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  1. #1
    Cham Cham's Banana
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    Important Capcom CPS2 Announcement

    Dear colleagues,

    It is our pleasure to announce a very important milestone in arcade conservation, the successful reverse engineering of Capcom's CPS2 security programming. A major development giving full hardware control of this popular platform over to the community, and helping preservation by enabling the clean desuicide and restoration of any dead games without hardware modifications.

    This achievement has been made possible thanks to the help, support and collaboration of many dedicated individuals who just like you have an altruistic passion about arcade games, their hardware, history and legacy. All the discoveries and results generated by this project will be soon shared publicly, free of charge.

    Over the coming days the project will see a limited release to selected testers to help ensure maturity before the public disclosure happens.

    Stay tuned to further details.

    The ArcadeHacker project
    http://arcadehacker.blogspot.com


    CPS2 project credit goes to: Eduardo Cruz, Ian Court and Artemio Urbina, with the key collaboration of Digshadow, Ougun, Brizzo, Rockman, Tayoken, and the valuable donations by Juan Felix, Alberto Fuentes, Alex Cmaylo, Bill de Leo, Alexander Sch?z, Fran?is Lefebvre, Tormod Tjaberg, Felix Vazquez and Pau Oliva.

  2. #2
    Choi's Barber
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    Very cool, Artemio! It seems like just yesterday Eduardo started the CPS2 project and now it's already completed. It's incredible that you guys have already solved the puzzle on restoring the keys to dead boards. I look forward to reading the blog posts on arcadehacker regarding the process.

  3. #3
    Neo*Geomancer
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    Very exciting news! Thanks for all your hard work

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    This is indeed very nice news, thanks everybody for the hard work

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    This is awesome, I'm very interested to see the details.
    Thanks in advance for the dedication and for sharing how to help preserve these games.

  6. #6
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    Cool. Hope you guys see some returns on your work.

  7. #7
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    CPS3 is next!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by greedostick View Post
    Noob question.

    What exactly does this mean?


    Means cps2 conversions will now be sold with batteries to look more real :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Westcb View Post
    Means cps2 conversions will now be sold with batteries to look more real :-)
    I understand the cynical approach, but you can always ask for pictures of the Mask ROMs, and boards can be preserved in their original state.

  10. #10
    CPS2 Person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westcb View Post
    Means cps2 conversions will now be sold with batteries to look more real :-)
    Most but not all but most cps 2 boards use mask roms. Faking the mask roms will be prohibitively difficult as OTP are no longer produced and NOS still out there are fucking crazy expensive as which is common with legacy components, etching the rom names onto the OTP would not be to hard though. But for the sake of argument yes this does open the door for a whole new league of high end boots if you can source the component cheaply.

    This new break through gives you a purist option but at the end of the day do you really want to be so pure as to keep your board factory stock encrypted at the cost of keeping that time bomb of a battery on your board going way into the future if you plan to keep your board(s). If you have a multi it really wouldn't matter as all you have is a boot in the first place but if you have legit board(s) I would prefer the piece of mind of not worrying about my board(s) being destroyed. I can see why some people would want to reboot their games with encryption but I personally would not want to be bothered as I have too much equipment to monitor as it is and a board in my collection that has been phoenixed is a board I no longer have to religiously monitor.

    I am going to be honest yes my primary personal collection is still on battery power and yes I do make a effort to keep things factory original. But my mentality is if I didn't buy the board dead I am not going to kill it, I will wait for it to die on its own by means of me possibly forgetting to change batteries which I do every 4 years. If some crazy shit goes down like exploding batteries, I have a backup copy of my entire collection plus a army of sac boards I can use as a emergency transplant to recover the battery damaged board anyway.

    From a purely technical stance I am interested in this project because I prefer to be in the know because people tend to hit me up on cps1/2 related matters.


    Quote Originally Posted by Artemio View Post
    I understand the cynical approach, but you can always ask for pictures of the Mask ROMs, and boards can be preserved in their original state.
    That's a understatement Artemio. Day one after you released the means to reboot cps2 all in one as a example, someone used it for sinister purposes.
    Last edited by mainman; 05-01-2016 at 11:29 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by darksoft View Post
    Don't hide it, you are angry beacuse if a multiboot is made, you will not be the only one that can Play Progear

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainman View Post
    That's a understatement Artemio. Day one after you released the means to reboot cps2 all in one as a example, someone used it for sinister purposes.
    You can also argue this lowers the value of original/purist hardware.

    Of course people are going to use information for their own means, but implying information should not be released because people could abuse it is paternalistic as well.

    Regarding peace of mind and battery use; I keep my collection stock, and have a database worth dates on battery change. I also measured ESR of the batteries I used when new, and after use. That gives me a life expectancy.

    On top of that, I have a raspberry pi with thermometers and higrometers controlling a dehumidifier and generating statistics on order to have controlled conditions. I did that because my arcade room if close enough to the garden and kitchen.

    Battery leakage hasn't been an issue this way. I've changed them every 5-7 years, and most of them could easily give 10 years under these conditions based on the limited statistics and measurements I have.

    The point is, you are not limited to that now. I'm not suggesting you kill your boards now, store them and only place a battery after prolonged storage and desuicide them. But that is now an option.

    It also will hopefully help find undocumented variants. Either because people have them stored dead, or because less boards will be phoenixed now that it is not the only option, erasing their original data. I've found at least 10 undocumented ones in the past 8 years this way.

    Speculation is a bad thing indeed. But people can view it in very different ways. Some will feel boots will flood the market. Some others know they have dozens of originals stored and dead, that can now be brought back without using a phoenix set. Those will now be able to enter the market. Some will not see a value difference between a dead or alive board of it is stock. Some won't see a difference with a phoenixed original board, since it can be restored.

  12. #12
    Mature's Make-Up Artist
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    Can you fucking shelf queens quite bitching about "the market" as if you give a fuck. Seriously, quit hoarding 2 or 3 of every game, then bitching about boots and flippers. You're the reason this is happening not because someone found away to revive what was previously thought to be dead.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko49 View Post
    Can you fucking shelf queens quite bitching about "the market" as if you give a fuck. Seriously, quit hoarding 2 or 3 of every game, then bitching about boots and flippers. You're the reason this is happening not because someone found away to revive what was previously thought to be dead.
    Another Johnny come fucking lately who does not even know anything about the subject at hand but just wants to pump up his chest. This is obviously news to you going by what you posted but it has been possible to revive dead boards for at least a decade now and Razoola gets credit for making that possible. Dead boards were being revived long before this came along, the concern here is that this new method remove the last safe guard that is used to authenticate a board. So if you have a in house conversion blue progear for example there is no longer a way you could validate it being legit if it is a loose board.

    Maybe sit back and actually read and learn about the topic before you put your foot in your mouth.
    Last edited by mainman; 05-02-2016 at 11:01 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by darksoft View Post
    Don't hide it, you are angry beacuse if a multiboot is made, you will not be the only one that can Play Progear

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainman View Post
    Another Johnny come fucking lately who does not even know anything about the subject at hand but just wants to pump up his chest. This is obviously news to you going by what you posted but it has been possible to revive dead boards for at least a decade now and Razoola gets credit for making that possible. Dead boards were being revived long before this came along, the concern here is that this new method remove the last safe guard that is used to authenticate a board. So if you have a in house conversion blue progear for example there is no longer a way you could validate it being legit if it is a loose board.

    Maybe set back and actually read and learn about the topic before you put your foot in your mouth.
    lol I'm well aware of the difference between this and 'phoenixing' a board. Go play your "investments" and stop worrying if you will be able to prove the authenticity of your "in house conversion blue progear" to people on the internet.
    Last edited by Niko; 05-02-2016 at 10:17 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko49 View Post
    lol I'm well aware of the difference between this and 'phoenixing' a board. Go play your "investments" and stop worrying if you will be able to prove the authenticity of your "in house conversion blue progear" to people on the internet.
    Nice try back peddling but going by your initial post your ignorance is clear.

    Btw I don't have a blue progear or plan to own one and I don't look at my collection as a investment. I am just trying to preserve the integrity of the hobby which this break through is advertised as doing but has the greater potential of doing the opposite.

