1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 13, 2018 8:08 AM by mayermakes

    Ultimate Universal Gaming


      This is going to be a long story, so just bare with me here while I give you the layout. I'm an avid retrogamer and someone who's always been fascinated with wanting to learn about the technical and mechanical side to the games I play. That means I've been drawn to a lot of consoles that purport to be "the best", "the most cutting edge", "more systems than anyone else" so...I wanted to come up with this idea. Every time I see these emulators, they only have the SNES model, which works fine alright, but I want something TRULY universal. I don't know if this will be a full-blown console, or just a portable system like an Xbox laptop or whatever (one of my plans was to just modify a Wii-U gamepad but that's not totally off the table yet).


      Here's the thing I was pondering for the longest time: compatibility with as many systems as possible--which includes consoles, portables, even home computers if I feel like it (which would require throwing in Bluetooth just to make it easy on myself; y'know, just to throw in DOS, C64, whatever else I'd really need to cover). So, what I came up with was that the PlayStation Dualshock controller (the second controller for the PlayStation 1/default for PS2) would be able to fit that but also perfectly suit most other consoles; four face buttons, D-pad, two shoulder buttons (each), L3/R3 analog sticks, Start/Select/Analog (that last one would probably be repurposed for emulator menus or something, if not just have an unrelated button altogether), covers virtually everything. However, here's where I immediately hit my first speed-bump when I was going down my list:

      -Atari 2600 = Covered (though that's the simplest one)

      -Atari 7800 = Covered

      -NES = Covered

      -SNES = Covered

      -Game Boy = Covered (through GBA; [3]DS is a little sketchy with the touch screen but I'll circle back to that)

      -Turbo Grafx-16 = Covered

      -Sega Genesis = Covered (mostly; CD and 32X are obviously included)

      -Neo Geo/CD = [Both] Covered

      -Playstation = Covered (arguably up through current, if we're only taking inputs for games into account)

      -Game Gear = Covered

      -Atari Lynx = Covered

      -3DO = Covered

      -Virtual Boy = Covered (since there's only 2 games that use both D-pads, and I can just use the analog sticks regardless, no further issues)

      -Neo Geo Pocket = Covered

      -Wonderswan = Covered (little tricky with the two D-pads on this one, but I ultimately agreed I could resolve this by keeping the one D-Pad for X1-4 and using the shoulders for Y1-4; otherwise no further issues)

      -Game.com = (Mostly) Covered (again, touch screen; I'd probably ignore this one anyway since there's no point in covering this or R-Zone)

      -Dreamcast = Covered (as well as VMU)

      -Gamecube = Covered (second analog stick replaces c-stick, use L2/R2 for shoulders and R1 for Z)

      The configuration of the PlayStation controller means there's only 4 buttons and not 6, which leaves Sega Saturn, Xbox OG (since the Black/White buttons bring the total face buttons to 6; otherwise the 360 and ONE are already covered), PC-FX, Nintendo 64 (if you count the C-Buttons, which can't be substituted for the second analog stick like the VBoy did), and a good number of MAME [Arcade] titles would need to be scrapped if I didn't find a way to add the extra 2 face buttons. [AN: I realize, only now in hindsight, that I could just use the shoulder buttons or L3/R3 to make up for this oversight, but I wanted a more organic way of getting over this rather than having to completely bend over backwards; plus, assigning X and Y as 2 C Buttons on N64 and then L3/R3 as the other two just didn't feel practical] However, there was a slightly smaller oversight that I only just took into account. As I said, having this as a "portable" console would mean I can just add Bluetooth to connect a keyboard and mouse for DOS games and such, but...then you have Atari 5200, Atari Jaguar, Intellivision, ColecoVision, and--god forbid--the N-Gage, all of which have a NUMBER-PAD that doesn't factor into any other consoles I previously listed EXCEPT for them!!!! The obvious answer is just ignore them, but I thought maybe it might be possible to include an OPTIONAL numberpad (just to make sure I can cover all my bases; what I was thinking is something either detachable, which seems like a whole sidequest onto itself, or arranging a 3x4 grid of tiny numbered buttons like a phone and covering it up when not used with the 5 systems I just listed) but if that's not doable I'll just toss them out altogether. [AN 2: since one idea I had was just gutting a Wii-U gamepad, I figured the NFC scanner was just taking up space and making small buttons there under a secret door would be easier so try to see it from my viewpoint]


      I guess, to make a very long, very complicated story short, I have three questions regarding everything I just laid out: A) what's the most portable version of a theoretical system I could build from this? B) barring that, what possible design could I come up with for a controller to a modified console? C) Optional: Could I somehow add in a separate touch screen to check off [3]DS compatibility (this would obviously free up my issue with the keypad, but it would raise the same questions about what to do with it when not in use by the "keypad systems" and DS family; not to mention the issues raised with trying to program such a thing and build the whole controller/system around that; I'm only asking if I CAN).

      • Reply
        • Re: Ultimate Universal Gaming


          In general massive combo systems suffer from various flaws, thats why most builders focus on theyr favourite consoles and build devices dedicated to those.

          If you really really want to do a ALL in one thing, than a portable would be extremely clunky and uncomfortable. But if you'd like to make a stationary unit you are free to use pretty powerfull hardware (for emulation of demanding systems like dreamcast and Gamecube etc. and make a controller that covers most of the games(basically just use an off the shelf PS style USB controller) and build a seperate one for the few consoles that require more buttons or a keypad.

          the secondary screen of the ds can also be emulated as touchscreen on the controller but that will require a lot of coding to adapt the emulation to your design (I doubt I could pull that off).

          So I would recommend to build dedicated devices for a certain era of games. or make a stationary thing with interchangeable controllers.
          Keep in mind that you need a lot of Computing power for the emulation of newer systems, so a RPI will not  do it.