VRoBIT project faces the final stage

VRoBIT project faces the final stage

by PAC on 24-08-2017, 11:08
Topic: Hardware
Languages:

Few months ago we were aware about the final specifications and now the VRoBIT project, an MSX, MSX2, MSX2+ and MSX turbo R compatible home computer is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

Today we know the final price, 299€ (taxes included) but it is subject to certain number of users registered, 1000 to be precise. The team has opened a preorder process, please contact them to obtain more information related.

Relevant link: VRoBIT, the concept
Relevant link: VRoBIT, final specs

Comments (59)

By Meits

Scribe (4535)

Meits's picture

24-08-2017, 12:18

1000? Oh dear. That's quite some people. Good luck on that.

By tfh

Paragon (1488)

tfh's picture

24-08-2017, 12:36

Yup. A thousand people is a lot and I doubt they will find them. Right now, they are talking about 1000 registered users and I don't know if they also need 1000 buyers,
At the moment I still have a few doubts:

* It's RISC based emulation, I'd rather see real hardware or FPGA.
* I doubt they will reach the number of needed buyers
* I don't know if I would trust this enough to pre-pay 299 euro's.

Don't get me wrong: It's not that I don't trust the people behind the project, but I'd prefer to pay for something that already exists. I pay, they ship... I really hope that this will be the way it will work and that it won't end up like some crowdfunding project where people loose their money.
As for the emulation/hardware: If this was made with original hardware, I'd buy it in an instant. Right now, I still have my doubts. On the other hand: I do like their design. It gives me a real retro feeling.
If they end up available in their webshop as a stock item, I actually think I'd buy one...

By Hydragon

Hero (551)

Hydragon's picture

24-08-2017, 13:37

1000 registered users? All of them are supposed to buy, seems a tough goal, so good luck with that.
Even though the concept looks interesting, for me it feels like being another emulator packed as a cameo to look like an retro machine.

By frederic.markus

Expert (65)

frederic.markus's picture

24-08-2017, 14:13

Hello,

I don't understand the video specs. I understand it can emulate the latest VDP but how powerful is it? What are the specs of the hardware's video processor?

By syn

Paragon (1628)

syn's picture

24-08-2017, 16:37

Looks nice Wink

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (5887)

ARTRAG's picture

24-08-2017, 18:47

From what I understand more or less it is an emulated msx running on a modern HW with 4 msx cartrige slots.
They need 1000 registerd users to start the production, very challenging ...
Good luck!

By edoz

Paragon (1969)

edoz's picture

24-08-2017, 19:48

Im not sure why I don't get the .. Wow... Feeling about this project.Don't get me wrong It looks very cool. But what is the benefit compair to a emulator, like OpenMSX on a normal PC?

By tfh

Paragon (1488)

tfh's picture

24-08-2017, 20:51

edoz wrote:

Im not sure why I don't get the .. Wow... Feeling about this project.Don't get me wrong It looks very cool. But what is the benefit compair to a emulator, like OpenMSX on a normal PC?

Mostly the looks and the cartridgeslots. That's it.

By Louthrax

Paragon (1698)

Louthrax's picture

24-08-2017, 21:26

It would be nice to have some comparisons (in terms of lag for example), between VRoBIT and openMSX. What are the advantages of VRoBIT?

I'm using openMSX for dev, but I'm always playing on real MSX machines (no lag, CRT output, cartridges slots, etc...). So I do not really have a need now for something else. I would be interested by the "commercial arguments" of VRoBIT.

VRoBIT team, put your salesman suit and make me buy it Smile !

By journey

Master (184)

journey's picture

25-08-2017, 09:10

Guys, this is the nearest machine to a real new MSX.
possibility to use real disk (with USB disk drive),TAPES, keyboards, cartridges, V9978 and Moonsound emulated...
In addition a bit of "modern times" with HDMI output, WiFi, Bluetooth, New OS, etc..

DAY ONE FOR ME, FOR SURE!

By Sander

Ambassador (1820)

Sander's picture

25-08-2017, 11:59

I don't understand the hesitations or critics here. First of all, this machine will probably the thing that will come nearest to something that comes close to what MSX was and is. Plus an evolution of the standard which - even if you think we don't need it - will extent the fun and probably also attract new people to the system. OCM had more than 1000 units sold, And the ZX spectrum Next had more than 3113 backers on kickstarter and raised 800K euro.The ZX sold about 5 million units in it's lifetime, comparable to the amount of MSX units sold in Japan only.

We need an "MSX Next" computer imho. And the Vrobit will probably come closest to this reality.
One thing though: That page should be in English (in more detail) and Japanese also. Furthermore: currently it's not clear to me if the first production run will include a unit with keyboard. Somewhere the project page says that this is for a later model, after the first production run (of 1000 units?) in late 2018.

