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Thread: Darksoft NG Multi is Released Feb 2018. Impressions Please.

  1. #201
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    I see Yodd joined over at DS forum and immediately his post was deleted lol -touchy bunch of fuckers aint they

    Some quotes:
    Competition is good. But man, jealousy is so great that these guys had to steal the virtual multi slot idea and also the use of ram, so sad......but I see why they had to do this.
    I guess that explains why they were dying to see pics of Darksoft's Multi MVS PCB.
    Erm....why would the TerraOnion team need to see a PCB image to use the Multislot idea? clutching at straws a bit here
    I would also say the idea was taken from SNK as they were the ones who designed the Multislot but hey ho

    I won't allow free advertisement to a bunch of copycats.
    Hmmm, someone seems a bit annoyed

    Oh, all three of my 4-slots work 100% with the normal BIOS. The random rebootings and stuff were exclusively with the UniBIOS.
    That must be a bug in the UNIBIOS.
    Wow, now I know nothing is perfect and the odd bug may be present in the Unibios (strange its never been reported previously however) but I would have dug a bit deeper than just stating its most likely a bug with the Unibios, nice technical support
    @Razoola - any thoughts on what the issue could be (not necessarily Unibios related)

    Seems like it would be a good if the cart just made the UNIBIOS a thing of the past and gave you the same functionality with a stock bios. Or make a custom BIOS that doesn't have any of the redundant code for use with this bios. (No idea how hard that is, probably a lot harder and more trouble than its worth)
    That's the plan...
    Yes I agree, the time has come for stock BIOS to return and multicart can set the region (just don't forget that hack above).
    So they are seemingly encouraging people to return to the Stock Bios and allow the cart to do the stuff the Unibios does, im not sure if this says they believe their are problems with the Unibios or they are not willing to go the extra mile to make sure their cart works 100% with it.

    To sum up: disappointing!
    You know he grew up as a little shitspark from the old shitflint and then he turned into a shitbonfire and driven by the winds of his monumental ignorance he turned into a raging shitfirestorm. If I get to be married to Barb I'll have total control of Sunnyvale and then I can unleash the shitnami tidal wave that will engulf Ricky and extinguish his shitflames forever. And with any luck he'll drown in the undershit of that wave. Shitwaves.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoLucian View Post
    Wow, now I know nothing is perfect and the odd bug may be present in the Unibios (strange its never been reported previously however) but I would have dug a bit deeper than just stating its most likely a bug with the Unibios, nice technical support
    @Razoola - any thoughts on what the issue could be (not necessarily Unibios related)
    The reason is their multicart does not act like a standard neogeo cart and does not handle backupRAM correctly at the moment. This is a perfect recipe for crash disaster. All crash reports I have seen on their pages indicate game crashes only, nothing related to the unibios crashing. I guess its possible they could be using workRAM regions reserved for the BIOS that then cause the unibios to have problems (but nothing yet shows that). This is not exactly the unibios problem though, more them not working within the NeoGeo programming specifications. You have people their assuming unibios issues simply because its the unibios that prints the message to screen. What I more assume is the shock bios simply hides the same crash by resetting, probably in a place the user does not notice it (like the end of an attract mode sequence, eg highscore table, eg backupRAM). Its a pity they do not read the message across the bottom of the crash report window.

    You have another person their trying to say the unibios can somehow affect the left and right levels on audio. It just shows how little knowledge these people have on neogeo and how the bios (stock or unibios) has zero access to control stereo volume levels directly, it can only send codes to start or stop music or fx. Maybe some sound drivers do stereo effects via special sound codes but I am not aware of it if that is the case. It certinally could not affect elements within audio tracks though. So this issue will probably be something related to how they are pumping out PCM samples I guess.
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  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksoft
    I won't allow free advertisement to a bunch of copycats.
    Says the person with the second Neo Geo flash cartridge on the market. I'm sure that any engineer can tell that while NeoSD Pro and DS cartridge share some ideas, they don't share the design, apart from what is common to how actual Neo Geo cartridges work. I bought the NeoSD, and while I wish I was getting what NeoSD Pro is offering, I'm pleased with what I got, because it loads the last game instantly and can act as a original cartridge.

    This whole situation is the best proof that competition benefits the consumers. If it wasn't for Darksoft, we wouldn't be getting a NeoSD Pro. Having said that, I have to admit I do enjoy other Darksoft products, which aren't without their faults, but they do work. Do I wish the ST-V cartridge had a menu instead of clunky jumpers? Sure. Do I wish F3 and CPS2 kits had menus instead of LCDs on ridiculously short JTAG ribbons? Of course. Were there any alternatives to DS kits for these platforms at that time? Nope, and there still are none. Is NeoSD a better product? Seeing how many things I disliked about the DS version from day one, it's a yes for me. It doesn't even have to be the Pro.

    As for the whole Uni BIOS thing, like I said, it's hard to say for sure without Raz actually getting his hands on a DS cartridge and investigating. After all, he knows his own work best. Eliminating Uni BIOS with cartridge features is not the way to go. I know some people will buy a flash device and never invest a penny in legitimate games, and for them it might not matter, but I have a bunch of MVS titles, and I do appreciate what Uni BIOS is offering.

    Besides, once DS has a cheat system, a music and sound effect player, a Neo to PC link and memory editing capabilities, then we can talk about it replacing what Uni BIOS is offering right now, and I'm sure there's more to come in 4.0, aside from the multi cart bonus pick and mix menu.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morden View Post
    As for the whole Uni BIOS thing, like I said, it's hard to say for sure without Raz actually getting his hands on a DS cartridge and investigating. After all, he knows his own work best. Eliminating Uni BIOS with cartridge features is not the way to go. I know some people will buy a flash device and never invest a penny in legitimate games, and for them it might not matter, but I have a bunch of MVS titles, and I do appreciate what Uni BIOS is offering.

    Besides, once DS has a cheat system, a music and sound effect player, a Neo to PC link and memory editing capabilities, then we can talk about it replacing what Uni BIOS is offering right now, and I'm sure there's more to come in 4.0, aside from the multi cart bonus pick and mix menu.
    They are working on the premise that you can alter region by simply swapping a byte in memory and then everything will work correctly there after, it is much more complex than that. Then there is MVS/AES mode which is a whole other kettle of fish. I'm sure they will realise this once they start to go down that route.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morden View Post
    Says the person with the second Neo Geo flash cartridge on the market. I'm sure that any engineer can tell that while NeoSD Pro and DS cartridge share some ideas, they don't share the design, apart from what is common to how actual Neo Geo cartridges work. I bought the NeoSD, and while I wish I was getting what NeoSD Pro is offering, I'm pleased with what I got, because it loads the last game instantly and can act as a original cartridge.

    This whole situation is the best proof that competition benefits the consumers. If it wasn't for Darksoft, we wouldn't be getting a NeoSD Pro. Having said that, I have to admit I do enjoy other Darksoft products, which aren't without their faults, but they do work. Do I wish the ST-V cartridge had a menu instead of clunky jumpers? Sure. Do I wish F3 and CPS2 kits had menus instead of LCDs on ridiculously short JTAG ribbons? Of course. Were there any alternatives to DS kits for these platforms at that time? Nope, and there still are none. Is NeoSD a better product? Seeing how many things I disliked about the DS version from day one, it's a yes for me. It doesn't even have to be the Pro.

    As for the whole Uni BIOS thing, like I said, it's hard to say for sure without Raz actually getting his hands on a DS cartridge and investigating. After all, he knows his own work best. Eliminating Uni BIOS with cartridge features is not the way to go. I know some people will buy a flash device and never invest a penny in legitimate games, and for them it might not matter, but I have a bunch of MVS titles, and I do appreciate what Uni BIOS is offering.

    Besides, once DS has a cheat system, a music and sound effect player, a Neo to PC link and memory editing capabilities, then we can talk about it replacing what Uni BIOS is offering right now, and I'm sure there's more to come in 4.0, aside from the multi cart bonus pick and mix menu.
    Actually we are not even using the same kind of memory, they use DRAM (we already discussed why this was an error), while we are using SRAM.

    Our PCB layout was done by a profesional designer, dunno who did theyrs cause it looks like there is an embargo on showing pictures of that.
    If this is intended to avoid us to copy them, i canīt stop laughting about that, the only interest we can have about theyr hardware design is to see how one can do a poor and wrong hardware design.

