dirthurts
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Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:17 pm

So, I'm pretty sure this has been discussed in some form or another, but it's just something I wanted to chat about.
It's pretty clear that a lot of Raspberry Pi users only use them for their gaming purposes, emulators and such. Honestly, a lot of this is probably more to do with the software behind it (Retropie mainly).
So, why not create a device for those users who simply want the software support, but are less concerned about the pricing? Me, personally, I'd happily pay $100 or so if I could get Dreamcast and N64 games running properly on my Pi device.
I would assume that a A8 processors, dumped into a pi 3 board (the chips and controllers associated with the current pi 3 anyway) would allow the same software to run, just at a faster speed, right? Admittedly, I'm not a computer expert, I just really like them.

The budget market is more than covered with the Zero and pi 3. Why don't they expand and focus on the enthusiast who probably push their products harder than anyone else? I know it's not their original plan, but sometimes following the market is a good thing.

I don't suppose there are any higher end products that work out of the box with Retropie are there?

asavah
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:21 pm

dirthurts wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:17 pm
It's pretty clear that a lot of Raspberry Pi users only use them for their gaming purposes, emulators and such. Honestly, a lot of this is probably more to do with the software behind it (Retropie mainly).
This assumption is wrong.

dirthurts
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:42 pm

This assumption is wrong.
I'd like to know how? I know 6 people with Raspberry Pis, all of them are running Retropie with only two of them having a raspbian install for tinkering. . .
If your experience is different, that would be quite surprising.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:45 pm

What you suggest does not seem to be part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation strategy up to 2018, as set out publically here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/files/about ... 016-18.pdf

asavah
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:47 pm

ROFL

if memory serves about 15 millions of pis have been sold.
You make an assumption based on too small sample size 6 of 15000000
http://www.statisticssolutions.com/sample-size-formula/

dirthurts
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:54 pm

What you suggest does not seem to be part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation strategy up to 2018, as set out publically here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/files/about ... 016-18.pdf
I mentioned that in the original post, but thanks.
if memory serves about 15 millions of pis have been sold.
You make an assumption based on too small sample size 6 of 15000000
Unless you have numbers to show otherwise, it's the only statistic I have. So, yes, my assumptions will be based on my personal real life experiences.

asavah
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:57 pm

dirthurts wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:54 pm
Unless you have numbers to show otherwise, it's the only statistic I have. So, yes, my assumptions will be based on my personal real life experiences.
Whatever, that doesn't make them statistically valid.
I have 3 pis, none of them used for retro gaming, all of them running my own OS.

Should I assume that no pis in the whole world are used for gaming at all and that all of them run my OS which isn't even publicly available?
Nonsense

dirthurts
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:02 pm

Whatever, that doesn't make them statistically valid.
I have 3 pis, none of them used for retro gaming, all of them running my own OS.

Should I assume that no pis in the whole world are used for gaming at all and that all of them run my OS which isn't even publicly available?
Nonsense
While I appreciate you hijacking a thread and turning it into a useless statistic "discussion"...

Anyone have anything interesting to say that's actually on topic here?

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:28 pm

We don't have any intention, as far as I know, for increasing the price of future models, which means we will endeavour to stay with the $35 price. This of course limits what is possible, CPU power wise. We are also limited by what SoC's are available.

And note, in fact the Pi isn't that far behind state of the art ARM cores, it runs quad A53, 64 bit cores, at 1.2GHz. That's not too shoddy at all.

It is clear that a lot of people use the Pi for Retro gaming, also media servers. But its also true that a lot of people don't use them for that. Lots of industrial buyers, lots of schools, lot of automation people, lots of robot people, lots of security people etc. Your sample size of 6 is a bit small, and suffers from being skewed by the fact they are people you know, and people you know are likely to have similar interests to yourself.
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:46 pm

I have no statistical basis for my observations but it seems like there is a multitude of Pi-hacker products out there. Just looking through the web pages of Adafruit, PiMoroni, PiHut, UUgear, SainSmart, on and on, you see all sorts of products that are either Pi specific or easily adaptable to the Pi. These businesses are not in it for the pleasure of putting forth products that don't sell. For myself, I do have this 3B dedicated primarily to browsing but I own 6 total and 5 of the 6 are either committed to projects or actively in use. None are used for gaming.