My tip: skip the keyboard-less model. If the thing does what it says, let's plug this beast together and make it a reality.

By Hydragon

Hero (551)

Hydragon's picture

25-08-2017, 14:15

Sander wrote:

I don't understand the hesitations or critics here. First of all, this machine will probably the thing that will come nearest to something that comes close to what MSX was and is. Plus an evolution of the standard which - even if you think we don't need it - will extent the fun and probably also attract new people to the system.

I personally say it's not directly any critic or hesitation, it's more a gut feeling which tells me it's not the right machine for me, in a way it somehow doesn't trigger me, but that's a matter of opinion and taste. Others might think different about it and probably be positive and maybe for them it's the right choice. For myself, I keep using my hooked up NMS8250, since Vrobit did not give me the "buy now"-trigger for now.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (5887)

ARTRAG's picture

25-08-2017, 14:47

Sander, I think that the "msx next" are the modern pc's on our desks.
I would have preferred a replacement for broken msx2/2+ based on the original components or eventually on their fpga implementations.
Anyway this is only my feeling, let's see how it goes.

By tfh

Paragon (1488)

tfh's picture

25-08-2017, 14:53

ARTRAG wrote:

Sander, I think that the "msx next" are the modern pc's on our desks.
I would have preferred a replacement for broken msx2/2+ based on the original components or eventually on their fpga implementations.
Anyway this is only my feeling, let's see how it goes.

I wouldn't want it based on 30 year old hardware, so I'd prefer an FPGA version as well, or at least: I thought so.
In the end, FPGA is emulation as well. Does FPGA emulation have any real benefits over good software emulation? In the end, it is the accuracy that counts...
If the emulation is good enough with the Vrobit, I'll probably end up buying one.

By giuseve

Paladin (715)

giuseve's picture

25-08-2017, 16:37

I was one of the first who signed his name for the last batch of ZemmixNeo from Brazil.
I wait a couple of years, then the author said .. he would never ship any unit to italy!

Now I see this fantastic project, but with a lot of confusion:
- which version would be sold? The one with or without keyboard?
- how does it work? Any video about booting, file manager and other stuff?
- any wiki in English?
- why €.300 all now? Let me say: a pre-sale of €.100 and then a final price of €.200 for whom prebuyed. €300 for others.
- build something less expensive: why a 64 bits - QUAD CORE 1’2Mhz ; 4 x SLOTS FOR CARTRIDGES instead of 2 when almost everything is already emulated? Only 1 usb, RJ45 and Wi-Fi not really necessary on msx
- no prototype yet, only a render?

The question is: why have I to run the risk to have the same experience I had with XemmixNeo?

By Samor

Paragon (1783)

Samor's picture

25-08-2017, 16:44

In general, I would be ok with a device with good hardware and/or software emulation, and a combination of classic interfaces (joystick ports, cartridge slots) and modern ones (sd card, hdmi).
I think that'd make a good new MSX; it seems like this project aims to do just that, so that's nice Wink

By journey

Master (184)

journey's picture

25-08-2017, 17:50

giuseve wrote:

I was one of the first who signed his name for the last batch of ZemmixNeo from Brazil.
I wait a couple of years, then the author said .. he would never ship any unit to italy!

Same for me, but fortunately i already have an OCM..

About the Vrobit, i feel the "right vibrations", i trust in this project!

By Latok

msx guru (3495)

Latok's picture

25-08-2017, 18:07

Have you seen the impressive line-up of software that is going to be available? It's so immense, that I will only believe in this project when it's finished. And as tfh said, whatever kind of emulation, it's only good if it's accurate and I haven't seen that yet.

That said, if they deliver and the computer has a built-in keyboard, I'm going to buy several Smile

By dracul

Master (139)

dracul's picture

25-08-2017, 18:48

I'm not a technical guy... but if it's just emulation... all those machines I can emulate at my PC (just got a new one :-) ) ... so why consider buying it...

I think it fun to see new developments, but I don't think this is the way to go... if it's just emulation, then I'll keep using my PC ...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9598)

wolf_'s picture

25-08-2017, 20:26

Mixed bag of opinions above, let's put my mixed bag to the pile.

The pros:

  • If it's going to look like that render, it'll look really nice/retro/classy.
  • Quite some horsepower, and if it stays like that there'll finally be a rich standard you (as a developer) can rely on. Considering the 'global standard' the MSX was to be, irony dictates that MSX was too small as a standard and way too varied when expanded. There really was no telling whether, as a developer, you should aim at 64k RAM, 128k, 256k or more. Or, you wouldn't know what the most favourite sound chip would be. Or you wouldn't know whether people have an MSX1, 2, 2+ or tR. Or you wouldn't know whether people had a mass storage device, or advram, or a G9k, or a Moonsound (and oh yes: how much S-RAM again?). So, at least in Europe, MSX2/128K with double sided drive was kind of the bare standard for developers. An FM-PAC was a good secondary guess, but that's about it. So, if this VRoBIT has a rich standard, and stays like that, without being forked into new uniquely expanded configurations, it could become something of a globally accepted platform.

