SD2SNES

I got frustrated with wanting to play some SNES games and finding out that my Super Everdrive could not play them due to the needed enhancement chips. Commence ordering the SD2SNES from StoneAgeGamer.

Features list taken from StoneAgeGamer

Features
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC support (tested up to 64GB; no exFAT support so SDXC cards must be reformatted using FAT32)
  • High quality push-push memory card slot
  • Fast ROM loading (~9MB/s)
  • Fast menu navigation
  • Directories are sorted automatically, no need for FAT sorting tools
  • High resolution menu (512×224) for adequate display of long file names
  • Real Time Clock
  • Supports ROM size up to 128MBit (96Mbit actually implemented)
  • Automatic near-time SRAM saving to SD Card (while the game runs). Some limitations apply:
    • near-time saving is switched to periodic saving when a game is found to use the SRAM as work RAM.
    • Automatic saving is disabled when MSU1 is used. SRAM is saved on reset.
  • Enhancement chip support (see below for implementation status)
    • BS-X memory map / Satellaview base unit registers (clock)
    • DSP1 / 1b
    • DSP2
    • DSP3
    • DSP4
    • ST-010
    • Cx4
    • MSU1 (Each supported enhancement chip can be used in conjunction with MSU1.)
    • S-RTC
  • SuperCIC key (SNES CIC clone):
    • enables operation on unmodified consoles of all regions
    • supports software 50/60Hz switching on SuperCIC enhanced consoles only (to be performed by sd2snes firmware, not yet implemented there)
  • Auto region patching: eliminates “This Game Pak is not designed…” messages regardless of 50/60Hz setting

 

Everdrive GBA

This is to replace my loved SuperCard MiniSD. Many hours of Advanced Wars have been played on my SuperCard over the years. Recently I wanted to update the ROMs on my MiniSD and found that the software was just as wonky as I remembered it and had trouble with some of the later GBA games. It all came down to playing Final Fantasy 6 and putting in 6 hours and finding out my save was corrupted to help push me to the Everdrive GBA. The Everdrive GBA is dead simple to get up and running, just add games to a MicroSD and boot. I know this is like beating a dead horse but I wish the size of the cart was of a standard GBA game like my SuperCard… but that said, this thing is awesome.

Features taken from StoneAgeGamer
Features:
  • High compatibility. Near to 100% compatibility with GBA game library
  • NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Master System, and Game Gear game support via emulation mode!
  • All save types supported, no ROM patching required
  • Fast Loading (most games load within 1 – 2 seconds)
  • 256Mbit PSRAM (32MByte) ROM memory
  • 1Mbit SRAM (128KByte) save memory
  • Real-time clock support
  • Low power consumption
  • SD, SDHC and SDXC cards are supported. Tested with micro-SD cards up to 64GB
  • FAT32 support
  • Supported with GameCube Player, Super Retro Advance and other GBA accessories

 

SuperCard MiniSD (GBA)

This was the first GBA flash card I got and I bought it the month it was released. It served me well all these years even with all the software quarks. The glaring downside of this cart was the fact that you had to use their software to transfer games to it. The software would inject a temporary save state and any cheats you might want to enable. This sounds awesome but I would constantly get errors from the software on so many ROMs. Sometimes they would work fine even with the errors but most would not. So it was a tedious process making a card of all “working” games. With this card now being over 11 years old, it has not really stood up well against cards like the Everdrive GBA but for its time it was amazing. The way this card is a real winner is by the fact that its the size of a GBA game and does not stick out at all in the handheld. This can not be said about the Everdrive GBA.

Features:

  • Compatiable with GBA/SP/GBM/IDS/NDS/NDS Lite.
  • Built in emulators include emulators for the NES, Gameboy, PC Engine, Sega Master System and the Game Gear
  • Supports Real Time Save functions.
  • Supports compressed game files (Compress option in software)
  • Possible to store up to 32Gbit (4Gbyte) on one single SD card.

Notes:

FAT File Syystem?

Yup, this device only supports FAT/FAT16 file system. That mean no MiniSD cards over 2GB are supported.

When using GBA files:

  • L + R + B + SELECT brings up REALTIME SAVE menu
  • L + R + A + SELECT brings up SC NORMAL SAVE menu
  • L + R + START + SELECT resets to the main menu

Keeping Save Files to MiniSD:

In order to keep your GBA game saves you must reset to the MAIN menu, scroll right to the SAVE menu, locate the game file you want to save, press A to bring up SAVE prompt, and select “YES” to save to SD.

PITA GBA Setup:

For GBA games, this is not drag-and-drop solution, you can’t just copy-and-paste these games to the MiniSD and play, the games must be “patched” first using an “outdated” piece of software. For NES/GB/GBC/SMS games you can copy-and-paste normally, without patching.

