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Terraonion MegaSD: Mega-CD/Sega CD FPGA Optical Disc Emulator for Mega Drive/Genesis/Mega Sg

Bullet Club

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Oct 24, 2017
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The ultimate accessory for Genesis/Mega Drive. Complete FPGA recreation of the entire Mega-CD/Sega CD hardware into a plug and play Cartridge

World’s First Mega-CD/Sega CD FPGA Optical Disc Emulator

• Plays both ISOS (bin+cue) and ROMS

• RAM based cartridge for instant boot

• Compatible with all original and region free patched Mega-CD / Sega CD bios

• Supports Megadrive / Genesis, Sega CD / Mega-CD, Master System and 32X games (requires 32X add-on)


Fully Supports original Megadrive and Genesis hardware (Nomad included)

• Fully compatible with Analogue Mega Sg!

• Easy to use interface for navigating your collection with screenshots, genre, year and description

• Save State support for Megadrive and Genesis Cartridge games (8 slots)

• Built in cheat engine for Megadrive and Genesis cartridge games

• Emulates all different Genesis / Mega Drive / Master System / 32x cartridge mappers.

• Stores all different Genesis / Mega Drive / Master System / 32x cartridge saves into microsd card.

• Per game Mega-CD / Sega CD Backup RAM and Cartridge RAM stored into microsd card

• Master System FM Core

• In-Game menu for fast reboot and swapping games (Genesis / Megadrive and Mega-CD / Sega CD)

Enhanced Mega Drive games with CD audio and Mega-CD / Sega CD hardware (MSU1 like)


• 400GB Exfat microsd supported


NOTICE : This item starts shipping first week of August 2019 by strict purchase order, shipping times will depend on sales volumes


Terraonion's MegaSD will play Sega CD games with FPGA power

Analogue's Mega Sg remains one of the more interesting niche products we've reviewed in the last little while, but one thing it couldn't do was play Sega CD games on its own. As we mentioned in the Mega Sg review, this hardware is all pushing 30 years old, and failures are bound to happen. What's a lag snob retro purist to do? Today on its live YouTube stream, Terraonion announced one possible answer: the MegaSD, an FGPA-based cartridge that not only plays Genesis and Master System games with full FM audio support, but Sega CD games as well.



Terraonion is already widely known for its line of NeoSD cartridges that play in NeoGeo MVS (arcade) and AES (home console) systems and the Super SD System 3 (SSDS3) which emulates the PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16's CD add-on with an FPGA. The SSDS3 is closer to the MegaSD, since both add-ons replace the original consoles' optical add-on with an SD card reading ISO images and playing them back on original hardware. Several retro YouTubers have gotten their hands on the hardware early and have nice things to say. Bob from RetroRGB says on Twitter that the cartridge pulls less power than the original Virtua Racing cartridge for the Genesis and shouldn't put any undue strain on your vintage hardware.

The Sega CD is a beefier beast than the PC Engine Super CD drive. Sega's add-on boasts a second Motorola 68000 CPU and a custom video display processor (VDP) from Sega. These extra processors have been emulated in FPGA to work on the Mega Sg as well as original hardware, including the Genesis 3 (which can't interface with the Sega CD) and the ill-fated Genesis Nomad handheld. The Nomad does require some minor modifications to connect analog audio from the cartridge, however.

The MegaSD works with these previously-incompatible systems because it connects to the console via the cartridge slot, not the side connector normally reserved for the Sega CD. One downside to Terraonion's approach of using the cartridge slot instead of the extension port on the side of the console is that the six games that use both the Sega CD and the 32X will not work since the 32X hardware blocks access to the CD bits in the cartridge slot. However, Terraonion promises that this can be fixed with a passive adapter that lets the cartridge run from the expansion port, and will produce one if there's enough interest.

Terraonion's SSDS3 was mired in a little controversy because both the RGB video and analog audio output from the system were marred by noise, and when confronted about it, Terraonion initially refused to acknowledge the issue. The retro modding community stepped up with a pair of fixes: a video board designed by Voultar and an upgraded audio amp created by FirebrandX. Both of those projects were released as open-source designs, and some industrious modders offer modification services for one or both of these mods. Terraonion later fixed these issues in its Revision B hardware and directly addressed the SSDS3 in today's video. The company says that not only did it learn from those mistakes, but hired on FirebrandX to help design the cartridge audio connector for the MegaSD. Since the Sega CD didn't output video directly, analog noise in video isn't an issue. With any luck, this device will come out of the gate sans controversy.

The most surprising thing to come out of Terraonion's announcement is that the MegaSD will be ready to go very soon. Terraonion's web shop lists the MegaSD at a hair-raising €232 and €18 shipping to the USA. The company says the MegaSD will start shipping in early August. That's around $280 US at current exchange rates. When compared with the $180 Mega Everdrive X7, which will play Master System games but not Sega CD games, Terraonion's optical emulator delivers additional value for less than the cost of a used Sega CD on eBay. I'm currently scrounging around in the couch cushions to see what I can dig up.

 

Spukc

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Jan 24, 2015
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I am sorry what the fuck happened to the costs of sega cd ?

I got mine for 40 about 3 years ago 🤣
Plays back up cds just fine.

This thing looks overpriced as f.
Oooh its that neogeo dude.