The cons:

  • MSX originates from a time when computers, and the way we were using them, were fundamentally different to what things are like today. Back then a computer was a complete product, with its own looks, its own limitations and its own practical development strategies. And this was normal. Other computers from those days also were complete systems. Anno today, our computer systems are neutral. We don't look at computers anymore (it's just a dull block), we look at the screen. And every screen is the same screen. Possibilities are largely virtual. You only need to have a D/A-chip and the software creates the sound (whereas in our past, dedicated chips created the sound). You only need to have true-color video memory and you can output whatever the software creates, whereas in our past: colours, palettes, sprites, tilemodes etc. defined what things would and work look like. The possibilities of today are virtual, and that is so fundamentally different to the old computers. Even more so: we've simply grown used to that new paradigm. That is why a new MSX is compared to an emulator, this also happened during the days of the 1chipMSX. As far as I'm concerned, emulation is the MSX3, with the strange exception that emulator makers aren't making new steps (more colours, more musical channels, more sample memory for things etc.), the only improve the given steps.
    So, back to the paradigm: this actually puts us in a complicated position. If we are to appreciate and use a newly built MSX, we would actually be moving back the computer paradigm in our mindsets, and that likely isn't going to happen. However, if we don't accept a new MSX requiring us to move back our thinking, in the end we can only use emulation of the old MSX'es, and stay where we already are.
  • This next bullet isn't really related to VRoBIT, but more to us. I wonder who'd make good use of all the potential horsepower. There are already designers/developers deliberately choosing MSX1 because drawing primitive tiles is faster/easier/funnier. Think about it. There hasn't been any Ultimate Game(tm) using G9k, Moonsound and tR, people are deliberately developing for MSX1, and now the Ultimate Machine(tm) knocks the door? That's like handing out chewing gum to a cannibal living in the Amazon rainforest: "uugh! how can we actually swallow this stuff?" In the worst case scenario, the VRoBIT is merely used to play The Goonies, Metal Gear and Aleste 2. And that would be a shame.
  • Aren't the remaining MSXians merely using theirs because it is old and limited, and has these clunky old yet entertaining games? And because they're in this scene, full of weirdos, since they were young? Imagine that silly, ugly old car '2CV'. You can add a hybrid engine to it, comfy chairs, a more modern shape, cruise control, a TFT screen with rear/parking view, power steering and a built-in navigation system. And you can call it a 2CV+... But is it? Or is it simply a completely new car, that old 2CV-fans wouldn't accept as being a 2CV?

Now, keep one thing in mind before throwing your fruitcakes to me: I'm not criticising the machine (which, again, is quite an achievement!), I'm criticising the target audience! Us! Me included! Of course, I'd much prefer to be wrong on this one. Hannibal

By Sander

Ambassador (1820)

Sander's picture

26-08-2017, 00:59

Who is 'us'? I have (had) many different systems, real old hardware, fpga's, retrowannabee's and had fun with all of them. People make msx1 games for the art of it or just for fun. Developing for this system could be as much fun. It looks more than an MSX to me than a dull ocm. Why is it a shame to run just MSX on this? That's for the buyer to decide. A lot of old hardware will die or will need repair and in time those components are not available anymore in the future. Besides, when the molds are made, we can always replace the mainboard later, or perhaps order only the casing in the future so groups can release their own mainbords for it. Indeed emulators could define a new standard as you say and that's part of what Vrobit tries to accomplish. Before we posted about this Vrobit already had almost 300 registered people. 1000 people isn't that much. As is 299 euro for a new retrocomputer. I spend more money on importing broken msx stuff.

By hit9918

Prophet (2671)

hit9918's picture

26-08-2017, 05:15

the thing we call "emulator" involves a notoriously malfunctioning directX etc.
"flicker ideas are no good, problem on emulator" - a custom box can go without loosing frames and without a 50/60hz mismatch versus a windows desktop and then it is not just a bit of nice feel but objectively more performance than emu on the gigahertz PC.
and, fpga can have bugs, too. the first thing is what comes out of the black box in a comparison with a discrete MSX.

So far the marketing went bad. for example

Quote:

It would be nice to have some comparisons (in terms of lag for example), between VRoBIT and openMSX.

I rather advice a video with comparison of vrobit versus the 700 bucks Panasonic TurboR!!!
whoops that somehow sounded more serious, didnt it?

By Samor

Paragon (1783)

Samor's picture

26-08-2017, 06:12

No... if it works properly it should have a nice chance at winning.

Often reading how emulation is worse and all, but OpenMSX is a lot better than all the MSX'es I've had with poor PSG's, poor balance between different soundchips, not enough ram, bad keyboards, and so on.

Emulation bad? Come on, even back then components differed (even if ever so slightly) between MSX models, and that could be seen as the same thing... things being not 100% the same... I'm sure the emu authors of now are a lot more dedicated about accuracy than the hardware manufacturers of old.

Basically the thing missing from emulators are abilities to interface with cartridges, joysticks, add-ons etc. The game reader was one such concept that tried to get around this but it never quite caught on.
The other thing is perhaps that not too many people want to use far more powerful hardware dedicated to just one emulator (software or hardware) because it doesn't "feel right" ("I could do so much more with this").
As for a correct (smooth) video signal... it would be possible if one wouldn't need the pc to do so much else as well, and then Windows is perhaps a little notorious. A custom tuned linux with openmsx... I think you'd be able to output a perfectly smooth signal given the correct hardware... I already see webmsx perform very smooth on my phone(!) when running in 60hz.

The VRoBIT actually tries to address these issues so I like the concept, but I'd like to see it succeed first.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9598)

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26-08-2017, 07:38

People make msx1 games for the art of it or just for fun.

Exactly, so why would they 'like' a 64 bit system with a 1.2GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, all the possible audio/video etc.? Especially as only few ever fully invested in content for MSX2+, tR, G9k and Moonsound.

It looks more than an MSX to me than a dull ocm.

That is correct.

Why is it a shame to run just MSX on this?

I was referring to playing games (Goonies etc.). Wouldn't it look somewhat silly to have a new 64 bit Giga-everything MSX with all the audio/video we've ever dreamt of in the 90's, and then end up playing 80's-class games again? For such a new system, what you really want is new development, games, demos, tools that all support the new possibilities. Or else people might as well just use their current MSX, or an emulator - and that would be a shame, in the light of the possibilities of the VRoBIT.

A lot of old hardware will die or will need repair and in time those components are not available anymore in the future.

That is correct.

As is this:

As is 299 euro for a new retrocomputer.

Certainly something I might consider.

Again, I'm not criticising the computer, but more its users, and all this in context of content. But, let's put it like this: if this VRoBIT can manage to trigger developers to release tens, or maybe even hundreds of dedicated and worthy productions a year, then it's all been worthwhile and I'll take back all I've written above. I'd be one to contribute to such productions even. But, and this is why I have my doubts, when the VRoBIT users will be idle (as idle as the scene's been with 2+, G9k, Moonsound), then I fear this machine ends up as a kind of PC running an emulator, with added MSX-compatible connectors. Still a nice machine, let me emphasise that, but still with the power of a hundred horses for people who only want to ride a pony.

By ray2day

Champion (414)

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26-08-2017, 09:05

I think this is a cool Cool project. I hope it becomes reallity, but minimum of 1000 people is a lot. Good luck!

By Alexey

Paragon (1236)

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26-08-2017, 09:37

If the project is aimed mostly for MSX users, there surely won't be 1000 people among us who are ready to part with 300 euros (and mind the tax and the shipment - this will add another 100 euros to the price!). So having only 4 MSX slots sounds like a bad idea for the device that is capable of emulating most of oldschool platforms - this will limit the amount of potential customers dramatically. Instead, I would desing a device with a universal connector and a set of external adapters for inserting cartridges from those supported platforms. I know that this is challenging, but that would bring much more value for the device.

As I am a fan of real hardware, I won't be ordering this device. However, I will consider buying a universal oldschool platform siimulator as real hardware if the price is right and the set of options is rich. But I would like to see a little more than a rendered image first.

By tfh

Paragon (1488)

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26-08-2017, 10:23

Alexey wrote:

If the project is aimed mostly for MSX users, there surely won't be 1000 people among us who are ready to part with 300 euros (and mind the tax and the shipment - this will add another 100 euros to the price!). So having only 4 MSX slots sounds like a bad idea for the device that is capable of emulating most of oldschool platforms - this will limit the amount of potential customers dramatically. Instead, I would desing a device with a universal connector and a set of external adapters for inserting cartridges from those supported platforms. I know that this is challenging, but that would bring much more value for the device.

As I am a fan of real hardware, I won't be ordering this device. However, I will consider buying a universal oldschool platform siimulator as real hardware if the price is right and the set of options is rich. But I would like to see a little more than a rendered image first.

Well.. First of all, the price of 299 is already including tax. The reason why they added MSX slots is quite easy: It's targeted at an MSX audience at the moment. And as for the other slots you are talking about. From their website:

Quote:

As with the MSX, we put ourselves in the shoes of other users with the same nostalgia and appreciation for their machines of yesteryear as well as wanting to share this with the new generations. Being an emulation based system allows us to interpret other systems and interact with their hardware in real time. At the moment there is already a machine ZX48K, CPC464 and C64, although we would like to continue adding new machines such as NES, SNES, MegaDrive among others, with capacity to develop and access to all their cartridges.

