Game Reader support in all emulators??

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By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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05-09-2006, 20:07

Just wanted to move the discussion about Game Reader support to its own little place. Here is what's been said so far:

By Samor on September 05 2006, 02:04

well, I also use emulators more than the real machine, allthough one of them is an emulator that runs real cartridges (which is amazing and such a thing should be available for more systems.... uhm, but now I'm going off-topic )

By dvik on September 05 2006, 07:38

Quote:
which is amazing and such a thing should be available for more systems

That would be easy if only Bazix and MSX-A would allow it.... What do you say snout, can we add gr support in other emus, and if we wanted to, could we get access to the interface?

By Edwin on September 05 2006, 10:20

Having it allowed is not necessary. If you can reverse engineer it, you can implement support for it in basically anything.

By dvik on September 05 2006, 10:24

Well, there is the problem what MSX-A and/or Bazix would do if we reverse engineered it and released support for the game reader in e.g. bluemsx or openmsx.

Before spending time reverse engineer it, it would be good to know that releasing the reverse engineered GR support would not cause any problems.

By Samor on September 05 2006, 10:50

understandable, allthough I wouldn't expect much trouble.....
it'd be even nicer if you didn't even have to reverse-engineer it, of course...

Yet, you emulate an MSX computer; if that's not illegal, why would a gamereader be?
Either way, I'd love support for this device in BlueMSX, OpenMSX and NLMSX; While MSXPlayer does do the job, it doesn't require a rocketscientist to determine that BlueMSX and OpenMSX are the better emulators, and NLMSX would also be better if it got an update (it's about on the same level as MSXPlayer right now).

Also, aside from just MSX, I wouldn't mind if there were similar devices for other cartridge based systems. I have a bunch of Megadrive cartridges for example, and it would also be nice to use those on a PC.

By dvik on September 05 2006, 10:59

Quote:
Yet, you emulate an MSX computer; if that's not illegal, why would a gamereader be?

Well, its not really legal either (look at what happened to the very nice Roland MT-32 emulator). It feels like MSX-A and Bazix is looking trhough their fingers when it comes to emulators and all emus needs system roms which in almost all cases are illegal copies (I don't know anyone that only uses rom dumps of their own MSX machines).

So by reverse engineer something like the game reader may cause MSX-A and Bazix to change their views of emus. I don't think this would happen though but it would feel better to get some assurance that there won't be any problems releasing gr support in other emus.

By mars2000you on September 05 2006, 11:06

There's also another side of the reality : soon or later, hardware hobbyists could create their own version of the game reader and such alternative game reader could be more easily supported in freeware emulators. So, does have MSX-Association/Bazix really the choice ? Only to win some time ...

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By mars2000you

Enlighted (5773)

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05-09-2006, 20:14

Besides, hobbyists could create a multi-platform game reader (MSX, SVI, Coleco, Sega), what should be even more interesting !

By snout

Ascended (15184)

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05-09-2006, 20:21

Good choice to move the discussion to a separate thread in the forum. First things first: personally I am in favor of GameReader support in emulators other than MSXPLAYer. This is not a decision I (or Bazix) alone can make, though. We could however - as we have done in the past - explain and lobby for the disclosure of the documentation needed to accomplish this. It might take some (read: probably a lot of) time, but Bazix is not sitting still or trying to block this from happening.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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05-09-2006, 20:58

I don't think Bazix would try to block it. As I said before, I don't think Bazix is evil Smile

Although a bit hypothetical maybe, but how would Bazix and MSX-A react if someone reverse engineered the GameReader dll and support for it was added in other emus. Would the poor hacker get prosecuted or celebrated?

The reason why I'm asking is because there are two ways of getting GR support in other emus:
1. MSX-A/Bazix/Sunrise would publish the interface to the GameReader dll
2. Someone would reverse engineer the dll and make it public.

#1 does of course not raise any issues or potential consequences, but what are the consequences of option #2?

My lunch break is soon over but if you can give a quick OK for reverse engineering the GameReader, I'll see what I can do Wink

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

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05-09-2006, 21:06

It is a discussion between BaziX and Sunrise and NOT A FORUM TOPIC !

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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05-09-2006, 21:23

Releasing the interface to the GameReader to the public is indeed a discussion between BaziX/Sunrise/MSX-A.

Reverse engineering the interface is I guess not really a discussion between BaziX/Sunrise/MSX-A since the whole point in reverse engineering is to find out how to work with the device without BaziX/Sunrise/MSX-A's approval.

My main concern is what BaziX/Sunrise/MSX-A would do if someone reverse engineered the GR. Ideally, they wouldn't do anything (they don't need to applaud it but not get mad either).

So I guess what I'm fishing for is some kind of assurance that if we reverse engineered the dll, nothing bad would happen to us or the future of the emulators.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

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05-09-2006, 21:35

Sueing that's a fact ! It is expressly stated in the agreement , so as snout already said lobbying and try to convince is simply the best way.
Bifi and me found already quite some bugs and games that doesnot work . The most famous is the Ink cartridge of Matra.
So leave it to Bazix and Sunrise please ! First step is the improvements and really if this happens the MSX player isnot that worse comparised with other emulators, the fact that Blue and Open MSX are better is the wide varity of what is added. Sofar no implementation of Moonsound ,GFX and IDE.
But time will learn

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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05-09-2006, 21:43

I don't think there are any grounds for sueing. Reverse engineering dlls is legal and common (thats how a lot of hardware is supported in linux). When a driver interface is not public, people reverse engineer it and release their own versions. Its nothing strange.

The GameReader has been on the market for about a year now and so far I haven't seen anything that points to that the interface would be made open so how long should we wait, one year, two years, five years. My guess is that USB will be dead before the interface is released Wink

Besides, a reverse engineered GameReader dll would be quite useless without the actual hardware. So I think it would be in Bazix/Sunrise interest if someone did reverse engineer it. Probably increases sales for example.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5773)

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05-09-2006, 21:48

As Coleco, SVI, MSX and Sega machines are very close to each other, I'm pretty sure that a good hobbyist can create a game reader for Coleco or Sega cartridges for example. Then comes the second step : adapt this game reader for the MSX system. Then the third step : a multi-platform game reader !!! That's the alternative to the MSX-A closed source.

What concerns the MSX-PLAYer itself, I don't think it will evolve really in the future. By supporting SCC and MSX-MUSIC, this emulator supports what's the common image of MSX in Japan. Even MSX-AUDIO is not part of the MSX standard, only an option. So, I don't see MSX-AUDIO, IDE, GFX9000 and MoonSound support coming in this emulator, as it is beyond the common image of MSX in Japan. And for the multi-platform approach, the MSX-PLAYer is nowhere, only blueMSX has this approach (and maybe openMSX in the future).

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

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05-09-2006, 21:50

Well the MSX player as said is quite enough if the bugs are improved . The main problem with the reader isnot the multiple use in emulators but simply the selling of new gamecartrdiges , Matra is first , but we will certainly follow !

By Edwin

Paragon (1182)

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05-09-2006, 21:51

For completeness I copied my post from the news reactions here:

Well, there is the problem what MSX-A and/or Bazix would do if we reverse engineered it and released support for the game reader in e.g. bluemsx or openmsx.

Reverse engineering for interoperability is a right granted by European law. So nothing can be done really.

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