Browsing the posts on this forum, I don't get the feeling that the vast majority are primarily gaming with their Pi's (although personally, I move on at the first mention of RetroPi in a posting). Many are either requesting basic help with getting their hardware working or fixed or for some fairly esoteric uses.

I think the OP is acquainted with a smaller subset of Pi users who's interest is close to his own so the biasing in his small sample is easily explained. Maybe it is an age thing, or a school grouping or ???

The other side of the discussion is that at least in the earlier days of computing, managers found that their computer users were more at ease and productive with their hardware/software if they could use it to play games. It can be argued that the games usage can lead to increased curiosity about the hardware and how it works. Keep in mind that those were the days before GUI's and the games were all word games that ran in a terminal window and required keyboard entry rather than gestures with a mouse or game controller.

dirthurts
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:52 pm

Thanks for the reply!

So, assuming the current processor is discontinued or faster processors eventually drop down in price, a faster future revision would be possible or even necessary?
Your sample size of 6 is a bit small, and suffers from being skewed by the fact they are people you know, and people you know are likely to have similar interests to yourself.
This is true, but it also shows that there are those out there with a desire for the purpose. I would imagine that most, or at least a large number, of those who want a pi 3 for this have already picked one up. From there, there is no reason to purchase another one. A faster model, however, would likely spur new purchases. Of course, faster devices would also open up doors to companies who need something faster for their applications.

I'm just the kind of guy who is always looking forward, for more opportunities to tinker and improve.
I think the OP is acquainted with a smaller subset of Pi users who's interest is close to his own so the biasing in his small sample is easily explained. Maybe it is an age thing, or a school grouping or ???
Well, I'm 32 and work in IT. A few of my coworkers are IT and have them for gaming, another friend is my mountain biking buddy, another an ex navy survivalist, another a teacher, etc. It's a wide range of individuals and our common interest isn't generally gaming. But, we all have a Retropie setup. I wouldn't make any age or demographic assumptions.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:04 pm

dirthurts wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:17 pm
So, I'm pretty sure this has been discussed in some form or another, but it's just something I wanted to chat about.
It's pretty clear that a lot of Raspberry Pi users only use them for their gaming purposes, emulators and such. Honestly, a lot of this is probably more to do with the software behind it (Retropie mainly).
So, why not create a device for those users who simply want the software support, but are less concerned about the pricing? Me, personally, I'd happily pay $100 or so if I could get Dreamcast and N64 games running properly on my Pi device.
I would assume that a A8 processors, dumped into a pi 3 board (the chips and controllers associated with the current pi 3 anyway) would allow the same software to run, just at a faster speed, right? Admittedly, I'm not a computer expert, I just really like them.

The budget market is more than covered with the Zero and pi 3. Why don't they expand and focus on the enthusiast who probably push their products harder than anyone else? I know it's not their original plan, but sometimes following the market is a good thing.

I don't suppose there are any higher end products that work out of the box with Retropie are there?

May I add that this subject has been chewed over so often there is no "flesh on the bone"........

You have 2 choices:

A) wait patiently until a new RPi 4B is released, the RPT never give out release schedules

B) buy a product, and yes they do exist, which fulfils your wish, but would not advertise them here



Regards you assumption that the RPT products are only used for Retropie, did you miss that NEC are including the CM3 in TV's:

https://www.nec-display-solutions.com/p ... ryPi.xhtml

or that they are being used as Thin Clients:

http://citrixreadyprogram.com/hdx-pi/

etcetera
Retired disgracefully.....

dirthurts
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:08 pm

Regards you assumption that the RPT products are only used for Retropie, did you miss that NEC are including the CM3 in TV's:
I never said that. I personally have one as a linux desktop, an interactive display at a museum, a weather station/weather display, and have used them for other experiments. I'm well aware that there are many other uses for them. I just stated that from my experience (mine, all mine) that most people seem to use them for gaming.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:25 pm

dirthurts wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:02 pm
Anyone have anything interesting to say that's actually on topic here?
The RetroPie people mentioned on their site download figures of hundreds of thousands - a lot less than 1 million. Compare that with the 15 million plus Pis sold. And that's not accounting for people who aren't using their Pis solely for retro gaming.

Many of the emulators included with RetroPie have non-commercial distribution licences so your suggestion of a box with all the emulators installed isn't going to happen for that reason. (Not legally at least.)

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:26 pm

dirthurts wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:52 pm
Your sample size of 6 is a bit small, and suffers from being skewed by the fact they are people you know, and people you know are likely to have similar interests to yourself.
This is true, but it also shows that there are those out there with a desire for the purpose. I would imagine that most, or at least a large number, of those who want a pi 3 for this have already picked one up. From there, there is no reason to purchase another one.
A large number of that small number may well only want one Pi3B. They may desire a Pi4B (if that is what it is called when it is released). A lot of people would like that. However sales of the current Pi models are still good and healthy and many people are buying more than one (and not to just play games on).

As has been stated, the RPF/RPT do not pre-announce their major products. You'll have to wait until it/they are ready for sale.

(This smells like yet another thinly disguised "When is the next Pi coming out and what spec will it have (Ponies?)" post. I'm happy to wait and see and be surprised!)

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:11 pm

If you want something more powerful then there is a nice product Intel and AMD make. Pretty powerful things.
While it's not an image, they do have a setup procedure for installing, much in the same as I did over Raspbian.

There are also some big brand Pi-like devices out there (Huawei & Asus make some) which are basically what you are asking for.
Just get Debian on there and see if it installs (I don't know).


But I would try the 'PC' route first.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:21 pm

I know two people that have RPis and neither of them is using theirs. So, based on my experience, most people don't use their RPis. ;)
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:08 am

I'll tell you a terrible truth:
all the threads about "what I want in pi(currentversion+1)" eventually get locked down by mods and rightfully so
I too might put a large list of "me wants" but it certainly will go to /dev/null .

It's ok being enthusiastic about the pi, but I think you don't get the most important thing: THE GOAL,
Raspberry Pi Foundation main goal is education. Period.
Not retro game consoles, not mediacentres, not servers, it's absolutely not about geeks although there is huge geeky community built around the pi. It's education. It's about making the board as powerful as possible while keeping it as cheap as posible to allow as many people as possible to afford the board. RPF is a charity, I suggest you reread https://static.raspberrypi.org/files/ab ... 016-18.pdf as many times as necesary to understand it.

The management and engineers, both hardware and software, know what they are doing.
And again - you started your thread with a wrong assumption, rpi is not for gaming, the ability to use it as a retro console is just a nice bonus.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:45 am

dirthurts wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:42 pm
This assumption is wrong.
I'd like to know how? I know 6 people with Raspberry Pis, all of them are running Retropie with only two of them having a raspbian install for tinkering. . .
If your experience is different, that would be quite surprising.
Of the people the I know that use Pis (say 3 to 4 that I've dealt with on a regular basis), *none* of them are running Retropi that I know of. I have never run it on any of my Pis,

I think what you are seeing is selection bias. I see it in game forums all the time. "All my friends do X", where "X" is raids or PvP, for instance, "so *everybody* must do X". Yet actual studies don't support it. You probably hang out with people (including Pi users) who like much the same things that you do. Therefore you quite naturally assume that you and your friends are "typical" of Pi users and you project those uses of Pis onto everybody else. 'Taint so. Your sample is too small and hasn't been selected at all randomly.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:10 am

dirthurts wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:52 pm
Thanks for the reply!

So, assuming the current processor is discontinued or faster processors eventually drop down in price, a faster future revision would be possible or even necessary?
The current SoCs will continue to be made so long as enough of them sell to be economically viable. Note that the BCM2835 (found on the B+, A+, Pi0 and Pi0W all use this chip). The only SoC that has been used by a model of Pi and then dropped was the BCM2836, which was superceded on the Pi2B by the BCM2837 as a slightly de-rated install compared to the Pi3B.

