Sunrise develops Game Reader

by snout on 26-12-2003, 03:00
Topic: Hardware

Sunrise informed us they are working on an MSX Game Reader based on the designs of Mr. Tsujikawa, which were published in MSX Magazine 2 and used for the Game Reader that ASCII sold more than 3.500 times in Japan.

With a Game Reader you can connect MSX cartridges to your PC and run them on MSXPLAYer. Perhaps other emulators will support this extension in the future as well. It is currently not known when or at what price the Sunrise Game Readers will be available.

Comments (14)

By Arjan

Paladin (787)

Arjan's picture

26-12-2003, 15:02

nice! maybe they could add support for I/O based stuff to, so one could connect a MoonSound, GFX9000 e.g. to it as well?

By djh1697

Paragon (1702)

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26-12-2003, 15:32

It is a nice thought, but at what price? and who will buy. I personally own a lot of cartridge based games. I have freely downloaded ROM images for these games so I can use them on my emulators. Is there such a need for this product ?

If there was full I/O on it then that would be a different matter Smile A device that reads a ROM image and loads it into an emulator, I am not sure that Sunrise would be onto a winner, perhaps there should be a poll ?

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

26-12-2003, 15:53

There is absolute no need for a poll. Its success is already proven by 3860 people who ordered it in Japan. Our goal is to develop it in order to let it work under more emulators as RUMSX,NLMSX and Open MSX. It might lead to less use of illegal stuff.

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

26-12-2003, 16:05

I think a poll on this would only conclude the number of users voting no to have more illegal than legal rom images and it's a good idea to develop a version to enable use on other emulators. Will it be possible to use more than one Game Reader enabling Konami combinations?

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

26-12-2003, 17:12

Yes, this is already possible with the ASCII Game Readers. Every game reader has a Slot 1/Slot 2 switch. Use two cartridges and you can combine anything you want.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

26-12-2003, 20:04

Sunrise wrote: "Our goal is to develop it in order to let it work under more emulators as RUMSX,NLMSX and Open MSX."

Seems to me you only need to ask MSX Association for the driver API. It's a huge waste of time to make your own identical hardware, when it can be ordered from Japan.

Even if you can't get the API for the driver, you have to program the driver yourself. Then, also, there's no need for making your own hardware. Both of which costs time, money and a lot of effort.

I don't think any of this is your work. I'm sure MSX Association will be pleased to make the API available to emulator programmers in order to reduce illegal activity.

I think it's a good idea to ask the admins of MRC about this, they seem to have good contacts with MSX Association.

By mth

Champion (507)

mth's picture

27-12-2003, 10:04

I'd like to have this device working in openMSX. Does it use an existing protocol for accessing cartridges, or does it have it's own protocol? In the latter case, we'd need both OS drivers and emulator support. The OS drivers would be independent from the emulator used, ofcourse. Preferably, there would be Windows, Linux and MacOSX drivers. I'd be willing to help with the Linux drivers, although I have no experience in kernel hacking yet (except for a minor fix in a LIRC driver).

I have my doubts about the usefulness of this device though. Why would you use your original cartridge in an emulator if you can use a ROM image as well and get exactly the same result? Nowadays, I rip my original CDs to MP3 or Ogg Vorbis because I just want to click on an album title to play it instead of changing CDs. It would be useful if this device could control for example sound cartridges, but from what I've read so far that's not possible. However, since the device has a high cool factor, I'd like to support it in openMSX nevertheless.

About the "It might lead to less use of illegal stuff." statement: how would this work? If you own the original cartridge, you can use the ROM image legally. If you don't, this device won't stop you from using the ROM image illegally. Actually, is it really that useful to try to reduce illegal copying of out-of-production games? The whole point of buying games legally is that it enables game companies to make more games (this is why copyright exists).

What I think would be useful, is for MSX Association to provide an API to their download service. That way, people could buy MSX games and play them in the emulator of their choice. The MRC downloads and webshop could profit from such an API as well.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

27-12-2003, 11:54

Thanks for open opinion 'MTH' . Sunrise will be at service for as much lays in our ability with info needed. If it is support for drivers etc. I will take contact myself with Lech of RuMSX. Now I am curious about the opinion of the people behind NLMSX.
Sandy or Frits?
The Sunrise Gamereader as said is almost identical to the ASCII one.
But in a hardware way they have no say in it but Tusjikawa is copyrightholder. ,
We had to speak about ASCII and not MSX Associations. Because they have nothing to do with the reader. If ASCII will be at service as regards the copyrighted API- driver at e.g. a license that can be at our disposal for a reasonable price
If this not the case , well I would be glad to give three readers away for development for drivers.
Guyver, sorry but your remark -if I understand it well- says in fact buy it directly from ASCII , right. ASCII made a gimmick that you can order just once. By us it continues as long as there is a demand. So DJH I donot speak in terms of winners or losers.
We do consider everything always careful before launching it.

By elements

Master (179)

elements's picture

27-12-2003, 12:45

sunrise have to develop an gamereader with extra options for graphics9000 and moonsound catridge. its stimulate also their salesassortment to enjoy in commercial market.

my wishes for sunrise usb gamereader is: fully compatible/support with msxplayer and other emulators with extra hardware (ideinterface or rs2323c catridge, megascsi catridge etc.) expanding. specially uzix support for graphics9000.

is it also possible to built an usb game reader for gameboy or nes and snes or other gameconsoles?

By djh1697

Paragon (1702)

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27-12-2003, 16:43

I have been told - sorry for my negative comments - and all the best in the devolpment Smile

How is your ethernetcard development going? We are getting all excited Smile Shame we have no slot expanders to put it all in.

By Grauw

Ascended (10767)

Grauw's picture

27-12-2003, 17:45

Problem with I/O support is that it requires a fast, responsive bus. Timing is quite important for that, while for memory I/O, well, it can be cached and all... By the way, I wonder whether it works with memory-based devices, for example the Sunrise IDE interface (or the PAC)... I guess it depends on whether the cartridge is read out in its entirity once at the beginning of emulation or that it's done 'live', and whether there is writing support. My guess is the first, as it would otherwise put quite a high load on the USB bus, and it would add another bottleneck to the emulation speed.


By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

27-12-2003, 20:35

Sunrise wrote: "ASCII made a gimmick that you can order just once."

If you're talking about the pre-ordering that needed at least 3000 pieces sold, that's a common method in japan for seeing if there's interest for a product. Now, it's permanently for sale.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

27-12-2003, 22:06

We can see what is possible in the i/o surroundings if I may call it that way.

Side remark -ethernetcard-
For people waiting for the ethernetcard the following. First step is to establish a sdram-mapper. This mapper will be ready approx Tilburg-fair ( IF held ofcourse).
The time needed for the Gamereader is very short otherwise we hadnot done it.

By Argon

Paragon (1126)

Argon's picture

10-01-2004, 13:57

If you develop a Game Reader, it might also be interesting to develop a MegaRAM Smile