Analogue’s Mega Sg is the Sega Genesis Mini alternative for the discerning retro gaming fan

The official Sega Genesis Mini is coign in September and hopes to capitalize on some of the retro gaming hype that turned the Super Nintendo and NES Mini Classic editions into best-sellers. But there’s already a modern piece of hardware out there capable of playing Sega Genesis games on your HDTV – plus Mega Drive, Master System and Sega CD, too.

The Analogue Mega Sg is the third in a series of reference quality, FPGA-based retro consoles from Analogue, a company that prides itself on accuracy in old-school gaming. It provides unparalleled, non-emulated game play with zero lag and full 1080p output to work with your HD or even 4K TV in a way no other old-school gaming hardware can.

For $ 189.99 (which is not just about double the asking price of the Sega Genesis Mini), you get the console itself, an included Master System cartridge adapter, an HDMI cable and a USB cable for power supply (plus a USB plug, though depending on your TV you might be able to power it directly). The package also includes a silicon pad should you want to use it with original Sega CD hardware, which plugs into the bottom of the SG hardware just like it did with the original Genesis. It includes two ports that support original wired Genesis controllers, or you can also opt to pick up an 8bitdo M30 wireless Genesis controller and adapter, which retails for $ 24.99.

Like the Nt mini did for NES, and the Super Nt did for SNES before it, the Mega Sg really delivers when it comes to performance. Games look amazing on my 4K LG OLED television, and I can choose from a variety of video output settings to tune it to my liking, including adding in simulated retro scaliness and more to make it look more like your memory of playing on an old CRT television.

Sound is likewise excellent – those opening notes of Ecco the Dolphin sounded fantastic rendered in 48KHz 16-bit stereo coming out of my Sonos sound system. Likewise, Sonic’s weird buzzsaw razor whine came through exactly as remembered, but definitely in higher definition than anything that actually played out of my old TV speakers as a kid.

Even if you don’t have a pile of original Sega cartridges sitting around ready to play (though I bet you do if you’re interested in this piece of kit) the Mega Sg has something to offer: On board, you get digital copy of unreleased Sega Genesis game ‘Hardcore,’ which was nearly complete in 1994 but which went unreleased. It’s been finished and renamed “Ultracore,” and you can run it from the console’s main menu as soon as you plug it in and fire it up.

Analogue plans to add more capabilities to the Mega Sg in future, with cartridge adapters that will allow it to run Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG-1000 and SC-3000 games, too. These will all be supported by the FPGA Analogue designed for the Mega Sg, too, so they’ll also be running natively, not emulated, for a true recreation of the original gaming experience.

Analogue Mega Sg 8

If you’re really into classic games, and care a lot about accuracy, this is definitely the best way to play Sega games on modern TVs – and it’s also just super fun.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Meet Genesis Angels, A New $100M Fund For AI And Robotics, Co-Founded By Investor Kenges Rakishev And Chaired By Israel’s Ex-PM

Genesis Angels logo

For those startups in newer areas like robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality who complain that VCs are too focused on consumer internet companies, help is at hand: Genesis Angels is a new VC that has raised a fund of around $ 100 million, with a large chunk coming from co-founder and serial investor and Kazakh petrochemical mogul Kenges Rakishev, which it plans to use for early stage investments in emerging areas like these and others. Based in Israel, but looking for startups worldwide, Genesis launched just this week, naming ex-Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert as its chairman.

Moshe Hogeg, the other co-founder behind Genesis Angels (and founder and CEO of mobile video/photo startup Mobli, pictured here with Rakishev, left, and Olmert, center), says that the idea for Genesis came out of his and Rakishev’s observation that while the market for consumer internet services is saturated with a lot of me-too companies, there is a flourishing world of R&D in areas like robots and artificial intelligence that is not getting enough attention. It’s mostly giant tech companies like Google and Microsoft and academic institutions that are putting money into the very cutting edge of technology.

(Indeed, it was just yesterday, during Google’s earnings call, that CEO Larry Page talked about the “big bets” that Google wants to make on new technology. Google is not afraid to make big investments, he said, because the fear is that if it doesn’t it may miss out on the next big thing.)