    Our pcb layout took 3 months in order to be completed, done by an engineer that knows what he does, one can notice such things looking at the pcb pictures, thats why we show those, we are proud of our design.



    Another thing those guys lack aside from tech skills, is business background. They still canīt understand that one has to invest money in order to make money.
    We have a NEOSD shell mold that we payed for one year ago but we decided that the shells could be improved so we invested into a new mold in order to deliver a better product.

    We could have gone with the actual mold just not adding usb and serial port, those aditions are being used just by 1% or 0,5% of our customers. This would have saved us about 10.000 euros, so we would have 10k euros more on our pockets. But we understand that one has to invest money in order to make money. Our goal is to deliver the best possible product, not grab as many possible money and run.

    Big difference, people doing business vs people hiting and running
    Last edited by neosd; 03-07-2018 at 01:45 PM.
    Will i get 0 secconds loading times if i make a cluster of the entire size of the microsd ?



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  6. #206
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    The Darksoft Board Pics (Links Because you can enlarge the pics):

    https://i.imgur.com/QGWIoef.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/Lo2mxT1.jpg

    xROTx

  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rot View Post
    The Darksoft Board Pics (Links Because you can enlarge the pics):


    xROTx


    Ok, i am going to be the first one on giving my two cents about that mess :

    The components look like just dropped there, without using any layout design rule.

    The components are too far from each others. At the frequency the neo geo works, it “should” work but in order to make a proper layout the chips should be as near as possible from the FPGA.

    Putting the chips far from the FPGA makes longer traces and if you have data buses such as the DDR buses, they must all go at the same time. If the traces are not short you can have delays that will make it not properly working

    For example, the address have to be more or less the same. Same applies with data.

    DDR requires the traces being more or less of the same length, and as shorter as possible

    The rest of the components should be as near as possible as wel avoiding excessive lengths, cause depending where the trace goes, you may have control issues,

    Example : if those are clock traces, the signals may not arrive well.

    I donīt see any matched traces there, they guy who did the layout clearly never worked with DDR. He can be glad that it kinda works at all.

    Also, there are a lot of traces on the top and botton pcb to be a 8 layers pcb as they are claiming, i wonder why they have gone to 8 layers or if this is an 8 layers pcb at all, makes totally no sense to me.

    BTW : get the free design class and fix the board if you want or can, darsof
    Last edited by neosd; 03-07-2018 at 03:42 PM.
    Will i get 0 secconds loading times if i make a cluster of the entire size of the microsd ?



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  8. #208
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    Did anyone find this a bit "weird":



    NOT that I am saying I don't love my parents but I find plastering it all over a PCB is a bit... morbid...

    xROTx

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rot View Post
    Did anyone find this a bit "weird":



    NOT that I am saying I don't love my parents but I find plastering it all over a PCB is a bit... morbid...

    xROTx
    I see people around here all the time who turn the back of their car into a rolling memorial for a loved one. I find that odd too. But to be fair we all deal with grief differently. I've never been one for advertising it myself though.

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChopstickSamurai View Post
    I see people around here all the time who turn the back of their car into a rolling memorial for a loved one. I find that odd too. But to be fair we all deal with grief differently. I've never been one for advertising it myself though.
    Thing is your car is YOUR car. I don't want this shit on my cartridge, who are they to me? do I even care?

    Again it's a show of just how amateur they are as a team, do Intel motherboards come with this just because a guy in the design team died? huh?



    !!

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by neosd View Post
    Ok, i am going to be the first one on giving my two cents about that mess :

    The components look like just dropped there, without using any layout design rule.

    The components are too far from each others. At the frequency the neo geo works, it “should” work but in order to make a proper layout the chips should be as near as possible from the FPGA.

    Putting the chips far from the FPGA makes longer traces and if you have data buses such as the DDR buses, they must all go at the same time. If the traces are not short you can have delays that will make it not properly working

    For example, the address have to be more or less the same. Same applies with data.

    DDR requires the traces being more or less of the same length, and as shorter as possible

    The rest of the components should be as near as possible as wel avoiding excessive lengths, cause depending where the trace goes, you may have control issues,

    Example : if those are clock traces, the signals may not arrive well.

    I donīt see any matched traces there, they guy who did the layout clearly never worked with DDR. He can be glad that it kinda works at all.

