• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Analogue announces Mega Sg (FPGA Sega Genesis/MD)

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/analogue-announces-the-mega-sg-a-sega-focused-retr/1100-6462560/

A new retro game console is on the way from Analogue, the company behind the Nt Mini and the Super Nt. The upcoming Mega Sg ($189) will play classic Sega Master System, Genesis, and Mega Drive games over HDMI, and there are plans to sell cartridge adapters for other systems down the road. The Mega Sg is also fully compatible with the original Sega CD add-on out of the box. Analogue claims 100% compatibility across all supported platforms. The console is available to pre-order now, and is scheduled to ship worldwide in April 2019.

Like Analogue's two most recent consoles, the Mega Sg is the brainchild of Kevin Horton, who is widely regarded as an expert when it comes to recreating classic gaming hardware on FPGA chips. Compared to software-based emulation, a properly configured FPGA results in a technically more accurate gameplay experience than a traditional emulator. The differences aren't massive, but for enthusiasts, the devil is in the details, and that's where Analogue and Horton have historically come out on top.

Analogue is pitching the Mega Sg as a reference-quality system, meaning that it offers clean audio and video signals without distortion or lag. Considering that the quality of Sega's original 16-bit hardware fluctuated wildly from one model or motherboard revision to the next, and that other third-party systems consistently fall short, the promise of clean audio from the simulated Yamaha YM2612 sound chip is high on the list of Mega Sg's feature set.

Thanks to the headphone port on the front, you will also have the option to connect directly to the system. Video options for the Mega Sg include the usual set of features for an Analogue system: scanline options, scaling and position adjustments, and HDMI resolutions of 480p, 720p, or 1080p.

Every Mega Sg will come packaged with a Master System cartridge adapter, and Analogue has plans to release additional adapters in 2019 for Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG-1000, and SC-3000 cartridges.

In discussing the upcoming console with Analogue founder Christopher Taber, we learned that the only apparent unchecked box is support for 32X games, via the original add-on hardware or otherwise. With the original 32X in mind, the necessary passthrough ports don't exist on the Mega Sg, and while Taber believes the device could be replicated on the FPGA inside the Mega Sg, he acknowledges that it isn't feasible in time for launch.




Amazing!
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 738976

Unconfirmed Member
Will those adapters work on real Genesis hardware? If not I don't really care.
 

BlackTron

Member
Jun 30, 2016
1,476
1,657
460
I don't see how the adapters could possibly run on a real Genesis unless the OG Genesis could play all those older platforms natively...which I doubt.

I happen to know Game Gear was essentially MegaDrive squeezed into a small (lol) space, but not much beyond that. So maybe if you had a GameGear adapter for Mega Drive...oh wait :D
 

Meesh

Member
Jan 6, 2007
5,512
445
1,365
43
Canada
Holy. Just... holy fuck that looks sick!
I need this, right after I manage to get a super NT. It's a great design aesthetically, a big ol' Sega wet dream right there.
 

baphomet

Member
Oct 29, 2011
6,468
1,972
870
Denver, CO
I don't see how the adapters could possibly run on a real Genesis unless the OG Genesis could play all those older platforms natively...which I doubt.

I happen to know Game Gear was essentially MegaDrive squeezed into a small (lol) space, but not much beyond that. So maybe if you had a GameGear adapter for Mega Drive...oh wait :D

Game Gear was basically a Master System.
 

wipeout364

Member
Jun 13, 2004
2,279
1,309
1,590
I don’t want to derail the thread but what happened to that Atari console that was supposed to be coming out?
Also that looks pretty awesome.
 

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
I absolutely love their homepage right now. It's a pic of this:



With the caption: Console wars are back


I don’t want to derail the thread but what happened to that Atari console that was supposed to be coming out?
Also that looks pretty awesome.

Was it Analogue making it? And FPGA?
 
Last edited:

DigitalScrap

Gold Member
Jan 21, 2015
1,674
1,048
750
I don’t want to derail the thread but what happened to that Atari console that was supposed to be coming out?
Also that looks pretty awesome.

The AtariBox (now the Atari VCS)?

They still haven’t shown anything, and their updates on Indiegogo are vague. They are supposed to ship July 2019. I have a feeling it will never ship though.
 
Last edited:

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
For the ones getting one, which color scheme are you going with?

I gotta go with what I know, love and grew up with:



The Japanese color scheme definitely looks great though.
 

DigitalScrap

Gold Member
Jan 21, 2015
1,674
1,048
750
For the ones getting one, which color scheme are you going with?

I originally was going to get the US version, but I am actually leaning towards the European version. I just think it looks cleaner without the coloring.
 
Last edited:

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
I originally was going to get the US version, but I am actually leaning towards the European version. I just think it looks cleaner without the coloring.

European does look good. You really can't go wrong with the 3 different black ones. I'd say the Japanese version is the best looking imo, but having nostalgia just overtakes all. I gotta match my USA Super NT with that USA Mega Sg :).

I'm not really feeling the all white one tho. Definitely would be my last choice.

If they can get 32x support in this thing, that is going to be crazy amazing. I was reading NintendoLife's article earlier where they talked to the head of Analogue and he had more to say about 32x support:

Indeed, the ill-fated 32X is the only format that the Mega Sg isn't currently capable of supporting – but Analogue is working on a solution. "The original 32X is incompatible in HD due to its complex reliance on analog multi-link cables," Taber explains. "We're exploring solutions for using the original hardware in conjunction with Mega Sg post-launch. There are no promises just yet, but what I'd really love to do is implement the entire 32X in FPGA – no need for the original 32X hardware then."
 

DigitalScrap

Gold Member
Jan 21, 2015
1,674
1,048
750
There are no promises just yet, but what I'd really love to do is implement the entire 32X in FPGA – no need for the original 32X hardware then.

Now this would be amazing.
 
Dec 29, 2009
946
19
860
For the ones getting one, which color scheme are you going with?

I gotta go with what I know, love and grew up with:



The Japanese color scheme definitely looks great though.

My favourite in descending order are: JAP > USA > EUR, and then the white one I don't know if I love it or hate it. I know that, had I gotten the black SNT, I would be getting the white one. As it is, I think I'm going to preorder the JAP one.
 

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
My favourite in descending order are: JAP > USA > EUR, and then the white one I don't know if I love it or hate it. I know that, had I gotten the black SNT, I would be getting the white one. As it is, I think I'm going to preorder the JAP one.

That's how I rank them too. Japanese is definitely the best looking.

I'm just not feeling the white one. If I was forced to get it, I'd still love it the same :). It's still going to be an amazing device.

Add sega cd and being able to run romhacks and i am sold

I would think if it plays on a real Genesis, it will more than likely work on Mega Sg. That's pretty much how the Super NT is.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
19,299
5,094
2,110
Received my controller today, so the Mega SG can’t be very far behind.



The buttons and dpad feel nice. Overall it feels *right*. The receiver is a lot smaller than I had expected based on the renders. Here’s hoping 8bit do has solved their input lag issues with the 2.4g wireless.
 
Last edited:

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
Received my controller today, so the Mega SG can’t be very far behind.



The buttons and dpad feel nice. Overall it feels *right*. The receiver is a lot smaller than I had expected based on the renders. Here’s hoping 8bit do has solved their input lag issues with the 2.4g wireless.

Got mine last night too!

It does feel really good. I used it on my Genesis (via Framemesiter) and played last night. I didn't notice any lag. It worked great.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
19,299
5,094
2,110
In an amazing reversal from their early days, Analogue has announced the Mega SG is shipping early, 25 March


Love the remake of the old Genesis ad.

Can’t wait to get mine and get some Virtua Racing, Sonic 3 and Streets of Rage 2 going
 
Last edited:

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
In an amazing reversal from their early days, Analogue has announced the Mega SG is shipping early, 25 March


Love the remake of the old Genesis ad.

Can’t wait to get mine and get some Virtua Racing, Sonic 3 and Streets of Rage 2 going

That is amazing! Can not wait!