By tfh

Paragon (1488)

tfh's picture

26-08-2017, 10:24

Whoops.... That was twice. It seams the msx.org server has some problems at the moment Smile

By Alexey

Paragon (1236)

Alexey's picture

26-08-2017, 10:56

Hmm, indeed, taxes are includes. My bad. So 60 euros off - it becomes more attractive. As for the accessibility for other cartridges, the current design needs to be reworked IMO.

By tfh

Paragon (1488)

tfh's picture

26-08-2017, 11:21

Alexey wrote:

Hmm, indeed, taxes are includes. My bad. So 60 euros off - it becomes more attractive. As for the accessibility for other cartridges, the current design needs to be reworked IMO.

I really like the design. It gives me a bit of a modern VG8235 feel. And I prefer it the way it is: with msx slots and the possibility to add other slots as an option.
If I'll buy one, it would be for msx use primarily and then I wouldn't want to have an external thing with extra cables and box for an external cartridge box.
But that also only my opinion Big smile

By Louthrax

Paragon (1698)

Louthrax's picture

26-08-2017, 11:36

Alexey wrote:

Sorry for the duplicate posts. The hotel's internet sucks.

@Moderators: why you don't allow users to delete their own posts? Also why do you block editing of posts after some time? This forum lacks usability.

Seems like MSX Resource Center has some issues... Some posts are not accessible or not reflected on the main page, I also noticed some unusual lags

By Grauw

Enlighted (6272)

Grauw's picture

26-08-2017, 14:49

4 slots seems a bit overkill when most of the hardware you would plug in (memory, sound chips, SD interface) is already built in. Just two would suffice. Seems like that would be an easy thing to save some money on, and reduce the size of the casing. Or maybe have two connectors compatible with another supported system, so they don’t need an adapter.

Also, this project is so incredibly ambitious, I just see so much hardware and software features. All of this has to be created, I wonder how many people are working full-time on this? Maybe it would be good to reduce the scope a bit, and focus on the actual near-term features rather than the endless future possibilities. Will give more confidence that this will someday actually be released.

Additionally, with so many features, rather making promotional material, please show off more stuff in videos. Show us the inside, show us stuff being build, show us half-working prototypes, discuss your ideas and challenges, addressing us the audience casually! There must be plenty to show, and it’s ok if it’s not everything that is promised, I think it would generate more enthusiasm and confidence.

By enribar

Paladin (913)

enribar's picture

26-08-2017, 15:10

In my opinion, hardware is not so important, since MSX = MSX with Software Exchangeability.
Many different hardware machines in the past with the same operating system, that's the philosophy!
More important is: what is MSX3?
Users' agreement of MSX3 is the real challenge, and VRoBIT is a flexible opportunity and a "jailbreak" from the expensive FPGA technology.
At some point in ASCII's One-Chip adventure, someone said "... maybe Nishi would make an universal platform for retro-gaming". Could it be VRoBIT the first answer?

By Hydragon

Hero (551)

Hydragon's picture

30-08-2017, 10:40

Browsing the website again and reading through I cam across this! Since no, it won't be just the 1000 registered users to get a VroBit there's even more:

Quote:

. If we finally get everything right and we are registered enough, we will open a KickStarter or similar for the peace of the world and allow us to finance the minimum we require to make this project a reality.

So above the registrations, another funding method will be started of which no goal is known for now. Since this part about the crowdfunding website was missing in the newspost, I gave you this by comment.

By Grauw

Enlighted (6272)

Grauw's picture

30-08-2017, 11:44

As I understood it the registration is not actually a commitment, it’s just to have some indication of how many potential interested people there are, which can be used to improve confidence in the Kickstarter campaign. The actual backing will happen through Kickstarter, and you can make your final choice then:

Quote:

We need at least 1000 interested in a VRoBIT. It is the minimum to be able to begin to manufacture (minimum orders, molds, etc) and get an affordable price like the one proposed. Therefore, the steps to follow before opening a preorder would be that at least, on the web, there would be those 1000 theoretical stakeholders. The preorder would do it for KickStarter for more transparency and tranquility of the majority of you. Therefore, it is important that people register on the web, because until we are not enough interested (at least 1000 registered) it does not make much sense to take the step of preorder. Therefore, if you are interested in this project and want to join it, please register and in this way we will also be able to warn you of the important decisions and events that are happening. Thank you!

https://vrobit.com/en/computers/11-vr-computer.html

But, I also see mention of Paypal etc. at the top, so not sure if I understood it correctly.

By Hydragon

Hero (551)

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30-08-2017, 13:00

I got this intel ( marked it /w photoshop )

source: https://vrobit.com/en/blog/information-advance-towards-the-f...

