Tiger game.com

Here is a hot mess of a system for you. In 1997, this system was supposed to “change the gaming world as we know it”. I picked this up cheap on eBay a few months ago and as you can see by the photos, the box is a bit of a wreak, but intact. The seller must have found some more games for it since it was supposed to only come with the packed in Lights Out but they threw in 3 other games + manuals. The Game.com will live on, siting on a shelf.


“Broken” Xbox One launch model for cheap

Recently I picked up a “broken” Xbox One from eBay for $69.99 from a pawn shop seller. I noticed in the photos that all the warranty stickers were in place and the unit did not look like it had been opened or worked on. The description of the problem was “The Xbox One will boot to dashboard and then reboot constantly”. I was not able to hear the fan kicking on so my first thought was it was overheating and powering off. I decided to take it apart and take a look around to see if there was anything obvious. After opening it up and giving it a quick clean up, I could not find anything blatantly wrong with it.

I put the system mostly back together and powered it up with no HDD and was able to see the fan kick on (It was just really quiet) and got the typical error for missing hard drive. But the most important thing was, it did not reboot.. hmm, could it be something with the HDD?

I tossed in a 2TB HDD and followed this tutorial and never looked back.

So all in all it was a corrupted OS and just needed to be re-initialized. Time to check out some of the Xbox One exclusives.

PS4 HEN Test

I got to do some game testing on my firmware 4.55 PS4 last night. I acquired a couple PKG files to test with and used my ESP8266 to enabled HEN. I copied over the PKG files to a ExFAT formatted USB drive and plugged it into the PS4. I then went to Settings>Debug Settings>Game>Package Installer and installed all packages.

Excuse the crappy photo of the TV

I am now FINALLY able to play PT. All the packages I installed worked without issues except Burnout Paradise Remastered since its needs firmware 5.05 to run.

Side note: I own all the retail games I installed/tested from PKG’s, just thought I should add that. PT is only a demo obviously.

ESP8266 & The PS4

There has been a bunch of development with the PS4 homebrew scene the last 2 weeks. The PS4’s Homebrew Enabler (HEN) is removed every time the PS4 is restarted and needs to be reapplied. There is was to do it from internet, local PC, smartphones and from a ESP8266 device. I found the ESP8266 to be the most consistent way of applying the HEN to the PS4.

I picked up the ESP8266 from Amazon for just under $9.

What you will need:
PS4 on firmware 5.05 or lower. (I am curently on 4.55 myself. I am waiting for 5.05 HEN/MIRA to be more stable before it update)
ESP8266 with 4mb flash, linked above
MicroUSB cable
ESP-Host found at Github
ESPTool

Here was my install process on a Windows 10 machine:

  • Install Python 2.7 Get it here
  • Put Python and scripts in your PATH (c:\Python27;c:\Python27\Scripts) Google it if you are unsure how to do this
  • Download get-pip.py and run “python get-pip.py” from a CMD promt
  • Once Python and PIP are installed, open a CMD window and run “pip install esptool”
  • Download ESP-host BIN file that matches your PS4 firmware (esphostmulti455.bin in my case)
  • Plug in your ESP8266 to your computer VIA the MicroUSB cable
  • Open a CMD windows and run “python esptool.py –port COM3 write_flash 0x00000 esphostmulti455.bin” Use your full path to your esphostmulti455.bin file

Once flash is done, plug the ESP8266 into a USB port on your PS4 and go to Settings>Network>Setup Internet Connection>Use Wifi>Easy
Connect to the SSID PS4-WIFI (If you do not see the PS4-WIFI network then your ESP8266 is not working properly.
To run the exploit go to Settings>User’s Guide
Select HEN or HEN+VR and you will be notified when the script is complete.

Update: nodemcu-pyflasher – This tool might be better for flashing since python & PIP are not needed.

Travel with the PS4

Recently I had the need to travel with my PS4 Pro and my PSVR and wanted a secure way to pack it for transport. I Googled around and found a lot of Pelican cases but they were A) expensive a B) bulky and added a lot of unnecessary weight. I came across the Hard EVA Travel Case on Amazon. This looked like it would suite my needs as its not really a “hard” case like as  in plastic but it is a hard but pliable shell. It reminded me of the same hard material the car CD wallets were made from. Can it be dropped from 10 feet, I wouldn’t test it, but will it protect it in travel.. yeah. I was actually able to fit the following in this case with no strain:

  • Playstation 4 Pro, HDMI & power cable
  • PSVR Headset + cables
  • PSVR Processor unit & Power supply
  • 2 DS4 controllers
  • PlayStation Camera
  • A few games (Most of my PSVR games are digital since I hate taking off the headset to swap discs)
  • 2 Playstation Move controllers

It all zips up comfortably and is ready to be stowed in the car. This case will work with many other consoles as I use it for my original Xbox One and it fit perfectly.

