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GCW Zero: Another Linux Game Console Attempt

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  • GCW Zero: Another Linux Game Console Attempt

    Phoronix: GCW Zero: Another Linux Game Console Attempt

    Joining the array of Linux game console attempts is GCW Zero, an open-source game hand-held console. This isn't an Android-based solution but rather a pure Linux game console...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTI3MzU

  • #2
    That thing sounded great until I hit the display specs.
    VGA resolution, really? Do I miss something?

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    • #3
      It's intended for retro gaming, so the resolution isn't seen to be a major issue.

      One small correction though: VGA is 640x480, so this is one quarter of that. I still remember playing the original Tomb Raider in 320x240 because my computer wasn't fast enough for high resolution mode (does anybody else remember Cirrus Logic graphics cards?)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by archibald View Post
        (does anybody else remember Cirrus Logic graphics cards?)
        I hear you. Cirrus Logic, Trident, S3, 256-512kb VRAM, slow ISA, even screen refreshes were slow, 13h is all one could hope for.
        Remember installing PCI VGA one day(forgot which one) and getting 640x480@65k on 14" CRT in win 3.11. That was simply astonishing...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by archibald View Post
          It's intended for retro gaming, so the resolution isn't seen to be a major issue.
          Still, a 640x480 display would make way more sense to me and shouldn't be that expensive.
          There are plenty of mid-90s (retro) games which featured that resolution.
          Furthermore, upscaling from 320x240 is trivial and loss-free.

          Originally posted by archibald View Post
          One small correction though: VGA is 640x480
          Thanks. Strange, I'd bet back in those days VGA referred to 320x240, wheres SVGA referred to 640x480.
          Now I read (Wikipedia) that the former is called QVGA while SVGA refers to a resolution of 800x600.

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          • #6
            Meh.

            Not interested...

            Unless it will be able to run games like RedEclipse, UrbanTerror, Doom3, Quake IV etc...

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            • #7
              To be fair to the Pandora, it was a true grass roots effort and they had a bloody hard slog getting it out the door. It's a miracle it was even released at all. They weren't lucky enough to have Kickstarter in the beginning. It would probably be more popular if it weren't so expensive. I don't know what the Zero will retail at but I wouldn't be surprised if it were in the same ballpark.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by entropy View Post
                Thanks. Strange, I'd bet back in those days VGA referred to 320x240, wheres SVGA referred to 640x480.
                Now I read (Wikipedia) that the former is called QVGA while SVGA refers to a resolution of 800x600.
                IIRC VGA was 640x480 16 colour, PGC was 640x480 256 colour, and SVGA is usually 800x600. I think XGA was next at 1024x768.

                EDIT... changed original 640x400 for VGA to 640x480. The 320x200 res was for 256 colours, and it used 400 active lines in text mode, but I guess it always was 640x480 in graphics mode. Also corrected "PGA" to "PGC".
                Last edited by bridgman; 01-13-2013, 01:15 PM.

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                • #9
                  Well, I wish them the best of luck, but it seems a little out of time for 2013.

                  Why not do basically an android phone minus the phone part, but adding a decent d-pad, and the other keys?
                  Basically a modern version of the Tapwave Zodiac?

                  The Tapwave Zodiac was an excellent idea, but a bit ahead of its time. I can't see why it wouldn't work with android, and there'd be lots of games out of the box!

                  * - Fsck the zodiac came out in 2003!? I'm getting old

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                  • #10
                    Hello. I'm a developer involved in the GCW Zero project and I have a prototype unit.
                    First, thanks for the coverage. It means a lot to us that we are mentioned in Linux related news services. If anybody has any questions about this handheld, I'll be happy to answer them.

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                    • #11
                      I was shocked to see Liero in the page's screenshots. So many memories.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by curaga View Post
                        I was shocked to see Liero in the page's screenshots. So many memories.
                        Yes, we are using a fork of OpenLiero: https://github.com/gcwnow/liero
                        In the future we'd like to port LieroLibre (does not require the dos EXE OpenLiero uses and fixes some sfx legalities), but we will need to solve some library dependencies first. With LieroLibre, we could preinstall the game on the system image.

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                        • #13
                          I have some questions for the devs...

                          Will be there a FULLY black version ? NONE of the sown pics or in video versions is fully black....the "rim" is white...

                          Will the buildin software include GCC,etc. dev tools or have we to use a desktop to do any compiling ?

                          Will it be included in the software .... M.A.M.E. ?
                          ....with full support for all ROM supported by M.A.M.E. ?


                          TIA,
                          AJSB

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by entropy View Post
                            Strange, I'd bet back in those days VGA referred to 320x240, wheres SVGA referred to 640x480.
                            VGA was 320x200 (aka 13h, aka ModeY), 320x240 is so-called ModeX, its a hack and never seen a game using it.
                            VGA was capable of 640x480 although only @ 16 colors and extremely slow.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AJSB View Post
                              I have some questions for the devs...
                              Will be there a FULLY black version ? NONE of the sown pics or in video versions is fully black....the "rim" is white...
                              Only the two color versions presented in the KS video are currently available.

                              Originally posted by AJSB View Post
                              Will the buildin software include GCC,etc. dev tools or have we to use a desktop to do any compiling ?
                              So you are asking whether it will be possible to compile natively on the device instead of resorting to cross-compilation from x86 Linux?
                              We have not thought of it. The device has no keyboard, so coding on it is a bit pointless. On the other hand, you could always plug it into the tv and connect a keyboard via usb-otg. Or you could just log into the device via SSH/Telnet and try to invoke the compiler. So perhaps this isn't such a stupid idea. We will think of it

                              Originally posted by AJSB View Post
                              Will it be included in the software .... M.A.M.E. ?
                              ....with full support for all ROM supported by M.A.M.E. ?
                              The preinstalled software is limited only to fully libre software (both in code and data files), at the moment this includes: Worship Vector, Puzzletube, SameGoo, Freedoom, Heroes and Blockrage; and software we got full author permission to include: Sqrxz 3, Dink Smallwood.

                              The topic of emulation was left to the 3rd party developers and homebrew hackers. Our project originates from one of such communities and we have already a lot of people porting emulators to GCW Zero (check the youtube videos), however I can not tell you how well will one of your emulated platforms be supported because this is not what I am responsible for.

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