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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:43 am 


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Huh, no issues here after playing for a few hours & easier to actuate than the OG PCE pads IMO (at least mine, tho I have some that could probably use a good cleaning). I do get mild discomfort in my left thumb when trying to play shooters for lengthy stretches with these, but that's no different from any other dpad for me which is why I gravitate towards sticks for those games.
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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:57 am 


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interesting. Mine feels almost clicky, but it's obviously the rubber inlay under the d-pad. No comparison to my original PCE pads (which I would rate much closer to my Saturn pads than to this one). My sample base is just a single controller of course, so there's probably a good chance that there're variations.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:26 am 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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It does indeed sound like there is a lot of QC variance here. Online impressions go all the way from "fantastic controller" to "cheap, hard to press, inaccurate".

Fudoh, you going to try swapping membranes?


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:52 am 


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Mine is 'clicky' in the sense that there's a fair bit of bounceback to the dpad, but I tend to like that as it makes it feel responsive (kinda like the springs on a Model M keyboard), and I mostly attribute it to new rubber. My old pads OTOH for the most part require a pretty firm press to actuate, but have almost no return force whatsoever.
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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:18 am 


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It eludes me how manufacturers still manage to botch up dpads/buttons. Even Retro-bit's controllers have issues. Wondering what exactly goes wrong in the process that they are unable to implement proper quality control? I mean, you've got the design all figured out and it's not like they have to reinvent the wheel. Guess its why I always prefer the originals--often imitated, never duplicated.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:12 am 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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Except even original controllers had pretty large QC variance. SNES pads were all over the map, Sega pads in particular had a WIDE range from best to worst pads.

It seems to me that it's just difficult to produce a batch of membranes that all have the same press to them. Don't ask me why, but it's moving these parts around from pad to pad that seems to make the most difference in feel.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:40 am 


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bigbadboaz wrote:
Except even original controllers had pretty large QC variance. SNES pads were all over the map, Sega pads in particular had a WIDE range from best to worst pads.


First time I heard of this and I guess you've been pretty unlucky. Got my fair share of OEM controllers (for FC, NES, PCE, MD, SNES, SFC, SS, PS) and no issues whatsoever. The original Genesis / Mega Drive three button pads are known to have at least four variations with different internals and mechanisms. So while they may look similar on the outside, their dpads function quite differently. Generally, I'd still argue they are quite reliable, comfy and responsive. Later versions of the US SNES and JPN super famicom pads were made in China and are of noticeably (and most likely consistently) lower quality. I always like to get the made in Japan variants to be on the safe side.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:47 pm 



Joined: 17 Apr 2019
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Location: Illinois, United States
Makes me think of the first run of Gamecube controllers. I'm not sure how many of you have/had an early GC controller but some of them had a very "squishy" B button, one of my two launch controllers had it. I never actually opened it up or looked online to see why that was, guess I should investigate that properly.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:13 pm 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
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Location: Woodinville, WA
My TurboGrafx Mini arrived yesterday from Amazon Japan. The unit and box are quite a bit larger than the PC Engine Mini. I was a bit surprised that they didn't shrink the system to be the same width. I had a bit of fun playing through a number of the games with my boys. I definitely echo the various aspects that others have mentioned. The latest MLIG video covering the system does a great job capturing the good and bad of the system.

I tried the Retro-Bit wireless Genesis controller with it initially. A few of the buttons worked, but not the d-pad. Other USB controllers I tried (SLS Saturn USB, PSX Mini) didn't work at all. I was hoping the Retro-Bit would work so I could go the wireless route. That being said, the cord length on the included controller is incredibly long.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:13 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2020
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Does anyone know when tb16 mini will available on amazon?


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:06 am 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
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Location: Woodinville, WA
It's in stock and available to ship from Amazon JP here:

https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07QD9GQ9J/ ... 262&sr=8-6

You'll need a different account than other Amazon markets, but the interface is in English and the package ships via DHL. You might pay a premium of $20 or so, but you'll receive it this week.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:13 pm 


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In my opinion MiLG's video on the Mini was way too harsh.

I haven't done any testing on the actual lag on the unit, but some of the games included I know very well, having played them hundreds of times before and I can very well tell something like 2-frames to something like 5-frames of lag. Many of us have been using Retroarch on a Pi for years now and we all know that especially the SNES emulator on there was terribly laggy. This is one of the reasons why the SNES Mini's emulator has been praised a lot. It reduced the lag noticeably, from probably something around 6 frames down to something around 2 frames. If you compare different systems on the Pi, the PCE feels a lot better than many of the other emulators. VERY VERY playable, nowhere near the laggy SNES emu and with a responsiveness that feels very close to the SNES Mini.

Let me play a few seconds of SNES on a Pi and I can tell the lag right away. I can't playing PCE on a Pi and I can't using the PCE Mini. Retroarch PCE on a Pi and the Mini feel almost identical, certainly in a 0.5 frame range of each other. Calling Lords of Thunder on the Mini borderline unplayable (as Coury did) feels wrong. I've played through it half a dozen times on the Mini by now (and a hundred times on the Pi). Of course none of these machines are performing on FPGA levels, but I think this particular one performs on a solid level. What you can (and should) expect from a SBC retroarch solution and nowhere near as botched emus like SNES9x on the Pi. Just my 2cents.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:19 pm 



Joined: 14 Aug 2017
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Yeah, I'll take every chance to say that for 99% of the library (including/especially CD) PCE Retroarch core on a Pi > actual PCE hardware. If the PCE Mini comes close to a Pi then it's definitely a great alternative, though the Pi has the crucial advantage of offering 240p output even via HDMI.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:53 pm 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
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Location: Woodinville, WA
Fudoh wrote:
In my opinion MiLG's video on the Mini was way too harsh.


Interestingly, I didn't take their criticisms as strongly. Overall, I've found this mini console to be on par with the others (minus the PlayStation Classic). Its user experience is nice enough, the hidden titles are a bonus, and its oversights / issues are consistent with what we'd predict (shimmer, lag, etc.). I spent Saturday afternoon playing it with my boys and it was great fun. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the PC Engine and has found past mini consoles to be enjoyable or worth their money.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:34 pm 


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Anyone happen to know the rapid fire speeds of a PC-Engine controller?

I ordered the white PC-Engine Mini, as I think it looks much cooler, but I'd like to implement some kind of rapid fire functionality into the controller, and I would like it to match the speed of the originals :)


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:21 am 


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Quote:
I ordered the white PC-Engine Mini, as I think it looks much cooler, but I'd like to implement some kind of rapid fire functionality into the controller, and I would like it to match the speed of the originals

the included controller does already have turbo functionality on the PCB, the top ABS part even has the holes. Just the sticker on top is closed and the switches are missing, but you can easily add a little mod to activate the existing contact points on the board.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:35 pm 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
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Location: Woodinville, WA
8bitdo just announced wireless TG16 styled controllers for the mini and other systems. It looks like they are shipping next month:

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-CoreGra ... 785&sr=8-1

It will be interesting to see if these ship before the TG16 Mini ships in the US. It seems many folks are now going the Amazon JP route given how easy and fast that it is.

Other commenters have mentioned retro receivers for the TG16 - I hope 8bitdo sees sufficient demand to build those too.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:39 pm 


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Fudoh wrote:
Quote:
I ordered the white PC-Engine Mini, as I think it looks much cooler, but I'd like to implement some kind of rapid fire functionality into the controller, and I would like it to match the speed of the originals

the included controller does already have turbo functionality on the PCB, the top ABS part even has the holes. Just the sticker on top is closed and the switches are missing, but you can easily add a little mod to activate the existing contact points on the board.


Great, makes it even easier :)

For someone who has only ever played about an hour of PC-Engine in the past I must say that I'm not liking the controller much. The D-pad is pretty bad for doing quick rotations in Shmups :)

I saw that the small Hori PS4 pad works with this thing, so I was kinda hoping that my PS4 Vewlix stick would work too, but unfortunately it doesn't :D

EDIT: 100% agree with Fudoh about the scaling. Glad that my TV can stretch to proper 4:3 now that interpolation is too much for M2 to handle, but what about everyone else? :/ (Ys, GnG and R-type still look like ass regardless).

Oh and the scanline-filter is not only misaligned, there are too many lines?! What the actual fuck? :O


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:07 pm 



Joined: 14 Aug 2017
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--M2 development meeting [transcript extract]--
"Oh, so what are these "scan lines" that some retro gamers like? We should include that for them."
"That's easy! You just have to draw black horizontal lines all across the screen, for when you're in the mood for some funky retro look!"