I would definitely recommend this case for people that travel with their PS4 and/or other consoles.

3DO

3DO USB Host Controller

I bet you hear this all the time, “Man, I wish I can play every 3DO game” LOL, right. There are a few hidden gems on the 3DO but not much to write home about. The ability to put every 3DO game ISO on a USB key is definitely overkill but doable with the 3DO USB host controller. The installation is very straight forward and as easy as removing the 3DO CD-ROM drive and replacing it with the Host Controller.

Atari Lynx Flash Cart

Been waiting for this one for some time. This is a great microSD to Atari Lynx flash cart made by RetroHQ and there is a wait list for the at the moment that he’s catching up on pretty quickly.

This cart will work in the model 1 & 2 lynx handhelds. He makes a case/shell for it but when fitted with the shell it will not fit in the model 1. I opted for the non shell version since I own both models and not sure what one will be used more with this cart.

RetroHQ tossed in a 1gb SD card that he had the latest menu software on it. I tossed a couple roms on it to test with and it worked with no issues at all. I did find out that the sound is out on my model 2 Lynx… so time to fix that.

TG-16 Engine Block AV

Everyone that owned a TG-16 also had a TurboBooster, right? I doubt that. If you wanted to use anything other than RF out, you needed the TurboBooster. It would get you composite output and stereo audio. They have since been hard to find in good working order or at all. There is a way to make a cable to plug into the expansion port on the back to get composite output but its just feels janky and a non-permanent solution. In comes the AV Block which I picked up from StoneAgeGamer earlier this year. This unit plugs into the TG-16 expansion port and gives you many output options due to its use of the Sony CXA1645 video encoder chip.

Three output connectors are found on the Engine Block AV each carrying the following signals: (Specs was taken from StoneAgeGamer)

  • Mini DIN9 (a.k.a. Sega Genesis 2 A/V connector)
    • RGB + CSYNC (i.e SCART)
    • Video level CSYNC
    • CVBS (a.k.a. composite video)
      • Compatible with out of the box yellow/white/red Sega Genesis 2 A/V cable
      • Transcoded from RGB by CXA1645
    • Stereo Audio Only
      • While the Sega Genesis 2 A/V pinout permits mono audio, it is not supported by the dbGrafx Booster (why the hell would you want mono audio?)
      • Amplified on dbGrafx Booster
  • S-Video connector (a.k.a. Mini DIN4)
    • Y/C Video
      • Compatible with standard S-Video cable
      • Transcoded by CXA1645
  • RCA Jacks (yellow/white/red)
    • CVBS (a.k.a. composite video)
      • Direct signal from console (i.e. same as original Turbo Booster)
    • Stereo Audio
      • Amplified on dbGrafx Booster

 

XBox One Internal HDD Upgrade

A few days ago I picked up a used Xbox One. This is the first Xbox One I have own since I have been a Sony PS4 guy since launch. I got excited and picked up some of the Xbox exclusives that I missed over the past few years. I quickly learned that the internal 500GB was not going to be enough to install the 10-15 games I picked up. I know I can throw an external HDD on it without issues but I am not a fan of putting an external HDD on a system that has an internal HDD that can be upgraded. After some Googling around I found it its possible without too much trouble. Here is what I did…

Removed the original HDD (Make sure to label it with a sticky note or something so it does not get mixed up with all your other loose dives laying around.. what? You don’t have that problem?)

Used a SATA to USB connector, I hooked up the original Xbox One HDD to my PC/laptop and copied the X:\ contents to a safe spot to use later. (Should be 2 folders named A & B and 1 file in the root) I placed mine at C:\XBOX\OLDHDD\X\

I bought a Seagate Slim external 2TB and removed it from the enclosure and hooked it up to my PC/laptop.

Download the XBOX One Drive Replacement Preparation Script (Created by xFix) and Extract to C:\XBOX

Open a command prompt “as administrator” and type C:\XBOX\xboxonehdd-master\win\create_xbox_drive.bat

Follow the onscreen prompts

When the script is done close the command window and copy the contents from C:\XBOX\OLDHDD\X\ to the newly created X:\

Slap the HDD back in the Xbox One and boot it up.