By Grauw

Enlighted (6272)

Grauw's picture

30-08-2017, 13:11

Yes, you quoted that Smile. It says essentially the same thing, right? There’s not another funding method, the Kickstarter is the only funding method, for now the registration is only for indicating interest. At least that’s what I make of it...

By Hydragon

Hero (551)

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30-08-2017, 13:15

Grauw wrote:

Yes, you quoted that Smile. It says essentially the same thing, right? There’s not another funding method, the Kickstarter is the only funding method, for now the registration is only for indicating interest. At least that’s what I make of it.

Which also puts the project in question:
- I don't trust crowdfunding programs , often they don't reach goal and starter still earned his money and usually disappears ( note: not saying vrobit will do so, to make this clear, but it's a thing to keep in mind though! )
- vrobit has so far not delivered an actual machine image, we've seen only possible 3d models

the computer itself is even at a certain price, so on top of this they have the extra crowdfunding eventually to make even more out of it, I wonder what that goal is going to be. And all this for emulation in a box? This is seriously giving me a lot of doubts about this project.

By nerlaska

Master (166)

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31-08-2017, 10:23

First of all, thank you for your words, commentaries and interest in this project. Good or bad, all the feedback is good to do something better.
We don't want to fool anyone. We know that there are many doubts in the air and we know that a lot of videos and real demonstrations are needed before anyone pays for a render image.
Well, really is not a "render image", as I said before, more than 2 years have been dedicated to this project and we have shown a lot of things about it. We have shown a real prototype (3D printed) in a RUMSX fair for example and a real VRoBIT machine (HC-3000) working in the RetroMadrid. Yes, all this fairs are Spanish fairs and recently we have opened the VRoBIT to the worldwide and many people says .. my god! who are this guys?
As the creator, director and programmer in this project, many of you known my passion and love for the MSX system. I have inverted a lot hours in the MSX world, creating MSX games for MSXDevs and now trying to create a kind of alternative to have a new MSX computer. I started this concept, alone, 3-4 years ago and since 2015 with my team colleagues.
We have learned about 3D design, electronics, plastics, logistic, etc and we have seen the posibilities and costs to finish the initial idea of this project (a MSX look-style computer with new possitiblies and MSX compatible)
Well, we know how to do that. We are doing that. We have not stopped to work in this project. We believe in the project and we believe in to reach the minimal background community needed to make it happen.
This community is precisely the excuse to decide to open a kickstarter or similar. When we will open the preorder (crowfounding) is because we will be ready to start the production of the machines. We need a minimal budget to start this production and we have thought that the people will be more calm knowing where their money is.
About the "render image", yes, it is a render, but it is a real 3D design, exactly like the previous one printed in 3D (a white version) .. the problem here is that the 3D printing cost more or less 1000€ and we would want to make this 3D-printing (needed to see and evaluate possible problems) when we will finish the new PCB 4.0.
We don't want to convince with words to anyone, we want to convince you with facts and reality. We want to show you another possibilities with a VRoBIT and we are working hard to have MSX hardware compatibility too. We want to rescue the MSX essence of a computer that can do a lot of things not only play.
Well, sorry Smile I do not want to bore you more. I have taken notes about your questions and I hope soon to show you videos and info about that things and new ones.
Thank you very much for your time and my apologies for not being here talking to you again, I hope you understand.
In any case I am aware of your comments. Regards!

By journey

Master (184)

journey's picture

31-08-2017, 10:35

I trust in the VRobit project, and I trust in the VRobit team!

By Grauw

Enlighted (6272)

Grauw's picture

31-08-2017, 10:44

Hi Nerlaska, thanks for your reply!

Quote:

Yes, all this fairs are Spanish fairs and recently we have opened the VRoBIT to the worldwide and many people says .. my god! who are this guys?

Big smile Indeed, it seems the Spanish MSX users have seen a lot more of this.

Quote:

the problem here is that the 3D printing cost more or less 1000€ and we would want to make this 3D-printing (needed to see and evaluate possible problems) when we will finish the new PCB 4.0.

Given the target quantity of 1000 units, isn’t injection molding an option?

Looking forward to seeing more demonstrations!

By nerlaska

Master (166)

nerlaska's picture

31-08-2017, 12:09

The 1000 units restriction is due to (list sorted by cost problematic):
- injection molding
- mechanical keyboards
- safe costs in the production of the rest: components, assembling, certificates, packaging, manuals, psu, etc.

With 1000 units we can do all this with a good/reasonable price. That's the main motivation for the 1000 users.

By Grauw

Enlighted (6272)

Grauw's picture

31-08-2017, 13:04

Cool, injection molding will look nice Smile. Keyboard too, of course!

