Panic adds screen mirroring to its retro handheld Playdate
In context: The Playdate is a tiny handheld gaming device with a 2.7-inch black-and-white LCD and a hand crank on the side. Firewatch publisher Panic is shooting for a gaming system with a retro vibe but still delivers contemporary graphics and performance. Because of the pandemic, it had a little extra time to work on the device and came up with a way to stream gameplay to a PC.
On Wednesday, Panic announced that it had added a cool new feature to its upcoming Playdate handheld gaming system. Users will now be able to plug the device into a computer and mirror the display in real-time. The feature works via an app and cable. However, Panic did not say whether these add-ons were included with the device or sold separately.
Here’s a fun little new thing we made. Plug in your Playdate, launch this app, and it will mirror your Playdate screen to your PC/Mac/Linux in real-time. Perfect for streamers, YouTubers, and better accessibility. Input from the PC can pass through to the Playdate also! pic.twitter.com/OE8q1X0txC
— Playdate (@playdate) March 24, 2021
The company tweeted a short demo on the official Playdate Twitter account (above), noting, “Input from the PC can pass through to the Playdate also!” Latency appears low enough that controlling a game from a PC should be possible, although it is unclear how one would emulate the unique crank control on the device’s side.
Panic says that the feature is intended to make it easy for streamers to broadcast gameplay and provides better accessibility. It did not mention what type of connectivity the cable provides but did say that it is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux variants.
Ever since it was announced back in the spring of 2019, we’ve been anxious to get our hands on the tiny retro-gaming handheld. Panic was supposed to ship Playdate in early 2020, but the pandemic had other plans. Barring any other unforeseen problems, it should launch within the coming weeks, but it still does not have a solid release date set.
Game preservation group puts more than 700 PlayStation 2 prototypes and unreleased demos online
In brief: A group of video game preservationists have released a massive collection of more than 700 unique prototypes for the PlayStation 2. Collectively, the bundle consists of around 860GB of compressed data and is the first part of what sounds like a lot more to come.
The dump comes courtesy of Hidden Palace, the same folks that brought us the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 prototype in late 2019. This time around, they worked with a single person that was kind enough to let them look over and preserve each item in his collection with no strings attached.
The haul, dubbed Project Deluge, is being split into multiple parts – this PS2 collection is only the first part of a much larger dump. Hidden Palace contributors have painstakingly combed over everything to weed out final retail builds, narrowing the release down to unique content like press previews, tech demos, localization prototypes, debug builds and otherwise unreleased versions.
Hidden Palace has a running list of Project Deluge builds over on its website. As of writing, there are 752 entries.
Given the scope of the project and the questionable reliability of optical media, the team said it wasn’t able to determine the integrity of each and every dump in the lot. In other words, don’t be surprised to come across an error or two that directly relates to the dumping process.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is straight out of the 80s
Editor’s take: From the intro animation and the pixel art to the fighting style and mechanics, everything about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge looks spot on. It’s from the devs that created Streets of Rage 4, a recent throwback fighter with a solid score on Metacritic, meaning they’ll probably have to go out of their way to screw this one up.
French video game developer and publisher Dotemu is working on a nostalgia-fueled co-op brawler based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TNMT) that should immediately feel familiar to 80s kids.
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, gamers will assume the role of one of the four heroes – Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael or Michelangelo – as they attempt to slow Bebop and Rocksteady in their support of Krang and Shredder.
The game, which is being developed in partnership with Tribute Games, looks like a mashup between the original TMNT arcade game from 1989 and its sequel, TNMT: Turtles in Time, that dropped a couple of years later and was eventually ported to the Super Nintendo.
Dotemu said the game will take players on a tour of iconic TMNT locations including the sewers and boroughs of New York City and of course, Dimension X. Heck, they even tapped Mike Patton of Faith No More fame to cover the iconic Turtles theme song. Very cool.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge doesn’t yet have a release date but you can add it to your wish list over on Steam. It’s also coming to consoles, we’re told.
The first Sega Saturn devkits were super long
Vintage tech: The Sega Saturn launched in November of 1994. As with almost all gaming consoles, game makers were given access to developer kits (devkits). One of the first devkits for the Saturn was called the Address Checker, and it was enormous compared to commercial units.
A Japanese collector of vintage video game hardware and anime paraphernalia tweeted a couple of pictures showing off his Sega Saturn Address Checker. The devkit was used to ensure games did not break any of Sega’s memory usage rules.
The collector, who goes by Ranma on Twitter, says the unit is worth about one million yen ($9,650). Ranma did not share too much information about the devkit or where he got it. He claims to be a former Sega Saturn developer, so it might be one he held on to for all these years.
The most notable feature of the Address Checker is its length—it is about three-feet long. To give it some perspective, here is a Sega Saturn sitting inside an Address Checker chassis (below). Later versions of the devkit were not much bigger than a standard Sega Saturn.
If you are interested in the more technical details, the Operation Manual is posted online.
Found is a TechSpot feature where we share clever, funny or otherwise interesting stuff from around the web.
Unfinished PS1 game Magic Castle launches more than 20 years later
Editor’s take: Retro gaming enthusiasts’ good fortunes are spilling over into 2021 with the recent release of a long-forgotten game for the original PlayStation. Even in its unfinished state, Magic Castle looks very impressive and could have made serious waves back in the late 90s had it made it to market.
The goal with Magic Castle was to “create a rogue-like game in 3D that could be played any number of times.” It features four playable character classes – knight, magician, archer and fighter – and tasks players with progressing through 20 castle floors.
(A Sony Net Yaroze development kit.)
After eight months of grinding, the duo shopped it around and while Sony expressed enthusiasm, they were mostly interested in acquiring the developers to work on a different project.
The team declined, Magic Castle was shelved, and eventually, the individual devs went their separate ways.
One of the game’s creators, who goes by the name PIROWO, recently rediscovered the unfinished project and decided to bring it up to speed.
— PIROWO (@PIROWO1) December 24, 2020
The game is mostly complete at this stage, only missing four-player support and a Japanese translation. It has since been released on the Internet for all to enjoy. You can grab a copy of the game and its instruction manual over on the Internet Archive.
An updated version, perhaps with some of the aforementioned content, is listed as “coming soon.”
Image courtesy Wikipedia
Long-lost Superman game for PlayStation has finally been released
Background: Titus Interactive in mid-1999 published Superman: The New Superman Adventures on the Nintendo 64. Based on Superman: The Animated Series, the game had lots of promise but failed to deliver across the board. Reviewers criticized the game’s technical flaws, poor gameplay, unresponsive controls, dull graphics and more. Some even called it one of the worst video games ever produced.
As the story goes, BlueSky Software, a subsidiary of Titus Interactive, set out to remake the game for the PlayStation but by the time it was finished, Titus’ IP license from Warner Bros. had expired. Ultimately, the game was shelved and never saw the light of day. Until now.
Yeah dude, alternate universe Superman 64 (the unreleased PlayStation game planned to come out around the same time) just dropped. First time I’ve ever seen a video game prototype get released on Deviant Art. https://t.co/a4xesFsGXE pic.twitter.com/tyU7gsPvPt
— Frank Cifaldi in the Alien Asylum (@frankcifaldi) November 30, 2020
Frank Cifaldi, founder and co-director of the Video Game History Foundation, recently shared news that an advanced build of the revamped Superman for PlayStation had hit the web… on DeviantArt, no less.
According to this post on DeviantArt from a Richard Evan Mandel, this is not a leak but an actual release. The author claims to have won the game in an auction in June 2013 along with a 40 percent build of Resident Evil 1.5. Mandel said he didn’t think much of it at the time and found it to be a frustrating experience when trying to play, but only later did he realize how desirable it was.
Mandel said he attempted to use the game as a bargaining chip to try and get his hands on other builds of Resident Evil 1.5 but then a ton of drama ensued and, well… you can read the full story over on DeviantArt if you want to pull back all the layers.
For now, just know that the game is finally available to download thanks to the generosity of Mandel and that’s a cool thing.