ultimately close to perfect, and in general it's on par with the PC. Keep in mind the NES's resolution is smaller than the GP32's so it's always kinda windowed.

SMS/GG emulation is perfect. Has been pretty much perfect for a long time now.

ZX Spectrum, I'm not sure. I haven't put any 128k games on, but 48k games work perfectly for me. Simulating the keyboard was a minor issue for me.

PC Engine games run perfect, unless you're trying to play something with 3D style effects (eg Out Run).

Genesis/Megadrive emulation is adequate with no sound. It's slow. It's also very early days yet. This is going to advance a lot, if you ask me. I think it could run full speed in due time.


Ultimately the GP32 emulates 8-bit systems without a hitch and it can keep the pace with 16-bit systems. As for the other questions:

2. It depends how many people get involved. I'd say in most cases there will be significant progress.

3. Amiga emulation is doubtful, and MAME probably will never get past 68000 variant hardware, and it'd be a miracle if it got that far (MAME is too unoptimized anyway!). Someone will probably start doing single game emulators one day.

4. No idea. It's been answered already though.

5. It is stereo with or without headphones. There is a headphone jack. I am unsure about play options but there are several MP3 players (and that ogg player now). I should point out that the GP32, like most handhelds and indeed oldschool type consoles, has lousy bass.

6. I don't think there's any plans to release a bigger, better GP32 anytime soon. It won't be obsolete for a while yet...

7. There's no major developers supporting GP32, but the software can be quite good. I don't really know much because I never bought any, though!

8. Nothing in the US, but I'm sure a European would like to mention something about the euro launch. I didn't pay much attention, really.

9. I don't think any big companies are backing the GP32 whatsoever. I think mostly, it's just that Gamepark aren't getting out of their depth by doinga Phantom or whatever and saying "WE'VE MADE THIS AWESOME SYSTEM AND IT CAN PLAY 32000 GAMES AND IT'S PORTABLE AND YUO HAVE TO BUY IT BECAUSE WE'RE AWESOME!". I think they're basically playing the 'wait and see' approach. They see if anyone's interested, then they go ahead and do it if it makes sense to do so. They haven't taken any risks, and for what it's worth they don't appear to be in any trouble. The GP32 isn't gonna become the next NGPC or WSC...no early death here, I don't think.


Ultimately, the GP32 isn't a fanboy machine. It's a great machine if you want variety, depth and something with lots of unexpected little thingies. Essentially, it's like a raw tool with lots of different pieces and no manual compared to a market full of DIY kits where you only get one result. In other words: Don't buy it just for one thing.
 

papapopalung

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Don't buy a gamepark for SNES emulation. this was one of the big draws for me and i've been pretty disappointed so far, only supermarioworld is really playable with sound (come on you need the sound). oh yeah, and the lack of two buttons is a pain.

nes games- really good - almost perfect full speed
sms - really good - almost perfect full speed
pc-engine - 75% - pretty damn good arcade style stuff :) some of the best
gameboy original and colour - really good almost perfect in fact full speed etc.
Atari ST - Damn Right :) really good!

GP32 doom is *class* thanks craig !

gravity force (or whatever it's called) is pretty good

Mp3 playback is limited at the moment (only one bitrate supported) but through headphones the quality is great and it's a useful addition.

E-Books! *smile* it's the intellectual's handheld.

and there seems to be all sorts of other little bits and pieces to keep me occupied on the GP. and plenty of things promised/in the making.

original games - there's not much. maybe when it's released in europe....

GP32 wasn't exactly what i expected, and it's nothing like a gameboy advance. i have been at times gutted that i bought one and really pleased. but overall it has surpassed what i wanted / expected from a handheld even if i'm playing 8-bit games most of the time.

just don't buy a GP32 for SNES emulation, that's all i'm saying...
 

Dolfhin

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papapopalung posted on Sep 14 2003 said:
Mp3 playback is limited at the moment (only one bitrate supported) but through headphones the quality is great and it's a useful addition.
K2yaa MP3 Player Beta 3 rocks. It suport all possible bit rates without any problem :D
 
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Rico

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bringoutthegimp posted on Sep 14 2003 said:
did you not bother researching before you bought it?
Let's not go there -- you all know how the emulator was presented before release. Besides, at 156 or 166 snesemu and snes9x are more than capable, even (with the case of snes9x) with sound. It is NOT just SMW (which runs at fs3 quite comfortably) - try R-Type 3, Aladdin, Contra 3, even F-Zero!
 
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justagamer

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bringoutthegimp posted on Sep 14 2003 said:
did you not bother researching before you bought it?
Man, I haven't bought it yet, I just found out that it existed yesterday. THIS IS my research phase.

By the way, thanks a lot for all the answers, it was a lot of help.

I just wish they sold one locally, so that I can see how the games actually play before I buy. But it seems like GP32 is a great idea, so I think i will have to buy it anyway.
 
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bigSEXYc

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I beleive the Gp32 is the best for oldschool gamers. It only gets better with the more time u put into it.
Right now im lovin the NesterGP (man Kung Fu wasnt this hard when i was a kid)
 
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I only found out it existed yesterday and i ordered it the same day lol

Anyway whats all this talk about saying snes emu's wont happen?
its only a matter of time before they make one with full compatibility and sound.
 
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