He aint getting a penny xD
 

nush

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Oct 16, 2017
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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
i worked on this. feel free to ask whatever u want!
I'd love to know about manufacturing and the development process. It's my area of expertise and these projects are something my background could help with. Probably a bit deep dive to be of interest on the forum so better to have a chat on DM. Boring stuff for most people about PCBA manufacture and tooling.
 

alienator

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I'd love to know about manufacturing and the development process. It's my area of expertise and these projects are something my background could help with. Probably a bit deep dive to be of interest on the forum so better to have a chat on DM. Boring stuff for most people about PCBA manufacture and tooling.
u should get onto our discord then and talk to the engineers, im merely just the pixel guy of the gui's and logos ;)
 

Ceallach

Smells like fresh rosebuds
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Enhanced Mega Drive games with CD audio and Mega-CD / Sega CD hardware (MSU1 like)

Is there a decent selection of roms hacked for this comparable to MSU1 hacks?
 

alienator

Member
Mar 1, 2010
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Enhanced Mega Drive games with CD audio and Mega-CD / Sega CD hardware (MSU1 like)

Is there a decent selection of roms hacked for this comparable to MSU1 hacks?

u can add cd audio to ANY rom if u want, with a bin/cue and a tool to patch the rom(s)
 

Ceallach

Smells like fresh rosebuds
Aug 8, 2007
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While that's interesting, half the appeal of the Genny is that YM2612
 

lame gag1990

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While that's interesting, half the appeal of the Genny is that YM2612

One benefit to this is that some games have music that cuts a certain channel out to play sound effects. So in theory, you could play the music back without any channels "multi tasking" so to speak. You could have other things like the arcade music on Street Fighter 2 Turbo. You could play Revenge of Shinobi with the Shinobi & Works OST (it has better percussion). I think there is potential with this. I understand where you are coming from though.
 
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Chittagong

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I’m not sure I understand how this works? Does the Megadrive support video pass through via the cartridge pins or what? So the cart is a whole Mega CD and simply passes that video over?

And how does the 32X stuff work since the 32X used analog video overlays, with more intensive stuff rendered in the 32X and passed as a video feed to be overlaid with native graphics in the Megadrive
 
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ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
Jun 10, 2008
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Excellent hands on with the Sega SD! (Day One!)

 

Lancelot

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I’m not sure I understand how this works? Does the Megadrive support video pass through via the cartridge pins or what? So the cart is a whole Mega CD and simply passes that video over?

And how does the 32X stuff work since the 32X used analog video overlays, with more intensive stuff rendered in the 32X and passed as a video feed to be overlaid with native graphics in the Megadrive

32X works only on original hardware by now. I really hope to see a FPGA implementation soon, I love the 32X, it has great games.
 
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cireza

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Already pre-ordered.

i worked on this. feel free to ask whatever u want!
For each game, the equivalent of a RAM Cartridge containing only the save of the game played is emulated and stored on SD card, is this correct ?

I’m not sure I understand how this works? Does the Megadrive support video pass through via the cartridge pins or what? So the cart is a whole Mega CD and simply passes that video over?
The MegaDrive is the one outputting the picture from the Mega-CD to start with. There is no additional lead for the picture. The cart is the whole Mega-CD yes. It is an incredibly convenient replacement.

Why was it decided not to include 32X emulation? Is the FPGA not adequate or is 32X emulation too difficult?
Probably no FPGA yet and would also require to add In and Out leads for the picture, which makes it even more complicated. But it would be awesome if it comes to exist one day.
 

shark sandwich

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So does the Genesis actually do anything when playing a Sega CD game? Or is it just outputting the video that the Sega CD feeds it?
 

alienator

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Why was it decided not to include 32X emulation? Is the FPGA not adequate or is 32X emulation too difficult?

the 32x is a whole different best with its 32bit sh2 chips, unfortunately, and then theres the split video signal. that needs to be mixed together.
 
Jan 29, 2019
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I got mine for 40 about 3 years ago 🤣
Plays back up cds just fine.

This thing looks overpriced as f.
I'm not sure where you found a Sega CD for 40$ in the last 3 years!

Given how many people are likely to buy the Mega SD, I believe the price is warranted (a few thousands if he is lucky?), it lets you play any sega CD, genesis or sms games on your original Sega Genesis, so long as you have the ROMs, without restrictions, and without many of the quirks of emulation (for the Genesis and SMS anyway) - no need to keep a ton of old physical disks or carts around.

As always, if you find it too expensive, don't buy it, if enough people think the same the price is bound to come down.
 

Spukc

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Jan 24, 2015
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I'm not sure where you found a Sega CD for 40$ in the last 3 years!

Given how many people are likely to buy the Mega SD, I believe the price is warranted (a few thousands if he is lucky?), it lets you play any sega CD, genesis or sms games on your original Sega Genesis, so long as you have the ROMs, without restrictions, and without many of the quirks of emulation (for the Genesis and SMS anyway) - no need to keep a ton of old physical disks or carts around.

As always, if you find it too expensive, don't buy it, if enough people think the same the price is bound to come down.
Fair enough.
Same for the neogeo AES flashcart
 

cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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These guys have done a pretty shitty move for their European customers, everybody is angry on their forum, but they don't even bother answering. They are not answering their customers via direct email either. Unacceptable.

They opened the pre-orders in June and shipped everything around July/August. But after having shipped everything, they silently announced in a blog post that they were actually located in Andorra since 2 months, and not Spain anymore.

For all European buyers, this means going from 0 taxes to 70/90 euros taxes.

They did not communicate about moving to Andorra, event though they were already there. There was no information, it was still the old website saying that the company was in Spain. This is a very shitty move.

Because they are in Andorra, "express" shipping also takes way more than a month. Extremely disappointed by their attitude, lesson learned for trying to support a European company.

They really need to make an apology and a partial refund for all buyers that were fucked, that's the least they can do.

A alienator : you said you worked on this, care to comment this situation ?
 
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Feb 19, 2010
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Also worth noting is the fact that it seems that they have not slashed their prices to reflect the fact that VAT is not included (following their moving from Spain to Andorra to avoid taxes). And once you receive the item, you will be charged VAT/Import Tax on top. Shitty move.
 
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