Will there be a newer, faster, more capable SoC used in a future Pi? Almost certainly. The earliest that *might* occur (if you take Dr. Upton at his word) is about 6 months from now...but it might be another year after that. What new, exciting features will that Pi have? Those that know aren't talking and those that talk don't know. Looking at what Broadcom has been doing, the only reasonably "sure bet" is that it will be a 28nm part. All else is wish lists and speculation.
I'm just the kind of guy who is always looking forward, for more opportunities to tinker and improve.
As are many of us, but the RPF isn't talking about what is in the pipeline.
Well, I'm 32 and work in IT. A few of my coworkers are IT and have them for gaming, another friend is my mountain biking buddy, another an ex navy survivalist, another a teacher, etc. It's a wide range of individuals and our common interest isn't generally gaming. But, we all have a Retropie setup. I wouldn't make any age or demographic assumptions.
I'm 68 and a retired programmer. There are many posters here with a great deal of experience that applies directly to the Pi, where it's at and where it's going.

I will say that if a "heftier", more expensive Pi were to be released, I think it would be far more likely to aimed at being a classroom-level server device than an enhanced gaming device. Still, I haven't seen a lot of interest in the RPF going in that direction. I think it is more likely that future Pis will grow into that role simply through improvements in areas like faster I/O and *possibly* more memory. The CPU portion of the current Pi is already quite capable in this regard, and the VideoCore is complete overkill for a server even as it is now.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:16 am

The RPi Foundation has the purpose mentioned above. I suspect they are able in part to make RPi's, especially at the start, because of discounts and other forms of good will from manufacturers from an expectation it was for that defined purpose. Those manufacturers probably aren't keen on seeing those discounted parts displace products that they supply components towards at a normal price.

Part of me would like to think they did it all on their own. Because that means its sustainable. While part of me would like to think several manufacturers showed some degree of good will.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:25 am

ek100 wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:16 am
Part of me would like to think they did it all on their own. Because that means its sustainable. While part of me would like to think several manufacturers showed some degree of good will.
At leat one or two did extend some good will. One by selling parts at a price associated with much higher volumes than the initial purchase quantity. (That company has since gotten orders in the kinds of volumes that justify the price.) Another was willing to negotiate lower prices than they wanted initially. Their reward has been order volumes that justify the lower prices.

So part of it is good will. Another part is a willingness to take a risk for a good cause. A third part is having a really good negotiator from the RPF. The companies that took the initial risks wound up having their decisions shown to be good by subsequent events.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:37 am

Right.

I've just had to clean this thread of unnecessary cruft. I hate doing that, it's time consuming and boring. Once again, people who have been here are while are belittling newer members. This has to stop, and I WILL start temp banning people who keep doing it, no matter how long you have been here.

So, if you had a post removed, suck it up, it was removed because of what you wrote. Use that as a warning. Also remember, the moderators are always right, and arguing with a mod is not a good life choice.


Back to the OP.

If you look at the Pi history, every new release has been a power improvement over the previous version. So history would indicate that any future models will be better in some way than previous models. Since I am familiar with the road map, I know this progress will continue. However, we are not a company that throws product out willynilly. We spend lots of time getting the design right, and making sure it all works. We also are very familiar with the market segments we sell in to, and what their requirements are, and that includes Retro Pi and the gaming community.

So yes, we will be selling better devices in the future. What we won't be doing is large price increases of the level mentioned in the OP, which does put an upper limit on performance.

But we never release timescales or specifications up front, so I cannot say what or when. It's good though....and somewhat surprising in places.



Thanks for the poster who mentioned Selection Bias. I've been wracking my brain trying to recall that phrase.
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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:43 am

Fair enough Jamesh.

Strangely enough I went back to my post some hours later and deleted a few barbed phrases leaving what I thought was pretty harmless. Clearly I did not delete enough.

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Re: Why no enthusiast Raspberry Pi products?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:33 pm

Going back to the thread title, I submit that the RPF *does* make an "enthusiasts" Pi product, several of them, in fact. This is not because the RPF *intended* to feed that particular market segment, but because enthusiasts fell all over the Pi even before the initial release. this was--I think--because the price and performance made it usable for a great many projects, even if not ideal in all cases. The result is this very enthusiastic community that does the bulk of the support work for the Pi and allowing the staff of the RPF to do needed hardware and software development while pursuing the educational goals of the foundation.

tl;dr... The Pi is an accidental enthusiasts board.

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