Man, I Missed Out On The Sega Nomad - Or Did I?


DavidBeoulve

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Vidgame.net has a large section of dead handhelds, many of which I only knew of in passing. Because I was never interested in handhelds back in those days (heck, most of these things pre-date my oldest child, and she's 9 now), I didn't pay much attention other than thinking "Gee, Sega sure kicks Nintendo's GameBoy butt, technologically speaking. I wish they could win."

The Nomad played Genesis games, and I mean it used Genesis ROMs, and I thought "Man, I'm getting a Nomad, only years late, and it will have just about every Genesis game I want, have a better screen, play MP3's..."

And his point is...
The GP2X really seems like a great handheld when you educate yourself on the history of all handhelds. It paints a clearer picture, and gives you a better definition of where we stand today.

It's not going to win any wars, but it's not going to go quietly into the night, either. And it is, it seems, truly one of a kind.

Bare in mind, I'm no expert, this is just what I've gleaned reading up on my history. A lot of companies have made a lot of gaming handhelds and you know what the secret sauce of the GP2X is? Of course you do. It's spelled GPL :)
 

Epicenter

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Cartridges just contain one ROM binary on a masked ROM chip. "Read Only Memory" .. it's not called that for no reason. :) I don't seriously believe he thinks it runs ROM files copied from the internet!

And I still say the magic ingredient is ARM9, not GPL. ;) The machine has an amazing processor that lets it get away with most of what it does. A (mostly) open-source OS just helps.
 
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TelcoLou

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I used to work with this guy .... he was always bragging about his collection of game consoles. I had told him how I always wanted a Nomad, but couldn't afford one and he then proceeded to rub it in; "Oh man, it's GREAT! The screen is so bright, and to have all those great games on the go! Too bad you never had one"

Fast-forward to several months later, when I got my GP32 ... I showed him DrMD. He had this to say;

"Oh, that's pretty cool. Yeah, but uh ... too bad you can only use 128MB SMC cards ... yeah, you'll fill that up fast."

He was layed off from work, so I don't see him any more ... too bad too, I would have loved to show him my '2X and DrMDx running these games at a full 60FPS w/DAC support, etc ...

Yeah, I finally got my Nomad :)
 

Epicenter

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I still wish the FM audio issues in DrMDx would be fixed. YM2612 emulation probably won't get TOO much better and the level of compatibility Genecyst was at in the early 90s isn't bad (think 486 days) but hearing the sound of a train stopping whenever I use my sonar in Ecco is pretty irritating, makes it tricky to play and keep listening to .. the BG scrolling issues that weren't fixed until maybe 2000 in Gens that are still present in the emulator are also annoying, but not show stoppers by any means.

Still, a real Nomad would be better. After all it contained the real MD/Genesis hardware condensed onto a few chips, a real MC68000 processor, real video hardware, YM2612, DAC, PSG, etc. If you can keep 6AAs around for each 3 hours of play and have pockets big enough to accomodate a cinderblock. :)
 

Epicenter

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It was the same as a Model 2 Genesis system, except for the combination of some of the parts into more integrated combo-ICs. The screen had some slight ghosting, wasn't noticable in decent lighting usually. It DEVOURED batteries though, you really needed the rechargable pack. Also it was fairly large. It'd fit a BIG cargo pants pocket but not your average one at all. I don't see how it was 'shit' exactly. :p
 

Winterkid

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I thought the Genesis used the 68020 processor??? Probably my mistake, naturally. Did they ever make a squared 68000 CPU, rather than the dual inline style IC? *shrug* I remember getting a baseboard for the amiga that changed the processor from a 68k to a 68020 and boosted the system to 14MHz.
 

jmetal88

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I had a Nomad... I used to take it to school at times, and for some reason my friends were very impressed with it, even though the Gameboy Advance had come out by that time. They particularly liked the graphics for Sonic 3D Blast, and liked the backlit screen (I guess the SP hadn't come out yet). They thought the screen must be very high quality, although I had seen it in more conditions and know better. :rolleyes:
 

LordFu

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I had a Nomad, too. It was a nice system, but, as said above, it ate batteries and was big for a "handheld". I just used an AC adapter for power. The ability to plug in a second controller and tv-out were great features.
 

SatanClaus

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I have a Nomad, but the GP32 and GP2X are better. The Nomad is a monster - it eats 6 AA batteries faster than the GP2X empties 2 and it's huge. You never see the battery case on the back in the pictures:

obenk.JPG


The screen was good in the megadrive era, but the GP32 and GP2X are much better. If you own one of them, you don't need a nomad.
 

DaveC

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I still wish the FM audio issues in DrMDx would be fixed. YM2612 emulation probably won't get TOO much better and the level of compatibility Genecyst was at in the early 90s isn't bad (think 486 days) but hearing the sound of a train stopping whenever I use my sonar in Ecco is pretty irritating, makes it tricky to play and keep listening to .. the BG scrolling issues that weren't fixed until maybe 2000 in Gens that are still present in the emulator are also annoying, but not show stoppers by any means.


FM audio was better one time. Then Reesy made it so that the FM was not updated as many times per frame, it gave the emu a little speed boost. If it was fixed it would slow down a bit but sound better. Tradeoffs.
 
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Paradox

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I still wish the FM audio issues in DrMDx would be fixed. YM2612 emulation probably won't get TOO much better and the level of compatibility Genecyst was at in the early 90s isn't bad (think 486 days) but hearing the sound of a train stopping whenever I use my sonar in Ecco is pretty irritating, makes it tricky to play and keep listening to .. the BG scrolling issues that weren't fixed until maybe 2000 in Gens that are still present in the emulator are also annoying, but not show stoppers by any means.


