Friday, 10 May 2030

Introduction

What the hell is a Pixbox? This is the project of a geeky developer (myself) who wanted to get his hands on one of those fun little credit card-size computers - but not knowing what to do with it -, who dreamt of having an arcade cabinet - but not having room to store it -, and who had a 5 year-old at home and wanted him to discover old-school video games.

The Pixbox is a Beaglebone Black-based 2-player "arcade stick", embedding several emulators tuned for the project, and a custom-made launcher. The aim was to emulate up to the 16-bit generation of consoles. I ended up with the following systems being emulated:

  • Arcade: with AdvanceMame. Not totally satisfying, a bit slow, but functional for several games
  • Gameboy: with AdvanceMess, works great
  • NES: with AdvanceMess, works great
  • Game Gear: with AdvanceMess. Blue-ish picture, but fully functional
  • Master System: with PicoDrive, works great
  • Genesis/Megadrive, Sega CD/Mega CD: with PicoDrive, works great
  • Super NES: with snes9x. Works fine on some games
  • NeoGeo: with gngeo, works great
  • Playstation: with Pcsx-rearmed, works great given the lack of hardware acceleration
  • PCEngine: with Hu-Go!: Work in progress, but already playable!
I hope this blog will help save time for fellow developers working on Beaglebone, Raspberry Pi and other systems. I intend to share the steps I have taken, and how to make every piece work as intended, from adapting/compiling emulators to developing the controls - and more!

Here are a few photos of the final steps of the projects.




The GUI...


And a video I recorded to send a demo to friends. Do not expect many comments...



Here is a list of the steps I followed and tried to expose in this blog:

  1. An OS for my 'Bone
  2. A word on the file system
  3. Building the compiler and a few essential libraries
  4. Turning the Beaglebone Black into a joystick controller
  5. NeoGeo emulation: gngeo
  6. Megadrive/Genesis, Master System, MegaCD/SegaCD, 32x emulation: Picodrive
  7. Super NES emulation: snes9x-sdl
  8. Arcade emulation: AdvanceMame
  9. Playstation emulation: pcsx-rearmed
  10. Misc. emulation: AdvanceMess
  11. A custom launcher 
  12. Misc. configuration
  13. PCEngine emulation: Hu-Go! [WIP]

3 comments:

  1. Hello Mr Rochel,
    How can I contact you about this project?
    I have some question for you...:)

    Compliments for your wonderfull project..!!
    My mail is :
    filipposignori76(at)gmail.com

    bye..!

    ReplyDelete

  2. If I could upload the image to a micro sd PixBox, it would be great.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! We really like this project and want to feature it on our website. If you are interested, kindly drop me a message on my e-mail: neilmula.eeweb@gmail.com . I'll be looking forward to your response! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete