I just did a livestream with James from RetroHQ, demoing the upcoming Atari 7800 Game Drive and Mega 7800. The 7800GD is both a ROM cart, as well as a play-and-play RGB video output device, similar to Krikzz’ RGB Blaster, that outputs clean RGB via a Genesis 2-style mini-din. The Mega 7800 is a controller adapter that allows you to use Genesis and SMS controllers (and the SMS light phaser) on the Atari 7800. These should be up for sale in a week or so, but you can place yourself on a notification list at the stores below – More Info Below:
GameDrive US Seller: https://retrorgb.link/7800gd
GameDrive UK Seller: https://retrorgb.link/7800gduk
Mega 7800 US Seller: https://retrorgb.link/mega7800
Mega 7800 UK Seller: https://retrorgb.link/mega7800uk
Genesis 2 Video Cables: https://www.retrorgb.com/genesisrgbcables.html
First, here’s a quick stream summary: Both devices performed really well and there are no “problems”. The only things to note: When using the Mega 7800, you need to press a button on the controller before it auto-detects what you’re using. When using light gun games, you might need to wait for a bight screen for it to be detected properly, but just give it a few seconds…it’ll be fine. Also, the sync voltages where right at the low and high limits for csync and cvbs (respectively). We tested compatibility with the RetroTINK 5x, 2x SCART, 2X Pro, RAD2x, OSSC and RGB monitors and all worked great except the OSSC. I’m not sure if an updated sync circuit would fix the OSSC, but James is going to look into it. If you’re using HD Retrovision cables, this shouldn’t be an issue though, only OSSC users with RGB SCART cables.
Another thing to note, is the 7800GD supports all additional audio chips, including 2 POKEY chips for DUAL POKEY music, a YM2151, COVOX audio for sampled sound and BupChip for blasting sampled music. That means games like Ricky and Vikki will look and sound correct!
Speaking of looking correctly, James added some blending modes that softens the image to look like composite video. While in most games this will just decrease the sharpness, certain games almost require it for the graphics to look right. We demo’d this in the steam.
We also demo’s savestates, cheats, the in-game menu and color palette options; All worked great. Atari 2600 ROM support was good, with a few exceptions – Some games were a bit glitchy and sometimes a reboot was required: If you boot into a 7800 game first, you need to power cycle the console before loading 2600 games. This is a small detail, but I wanted to mention in case you ran into it and wondered in there was a problem.
Lastly, there’s also a serial port on the side which allows developers to upload and run code directly from your PC. We didn’t test this, but I’m sure 7800 dev’s can get all the info they need about this port, right on James’ website: https://www.retrohq.co.uk/products/atari-7800-gamedrive-flash-cartridge
If you’d like to hear more from the creator, I did an interview with James awhile back – You can watch the video below, or find it on any podcast service by searching “RetroRGB RetroHQ”: