sdd
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rpi as custom gaming console?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:43 pm

wile big fancy consoles like the x-box 360 or the ps3 may suggest other wise hardware specs don't really matter look at the just recently replace psp, 4mb ram a 4 inch screen and 333mz processor (feel free to correct me) the unmoded rpi b has 128 times the ram more storege space and twice as fast a proccesor not to mention the gpu this is more of an idea than any thing else but does anyone know how one might make something like this and set up a community for content?

sdd
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:21 pm

sorry run on sentence

toxibunny
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:02 am

Well realistically, the Raspi is already made, and the community is already here.

I suppose what you'd have to do to transform the Raspi into a game console is add a case, standard controllers, and most importantly, games. All of which will cost money to produce...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

sdd
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:24 pm

well actually I have started work on some games. my goal is to make them playable on the pi. but I meant more along the lines of a custom gaming linux distro... any idea on how I could make one?

toxibunny
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:54 pm

Me? haven't a clue... Wouldn't the easiest way be to suppress the boot text, and then have it go straight into some sort of nice-looking wii-style game selector? Someone's already done that - I saw it on youtube recently...

If you're just looking to mod one up for yourself, then go for it, and I look forward to seeing it on hackaday. I'm in the embryonic stages of something similar myself (modern PONG console) :)
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

toxibunny
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:55 pm

What sort of games are you making, by the way? What language are you coding in?
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

6677
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:13 pm

Your forgetting the co-processor which was also a dedicated ARMv6 chip much like the pi's although I think it was at a much lower CPU clock, it was dedicated to interfacing with the GPU and sound processors, think it could also do some floating point work too although the 333MHz mips could also do that.



The main issue here will be a console bios and game media. Most older console have a small area of ROM which when you turn the console on tells the CPU how to go and get the game from the storage medium (lets say a gameboy cartridge). On consoles that appear to have a full OS its a little more complex but in the case of the PSP what it actually does is load its rom which then tells it to load the built in OS seperately, this OS then reads the disk, gets info about it and maybe plays some music/films etc instead, when you select to play a game the console reboots with a RAM value saved that this time tells the ROM to boot the UMD not the built in OS (the home button is yet another thread that the PSP always runs and again forces a console restart to return to the main screen).

On the pi I assume your writing your game to run on linux which will add an overhead the consoles don't have (of course current and next gen consoles get even more complex with new features like dashboards etc). With the pi being more powerful though it probably isn't a massive issue, hell quake works. But it does make the idea of distributing the game harder. YOur game on its own might fit easily in a 256mb SD card but you would need linux and supporting drivers for your controller etc aswell meaning you might need a full gb SD card instead. OK sd cards aren't a huge problem but then you have peripherals too. How are you going to standardise what controllers people use and take into account different models having their own quirks that will influence gameplay.

Using the pi as a gaming machine: Possible
Feasibility of actually marketing it to users (even as open source): Not so likely


Similar hardware to the pi could quite easily be packaged up into an actual piece of dedicated console hardware and sold commercially though if you had the backing and resources to do so.




An alternative to using SD cards would be to take the route used by the OUYA which would be to run a system like android on the console (OUYA is infact using android 4 with an alternate homescreen etc as its interface) with its own marketplace. You would make a custom linux distro (android again is a linux distro at the end of the day) which boots upto the console interface. This distro would include drivers for a gamepad of some sort (we'll take the xbox 360 wired controllers) and its interface would solely be controlled via this gamepad. It would then have its own market type app directing you to download games for the system , in order for games to be featured in this market you can simply demand that they are compatible with the gamepad of choice. Its doable but not needed when one can just simply install a game under linux anyway.

sdd
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:10 pm

as you said rpi would have an overhead that regular consoles don't have. the idea of a custom distro is to make that overhead as small as possible. basicly the idea is a sort of "could I manage it?" progect. the distrobution was sort of a side thing like "wouldn't that be cool?" any way I can't personaly do this because I havn't ordered a pi yet. I'm probably going to ask for one for christmas. on the games they are mostly rpgs, as for language we were going to do c++ but im the only one on the team for it

Narishma
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:41 pm

If you don't want the overhead, you can write your own minimal non-multitasking OS and use that instead of Linux. But I personally don't think it would gain you much over just having a small distro.

Also, a few corrections regarding the PSP's specs mentioned in some previous posts. It has 32 MB of RAM (64 in the later revisions, but only 32 is accessible to games, the rest is used for caching to help with the slowness of UMD) and 4 MB for the GPU. It has 2 MIPS (not ARM) processors running at up to 333 Mhz, one of which is only used for decoding images, audio and video. The only ARM it has is the Wifi chip.

sdd
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Location: USA

Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:57 pm

oh thank you for correcting me I didn't know about that stuff on the psp... but even then the pi massively outperforms it as far as ram and gpu.

CartBlanche
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Re: rpi as custom gaming console?

Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:50 am

Please see the new thread in this section entitled MonoGame on Raspberry Pi.

Maybe both projects can come up with something the whole community would appreciate.

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