    One more thing I don't need you or anyone else to dictate my personal concerns
    Last edited by mainman; 05-02-2016 at 11:23 AM.


    Throne of Games


    Quote Originally Posted by darksoft View Post
    Don't hide it, you are angry beacuse if a multiboot is made, you will not be the only one that can Play Progear

  16. #16
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    All we need now is CPS2 re-pro sticker tech to advance and become on par with the original stickers/labels. Then spotting a fake will get real fun.

    Tx

    Quote Originally Posted by mainman View Post
    ... So if you have a in house conversion blue progear for example there is no longer a way you could validate it being legit if it is a loose board.

    ....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyranix95 View Post
    All we need now is CPS2 re-pro sticker tech to advance and become on par with the original stickers/labels. Then spotting a fake will get real fun.

    Tx
    I can make 1:1 scans of the original stickers then offset print them, they end up looking 100% like the original, too bad I only asked for prints of the few games I own, I should have asked for some Progears, SSF2TE, SSF2T and Dimahoo.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemio View Post
    It also will hopefully help find undocumented variants. Either because people have them stored dead, or because less boards will be phoenixed now that it is not the only option, erasing their original data. I've found at least 10 undocumented ones in the past 8 years this way.
    It is unfortunate that the phoenix sets were placed into MAME because of this reason. This was the one biggest thing that happened that started the loss of undocumented sets from the preservation standpoint. Control was lost on what people did with the original ROM data before they were erased. I think I must have submitted forty plus revisions to MAME before that happened. In fact there is a set that is in the kawaks (released yesturday) that is not yet in MAME (submitted but never added along with a new rotd revision). Thats not to say that everyone who made phoenix sets did not care (yourself included) but many revisions have been lost as a result, probably mostly in the ASIA/JAPAN region.

    Your right that this may help with less revisions being erased, on the other side however is 'if' those sets will ever get dumped and submitted for preservation. The problem is working boards are still going to be reprogrammed to different games and the program ROMs still erased. Its the the equilivant of phoenixing in that way, as soon as somone programs a new key to the PCB that is not for the game there already.

    It is very unfortunate this happens but it is the reality.
    Last edited by Razoola; 05-02-2016 at 01:40 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razoola View Post

    Your right that this may help with less revisions being erased, on the other side however is 'if' those sets will ever get dumped and submitted for preservation. The problem is working boards are still going to be reprogrammed to different games and the program ROMs still erased. Its the the equilivant of phoenixing in that way, as soon as somone programs a new key to the PCB that is not for the game there already.

    It is very unfortunate this happens but it is the reality.
    My hope is that dead boards that need to be desuicided and are not documented, would need their keys extracted in order to do so. And a dump would need to be emulated for that in most people's scenarios.
    Last edited by Artemio; 05-02-2016 at 02:28 AM.

  20. #20
    Occult Archmage
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    Well done to all involved. How will this assist with CPS1 de-suicide?

  21. #21
    Divine Hand of the UniBIOS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemio View Post
    My hope is that dead boards that need to be desuicided and are not documented, would need their keys extracted in order to do so. And a dump would need to be emulated for that in most people's scenarios.
    That is true but we have to remember the purist is very much in the minority. The majority consists of people who simply want to sale the game or play the game, they would have no problem simply changing the program ROMs to match the key instead.

    It is very unfortunate but the way things are now with CPS-2 and the devices and decrypted sets available, there is nothing we can do any longer to prevent the steps a person takes then they either phoenix or resserrect a dead CPS2 board. There are those of us who check for and ensure a potential non dumped game revision is preserved during the process, and those that do not. One of the reasons for the gamecart check on the unibios is to find undumped NeoGeo games, it can be used to easily check a game without having to open the cart and desolder ROMs first.

    We are all very lucky for example that NeoTurfMasta is the kind of person he is and was the one who got hold of the newly fround proto. Anyone else and that game would still be unknown or sold to a collector for a vast ammount of money who would then never share it.
    Last edited by Razoola; 05-02-2016 at 03:45 AM.
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