The problem with this is that it leaves little room for startups. And although more recent developments like Kickstarter and Indigogo are creating a new groundswell of interest and financial support for some of these projets, there are yet others that will not want that kind of public profile for what they’re working on.

Hogeg describes Genesis’ role as something between the concept stage and when a VC may typically become interested in a company working on cutting-edge technology. “You can send the most brilliant scientist to a VC, but often it might take that scientist and his startup five years to create their products,” he explained in an interview. “VCs will say, ‘No problem, come back in four years.’ Genesis will invest in those companies in the meantime.” Typical investments will be in the range of $ 200,000 and $ 2 million.

If you visit Genesis Angels’ site, you will see that it already lists a number of companies in its portfolio, including Hogeg’s. These are listed, he says, because they are some of the investments Rakishev himself has made. Genesis, he notes, is still raising money for its first fund, with the total in play currently close to $ 100 million. Among those contributing to the fund are merchant bank Forbes & Manhattan, as well as private individuals who are well-known in the space of angel investments specifically around areas like hardware and new technology. The first three investments that are being made out of the new fund, Hogeg says, will be coming out shortly.

Ehud Olmert’s appointment as chairman is about laying the groundwork for the kind of assistance that Genesis Angels will be able to offer its portfolio companies, Hogeg says.

“He is a big believer in technology. Irasel invested the most in this area when he was still prime minister,” he notes. The relatively small country currently has some 3,000 tech companies, according to this report from the AP on the launch of the new VC.

Olmert took office in 2006 but left in 2009 under a corruption scandal cloud that he is still fighting. But that, apparently, has not affected his wider influence. “Mr Olmert is a very powerful man and he can use his contacts to help us and our companies, for example in partnering and joint ventures. He can open any door in the world.”

There have been other VC funds focused on these emerging areas. Dmitry Grishin, for example, the CEO of Mail.ru and founder of Grishin Robotics, last year started a $ 25 million fund dedicated to investing in other robotics companies (examples of his investments here, here and here).

It may be that Genesis teams up with people like this to cooperate on investments. “He shares a vision with us about this space,” says Hogeg.

TechCrunch » Gadgets

OUYA Could Become Emulation Destination With New Projects Covering Game Boy, Genesis, NeoGeo And More

ouya-emu

OUYA is coming soon (tomorrow is the planned ship date for the earliest Kickstarter backers), and recent reports of emulators of classic gaming consoles made for the Android device are generating some buzz. Today, emulator developer Robert Broglia, who’s responsible for some of the most popular Android emulators including Snes9x EX+, has revealed to OUYAForum that he’s working on emulators for Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, NeoGeo and more.

Snes9x EX+ is the first he’s hoping to release, with a test APK (Android file package) due soon, though he says he won’t have his own OUYA to test out the emulators before April, since he pre-ordered the console only after it finished its Kickstarter run. Broglia plans to port versions of most of his Android-based game console emulators, however, including ones for TurboGrafx-16, Atari, Sega Saturn and ColecoVision, in addition to those mentioned above.

Broglia charges for the emulators he offers on Android, but OUYA has its rules about content that stipulate content must have at least some kind of free-to-play or free-to-try. Also on tap are an x86 PC emulator that will allow use of classic DOS gaming software on the OUYA, as well as a Commodore 64 emulator, both from separate developers. In other words, the OUYA is set to become a nostalgia machine for gamers who grew up in the 80s and 90s.

Already one OUYA emulation project has been approved for inclusion in the official marketplace, but when I contacted OUYA directly to learn about whether or not they have an official stance on emulation, I received no response. As mentioned, the Google PLay store has emulation apps available, and developers have commented in the past about how open the marketplace is for the upcoming Android console.

Past devices have built their entire existence around game emulation, including the GP2K Wiz and Canoo from South Korea’s GamePark holdings. OUYA’s focus is much broader, but as a simple, living-room based way to bring games of old back to people’s televisions (even if the method of doing so isn’t strictly legal), it could hold significant appeal to niche audience above and beyond its other merits.

Update: OUYA got back to us with the following regarding its official position on emulation:

OUYA will accept emulators as long as they adhere to our content guidelines and are not submitted with any games.

TechCrunch » Gadgets