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Emulation (Games) Open Source Hardware Linux

Open Source Gaming Handheld Project Wants Your Money 203

Posted by timothy
from the proof-is-in-the-pudding dept.
YokimaSun writes to point out a Kickstarter project that may warm the cockles of your heart: "Fans of emulation and homebrew have not had much to cheer about over the years; the recent generation of consoles has pretty much killed off any hacking by constant firmware updates. The days of PSP homebrew have died a death and consoles like the Caanoo, GP2x and even the mighty Openpandora never really lived up to the massive expectation. There is a glimmer of hope from a team of homebrew developers who have developed a new console called the GCW-Zero, a new open source handheld system which uses the OpenDingux Linux OS. The specs are impressive, with a Ingenic JZ4770 1 GHz MIPS processor, Vivante GC860, capable of OpenGL ES 2.0, 3.5 inch LCD with 320x240 pixels; 4:3 aspect ratio, 512 MB DDR2 and 16GB of internal memory which can via external memory card be extended by another 32GB. N64 and PS1 emulation and everything below should be at full speed in time."
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Open Source Gaming Handheld Project Wants Your Money

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  • Re:Not impressive (Score:5, Informative)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @10:31AM (#42616131)
    It's super-low res because it's supposed to run legacy games. Your PS1 / N64 output at 320x240 typically, with capability of 640x480 "high resolution" at a push. Furthermore, your phone does more than play games, yet plays games well; The processor isn't dedicated to gameplay on your phone, so a dedicated game console doesn't need as much horsepower. Thirdly, the games are already available; IT RUNS EMULATOR ROMS.
  • Re:Well (Score:4, Informative)

    by MtHuurne (602934) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @11:31AM (#42616687) Homepage

    I'm "mth" and I'll answer as many of your questions as I can.

    The devices are built in China by a factory who have done this sort of thing before. I don't know all the details, but while the yield of the first batch wasn't great, it also wasn't worse than what one would expect from a first production run. Justin has been a reseller of devices like the Dingoo A320 for several years, so he has practical experience in distribution.

    Regarding the software, we build the root file system using buildroot [buildroot.org] with as few customizations as needed. Our SDL is using the Linux framebuffer for graphics and ALSA for audio, no acceleration is implemented but it's not necessary either: pushing pixels at 320x240 or synthesizing stereo audio at 44.1 or 48 kHz can easily be done by the CPU.

    We do want to add acceleration for OpenGL ES. We're working to get the proprietary driver from Vivante up and running in our system (this wasn't trivial because we're using uClibc instead of glibc). We're also looking at the open source etna_viv [github.com] project, but that's in an early stage of development, so it will be a while before it is usable as a full driver replacement. Note that the GPU renders from memory to memory; the framebuffer is handled by the LCD controller and that part is already fully open source, so if you want a fully open kernel you can run SDL applications just fine today.

    All sources can be found on github [github.com]. This includes the kernel, buildroot, the boot loader, the image generation tools and more.

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