I'm still undecided what I will play first. It should be a cleaner looking picture than my model 1 via the Framemeister since I have those jailbars (though they're not too bad) that are visible on certain colors. Really looking forward to testing it out.
 
Last edited:

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
They shipped mine out yesterday! Didn't know until I checked my emails a little while ago, Gonna be here Tuesday. Super excited!
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
19,299
5,094
2,110
They shipped mine out yesterday! Didn't know until I checked my emails a little while ago, Gonna be here Tuesday. Super excited!

Same here, shipped yesterday to UK! Anyone claimed the OT? I’d love to do it but can only post it on Wednesday, am in Africa until then
 

dolabla

Member
Oct 9, 2013
5,873
12,682
1,005
Did not get mine today :(. It stayed stucked in Texas until this morning for some reason. But there are some reviews!




This thing is crisp!
 

scalman

Member
Feb 6, 2019
2,906
1,981
395
Somehow i like my old games being emulated with best shader filter , not being as original pixelated and not crisp. It looks night and day compare to original. Why would you wanna look at that picture.
 
Oct 26, 2018
17,511
24,350
795
I wonder how many retroboxes and minis (licensed or not) of gear like Genesis have had since it was discontinued in the 90s.

I think there's been 3 licensed minis alone.
 

McCheese

Member
Jan 7, 2018
2,020
4,982
600
Valve's Digital Distribution Platform
Mine arrived today.

It's bloody lush.

Oopsie Daisy

First off, they sent me the wrong one - ended up with 'USA' edition instead of the 'JAP' edition, but can't be arsed to return it seeing as it's just one little button colour and the dashboard can be changed in the settings.

So, let's talk Firmware!

When you guys get yours, upgrade the firmware first as the one it comes shipped with is rather basic (and missing the built-in game) compared to the latest on the website, when you upgrade it'll also lose all your existing settings so it's easier just to get it done off the bat.

If you have the 2.4g M30 controller, which is the one it comes with if you ordered that pack, and also the one on Amazon at the moment, you also need to upgrade that ASAP. The stock firmware has a nasty issue where it just disconnects constantly or buttons don't always register. Unfortunately, this is a real faff and somewhat confusing as there are actually two versions of the M30, the 2.4g one has a tiny stubby little dongle and isn't Bluetooth, then there is another 'Bluetooth' version that has a much longer dongle (ooh matron) - but that's not affected.

So presuming you do have a stubby 2.4g version, to upgrade the receiver you'll need a special screwdriver, a 'plus blossom T6' which is a very small one of those weird star-shaped ones. I don't think they ever intended to release a firmware update for it, so you have to take it apart to get to the hidden micro USB port. You'll also need to update the pad, but that's easier as no disassembly is required. However, their instructions are poor, hold L+R+Start and RELEASE THEM ALL the moment both lights flash at the top, if you just keep holding them it'll never go into update mode. Had me stumped for 20 minutes.

Phew, 3 firmware upgrades later - you're ready to go!

First impressions

Like the Super NT, this thing is premium as fuck. The box comes with some classy USB and HDMI cables with the logo on, the system itself, a very nice but unfortunately completely useless outside of the USA plug > USB socket, a special rubber mat to place the thing on so you can plug it into a Mega CD2 (but is also just a nice rubber matt to use regardless!) and the master system adapter.

Going to sound like an idiot, but the Master System adapter is fucking cool by itself, it's completely transparent and has a circuit board with the analogue logo on it. I'm a whore for transparent things, especially with chipsets etc on display.

I had a bit of an issue with my Super NT where the cart slot was too tight and it was hard to remove games, and games wobbled quite a lot which could crash them (if you are dumb enough to wobble it whilst playing anyway). Thankfully neither of these issues affect my SG, cart slot is perfect and no wobble. I did have some trouble getting my M30 dongle in the controller port, but that's likely due to not screwing it up very tight after the firmware upgrade.

Settings and Dashboard


Stock dashboard is basically the Super NT one, but if you update it (you DID update it right?) then it takes on a different look and feel. Has all the options of the Super NT, plus some newer ones. It's able to crop the overscan regions off which clean up some of the garbled mess that was 'off screen' on old CRT displays, and also has some pretty in-depth audio tweaking settings which let you adjust things I don't really understand, but my understanding is the Megadrive revisions all sounded a bit different, and so these settings should let you recreate it 'as you remember it'.

