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  • Joined: 12 Jul 1999
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Analogue Co. Mega SG
Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:14 am
https://www.analogue.co/mega-sg/

So, how do we all feel about this?

This thing is emulating the Megadrive/Genesis in hardware via an FPGA. It works with the MegaCD hardware (but not 32X), and apparently every single released for the hardware.
It'll have cartridge adapters available so you can play all Sega's 8bit console games (including GameGear, which I'm pretty darn excited about), and - making it relevant to this community - it ships with an SMS cartridge adapter.

Personally, I think this is amazing. My ex threw out all my old Sega games and consoles a few years back, so this is a great place to start again with minimal fuss about playing the old machines on new TVs and whatnot.
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  • Joined: 14 Aug 2000
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Analogue Co. Mega SG
Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:27 pm
A hardware implementation instead of a software emulation that plays carts with high compatibility and plugs straight into current TV - that's pretty damn good.

I thought the price tag of $190USD was reasonable as well all things considered.

I checked out a couple of reviews of the Super NT which is the SNES version that came out a year ago and that version performs very well.

Personally, it's not the real thing but this looks so much better than running an emulator on a Pi or something.

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My ex threw out all my old Sega games and consoles a few years back, so this is a great place to start again with minimal fuss about playing the old machines on new TVs and whatnot.


That's cold. Very cold. Unfunkenbelievable even.
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  • Joined: 30 Oct 2018
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:16 pm
Awesome sounding system. But already having a genesis, and an SMS adapter for it, for that price might as well get myself a real sega cd.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:21 pm
I have tried but so far failed to get decent video output from SG-1000 games with their original (pre-SMS/MkIII) color palettes. The Yeno SC-3000 comes closest but its video quality still leaves much to be desired. Maybe this will finally do the trick?

Also their Super NT has unofficial firmware which turns it into a very capable cartridge dumper — quite a bit more compatible than the Retrode2, for instance. Should the Mega SG grow similar capabilities at some point it could become the best way (both most affordable and easiest) to back up & preserve cartridge collections for Sega's 8- and 16-bit systems.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:13 pm
What I would most like to see is if there was a way to make a flashcart for CD games, to bypass the CD reader entirely (as I imagine that is the thing most likely to break down as it ages?).
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:01 pm
The biggest deal for me is that it produces digital video, so you get clear graphics on modern TVs. It may be a bit late now (as the attempted fad has passed) but it would be awesome to support 3D games via HDMI to TVs with 3D capability. (Maybe the picture size would ruin the effect though?)
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:48 pm
Pre-ordered on the day it was announced :O :P
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:29 am
Maxim wrote
It may be a bit late now (as the attempted fad has passed) but it would be awesome to support 3D games via HDMI to TVs with 3D capability. (Maybe the picture size would ruin the effect though?)


This is a brilliant idea.
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  • Joined: 14 Mar 2016
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:48 pm
I love the Analogue.co line of products. Quality built hardware. 100% faith that they will deliver yet another solid product.

I own a silver NT Mini and a clear Super NT. I preordered the Mega SG on day one of their announcements.

It's nice to be able to hook up a console to your TV and not have to worry about cable quality/lag/jailbars/video quality. Yes I know about LCD panels having lag. But scalers will have lag too. If I want to get serious I'll bust out original hardware and use my PVM.

I barely touch my original hardware now that I have these units. Only reason I take them out are for light guns or someone wants to see the original consoles.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:55 am
unfnknblvbl wrote
So, how do we all feel about this?


I want one!
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:02 am
If it's anything like versions of the nes and snes, it should be sublime. A friend owns the analogue nes console, and it's quite simple excellent. Beautiful, well-built and works perfectly.

So, yeah, i want one.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:05 am
KingMike wrote
What I would most like to see is if there was a way to make a flashcart for CD games, to bypass the CD reader entirely (as I imagine that is the thing most likely to break down as it ages?).


There is for the Saturn (there's a board/mod you can buy that lets the console read ISOs on a SD card), so i think it may be possible to built something similar for the Sega CD? I never looked into it, but i've never heard of the cd drive failing on the sega cd, however it is a problem with the saturn.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:03 pm
tibone wrote
KingMike wrote
What I would most like to see is if there was a way to make a flashcart for CD games, to bypass the CD reader entirely (as I imagine that is the thing most likely to break down as it ages?).


There is for the Saturn (there's a board/mod you can buy that lets the console read ISOs on a SD card), so i think it may be possible to built something similar for the Sega CD? I never looked into it, but i've never heard of the cd drive failing on the sega cd, however it is a problem with the saturn.


Yeah there's replacement lasers on the market, they use the same exact ones as the neo geo cd model 2.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:29 pm
tibone wrote
KingMike wrote
What I would most like to see is if there was a way to make a flashcart for CD games, to bypass the CD reader entirely (as I imagine that is the thing most likely to break down as it ages?).


There is for the Saturn (there's a board/mod you can buy that lets the console read ISOs on a SD card), so i think it may be possible to built something similar for the Sega CD? I never looked into it, but i've never heard of the cd drive failing on the sega cd, however it is a problem with the saturn.


The ODEs available for the Saturn and Dreamcast basically do just that - they emulate the optical drive units and feed the machine game data from an SD card / USB drive rather than a CD. This can't be done so easily with a Mega CD as it contains other hardware chips which need emulating; it's a extra console unit in its own right.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:33 am
What I'd like to see is an addon unit that you could just stick a slimline optical drive into for MegaCD stuff. With the FPGA, it would (theoretically) just be a case of reprogramming the base unit.

