OUYA Developer Console Unboxing

The developer versions of the OUYA console are now shipping to anyone who placed an order for these $699 box of Android magics. Julie Uhrman the CEO of the OUYA project has filmed an unboxing video.

The dev OUYA console and two controllers are both cased in hard transparent plastic shells and look great, even if the OUYA console is a hit or a miss I expect either way this limited run of 1200 dev consoles will be collectable in the future.

When released the OUYA will be a powerful $99 game console built around the Android OS. Pre-orders for the console are being accepted here.

Neo Geo X Gold Hacking

Neo Geo X Hacking

The SNK licensed handheld the Neo Geo X Gold has been hacked, hacking can be bad news for any handheld system especially with the Neo Geo X only having been released in late December 2012. However I suspect at the retail price point Tommo Inc were not solely relying on game sales to subsidise the manufacturing costs of the hardware as this is not a low cost handheld console.

Currently the Neo Geo X Gold ships with twenty preinstalled Neo Geo classic games, and one additional Ninja Master’s game card. I suspect the majority of early adopters and hard core collectors will still continue to purchase any future released official game cards.

Neo Geo X Gold Specifications:

Neo Geo X CPU Ingenic XBurst JZ4770 @ 1GHZ
Memory 128M DDR2 @ 250MHZ
Internal Capacity 2GB Flash
External Capacity 64GB SD Card (FAT32 Formatted)
Display Screen 4.3-inch (16:9) Resolution 480 x 272 LCD
USB Connection
Micro USB
Video Connection
HDMI, AV terminals
Battery 3.7V 2200mA (gaming runtime up to 5 hours)
Size 170mm x 72mm x 15mm
Weight 190g

Neo Geo X Gold Facts So Far:

  • The Ingenic XBurst  JZ4470 CPU supports 1080p video decoding unit for H.264, VC-1 and VP8 (a secondary 500 MHz MIPS processor with SIMD extension), 2D+3D GC860 graphics core (licensed from Vivante) supporting OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG 1.1
  • Ninja Master’s game card is a normal 64MB SD card
  • The NGX logic board system storage is either a 2GB microSD or onboard Samsung chip
  • The Neo Geo X is running FinalBurn Alpha to emulate the Neo Geo
  • NGX Kernel version appears to be running MIPS 32bit
  • UNIVERSE BIOS can be injected into .fba ROM files

Neo Geo X .fba UNIVERSE BIOS Hacking:

You can inject the UNIVERSE BIOS into any of the existing Neo Geo X games, this hack is only currently possible if you have the socketed removable microSD storage card located on the Neo Geo X logic board.

1) Download A380 Neo Geo conversion tool.
2) Download UNIVERSE BIOS.
3) Replace the asia-s3.rom file inside of the neogeo.zip archive with a renamed UNIVERSE BIOS.
4) Unzip the conversion tool then place your Neo Geo ROMs in the “roms” folder and launch “fbacache.bat”. It will start to convert all roms into .fba format.
5) Mount the microSD card under Linux, then just exchange the games with the updated unibios verisons.

Building A Consolized Neo Geo MVS

MVS MV-1FS System Board

Back when I was young I remember spending many an evening reading through the glossy computer and video game magazines of the time, these were either purchased with pocket money or borrowed from  friends at school. From memory one system in particular always seemed to have the best eye popping and jaw dropping candy coloured graphics this was SNK’s Neo Geo AES (Advanced Entertainment System), all of this unobtainable dream machines shoot ’em ups and beat ’em ups were just simply light years ahead of anything I had seen on home systems and easily impressive as the arcade machines I played.

Having been brought up on a staple diet of Atari 400 gaming then advancing onto owning the Atari 800XL and a BBC Micro Model B, the Neo Geo AES appealed to me on a level I find hard to describe, maybe it was at the time the initial astronomically high purchase price of the system or the prohibitively expensive game cartridge costs, or just the realisation of knowing I would never be able to actually afford and own one, who knows? It did strike a chord with me, even though no one I knew owned the Neo Geo home system and only years later did I actually realise I had already been playing the arcade variant, the Neo Geo MVS (Multi-Video System) of this holy grail of games consoles.

Fast forward to 2012, me now being much older and an avid retro gamer and retro console collector, my interest having been recently rekindled in the Neo Geo after seeing all the current retro gaming media sites and forums buzz about the new SNK licensed Neo Geo X handheld, I decided to investigate and catch up on the original old school Neo Geo scene exploring what had evolved, in summary Neo Geo AES systems are fairly cheap, however original collectors condition AES game cartridges are still very expensive, for example Metal Slug can set you back well over a couple of thousand dollars!

On the other hand the Neo Geo MVS motherboard can be purchased for a low price relatively speaking so can the game cartridges for the MVS system. However unless you owned an arcade cabinet to take advantage of the arcade based Neo Geo MVS system you used to be out of luck using one, with the many advances in the Neo Geo community it is now possible to ‘Consolize the Neo Geo MVS’ in essence this means by adding game port controller sockets, a dedicated power supply, an RGB to NTSC/PAL video encoder you effectively convert the MVS into a home system utilizing the MVS hardware and MVS game cartridges.

This is where Project: Consolize the Neo Geo MVS begins, after research I decided on a specific MVS board variant to make my life as simple as possible, this being the Neo Geo MV-1FS the board has a socketed BIOS making it easy to change to UNIVERSE BIOS if required. The MV-1FS also has several other desirable features such as joystick ports, on board volume control and a stereo/mono switch not present on most other single slot MVS boards.

After a search on eBay a suitable auction was found, and my prize was duly purchased as seen in the main picture. As this is the Christmas holidays I have to wait for my MV-1FS board to arrive so I can crack on with Project: Consolize the Neo Geo MVS!