The only negative I have here is the scanlines are still buggered on 1080p, if you want even scanlines you need to shift it down to 720p output. Kevtris has said he'll come back to this (on both SuperNt and this) but, yer.. it's annoying, as the dashboard looks much nicer in 1080p, the font they use for the SG looks like trash at 720 (but you can change it).

It's still super cool how you can create custom animations for the LED colour, I always just do the 'center pixel' setting where it changes colour based on whats on screen. Stupid, pointless, and I love it.

Emulation

Perfect, at least from the limited selection of games I tried on the thing. Mega CD also ran perfectly (just enable 'Allow CD Audio' in the system settings). Some folks have reported a weird hissing sound, but I couldn't recreate that, might be that they left CD audio enabled as when I enabled audio pass thru on the Super NT for the Super Gameboy a similar thing happened.

Games look incredible in 1080p, Sonic is so bright and colourful and the audio is fantastic. No tearing, frame-pacing or any issues at all really. Also tried playing some old PAL games in 50hz mode and yup, they play like PAL games.

Overall

So overall, it's bloody great. The modern-day firmware faff is a bit annoying, but once done this is by far the best way to play Megadrive games.
 
Last edited:

RAIDEN1

Member
Aug 2, 2013
2,888
1,379
740
Makes you wonder why Sega find it so difficult to do what the producers behind this could achieve..
 
Dec 29, 2009
946
19
860
Mine arrived today.

It's bloody lush.

Oopsie Daisy

First off, they sent me the wrong one - ended up with 'USA' edition instead of the 'JAP' edition, but can't be arsed to return it seeing as it's just one little button colour and the dashboard can be changed in the settings.

So, let's talk Firmware!

When you guys get yours, upgrade the firmware first as the one it comes shipped with is rather basic (and missing the built-in game) compared to the latest on the website, when you upgrade it'll also lose all your existing settings so it's easier just to get it done off the bat.

If you have the 2.4g M30 controller, which is the one it comes with if you ordered that pack, and also the one on Amazon at the moment, you also need to upgrade that ASAP. The stock firmware has a nasty issue where it just disconnects constantly or buttons don't always register. Unfortunately, this is a real faff and somewhat confusing as there are actually two versions of the M30, the 2.4g one has a tiny stubby little dongle and isn't Bluetooth, then there is another 'Bluetooth' version that has a much longer dongle (ooh matron) - but that's not affected.

So presuming you do have a stubby 2.4g version, to upgrade the receiver you'll need a special screwdriver, a 'plus blossom T6' which is a very small one of those weird star-shaped ones. I don't think they ever intended to release a firmware update for it, so you have to take it apart to get to the hidden micro USB port. You'll also need to update the pad, but that's easier as no disassembly is required. However, their instructions are poor, hold L+R+Start and RELEASE THEM ALL the moment both lights flash at the top, if you just keep holding them it'll never go into update mode. Had me stumped for 20 minutes.

Phew, 3 firmware upgrades later - you're ready to go!

First impressions

Like the Super NT, this thing is premium as fuck. The box comes with some classy USB and HDMI cables with the logo on, the system itself, a very nice but unfortunately completely useless outside of the USA plug > USB socket, a special rubber mat to place the thing on so you can plug it into a Mega CD2 (but is also just a nice rubber matt to use regardless!) and the master system adapter.

Going to sound like an idiot, but the Master System adapter is fucking cool by itself, it's completely transparent and has a circuit board with the analogue logo on it. I'm a whore for transparent things, especially with chipsets etc on display.

I had a bit of an issue with my Super NT where the cart slot was too tight and it was hard to remove games, and games wobbled quite a lot which could crash them (if you are dumb enough to wobble it whilst playing anyway). Thankfully neither of these issues affect my SG, cart slot is perfect and no wobble. I did have some trouble getting my M30 dongle in the controller port, but that's likely due to not screwing it up very tight after the firmware upgrade.