    Also, there are a lot of traces on the top and botton pcb to be a 8 layers pcb as they are claiming, i wonder why they have gone to 8 layers or if this is an 8 layers pcb at all, makes totally no sense to me.

    BTW : get the free design class and fix the board if you want or can, darsof
    Likely the reason for needing 8 layers (and also accounting for the somewhat cluttered look) is that almost everything was squeezed onto one side of one PCB (2nd board merely passes signals to other card edge). I'm not saying that's the optimal layout, just that it's a fair amount of stuff crammed into that space. NeoSD has the components split across both sides of 2 PCBs, so there was a fair amount more room used to massage placement of everything. Also, though I agree that careful attention should be given to impedance matching and trace length for high speed buses, it is impossible for you to assess if DS's layout is pushing the limits of signal integrity just by looking at it. You can speculate, but it comes across as incredibly arrogant to spout off about the look of his PCB when you admittedly didn't even do your own layout.
    -ud
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  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by undamned View Post
    Likely the reason for needing 8 layers (and also accounting for the somewhat cluttered look) is that almost everything was squeezed onto one side of one PCB (2nd board merely passes signals to other card edge). I'm not saying that's the optimal layout, just that it's a fair amount of stuff crammed into that space. NeoSD has the components split across both sides of 2 PCBs, so there was a fair amount more room used to massage placement of everything. Also, though I agree that careful attention should be given to impedance matching and trace length for high speed buses, it is impossible for you to assess if DS's layout is pushing the limits of signal integrity just by looking at it. You can speculate, but it comes across as incredibly arrogant to spout off about the look of his PCB when you admittedly didn't even do your own layout.
    -ud
    Our boards are half the size of his, so we both are using the same area suming the areas of both of our boards.

    Ofcourse i havenīt done our layout myself, this is not part of my tasks, but our layout has been done inside of our company, we got a team member with experience for that. I donīt really see the point on your coment there.

    His layout is not correct and it can cleary be seen looking at the picture, that the guy who did it lacks of experience using DDR.
    Will i get 0 secconds loading times if i make a cluster of the entire size of the microsd ?



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  13. #213
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    Okay, I planned on testing this on my two cabs and my cmvs. The cmvs worked 3 months ago but not today

    On my cabs it worked properly. I need to spend some time with it to play for a while and then I'll see if I can reproduce others issues.

    Other than being ticked about my dead cmvs, this has been a fun afternoon/evening so far. Games load fast, switching games is easy, I'm happy or some of you will think lucky

    I will post issues I run into here to save Rot some cutting and pasting.

  14. #214
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    What about that boot time?

    Does it still take 90 seconds to boot up to the menu?

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodd View Post
    What about that boot time?

    Does it still take 90 seconds to boot up to the menu?
    40 seconds but 3 games are ready so...

    Booting directly to loaded games saves a couple seconds but not much more.
    Last edited by Syn; 03-11-2018 at 10:20 PM.

  16. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn View Post
    40 seconds but 3 games are ready so...

    Booting directly to loaded games saves a couple seconds but not much more.
    If you can indulge me, what's the boot time with all slots empty?
    And at that point how long to get to play KOF2003?

  17. #217
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    40 seconds to the menu, games or not off a cold boot.

    KOF 2003 I'll get back to you on. I will say MS3 loads pretty fast singly.

    Somewhere down the line I'll send it to Yodd but he's got a bit going on and I want to play it a bit.

    Soon there'll be 3 options available and I'll let him get his Consumer Reports jones on.

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn View Post
    40 seconds to the menu, games or not off a cold boot.

    KOF 2003 I'll get back to you on. I will say MS3 loads pretty fast singly.

    Somewhere down the line I'll send it to Yodd but he's got a bit going on and I want to play it a bit.

    Soon there'll be 3 options available and I'll let him get his Consumer Reports jones on.
    Thanks for the info.
    Given my crave to change game at will, "instant" boot is almost a must, the chance that any of those 3 games would be the one I want to play is likely slim to none so those 40secs for me are not something I'd consider an investment (this is my opinion, I am not trying to make a judgment here, different people are entitled to a totally different point of view and I don't feel the need to argue with them).

    So it will be interesting to see timing empty slot cold-boot to gameplay for a selection of NG games that covers from small to medium to KOF2003 (just as a worse case as it is the bigger).