By Manuel

Ascended (13478)

Manuel's picture

31-08-2017, 21:56

nerlaska, can you tell us a bit more about the V9990 emulation? Are you willing to share the code so we can also use it to improve openMSX?

By nerlaska

Master (166)

nerlaska's picture

01-09-2017, 06:58

Hi Manuel .. the V9990 emulation implemented is based on the OpenMSX VDP9990 emulation. I have tryied to optimize some things but nothing important. I would want to see more about the timings because it seems there are stranges things related with this yet and of course! any bug or whatever that I could discover, I will share it ... as I said you in other post, the VRoBIT emulation has as references the BlueMSX/OpenMSX emulation code. The work made in BlueMSX/OpenMSX is really impressive and great and I will be happy if I can find any thing that can return the help received.
At the moment, I have not spent much time to the V9990 emulation because we are working in other areas ... but I have MSX V9990 code ready for the testing and I hope to return to this video chip again soon.

By Manuel

Ascended (13478)

Manuel's picture

01-09-2017, 16:12

Can you be a bit more elaborate on "based on" and "has as references'? Do you actually use openMSX and blueMSX code in your project?

I'm very interested in any improvements you may find out! Looking forward to that.

By nerlaska

Master (166)

nerlaska's picture

01-09-2017, 19:26

A few years ago I started what is the current MSX emulation core and I did it based on the BlueMSX. Since then I have been adding new code, modifying and adapting to my needs. I'm looking at the status of OpenMSX to solve bugs or as a reference to solve problems that may arise. But everything in a timely manner, I do not cut and copy directly or use directly the GitHub files. Just I stay tuned to the improvements and changes and then try to adapt it. It is a better way to undersand what I am doing and why something is correct or wrong. But of course, is something undeniable, the emulation in the VRoBIT is good thanks to the OpenMSX/BlueMSX team. I hope to have some luck with the V9990 and to be able to help in something, btw, testing Symbos3 with the G9K I have seen things to fix related with the overscan. If I discover something with sense I will notify in the GitHub web.

By DanySoft

Champion (391)

DanySoft's picture

08-09-2017, 22:25

Hello,
This is my question for new VroBIT:

In horizontal row a maximum sprite? How many?
What is the name of the video that supports sprites?

Thank you.

DanySoft Smile

By inyigo

Master (219)

inyigo's picture

09-09-2017, 07:57

Here is a video from VRoBIT's Youtube Channel. In this video we can watch the HC3000 that is a prototype of a new MSX, where version 3.0 of the incredible Symbos operating system for MSX is running. They do it using a TurboR machine and by the way, they show the use of the config command to switch between HDMI (digital) or TV (analog) screens.

https://youtu.be/CSdhPkjon44

By inyigo

Master (219)

inyigo's picture

09-09-2017, 07:48

And here is the lastest video published by VRoBIT's team where shows how the VRoBIT computer allows you to upload files in the recent TSX format based on the Spectrum TZX (CDT in Amstrad). As soon as they have the new hardware ready, the idea is to show how it is also loaded from a real cassette since the TSX load system is based on the simulation of the input signal as it does a real device.

If you like the project and want to support its cause, we thank you to go through https://vrobit.com and leave your record. Thank you!

https://youtu.be/JzKHdmIwUj8

By DanySoft

Champion (391)

DanySoft's picture

10-09-2017, 11:15

DanySoft wrote:

Hello,
This is my question for new VroBIT:

In horizontal row a maximum sprite? How many?
What is the name of the video that supports sprites?

Thank you.

DanySoft Smile

Does anyone answer my question? Question
Do not I think sprites are the same as v9938 / v9958?

DanySoft

By Grauw

Enlighted (6272)

Grauw's picture

10-09-2017, 13:23

Since it is emulating the V9958, I expect the sprites are the same.

By Manuel

Ascended (13478)

Manuel's picture

10-09-2017, 13:57

nerlaska wrote:

A few years ago I started what is the current MSX emulation core and I did it based on the BlueMSX. Since then I have been adding new code, modifying and adapting to my needs. I'm looking at the status of OpenMSX to solve bugs or as a reference to solve problems that may arise. But everything in a timely manner, I do not cut and copy directly or use directly the GitHub files. Just I stay tuned to the improvements and changes and then try to adapt it. It is a better way to undersand what I am doing and why something is correct or wrong. But of course, is something undeniable, the emulation in the VRoBIT is good thanks to the OpenMSX/BlueMSX team. I hope to have some luck with the V9990 and to be able to help in something, btw, testing Symbos3 with the G9K I have seen things to fix related with the overscan. If I discover something with sense I will notify in the GitHub web.

Any plans on making your emulation code available?

By DanySoft

Champion (391)

DanySoft's picture

10-09-2017, 16:49

Grauw wrote:

Since it is emulating the V9958, I expect the sprites are the same.