I thought this interpretation of scanlines died a while ago along with some obsolete emulators, but obviously it's still very much alive :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:39 pm 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Man, I keep reading that the scanline filter is actually good :/

Fantastic news about the 8bitdos. The Core and PCE pads look damn near perfect. Can't understand why they half-assed the TG color scheme, though, and really hope they add some orange on the final product.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:25 am 


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People are stupid then. One look at an actual CRT and it should be obvious that this is no where near correct. There has never been a CRT that displayed a scanline on top of a single horizontal pixel row, it’s just not possible.

I’ve seen youtubers over the past week saying that the scanline filter on the upcoming Polymega looks pretty good, and it’s almost as FU as the filter on the MD and PCE minis. And these are people who regularly uses CRTs themselves... >_<

I think it’s great that YouTube has taken its time to remove retarded Covid19 conspiracy videos. Here’s hoping they target videos that praise poor scanlines next :D


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:26 pm 


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IF I was going to buy one of these, and it's still quite a big "IF", I would be hoping that some form of USB arcade stick would work. I mean, I'd be buying it for the shmups, and I prefer sticks for shmups. So.... has anyone had any luck using a stick with any of these models yet?

Also, I would use an HDMI to VGA adapter and run it through my OSSC, simply because that's pretty much how I run anything HDMI equipped when playing shmups on them, so I can get a good low-res image with proper scanline/upscaling options.

Has anyone used this displaying a VGA signal, and how did that affect the "shimmering" that many reviews have mentioned?
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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:31 pm 


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honestly. Don't go there. For all of these tasks a Pi with a PCE emu is much better suited.

In terms of sticks: seems that Hori stuff is more likely supported than other brands, due to their USB ID branding.
I don't see how HDMI to VGA to OSSC would bring you any advantage here. I tried the Mini on several displays and it can output in 480p as well, but this doesn't exactly help with anything.

Shimmering in all titles that are not 256px wide can't be avoided. For the 256px wide ones you can choose an integer scale and then use the controls on your display to widen the display. But again, so much work for something that any Pi setup will do out of the box.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:56 pm 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
The team creating the hack will most likely unlock the USB ports to accept pretty much any controller. You'll just need to wait a month or two.

They will most likely add a few filtering options to help with the shimmer/improve the stock CRT filter as well. The low power of the SoC means these probably won't be all that advanced, though. Shimmering could be improved but any new CRT filter probably won't be up to your standards.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 1:55 am 


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They weren’t able to add filtering or a better CRT filter* to the MD Mini, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

They were able to add a pixel perfect mode which meant all 256x224 titles display with square pixels in a too narrow aspect ratio. Which is great and much improved over the awful shimmering, but it still relies on your TV being able to stretch to proper 4:3.

The thing is, the PCE mini already has this narrow pixel perfect mode for 256x224 games, so I don’t see much room for improvement here. They could possibly add a pixel perfect mode for Ys, GnG, R-Type, Tokimeki and the few other games that runs in a slightly higher resolution. That would be great, but probably still require dialing in on your TV.

*They were able do disable the smoothing, but the scanlines are still misaligned and therefore complete nonsense.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 3:34 pm 


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I expect that most people would just buy an additional controller with the rapid-fire switches, but if you want to enable this feature on the white PCE mini controller I've done a mod here that might be of interest:

https://github.com/Konsolkongen/PC-Engi ... d-fire-mod


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 6:55 pm 



Joined: 12 Apr 2020
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Konsolkongen wrote:
I expect that most people would just buy an additional controller with the rapid-fire switches, but if you want to enable this feature on the white PCE mini controller I've done a mod here that might be of interest:

https://github.com/Konsolkongen/PC-Engi ... d-fire-mod


Super cool and very clean. I am going to try it, I've got a bunch of Ardunios waiting around for projects like this.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 7:42 pm 



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Really nice job.

It makes sense they wouldn't produce two separate boards, but talk about adding insult to injury as far as stiffing PCE buyers on the turbo switches. They really can't justify it now when the turbo controllers are so widely associated with the system.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 11:21 pm 


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Speaking of rapid fire controllers, I got my white Hori turbo controller today. Seems identical to the pack-in one apart from the switches and the Hori logo on the back.
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 Post subject: Re: PC Engine Mini
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 11:27 pm 


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Hori made the pack in one too, so that makes sense :)


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