SNES

SNES Powerpak appeared!

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Yea I know I’ve said I think SPC sound is kinda sucky, but this should at least be funny for some mode 7 visuals at your next chip rave.

Details:

SDRAM and DMA are used for fast game loading so you can play in seconds. This means a quick cycle for homebrew development. Now you can see your creation on real hardware instead of relying on emulators. In cart support for the DSP1 chip lets you play games like Super Mario Kart that are missing from some other SNES products. Huge 128Mbit memory means even the largest games can be played without buying hard to find memory expansions. Versatile memory mapping runs games correctly without FastROM hacking or RAM mirroring problems.

Standard FAT16 or FAT32 formatted carts are used so there is no special software to load games onto the card. Organize your games in folders any way you want for faster browsing. Compact Flash is used instead of something else like SD for maximum speed. The SNES processor is the bottleneck so the parallel CF card is around 10 times faster than the serial SD card.

The entire PowerPak system is updateable for future additions and bug fixes. All loading files are stored on the CF card for easy upgrading. Just download the most recent Mappers file below, unzip, then copy the folder to the root of your CF card. The boot ROM is socketed for easy reflashing but this will hopefully never be needed. If it is needed and you do not have a programmer, you just pay the shipping to get your SNES PowerPak here and I will reflash then mail it back free.

via RetroZone.

Chipmusic • TCTD 2008 Awards

Best Hardware

The majority of the chip community are able to do what they do by standing on the shoulders of giants. These tech wizards design hardware modifications that allow integration with modern equipment, allow them to play their compositions on actual hardware, and make the arcane and some times obtuse world of technology more immediate and useful.

Your nominees are:

Powerpak – Retrozones little cart that could is quickly becoming the lifeblood of NES/Famicom development. With support for various mappers, and now the ability to easily play NSF music files and support various expansion chips, many artists can now record songs off real hardware that but a few months ago where merely dreams. If 2009 finds a flood of NES related output, it will surely be in no small thanks to the Powerpak.


arduinoboy/MGB
– By building a better mouse trap, Trash80 has created a great piece of hardware that is easy for the novice to build, yet provides a great way to interface your gameboy into a modern studio. Furthermore, mGB gives another option for the midi studio nerds who are looking to capture the true chip sound.

MSSIAH – Similarly to the MGB, MSSIAH improves over existing software and makes it easier out of the box to integrate the awesome power of the SID chip with modern equipment. Tightly integrated with its software, and easily interchangeable with various models of c64 hardware, this is an elegant solution to a complicated need for getting your SID sounds into your existing work flow.

Little-Scale – Perhaps more so than any hardware developer, Australia’s Little-Scale has been consistently blowing away the community with his projects for Atari, Sega, Nintendo and more. His thirst for innovation is often matched by his clean, detailed documentation process and his ability to explain things in a simple yet evocative manner belies the complexities of his achievements.

Hardsid4U – If you must fake it, nothing beats using the actual chip, and no solution gives you more options to do so than the Hardsid4u. You are equally able to compose in a midi sequencer using the VST, in a windows program like Goattracker, in a traditional tracker using a Hardsid4u enabled Emulator, or simply enjoy SID files using a copy of Winamp. Along with its slightly more future proof usb interface, this is Perhaps the greatest combination of power, usability, and sound quality in its field, Hardsid4u is made with high standards and its developers provide top notch support.