Daytona USA is coming to PSN and XBLA!

Last week Siliconera reported that Daytona USA was coming to PSN and XBLA, featuring enhanced graphics (including widescreen support), 8 player online multiplay and all sorts of fun amazement. This comes on the heels of my previous post (which came via Retro Gaming Australia), where I hoped for nice HD visuals of the original assets and online multiplayer awesomeness. To say I’m chuffed would be an understatement :)

If this proves to be successful, perhaps we’ll see some other Sega arcade racers make it over. Sega Rally 1 and 2, Sega Touring Car and Scud Racer would all make wonderful additions to this lineup.

The only question that remains in my mind is the longevity of playing the game online – how long until online participation wears off? Take OutRun Online Arcade as an example – I love the game to bits, but nobody’s playing it on PSN much these days. Not that I can talk – I don’t get a lot of time for gaming these days, so I’m equally guilty of it as well.

So, in a perfect world the game would also support local multiplayer via split-screen and network (or both – 4 players on two networked PS3s for example). The thought of having 8 consoles hooked up for LAN Daytona is mind-blowing – if you ever had the luxury of going to an arcade with 8 Daytona machines hooked up with 8 mates in their respective cabs at the same time while duking it out with another 32 CPU cars on the track, you’d know such a thing is an amazing moment in arcade gaming.

Anywho, enough chatter – here’s the trailer:

We’ll apparently be seeing the game in November, while the US and Canada will be able to get started at the end of the month. Nice to see Daytona USA reflects the time it was developed by delaying the game for PAL territories ;)

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Daytona USA – rated but not confirmed for XBLA or PSN

daytona-usa-arcade-flyer

I can’t take credit for this – Retro Gaming Australia reports that Daytona USA has a new listing in the OFLC’s database.

There’s no information regarding platform or much else – it’s been rated ‘G’ and Sega Australia filed the request.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of it – perfect Model 2 emulation internally running at 1080p with 8-player online multiplayer awesomeness? A combination of the Model 2 original plus the Model 3 successor, all running at 1080p w/online multiplayer? Perhaps a 720p (boo) HD version of the Dreamcast release of Daytona USA 2001? The advantage of the latter is that it looks nice (and would be nicer in 1080p, but previous Dreamcast ports have only been 720p), there’s network infrastructure in the source code IIRC and it has the original tracks plus plenty of extras accumulated from the various subsequent releases.

Assuming it’s a good thing, hopefully we’ll continue to see classic Sega arcade classics released via PSN/XBLA. I’d love a 1080p Sega Rally + Sega Rally 2 release, Sega Touring Car, Scud Racer… and all running at 1080p with online multiplay. And then there’s their fighting franchises – 1080p Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter 3, Fighting Vipers, Last Bronx… even Sonic The Fighters ;)

A Sega fan can dream, right?

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Overhauling the Sega Astro City – Part 2, audio amplification and fans

I’ve already got the ball rolling in part 1 of this series, so let’s move on to part 2 – audio amplification and fans.

In line with the previous post, I want to add a way to have a stereo amp in the cabinet to take care of line-level sources and enhanced stereo sound (e.g. Naomi, CPS-II, Sega Model 3, etc). So, in the spirit of making the cab as universal as possible, I need to look at adding in a small amp that can be switched on or off as required, and be able to direct either amplified sound off the JAMMA cable or amplified stereo output as required. So, this is what I’ve come up with:

Audio wiring

It’s not all the difficult – I’ll need to rewire the 4-pin connector that goes from the speakers at the top of the cab so that they’re separated into stereo channels, then create a little switch to roll between a split dual-mono amplified output (from the JAMMA harness) or stereo output from the stereo amp, which in turn is powered off a 12v source (with switch to control when it’s on) and grabs its input directly from the PCB (Naomi, Model 2, etc).

This then means the audio can be setup in the cab when inserting a new board. All I’ll need are a pair of stereo RCA cables to run form the CPS-II or Naomi boards (and make a stereo RCA adapter for the Model 2/Model 3 boards) and run them off a pair of 12v mono amps I already have around the place, and I should be good to go.

The other addition I’d like to add is a stereo controller I can mount on the cab to adjust the output before it goes to the speakers as required – there’s currently a cheap knob the previous op added to give this kind of functionality, but it’s not a true stereo actuator, and doesn’t do much except distort the audio :P

Of course, the great thing with this setup is that it won’t cost much at all to add this kind of functionality. To make it clean though, I’ll plonk the lot into a small project box and mount everything inside it. This way, I can use the same project box to run a 12v switch to selectively power the 12v fan I got with my Model 3 kit before. And to make sure I don’t mangle my hand again, I’ll also grab a pair of 120mm fan guards to avoid any more stupidity :)

Thus ends part 2 – part 3 will deal with the lovely scope creep and deciding what to do with my monitor :D

To keep track of the whole project, just use the Sega Astro City Overhaul tag – the whole series will be added to it over time.

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Overhauling the Sega Astro City – Part 1, power supplies

I’ve been meaning to write something up on this long-winded project for a while now, so here I go – not sure how many parts there’ll be to this job, so we’ll just have to wait and see :)

I’ve recently been looking at the existing setup inside my Astro, and can’t help but feel that it needs some work. The wiring is a bit of a rat’s next at times, I don’t know where all the cabling’s going, I’ve had to beef up to wiring on the 5v connections to increase the PSU’s output, the PSU itself is on the way out, as is the existing arcade monitor.

Where things got to a bit of a head was with regards to power issues – I’ve recently grabbed a Naomi and currently have a couple of Model 2 and Model 3 boards that need a reasonable amount of juice on tap. So, I figured that maybe I should investigate rewiring the way the power supply worked. The problem here was finding a power supply that couple happily take everything from a mid-80s PCB all the way through to resource-hungry Model 3 and Naomi setups. This left me with two options:

Option 1 – Parallel PSUs

Parallel 3 PSU wiring

In this case, I’m taking the 240v AC supply, chaining it across my existing 15A arcade PSU, chaining it to another 15A PSU and finally chaining it to a 3.3v PSU I bought a while back. From here, I then wire it to a distribution block, which connect to suit Naomi, Model 2/3 or JAMMA.

The pros with this is that all I need is another PSU (cheap and accessible), it runs off 240v (no need to run it through the transformer), and doesn’t require too much tomfoolery.

However, against this is – will it actually work on games that need a full load? What if one fails? Is it really safe to be mixing too PSUs together to get this kind of power distribution.

This then leads to option 2:

Option 2 – Dedicated PSU

Sega SUN PSU wiring, original plan

In this case, the aim is to grab a Sega Sun power supply, since they are great pieces of kit and are certified to power anything you can throw at them.

There are some challenges with this – cost (they’re more expensive and more difficult to get locally), only 110v (therefore would require some extra work on hooking it into the transformer), no -5v output.

In the end though, I decided to go for the above setup – fork out the extra for the PSU, grab a Negatron to introduce a true -5v connection where necessary for older boards, and run them all off a distribution block.

However, after chatting with some more experienced arcade builders, I decided to change the model a little – instead of having a big distribution block, I decided to simply create a handful of male JST plugs for each connection (e.g. JAMMA, Model 2/3 and use standard cabling for the Naomi) and hook them directly into the JST power plugs on the PSU. The following is the final run:

Sega SUN PSU wiring, take 2

So, I figured if I was going to start rewiring some areas of the cabinet to accomodate the PSU and make the whole setup more universal, there are two other factors to consider – amplification for line-level sources and getting the 12v fan from the Model 3 setup up and running when needed – you’ll see these (as well as switches to accomodate them and the Negatron when needed) have been added to the above diagram.

But I’ll stop here before I get too carried away – part 2 will deal with more of the planning behind this project.

To keep track of the whole project, just use the Sega Astro City Overhaul tag – the whole series will be added to it over time.

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Update on power supply problems with Virtua Fighter 3 (Model 3) PCB

Finally have an update on the power supply problems I’ve been having with my Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtua Fighter 3 respective Model 2A and Model 3 boards.

After tracking down an eBay sale of a Model 3-fitted and ready PSU, I buckled, bought it, and it finally arrived yesterday. I gave it a preliminary run to see if I could get the thing to power up, and it looks like we may just be in business :)

The setup’s nothing too refined, but is startlingly effective – it’s basically a standard ATX power supply running on 240v with the 12v, +5v, +3.3v and GND going to a couple of distributors on a block of wood, and the distributors rope around to the various connectors on the board. The input and video run back to a JAMMA biscuit, and the sound (not connected) has been wired to a 4-pin molex connector, but currently doesn’t have an amp fitted.

Moving forward, from here I’ll need to take the Wei Ya audio amp off the existing Model 3 >> JAMMA adapter I have and fit that into the loop and connect it up to the JAMMA biscuit to get sound going through. Will have to look at doing something similar for my Model 2 board as well, might see if there’s a way I can quickly hook up the PSU to my Model 2A filterboard to at least test the thing and see if I can get the sucker powering up.

The funny thing with all this is that Wifey said ages ago that I should have gone out and grabbed a big beefy power supply for the system before messing around with everything else I’ve done. Looks like she was right all along :)

Once I’ve had a chance to properly connect the whole shebang together and get it up and running, I’ll post up some pics to share. Might also prove useful to other people interested in doing similar mods on their systems.

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