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  1. #1
    Senior Member CantGetAWii's Avatar
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    Portable Virtual Console?

    Itís safe to say that the Virtual Console has been a massive success for Nintendo. The company has confirmed that an astonishing number of gamers are delving into the past and gleefully downloading retro content to their Wii consoles. So long as Nintendo can keep a steady flow of quality titles then the future of the service is all but assured.

    But what exactly is the future of the Virtual Console and retro gaming Ďon demandí in general?

    For a while now thereís been rampant speculation about the possibility of a similar service on the Nintendo DS. The portable machine is certainly more than capable of playing many current Virtual Console games (the shadowy homebrew scene proves that) and the inclusion of Wi-Fi would make downloading them relatively simple. Surely it is only a matter of time before Nintendo decide to activate such a service Ė either with the DS or its eventual successor, which surely cannot be far off now.

    In the meantime, other companies have been fully exploiting the concept of portable retro gaming. The power of most mobile phones is sufficient enough to handle Megadrive and SNES games, but the average mobile phone interface isnít exactly suited for intense gaming action. Nevertheless, weíve seen many vintage classics find their way onto phones, such as Sonic, Street Fighter II and Double Dragon.

    Thankfully, portable technology is so cheap these days that itís perfectly possible to carry around miniaturized versions of hardware that 15 years ago would occupy the lionís share of space beneath your TV. Cheap and cheerful company AtGames has recently released a portable Megadrive / Genesis which contains twenty classic titles, a decent backlit display and runs off AAA batteries. Amazingly, this contraption retails for under $40.

    VCR's Dazza owns one of these impressive little devices and has kindly posted some video footage for your viewing pleasure:
    [MEDIA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w-0VzPaDas[/MEDIA]

    A similar product exists that plays Sega Master System games, again for less than the price of a modern videogame.

    But these examples are surely just the tip of the iceberg; if Sega really wanted to make some money out of this they could easily produce a portable machine that can connect to the internet and download Sega Megadrive / Genesis ROMs for a price comparable to Virtual Console games. Flash memory is so cheap these days that internal storage wouldnít be an issue; 2GB of memory would be more than enough. You have to wonder why Sega hasnít come up with this idea already, seeing as the company has gladly allowed another manufacturer to produce such a concept under licence. Perhaps this is just Sega testing the water?

    Another avenue for portable retro gaming is GameParkís famous GP2X console. Itís an open source machine which is intended for homebrew applications, but predictably over the past few years many bedroom coders have successfully ported over popular emulators to the machine.

    Iíve got one of these things myself and the performance is quite literally breathtaking. Hereís some example footage of it in action:
    [MEDIA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpm2MObSD6A[/MEDIA]

    Running on large capacity (but relatively cheap) SD cards, the GP2X can happily emulate the Megadrive / Genesis, SNES, Master System, Neo-Geo, MAME and even the trusty old PC Ė but thereís a catch. You have to download the ROMs to play these games as there is currently no official distribution channel (and even if there was itís unlikely anyone would support it). Emulation is a notoriously grey area; the common perception is that if you own the original game you are permitted to own a ROM backup, but even this is refuted by many companies afraid of losing control over their valuable retro IP.

    Given the power of modern handhelds and the relative simplicity of many of the retro titles that appear on the Virtual Console, itís fair to say that a portable version of the service will appear at some point. It remains to be seen if Nintendo will extend the concept to the amazingly successful DS (to even the most untrained eye it would surely represent a licence to print money) or if any other company Ė be it Sega, Capcom or Konami Ė decide to enter the fray with their own dedicated portable hardware and respective download service, but you can be pretty sure that weíll see retro gaming Ďon demandí in the palm of our hands sooner rather than later.
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    CantGetAWii
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  2. #2
    Tech Support nxcmp's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    Check my Profile for information on my PC Tech Support services.
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  3. #3
    I'm Good at Games Dorkfish's Avatar
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    Muy interesante mi amigo
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  4. #4
    Bringer of meaty goodness DBloke's Avatar
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    I have posted those handhelds before

    For classic games on the go theres only one option (exculdin the PSP due to messin round with firmware and expensive memorey cards and also because its big)
    Thats the GP2X


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  5. #5
    Got lifeboat? sremick's Avatar
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    I play NES and SNES games on my Palm T3. Does that count?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Portable Virtual Console?-smw_t3.jpg  
    Quote Originally Posted by Napalmbrain (Moderator)
    Even if we can somehow keeps this place moderated, eventually the webhosting is going to lapse or something like that, and I doubt i0n's going to be around to fix it. So basically I'm encouraging everyone to migrate over to Link Removed
    Quote Originally Posted by FR. (Moderator)
    i0n just lost interest in this website. And, since no forum can run without an administrator, this forum is basically doomed. Everyone might as well join somewhere else, because if i0n doesn't pay vBulletin, the site will shut down.

  6. #6
    Bringer of meaty goodness DBloke's Avatar
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    They can also be played on the Iphone


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  7. #7
    Got lifeboat? sremick's Avatar
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    I might get an iPhone someday, but first Apple needs to open it up for 3rd-party software. The included iPhone software is far too-limited in what codecs it will play for audio/video and there are some annoying missing features. Once other people are able to step-in and fill in the holes, it will have potential.

    The other thing is, AT&T doesn't offer plans to people living in VT since they don't have any towers here:

    http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pb...S01/706280373/
    Quote Originally Posted by Napalmbrain (Moderator)
    Even if we can somehow keeps this place moderated, eventually the webhosting is going to lapse or something like that, and I doubt i0n's going to be around to fix it. So basically I'm encouraging everyone to migrate over to Link Removed
    Quote Originally Posted by FR. (Moderator)
    i0n just lost interest in this website. And, since no forum can run without an administrator, this forum is basically doomed. Everyone might as well join somewhere else, because if i0n doesn't pay vBulletin, the site will shut down.

  8. #8
    The "Real" Tech Support Clarke's Avatar
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    Did someone say PSP?

  9. #9
    WiiChat Member Frog's Avatar
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    GP2X looks sweet! I might just have to get one of those. How is its performance on...

    NES, SNES, SMS, Genesis, TG16, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Neo-Geo etc.?

    I wish they had a black version.

    PSP homebrew performance was really slow last time I tried 3 or 4 years ago.

    I think Nintendo should either make a new DS that allows you to play VC games that you purchase from the Nintendo network or a VC handheld. I think you should be able to port the games between Wii and the handheld though. There should not be 2 seperate stores etc. It would be nice if you are gonna be legal and pay for these VC games if you could still use them 10 years from now on Gameboy75 or Wii4.

  10. #10
    Ouroboros GigaRidley's Avatar
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    My god that would be sweet! Then I could play donkey kong country on the go : )

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