FM audio was better one time. Then Reesy made it so that the FM was not updated as much, it gave the emu a little speed boost. If it was fixed it would slow down a bit but sound better. Tradeoffs.


most games run 50-60 fps underclocked anyway, just how much speed is gained by screwing up the sound?
 
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Epicenter

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It should just be an option in the menu. Like how Fusion has 'YM2612 High Quality' and 'Overdrive' sound options. He's already got sound samplerate in there! :)

I still say there should be an M68000 clock control. You could turn it down to ~5.5 or 6 MHz in most games and get 100% speed at 200 MHz (ARM920T clock), no overclocking needed, some games might experience a bit more slowdown but most wouldn't have a lot-- the 68000 is a very very powerful CPU at about any clockrate! Even at 4 MHz and below Sonic games run acceptably, Ecco runs well until you have a LOT of AI processes going on, etc. Also you could crank it up to ~12 MHz for much smoother operation in intensive games at higher 920T clockrates. Hell, I can get to 320 MHz, I want to take advantage of that..

Reesy said he'd probably never use it so didn't see himself adding it. But I'm not the only person to suggest it.. I do think it is worth consideration. Probably not a difficult thing to add either.
 

hired gun

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I have two Nomads, but since I got my Gp32 and GP2X they have been relegated to the closet!!!! Too much hastle, to get out the power supply cartridges, ect, when with one flick of a button I have the games running on my GP32. Of course the screen also has better resolution too. The only games that I RARELY play on the Nomads are the one's that require a six button controller, as that hasn't been emulated to my satisfaction. H.G.
 

nubie

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I know someone who bought one, it would eat 6 batteries in very short order, do you know it actually has a flourescent backlight with an upconverter to feed it with a very high voltage?

see here if you like seeing the insides of things (electrical things :)), I.E. the Sega Nomad :).

I got in a huge argument at work the other day with a guy who thought the Game Gear was a portable Genesis, doh!

He also doesn't believe me that the best way to view any new-generation console (cough, xbx360, cough) is on a CRT display, and a VGA one is the very best.

I had no Idea that the majority of people believe that their LCD TV's are awesome simply because they are big, I get a better picture on my $35 S-Video 27" RCA TV than a $2,000 LCD panel any day.

I won't spend that much money to go down in quality, but I wish people wouldn't buy crap, it only sends the message that marketing crap is okay because we are all stupid enough to buy it.

I don't deny the quality can be better on the properly made ones, but the price range is much higher than a 21" viewsonic VGA monitor, which has very very high quality/price ratio.
 

seanie666

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I know someone who bought one, it would eat 6 batteries in very short order, do you know it actually has a flourescent backlight with an upconverter to feed it with a very high voltage?

see here if you like seeing the insides of things (electrical things :)), I.E. the Sega Nomad :).

I got in a huge argument at work the other day with a guy who thought the Game Gear was a portable Genesis, doh!

He also doesn't believe me that the best way to view any new-generation console (cough, xbx360, cough) is on a CRT display, and a VGA one is the very best.

I had no Idea that the majority of people believe that their LCD TV's are awesome simply because they are big, I get a better picture on my $35 S-Video 27" RCA TV than a $2,000 LCD panel any day.

I won't spend that much money to go down in quality, but I wish people wouldn't buy crap, it only sends the message that marketing crap is okay because we are all stupid enough to buy it.

I don't deny the quality can be better on the properly made ones, but the price range is much higher than a 21" viewsonic VGA monitor, which has very very high quality/price ratio.

That's soooo true I love the screen on my laptop it's perfect for games, movies and everything else but it doesn't even compare to my CRT from my old pc that thing has such a wonderful picture despite being nearly 7 inches bigger than my laptop.

And as for the Nomad it was cool but soooo impractical, I imported one used it for a week and went back to the full Genesis cos I was tired of not finishing Chakan because of the batteries going dead (a problem I'm happy to say I'm rid of with my GP32/GP2X, with the 3200mAh rechargeables I have last an age and a half :D )

Seanie666

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DaveC

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I know someone who bought one, it would eat 6 batteries in very short order, do you know it actually has a flourescent backlight with an upconverter to feed it with a very high voltage?

I had no Idea that the majority of people believe that their LCD TV's are awesome simply because they are big, I get a better picture on my $35 S-Video 27" RCA TV than a $2,000 LCD panel any day.


Well lets not get too carried away. A native 720P LCD panel like the Sony Bravia XBR connected through the VGA cable at 1:1 will be way better than horrid 480i flickery S-video NTSC.

The best though would be a CRT that could do native 720P on the Xbox 360 as the 360's native res is 720P. Computer CRTs can do that but are small. All other settings (1080i) are scaled internally by the xbox making the image soft (I tried it). CRT HDTVs convert everything to 1080i, any time you do a conversion you lose a bit.
 
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airwolf

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I have a Nomad, but the GP32 and GP2X are better. The Nomad is a monster - it eats 6 AA batteries faster than the GP2X empties 2 and it's huge. You never see the battery case on the back in the pictures:

obenk.JPG


The screen was good in the megadrive era, but the GP32 and GP2X are much better. If you own one of them, you don't need a nomad.

Well, I just sold mine and got $250 for it along with 48 Genesis games. But there are mainly 2 issues that the Sega Genesis Nomad has going for it that the Gp2X don't.

First is the game Virtua Racing. This is an awesome Genesis game that can't be emulated because of the SVP chip inside the cartridge. Only way to play this game portable is with the Nomad.

Second is the controls. The Nomad is the bomb for controls. The gamepad and buttons are perfect for any game and totally own the Gp2X.

So, to have a Nomad is something you do need if you are an avid gamer. So get one, if you can. They are very rare and expensive (if in great condition).
 
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