66% or better

Virtualcogs open portable gaming platform


[David] thought you guys might like this – and I agree. It’s an open gaming platform built around a PSP LCD. It’s got all the basics, and it’s expandable. They’d like to put together an order for a run of boards, so let em know if you want one. If you’re lazy, here’s the specs:

  • MX21 ARM9 266MHz processor with 64MB SDRAM and 16 MB of FLASH
  • TFT LCD from the PSP (our thanks to Nathan at Sparkfun for helping us out with that)
  • stereo audio CODEC
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • microphone
  • couple of joysticks
  • loads of buttons
  • battery pack
  • SD/MMC slot
  • expandable (can add GPS, bluetooth, accelerometers and gyros, etc…)

Most of the hardware is pretty decent, but the battery pack could use some help. Maybe a good surplus li-ion cell phone battery.

Comments

  1. kevin says:

    wow this thing is awesome someone do somthing cool like put gps and all the other stuff u can think of and post it her i would love to see how this turns out

  2. Dustcrazy says:

    Wow. I’m the first to comment! I really injoy the idea of a open platform handheld, as being a PSP hacker myseld I could see great things with this in the future. Hopefully they can work out some of the smaller things and really get something going…

  3. Daisjun says:

    Nice, I like the idea of being able to expand it with gps and such.

    The idea’s been around for a while now though: http://gp2x.com/

    It’s a linux based portable that’s open to any kind of programming or hacking, people have even gone as far as to be able to emulate playstation games on it. I’ve got one myself, only problem seems to be the battery life, standard AA’s or NiMH don’t seem to cut it.

  4. Rob Ristroph says:

    I saw this project a while ago when it came up on linuxdevices. The idea that I had was that I might be able to get one of these that had a USB host and client on the same device, and then make a USB sniffer for debugging work.

    The main board should have a USB client, and the USB daughter card they list as “coming soon” is listed as having a USB host port.

    I am not sure if a USB host and client is all you would need to sniff USB traffic, or if you would need some lower level of control than the usual USB chip gives you.

    If anyone knows of a USB sniffer that costs less than a $1,000, let me know.

  5. joseph lopez says:

    I think everyone who visits this site regularly enough knows what the GPXX series is… This is nice though.

    I would suggest Li-Poly for batts.

    Only question I have is what software can you run on this?

  6. Azurus says:

    Oh wow, could you imagen what they could do if they can put a laptop harddrive to this and somehow be able to bood up some simple form of linux?
    Didnt say winders because with how small the mem is on it, thats a farcry of what you could do.
    Having a gps, camera, and bluetooth all intigrated into it… or even better, have them as moduels that you can click into ports.

    Theres so much potental here for this open source peice of hardware. I know Id like to have one that is capable of being able to plug into any VGA TV connection or computer screen connection to have an emergency display or something as a usefule on arm platform.

    Email me with some other ideas. Id like to hear what others can think of with simething like this.
    azurusnova@gmail.com

    Think about it and boil on it for awhile. ;)

  7. rmiller021 says:

    Azurus read the article.
    It is a module for their VCMX212 ( which already supports linux)

    It is designed to demonstrate their products which are pretty much what you describe.

    check out their site http://www.virtualcogs.com

  8. Daniel Monteiro says:

    Cool, but you will need a OS, or else, every game will need its own bootstrap, and this is mostly undesirable for indie game developers like me.

    maybe some freedos or a small linux?

  9. TJHooker says:

    There are 1000Mhz ARM cores now such as the Cortex-A8 MMU. Wonder why nobody is using them. They use a better BUS protocol too. They have really nice Mali and JME 3D support as well. The Mali shaders and stuff look like the ones on my Geforce 7800. Go 600+ Megahertz or don’t go at all.

  10. caliraisin says:

    #7, there is a free USB sniffer that works in Windows called Snoopy: http://sourceforge.net/projects/usbsnoop/. I’ve used this before when I was working with PIC micros and USB, and it was extremely helpful. It captues all the messages sent between the host and device and decodes it. Its sorta like ethereal for USB.

  11. logicus says:

    As much as I love the idea of an open freescale based handheld. tjhooker is right.

    VIA EPIA PX 10000 Pico-ITX + PSP screen would be better IMHO.

    http://www.mini-itx.com/reviews/pico-itx/default.asp?page=3

    That these things are small enough to the point where the could be worn !!

    These people need funding, although they do have a good niche market.

  12. Tolaemon says:

    It sounds nice, and seems to be a good job, but there are other “open portable gammings platforms” with better specs. On my opinion GP2X is the best example: it has a bit smaller LCD but two 2 ARM9 at 200Mhz each one, and everything works under Linux etc.

  13. David Knox says:

    Linux already runs on this thing along with very powerful bootloader (uMon — that even has its own file system). I think they are demonstrating you can either program standalone or using Linux.

  14. TJHooker says:

    You don’t have to go with ITX, or prefab buses, just use better chips. Anything below 600Mhz despite the instruction set isn’t practical for competitive floating point math used in modern 3D.

  15. Forrest says:

    Nice effort – but there’s another similar device on the market with a 800 x 480, 4.1 inch LCD touchscreen, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, USB, a 252 MHz TI OMAP 1710 processor (ARM926TEJ core), 64 MB DDR and 128 MB Flash memory than runs Linux – the Nokia 770 being sold for $140
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_770

  16. p quinn says:

    hello im a major techy and absolutily love devoloping persicisily this king of thing i really want to get my hands on one of these devices for devolopment purposes can any one please give me contact details for this group/person/company
    regards
    pferpaddy

  17. p quinn says:

    ah and sorry i forgot to post my email pferpady@hotmail.com

  18. Keilaron says:

    Meh, big whoop? If you wanted an open-source gaming console, the GP2X is right there.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GP2X

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