Manual:

FifthE1ement – SuperCard_Guide_v1.1

Everdrive GB

Picked up a Everdrive GB from StoneAgeGamer during his 2016 Black Friday 15% off deal for a buddy of mine. I loaded a MicroSD for him and tested it in my GB Color and fell in love with it. I have a couple other GB Flash carts but this was by far the cleanest and quickest one to get up and going. I ended up ordering one for myself in December and have not looked back.

Features taken from StoneAgeGamer

Features:
  • Game Boy And Game Boy Color games supported
  • Max. ROM size up to 8Mbyte
  • Compatible with all systems which supports GB and GBC cartridges, including Super Game Boy
  • Supported mappers: MBC1, MBC2, MBC3, MBC5
  • SRAM auto backup on SD card
  • Supported micro SD up to 32GB
  • FAT32 are supported
  • GameGenie cheat codes
  • Simple menu

 

Super Everdrive China Version

I’m not 100% sure if this is a genuine version or a clone but it work and that’s all that matters to me. This was a Amazon find for about $50 and it came with a 8GB SD. This uses the same software as the original Super Everdrive and has the exact same limitations. This will not play any of the enhancement chip games, you will need to upgrade to the SD2SNES to get that support.

PlayStation 4 Pro & PSVR

I had the opportunity to pick up the PS4 Pro and the PSVR this week. Here are my thoughts.

PlayStation 4 Pro:

I had a PS4 and I do not have a 4K TV, so why the hell did I do this? I am seeing more and more releases that will support the Pro performance boost especially with the PSVR games. I did not want to get in a position where I get subpar results with newer games & SPVR games and decided to take the plunge. I was not 100% sure on how big a difference I would see on my 1080p gaming TV with the PS4 Pro, but it ended up being a lot more that I thought. 4K upscaling/output is just one piece of the puzzle, the extra processing for texture enhancements and better/stable frame rates on supported games is a great enhancement and noticeable. This by no means feels like a “new” console release. Its more like a how Apple iPhones feel between releases. Its not a new platform but more of a updated, faster and new feature set platform.

I booted up my original launch PS4 and deleted all the disc based games I had and did the backup process using a ethernet cable between the old PS4 (I hate calling it that) and the PS4 Pro. With in 40 minutes I was up and running with my profile and digital games all running fine.

PlayStation VR:

Right off the bat, this thing was package like an Apple product. It seems like it was packed with such care and felt like a “premium” product. The instructions were very well written and easy to follow. I was up and running with in 20 minutes or so. The was an update for the PS4 and also for the PSVR (The hardware does get updates that are different from the OS updates) that needed to download and install. 2 reboots later I had the VR demo disc downloading.

I am not going to go in to it to much in this post but, I was really taken back by the immersion and quality of the VR experience. There are so many mixed reviews of it on the net and I think I figured out why so many don’t give it the praise it deserves. Many of the people online that have been very vocal about the quality of the PSVR have also played with the Vive & Rift on really powerful PCs. I do not feel like the PSVR is a direct competitor of these other VR devices since a PS4/PS4 Pro do not have the same hours power and GPUs that a nice gaming PC rig would have. Since the PSVR is the only VR device I have ever tried, its the only thing I know, from what I have seen/felt with the PSVR is not short from amazing. It really is amazing we are now able to have a consumer friendly VR device that can be used in the comfort of our home.

Rambling.. If you have not tired it yet, DO IT! Its a blast. I will be adding some posts on various VR games I like playing.

Dreamcast GDROM Notes

Random Notes: I was looking for some info on Title Name and Disc Artwork and this is what I can find:

Default game titles from the IP.bin header

The disc icons also come from the GDI’s. If there is a file called 0gdtex.pvr in the GDI then it will display an icon. Not all GDI’s have this so sometimes there is no image, and also sometimes the image is upside down (in the dreamcast music player the icon would spin so orientation did not matter).

More to come…

Game Boy Advance SP Case Replacment

I had a back-lit (AGS-101) Game Boy Advance SP that had a broken hinge for a year or so. I picked it up cheap on eBay with the intent on fixing it. I came across a vendor on Amazon that was selling full shell replacements for the SP and jumped on it. I always liked the black SP but the back-lit models did not come in this color. It was a perfect opportunity to accomplish this with a new shell.

As you can tell from the photos below, this thing was in bad shape and needed some TLC.

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After about an hour or so I ended up with a working black back-lit SP.

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I ended up not using the screen protector that came with the Amazon one since the original actually looked fantastic after a good cleaning. I also changed most of the triwing screws to standard screws.