Tetris in FPGAs

Thread in 'Research & Development' started by gontrollez, 1 Jun 2020.

  1. Hi all!

    I'm sure many of you know about FPGA technologies that have been in the rise during the last years. In short, a FPGA is a hardware implementation or pseudoemulation of the original hardware components of a machine (computer, console or Arcade PCB ). Maybe you've heard about MIST and MISTer projects. The main advantage that these devices offer over emulators is the near-absence of lag and the precise game timings, and also that it's very easy to connect them to a CRT monitor as they output RGB signals.
    With a MIST or MISTer you can play games from lots of systems and arcade machines but I want to share some info on playing arcade Tetris games that until know required the original PCB or an emulator.

    * Atari Tetris: playable in MIST and MISTer. Developed by MISTer-X (https://twitter.com/MrX_8B)

    * Sega Tetris: MISTer-X is going to release shortly a Sega System-16 core, this is, the implementation of that PCB for MISTer. This will allow to play Sega Tetris (and many other arcade classics that run in this PCB )

    * TGM1: here we'll have to wait some more but I'm confident. Laxer3A (https://www.patreon.com/posts/quicker-update-37727003) is working on a PS1 core for MISTer. Maybe ZN-2 can be ported to MISTer once PS1 is working properly. IMO this would be the definitive solution for playing TGM1 if you don't have the PCB, as the feeling of the game would be esentially the same.

    * TGM2: I've read comments from some people stating that Saturn would be a feasible target for implementation in MISTer (although in the limits of the device capacity). Maybe this could lead to a Psycho PCB implementation and thus having a hardware emulated TGM2 game.... to be fair at this moment it's a distant posibility but who knows....

    I hope some of you gather interest in these wonderful devices...
    jack13berry likes this.
  2. There is already a free SH-2 CPU FPGA implementation, which would be the majority of what's needed for TGM2. TGM2's hardware, the "PsikyoSH" per MAME's source code (really, a range of Psikyo-made PCBs all using an SH-2 CPU, a custom graphics chip, and audio hardware, with some RAM etc. changes between revisions) is pretty simple, since it's just 2D sprite hardware that's significantly more limited/simpler than the Saturn's complex hardware. In fact, I'd say it's the easiest to implement for FPGAs of all the TGM games.
  3. Well, thats great news, as implementing Psykyo PCB should be a somewhat closer objective. Let's see what happens.
  4. If I ever get a MiSTer setup, I'd like to try making a PsikyoSH FPGA implementation. But I have other projects right now, so I'd tackle that farther down the line, if at all. And if I did take that on, I'd be sure to make it work with all the PsikyoSH games.

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