Official DCIO News and Development Thread

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by nikgod » January 11th, 2020, 3:21 am

The expansion port is almost certainly not going to work. The Dreamcast G2 bus that the expansion port is attached to is specifically designed not to be able to read or write to the bus the GD-ROM is on, nor does it have DMA access to the memory mapped to the game execution.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by PhilTheStampede » January 14th, 2020, 12:17 am

nikgod wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 3:21 am
The expansion port is almost certainly not going to work. The Dreamcast G2 bus that the expansion port is attached to is specifically designed not to be able to read or write to the bus the GD-ROM is on, nor does it have DMA access to the memory mapped to the game execution.
That's what internal mods are for, baby. A chip here, a wire there, and boom; you got yourself connections. They could even make another tiny board if they had to that accomplishes what a chip cant.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Greg2600 » January 15th, 2020, 8:30 am

nikgod wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 3:21 am
The expansion port is almost certainly not going to work. The Dreamcast G2 bus that the expansion port is attached to is specifically designed not to be able to read or write to the bus the GD-ROM is on, nor does it have DMA access to the memory mapped to the game execution.
Well, that's lousy to hear, but appreciate the info nonetheless. I wasn't aware of that. At this point, my primary hope is a device that has menu support, and not attached to the two crackpots who currently make them.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Matt » January 16th, 2020, 1:19 pm

We're starting development again on DCIO. It will be a very high quality and much cheaper product that is easily available :)

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Greg2600 » January 22nd, 2020, 5:54 pm

Matt wrote:
January 16th, 2020, 1:19 pm
We're starting development again on DCIO. It will be a very high quality and much cheaper product that is easily available :)
Good to hear! I would also consider offering 3D-printed options to secure/house the board in the DC, and one that replaces the drive space under the lid.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by setsunabr » January 26th, 2020, 4:54 am

Matt wrote:
January 16th, 2020, 1:19 pm
We're starting development again on DCIO. It will be a very high quality and much cheaper product that is easily available :)
GREAT! I got a PSIO recently and...man...it's amazing how good it is!

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Retrorunner » January 28th, 2020, 11:26 pm

I am going to ask a question which might seen as provocative: Why should I buy DCIO? Right now I have the option to buy the chinese GDEMU Clone (which works fine as the original) for 40$ and play all my DC games from SD Card ...and maybe in 1-2 years when DCIO is ready for shippment the price of the clone GDEMu will be decreased to 20-30$.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Hastor » January 29th, 2020, 12:54 am

I'm also going to be more curious on this one. I don't have any solution on my Dreamcast right now, aside from backups that often required removing content such as cut scenes (or decreasing their quality a lot). All of my solutions on other systems currently leave the original hardware available in case I run into compatibility issues. I can still use a disc with my PSIO, can still use a disc in my original Sega CD with the Mega SD, and my Super SD System 3 can be easily swapped out for the real drive. Even have two devices - CFFA 3000 and Floppy Emu on my Apple II, which work together as well as with my real floppy drives (maybe a little more expected from a computer).
If it will require giving up my original GD-ROM drive I want to be sure I'm going with the most compatible option available. And still sounds like I might want to keep a spare DC with an optical drive on the side just in case.
Last edited by Hastor on January 29th, 2020, 1:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » January 29th, 2020, 1:08 am

GDEMU has no official place for compatibility reports. The author only says it's "100% compatible" and that's that. What you find online is contradictory. Some people say it's perfect, some people say there are weird issues in games, like the menu in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica glitching. In other words: caveat emptor!

GDEMU also overheats DC, and the barbaric resistor mod doesn't help because then the resistor itself starts overheating. The best thing is to buy a special tray to help with the heat dissipation, but a good quality one costs at leat 20 bucks + shipping.

The clones are made with low-quality components. I guess they work just like the official GDEMU, but you can never be sure. For example, I know some have wrong crystals, which break DCHDMI.

You can't really expect quality software to go along with GDEMU clones since even the official one has horrible software.

Personally, I'm not going to bother with GDEMU, not to even mention that shoddy USB thing from Russia.

DCIO will most likely offer great quality at a reasonable price with real customer support, BUT I need to see it running commercial games from start to finish with no issues before I can honestly say it's the best option.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Matt » January 29th, 2020, 11:45 am

We'll announce all the details of DCIO when we are close to showing the prototype to the public. Ideally we are designing it so you can use the original GD-ROM + DCIO (exactly like how PSIO can use the CD-ROM drive too) and the Menu System for it will be highly polished with a beautiful design taking advantage of the Dreamcasts power.

I'd like to show renders and photos, but I won't until we are near release date to the public to stop people stealing our work/designs.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » January 29th, 2020, 12:00 pm

If you can make sure that DCIO won't lose 100% game compatibility because of the way it connects with the system, then I'm sure it's going to be a much better solution than GDEMU.

GDEMU does (supposedly) offer 100% game compatibility as a direct GD-ROM replacement, but it's a crude hardware design with a crappy software loader.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Hastor » January 29th, 2020, 1:15 pm

Any possibility it will support the redump bin/cue format, or will it still be GDI only like the GDEMU? I understand support for their format had been limited across emulators etc. Again I'm pretty new to the DC side of drive emulation.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Matt » January 29th, 2020, 4:16 pm

We'll look into making it support BIN/CUE.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Jaggy » January 30th, 2020, 1:48 am

I would suggest still supporting .gdi in any case.

There is contention withing the dumping scene regarding the correct disc format. The gist being that TOSEC .gdi is designed to be properly playable, while REDUMP's format is more oriented towards preservation.

Most Dreamcast tools assume .gdi files (including the 2 disc shrinking tools that are available). There is a utility to convert back and forth between the 2 formats, but at this point TOSEC .gdi is the defacto standard (especially for ODE /emulator use).

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Hastor » January 30th, 2020, 2:06 am

I definitely wouldn't suggest NOT supporting GDI, just wondering if this conversion, or interpretation of the data, could happen within the DCIO on-the-fly without requiring a conversion step like games with CDDA on the PSIO.

I'm far from an expert but from what I've read it does sound like the redump format better preserves everything about the original disc, including I guess some things that aren't necessary for play. But all the same it sounds like the data is there and accessible. It is definitely beyond my knowledge why GDI makes running the games easier. I'd assume something that can access the data can use it, but it is obviously more complicated than that.

I'd just like to know at some point, in preparation for this, what the best format I should be using is. If redump is a better true archive I'd prefer those if possible, but as you said, you can convert between them. I'd still like to be using something officially supported like redump is for PSIO so that bug reports etc can be made when I encounter them. More support is usually better though, if possible!
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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » January 30th, 2020, 2:07 am

Jaggy wrote:
January 30th, 2020, 1:48 am
he gist being that TOSEC .gdi is designed to be properly playable, while REDUMP's format is more oriented towards preservation.
It's only because the .gdi dumps were first and people got used to it. The REDUMP format can be perfect for gaming purposes if the people who write the DC software decide to support it.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Hastor » January 30th, 2020, 2:33 am

There also seems to be some limitations on the hardware side of the reader device in some cases, like how the PSIO needs everything to be a single bin/cue, and requires conversion if it isn't. I'm sure there's a solid reason that's way over my head for that, but just like this, it would seem supporting multi-bin or cue/bin/wav/iso files would have been possible with the PSIO. They wouldn't have required using a tool if so though. I'm sure that's been discussed to death elsewhere. I'm a new PSIO owner so I wasn't around for any of that. Given that the Mega SD and Super SD System 3 devices support just about any files along with a cue (as long as they aren't compressed such as MP3), I'm surprised the device for the PSX doesn't. No big deal, the conversion's easy and I keep my original files. Just saying that it could be something within the device's power that limits which is easier to read. Even if it did have bin/cue support, they might need combined into a single BIN again like the PSIO.

All this just speculation from someone with only a basic understanding of how this stuff works.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Retrorunner » January 30th, 2020, 8:57 pm

Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 1:08 am
GDEMU has no official place for compatibility reports. The author only says it's "100% compatible" and that's that. What you find online is contradictory. Some people say it's perfect, some people say there are weird issues in games, like the menu in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica glitching. In other words: caveat emptor!

GDEMU also overheats DC, and the barbaric resistor mod doesn't help because then the resistor itself starts overheating. The best thing is to buy a special tray to help with the heat dissipation, but a good quality one costs at leat 20 bucks + shipping.

The clones are made with low-quality components. I guess they work just like the official GDEMU, but you can never be sure. For example, I know some have wrong crystals, which break DCHDMI.

You can't really expect quality software to go along with GDEMU clones since even the official one has horrible software.

Personally, I'm not going to bother with GDEMU, not to even mention that shoddy USB thing from Russia.

DCIO will most likely offer great quality at a reasonable price with real customer support, BUT I need to see it running commercial games from start to finish with no issues before I can honestly say it's the best option.
Fair points.
At the end I don't think dcio will have that huge impact compared to psio because gdemu is alsmost perfect when it comes to emualtion for many people who don't care about all this smaller things.
I hope one day we can expect something like ps2io with perfect ps1 and ps2 emulation. This would dream come to true.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by connrrr » February 2nd, 2020, 6:33 am

Matt wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 11:45 am
We'll announce all the details of DCIO when we are close to showing the prototype to the public. Ideally we are designing it so you can use the original GD-ROM + DCIO (exactly like how PSIO can use the CD-ROM drive too)
Nice!
and the Menu System for it will be highly polished with a beautiful design taking advantage of the Dreamcasts power.
Yeah!! That's what Captain Abrasive's GUI designer is doing with the Saturn. It'll be fun to see what you do with it. The DC's OS is the cutest default interface of any console so it always felt a bit sad that the GDEMU and USB-GDROM interfaces deaden the experience.

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Re: Official DCIO News and Development Thread

Post by Greg2600 » February 10th, 2020, 3:07 pm

Matt wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 11:45 am
We'll announce all the details of DCIO when we are close to showing the prototype to the public. Ideally we are designing it so you can use the original GD-ROM + DCIO (exactly like how PSIO can use the CD-ROM drive too) and the Menu System for it will be highly polished with a beautiful design taking advantage of the Dreamcasts power.

I'd like to show renders and photos, but I won't until we are near release date to the public to stop people stealing our work/designs.
You're going to keep the GD Drive in there and functional??? Really?? Now I'm much more interested!
Hastor wrote:
January 30th, 2020, 2:06 am
I definitely wouldn't suggest NOT supporting GDI, just wondering if this conversion, or interpretation of the data, could happen within the DCIO on-the-fly without requiring a conversion step like games with CDDA on the PSIO.

I'm far from an expert but from what I've read it does sound like the redump format better preserves everything about the original disc, including I guess some things that aren't necessary for play. But all the same it sounds like the data is there and accessible. It is definitely beyond my knowledge why GDI makes running the games easier. I'd assume something that can access the data can use it, but it is obviously more complicated than that.

I'd just like to know at some point, in preparation for this, what the best format I should be using is. If redump is a better true archive I'd prefer those if possible, but as you said, you can convert between them. I'd still like to be using something officially supported like redump is for PSIO so that bug reports etc can be made when I encounter them. More support is usually better though, if possible!
Well Redump has always been about replicating the disc as close as possible. That being said, the DC ISO debate is so freaking confusing. You have Redump and TOSEC, you have offshoots and updates of both. There's also renewed development in crunching these images for DC and other disc based systems, and STILL having them run on these "flash" devices. Again, it's very confusing.
Retrorunner wrote:
January 28th, 2020, 11:26 pm
I am going to ask a question which might seen as provocative: Why should I buy DCIO? Right now I have the option to buy the chinese GDEMU Clone (which works fine as the original) for 40$ and play all my DC games from SD Card ...and maybe in 1-2 years when DCIO is ready for shippment the price of the clone GDEMu will be decreased to 20-30$.
Well it's not always about price. I would like a really well designed and supported option. There's plenty of bargain options on this and other systems, but you get what you pay for sometimes. USB GD-ROM and GDEMU are basically stagnant devices. They're still being made, but there's next to no improvement on either.

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