...but we're getting offtopic now.

I really want one, but I'm not so keen as to preorder one just yet (seeing as I have more important things to buy).
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:23 am
I only recently became aware of this device, and after seeing youtube reviews it's everything I've ever dreamed of in a Sega console and I definitely want one when I can afford it.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:02 pm
I got a message that my preordered Mega Sg has shipped, so I should be able to post some impressions soon.

My main reason for ordering it was the announced Game Gear support. I‘m just curious why that even works. Is a regular Mega Drive compatible to GG software? I always thought only the SMS VDP was supported?
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:11 pm
Kagesan wrote
I got a message that my preordered Mega Sg has shipped, so I should be able to post some impressions soon.

My main reason for ordering it was the announced Game Gear support. I‘m just curious why that even works. Is a regular Mega Drive compatible to GG software? I always thought only the SMS VDP was supported?


It's not supported, GG has bigger palette than Mega Drive. However, I suppose they have "created" a VDP with Mode 0-3 support, Mode 4, Mode 5 and GG mode.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:16 pm
My Mega SG arrived and I had some time to play around with it, so here are some impressions.

Coming from the Super NT I had high expectations, yet the Mega SG actually manages to surpass them. You get a ton of options for tweaking the console's output to your liking, including scaling, scanlines, and the likes. So far the system has worked perfectly with any cartridge I've thrown at it regardless of region. There's a neat auto detect feature for the region, so you don't have to switch them manually if a cartridge has a built-in lockout. My Mega CD II unit slots neatly into the side of the Meg SG, although the tiny console looks a bit lost on top of the bulky CD drive. CDs work as flawlessly as cartridges, although you have to enable CD audio in the system settings. Whay that isn't the default is beyond me. The built-in bonus game is a bit ho-hum, but it's free, so I won't complain.

What's most interesting for us is of course how it handles Sega 8-bit content, and I'm happy to report that again, it played every game I've fed it without any problems. The Mega SG comes with a cartridge adapter for SMS games. More of those are announced for later this year (covering Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG-1000 & SC-3000). Strangely enough, you can access the system options for SMS games only if an SMS game is inserted, but on the plus side that means you can save settings for each mode individually and independently.

The Master System's pause button is mapped to the Mega Drive controller's start button, which is pretty neat, so you don't have to rely on hacks that add this functionality. Games that normally don't work with MD controllers (e.g. Wonderboy in Monsterland) now do.

FM sound is present and automatically activated if the game supports it. So far I haven't found a way to switch back to PSG (unless the FM sound is tied to the region). In SMS mode there's no automatic region detection, you have to switch manually if you need to.

My Master Everdrive works perfectly fine with the Mega SG. I've run SMS Test Suite from it, and interestingly, it identifies the Mega SG as a Game Gear. I've also tried some SG-1000 games to run from the Everdrive (Girl's Garden, Ninja Princess, Super Uwol) and they all worked fine, too. I'm no expert on all things SG-1000, but to me it looks like the Mega SG runs these games with the correct palette instead of the one you get on a Master System.

The handling is great in all modes. Basically, the Mega SG looks, sounds and plays just like the real thing in either mode.


tl;dr: The Mega SG is a great piece of kit. When the announced cartridge adapters are released, it's going to be pretty much the perfect all-in-one solution for playing all pre-Saturn Sega content on a modern TV set.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:30 pm
Kagesan wrote
My Master Everdrive works perfectly fine with the Mega SG. I've run SMS Test Suite from it, and interestingly, it identifies the Mega SG as a Game Gear.


Probably it doesn't support disabling cartridge port (just like the GameGear) via the bit on port $3F.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:54 pm
Kagesan wrote
CDs work as flawlessly as cartridges, although you have to enable CD audio in the system settings. Whay that isn't the default is beyond me.


Per the Ars review, which is well worth a read:

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By default, the Mega Sg mutes any CD audio, because leaving this on can lead to a slight buzzing in standard games.
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:04 pm
Does anyone know whether it's possible to switch to the game gear core for a cartridge? I have the RetroFreak Gear Converter but its Game Gear port seems not to work correctly with the Mega SG even after switching to the unofficial firmware — it acts like maybe it's running in SMS mode instead, misinterpreting palette data.

Also, the Game Gear core doesn't seem to accurately emulate the Game Gear's SG-1000 video mode support, so SG2GG conversions won't run. I guess it's not a big deal, though, since no commercial GG games used that mode afaik

Edit: forgot to add that the "square pixels" scaling option is not labelled correctly for the Game Gear core; just choose matching horizontal and vertical factors by hand (e.g. 7x for 1080p) and the aspect ratio will be correct; note that each core stores its settings separately
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:49 am
The „square pixel“ option is wrong for SMS mode, too. You need to set both horizontal and vertical scaling to the same factor manually, e.g. to 1024 x 960 for x4 in 1080 p.

It‘s really confusing that the Mega Drive modes add horizontal overscan and SMS and GG modes don‘t.

However, for GG I actually like to set the Mega SG to 6:5 pixels, so you get the Game Gear‘s 4:3 display. In 1080p I chose 960 x 720, whiche gives huge borders, but a nice integer scale of the GG display.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:25 pm
Nice! I'm using the same 6:5 scaling now and it looks pretty authentic, although some of the games (e.g. Puyo Puyo 2) look like they were designed for 1:1 PAR rather than the actual Game Great screen :P
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