Okay, I'm sorry I thought it was a new computer with the new chipvideo.
but I'm afraid the msx3 does not exist!!
Otherwise, we will no longer see infinite sprites in a horizontal row!

v9990 is the only chip-video.

Thank you
DanySoft

By erpirao

Hero (602)

erpirao's picture

11-09-2017, 18:07

DanySoft wrote:
Grauw wrote:

Since it is emulating the V9958, I expect the sprites are the same.

Okay, I'm sorry I thought it was a new computer with the new chipvideo.
but I'm afraid the msx3 does not exist!!
Otherwise, we will no longer see infinite sprites in a horizontal row!

v9990 is the only chip-video.

Thank you
DanySoft

a long time ago talking with Nerlaska told me that in 9978 (the VDP that has "invented") could use unlimited sprites as if they were bitmaps, in fact the bitmaps would behave like sprites.
this is the "MSX3" specification, this is a more or less correct transcription of the mail
it has been decided that people will use VDPENGINE (ie, COPY, etc.) to use as sprites.
Come on, use graphics on the pages of the VRAM as sprites. So, the idea is that SPRITES are the size you want and without restriction of anything, like normal graphics.
That's the idea. Therefore, they are sprites multicolor, of the size that you want, without limit of sprites in line
.
ah.. 4MEGABYTES VRAM to 9978

By DanySoft

Champion (391)

DanySoft's picture

12-09-2017, 12:40

erpirao wrote:
DanySoft wrote:
Grauw wrote:

Since it is emulating the V9958, I expect the sprites are the same.

Okay, I'm sorry I thought it was a new computer with the new chipvideo.
but I'm afraid the msx3 does not exist!!
Otherwise, we will no longer see infinite sprites in a horizontal row!

v9990 is the only chip-video.

Thank you
DanySoft

a long time ago talking with Nerlaska told me that in 9978 (the VDP that has "invented") could use unlimited sprites as if they were bitmaps, in fact the bitmaps would behave like sprites.
this is the "MSX3" specification, this is a more or less correct transcription of the mail
it has been decided that people will use VDPENGINE (ie, COPY, etc.) to use as sprites.
Come on, use graphics on the pages of the VRAM as sprites. So, the idea is that SPRITES are the size you want and without restriction of anything, like normal graphics.
That's the idea. Therefore, they are sprites multicolor, of the size that you want, without limit of sprites in line
.
ah.. 4MEGABYTES VRAM to 9978

Ok, but v9978 is not v9990, as he talked about in posts ...
V9978 is the next of v9958 but without evidence of its existence ...

V9990 is much more important than v9978 !!!

Quote:

"VDPENGINE (ie, COPY, etc.) to use as sprites"

Yes, but unfortunately COPY's speed depends on the cpu.
In this case, in Basic the copy becomes slower to build sprites with COPY.
Msx3 with hardware sprites is the solution. But now there is no more.
Greetings.

Quote:

ah.. 4MEGABYTES VRAM to 9978

The R # 14 register of v9938/v9958 has the other existing bits in addition to three available bits, this should still be another memory .....
But now they are limited to just 128K / 192k vram depending on the computer.

DanySoft

By journey

Master (184)

journey's picture

12-09-2017, 14:30

DanySoft]
erpirao wrote:
[quote=DanySoft
wrote:
Grauw wrote:

Since it is emulating the V9958, I expect the sprites are the same.

Ok, but v9978 is not v9990, as he talked about in posts ...
V9978 is the next of v9958 but without evidence of its existence ...

V9990 is much more important than v9978 !!!
DanySoft

For what I know, the V9990 is a "castrated" version of the V9978.

By erpirao

Hero (602)

erpirao's picture

12-09-2017, 19:59

hello,
"msx3 specifications"

Quote:

Does it include an MSX3?

The "MSX3" has not been officially defined by anyone yet. In a VRoBIT have invented some "extras" like the V9978 and the R8000 that are invented components for this hypothetical MSX3. The V9978 would be a video chip compatible with V9938 / V9958 and carrying additional things and the R8000 is an improved and compatible version of the R800. The "MSX3" configuration can be created and modified like any other configuration within a VRoBIT. A user can create his own machine and name it as he likes, associate the CPU, VDP, audio, RAM, etc. and then be able to use it in the games he wants or by default when starting the system or when he pleases specifying the name that has been given.

vrobit computer

By Thom

Champion (471)

Thom's picture

03-10-2017, 21:28

I've registered. I think. It's not that clear what to do, in my opinion. Yes, I know I'm stupid, but stupid people are also potential customers. If you want to sell a product, price/specs/how to buy/how to show interest must not raise any questions.

What would have been better is one simple sentence like "Interested? Register here (non-binding)"

On a positive note: I do like the product, although I'm mostly interested in de HC5001, which isn't on the site yet.

My MSX profile