Settings and Dashboard


Stock dashboard is basically the Super NT one, but if you update it (you DID update it right?) then it takes on a different look and feel. Has all the options of the Super NT, plus some newer ones. It's able to crop the overscan regions off which clean up some of the garbled mess that was 'off screen' on old CRT displays, and also has some pretty in-depth audio tweaking settings which let you adjust things I don't really understand, but my understanding is the Megadrive revisions all sounded a bit different, and so these settings should let you recreate it 'as you remember it'.

The only negative I have here is the scanlines are still buggered on 1080p, if you want even scanlines you need to shift it down to 720p output. Kevtris has said he'll come back to this (on both SuperNt and this) but, yer.. it's annoying, as the dashboard looks much nicer in 1080p, the font they use for the SG looks like trash at 720 (but you can change it).

It's still super cool how you can create custom animations for the LED colour, I always just do the 'center pixel' setting where it changes colour based on whats on screen. Stupid, pointless, and I love it.

Emulation

Perfect, at least from the limited selection of games I tried on the thing. Mega CD also ran perfectly (just enable 'Allow CD Audio' in the system settings). Some folks have reported a weird hissing sound, but I couldn't recreate that, might be that they left CD audio enabled as when I enabled audio pass thru on the Super NT for the Super Gameboy a similar thing happened.

Games look incredible in 1080p, Sonic is so bright and colourful and the audio is fantastic. No tearing, frame-pacing or any issues at all really. Also tried playing some old PAL games in 50hz mode and yup, they play like PAL games.

Overall

So overall, it's bloody great. The modern-day firmware faff is a bit annoying, but once done this is by far the best way to play Megadrive games.

Thank you so much for the review, particularly about the firmware. Do you happen to know of any guide regarding updating the 2.4g receiver?
 

Impotaku

Member
Jul 26, 2014
2,469
1,192
575
Leeds / UK
On the other forum i post on someone ordered a japanese model of the sg and they sent him a euro version instead and they totally refuse to take it back or exchange it even though it was their mistake. Sounds like a shit company to me, better pray the version you order is the one that turns up or you are shit out of luck. The guy is having to initiate a fraud charge with his bank as he has been left with no other choice.
 
Oct 26, 2018
17,511
24,350
795
On the other forum i post on someone ordered a japanese model of the sg and they sent him a euro version instead and they totally refuse to take it back or exchange it even though it was their mistake. Sounds like a shit company to me, better pray the version you order is the one that turns up or you are shit out of luck. The guy is having to initiate a fraud charge with his bank as he has been left with no other choice.
Any company run like Mickey Mouse should be avoided. If this place is screwing someone over payng for return shipping, forget it.

If they don't even want to cover re-shipping costs due to an error, have fun trying to get a refund or repairs done under warranty.
 

Impotaku

Member
Jul 26, 2014
2,469
1,192
575
Leeds / UK
Any company run like Mickey Mouse should be avoided. If this place is screwing someone over payng for return shipping, forget it.

If they don't even want to cover re-shipping costs due to an error, have fun trying to get a refund or repairs done under warranty.

It's terrible service especially for the price the thing costs.
 
Last edited:

McCheese

Member
Jan 7, 2018
2,020
4,982
600
Valve's Digital Distribution Platform
I've dealt with their customer services before, it's just the one person I think, but they were super helpful and offered to send a replacement PCB free-of-charge when my cart slot got damaged under warranty.

When I received the wrong Mega SG they gave me a few options, which did include returning the current one and getting the correct one sent out when they are back in stock (at no charge to myself), but as you can imagine they were pushing pretty hard for me just to keep it and offered a $25 refund which I accepted. I did get a copy and paste 'the European version is actually the most rare!' paragraph which was a bit ironic as I'd clearly told them I had a USA edition by mistake.

But It's important to remember they are a very small specialist company and so don't have the supply chain, money or resources just to send brand new systems out to what seems to be a large number of folks who got the wrong colour. Sounds like their distribution partner really screwed things up.
 
Last edited: