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 » Atari » The Atari Forum » Atari 7800 Emulation and Homebrew

Atari 7800 Emulation and Homebrew

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1Atari 7800 Emulation and Homebrew Empty Atari 7800 Emulation and Homebrew on Thu 19 Jan 2012, 6:27 pm

Rev

Rev
Admin
Admin
Emulation and homebrew

When emulators of 1980s video game consoles began to appear on home computers in the late 1990s, the Atari 7800 was one of the last to be emulated. The lack of awareness of the system, the lack of understanding of the hardware, and fears about the digital signature lockout initially caused concerns. Since that time, however, the 7800 has been emulated successfully and is now common on emulation sites. One such program is ProSystem, written in C/C++ for the Microsoft Windows operating system.[13] It uses the Windows API and DirectX to display what it emulates in both PAL and NTSC.

The digital signature long prevented homebrew games from being developed until the original encryption generating software was discovered. When the original digital signature generating software was turned over to the Atari community, development of new Atari 7800 titles began. In addition, the Atari community has slowly uncovered the original 7800 development tools and released them into the public domain. New tools, documentation, source code and utilities for development have since been created which has sponsored additional homebrew development. Several new commercial Atari 7800 titles such as Beef Drop, B*nQ, Pac Man Collection, Combat 1990, Santa Simon, and Space War have been created and released.

System compatible hardware has also been produced for the system. Among these was the Cuttle Cart II, a device that allowed the Atari 7800 to read MMC cards containing binary files of Atari 7800 programs. The Cuttle Cart II has enabled more people to play the entire 2600 and 7800 library on an original system as well as binaries of unreleased games and new homebrew titles. The Cuttle Cart II was a success by homebrew standards, selling out both production runs and commanding high prices on eBay.

A more recent development is the Atari 7800 expansion module developed by Legacy Engineering with a high scores save feature (with compatible games), additional RAM capabilities, as well as vastly improved sound capabilities using the POKEY and YM2151 sound chips. The Expansion module is designed as a pass-through device that sits on top of the console and requires no system modding


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