    That 40sec fixed startup penalty is not exactly inviting .. but I am interested in the results nonetheless.
    Last edited by phoenixdownita; 03-11-2018 at 11:29 PM.

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixdownita View Post
    Thanks for the info.
    Given my crave to change game at will, "instant" boot is almost a must, the chance that any of those 3 games would be the one I want to play is likely slim to none so those 40secs for me are not something I'd consider an investment (this is my opinion, I am not trying to make a judgment here, different people are entitled to a totally different point of view and I don't feel the need to argue with them).

    So it will be interesting to see timing empty slot cold-boot to gameplay for a selection of NG games that covers from small to medium to KOF2003 (just as a worse case as it is the bigger).

    That 40sec fixed startup penalty is not exactly inviting .. but I am interested in the results nonetheless.
    These kids today are so impatient. It's amazing you had time to write this post!
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyo View Post
    These kids today are so impatient. It's amazing you had time to write this post!
    I know ... right!!!

    ... but for the record I am no kid and I do own a NeoSD AES version and the flash time is annoying (to me, my opinion not a judgment call on the product) so I am calmly looking around at alternatives ... the NeoSD PRO although likely the RollsRoyce of NeoGeo "flash" carts may cost a little more than I want to spend (waiting on its price but I am not holding my breath either) .... I have not made up my mind to buy anything at all mind you (and there's no DarkSoft cart AES version anyway), I am eagerly awaiting Unibios 4 with 161-in-1 support (given I've already had it with a MagicKey for the last 3Y or so) as that may actually calm down my impatience covering a little less than 2/3 of the full library (with some warts I reckon).
    Last edited by phoenixdownita; 03-12-2018 at 01:14 AM.

  21. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixdownita View Post
    ... but for the record I am no kid...
    Wait... you just ruled the only thing out, that could veritably excuse you.

  22. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixdownita View Post
    I know ... right!!!

    ... but for the record I am no kid and I do own a NeoSD AES version and the flash time is annoying (to me, my opinion not a judgment call on the product) so I am calmly looking around at alternatives ... the NeoSD PRO although likely the RollsRoyce of NeoGeo "flash" carts may cost a little more than I want to spend (waiting on its price but I am not holding my breath either) .... I have not made up my mind to buy anything at all mind you (and there's no DarkSoft cart AES version anyway), I am eagerly awaiting Unibios 4 with 161-in-1 support (given I've already had it with a MagicKey for the last 3Y or so) as that may actually calm down my impatience covering a little less than 2/3 of the full library (with some warts I reckon).
    I mentioned when the NeoSd was first announced here that I was not happy about the load times but after buying one It wasn't as bad as I thought. Most games load under a minute. You could literally get up off your chair, walk to your fridge, grab a beer, open it, pour it in a glass, walk back to your chair, sit down, and the game is loaded.

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    I really don't understand the frustration people have regarding the flash times...as if people are that impatient and can't wait a few minutes. I have a Neo SD and the load times are fine, I tend to put a game on a play it for hours so what's a couple of minutes beforehand.

    I can't honestly believe that the Neo SD guys have even bothered to develop to Neosd pro just to try and negate something that's not even an issue.

  24. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamelife00 View Post
    I really don't understand the frustration people have regarding the flash times...as if people are that impatient and can't wait a few minutes. I have a Neo SD and the load times are fine, I tend to put a game on a play it for hours so what's a couple of minutes beforehand.

    I can't honestly believe that the Neo SD guys have even bothered to develop to Neosd pro just to try and negate something that's not even an issue.
    No kidding. Most pcbs I own take longer than that to do ram/rom check and region warning screen.

  25. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamelife00 View Post
    I really don't understand the frustration people have regarding the flash times...as if people are that impatient and can't wait a few minutes.
    Remember that we used to play those games in the arcades, where the only wait time we had was the coin slipping through the coin mech to get our credit. Afterwards we would just get up and go to a different machine (10-20 minutes play time? Sometimes even less) and put another coin in and we would be into the action.

    I can absolutely understand people who don't want waiting times at all, we have been spoiled by the advent of CD media and modern PC-like consoles who brought long loading times when we could just slam a cart in good ol' mega drive and get our game addiction going.

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