The XGameStation Revolution

[[XGameStation]]

While 3GHz consoles are being unveiled and multi-million dollar game productions are announced, CEO and Chief Scientist of Nurve Networks LLC, Andre' LaMothe has different plans, a little less mainstream and definitely more low-tech but just as promising for the future of gaming. In an interview to GameGossip.com he revealed his plan to bring game development to the masses. His weapon in order to achieve that is the XGameStation Video Game System development kit. The kit comes with an assembled XGameStation console, a blank, ready-to-use game cartridge, a CD containing all system software and tools necessary to develop for the system, and of course, an extensive eBook that explains how the system was designed and how it works from the ground up. Everything from basic digital logic to computer engineering to circuit board design to operating system kernels and APIs are covered, in precise detail. Never before has such a mammoth collection of knowledge, insight and practical techniques for both hardware and software been concentrated in a single place, with such an accessible entry level. This kit is aimed at everyone from seasoned engineers to absolute electronics newbies.

Yes but what is it?

Like all revolutionary ideas, the XGameStation is equal parts fantasy and reality. On the one hand, it addresses a real problem that has existed for years-- that no hobbyist game programmer or hardware hacker has a unified, inexpensive platform they can actually build, take apart, and own exclusively. On the other hand, it will power a next-generation synergy of hardware, software, imagination and creativity of unparalleled proportions.

Read on to find out what Andre' LaMothe himself had to say about this to GameGossip.com while for those of you that need more detail there is a detailed IRC chat transcript available if you follow the download tab above.

[[The GameGossip.com Interview]]

GameGossip: Where did the idea for the XGameStation come from? Why make a console for the hobbyist rather than the seasoned professional?

Andre' LaMothe: I personally have had a fascination with both hardware graphics and software graphics my whole life. However, writing books about embedded computers etc. wasn't feasible due to the technology barriers in the past. Now there are technologies available, so that anyone can get the tools they need to build hardware and even have PCBs made. This along with the fact that game development with pure software has lost its way have been the culminating factors motivating me to finally start re-directing my efforts to teaching hardware rather software only. And as far as seasoned professionals, 99% of all game developers at EA, Activision, etc. probably have never built a computer from TTL chips, so I think that they will find something of interest as well.

GG: What are the key features of the XGameStation? What do you get when you purchase the XGameStation kit to develop games?

AL: The system will be based on a 16-bit processor, probably the Motorola 68HCS12. Additionally, the sound system will be similar to the Sega master system, Atari ST which used an AY-3-8912 - FM synthesis. Memory will be varied, but imagine an old 8-bit machine, 64K of code space most likely. Graphics will be along the lines of a NES or Atari 800/C64/Apple II. And finally there will be an expansion port to interface all kinds of cool upgrades. The system will also have PSX like interfaces ports and will use the controllers natively. As far as what you get, the XGS comes with the system hardware itself, pre-assembled, one FLASH memory game cartridge an eBook on developing and programming the XGS. Built in BASIC, and all the cables and power supplies you need to get started. It is a complete "kit", open it, plug it into the TV and an AC outlet, connect a PS2 style keyboard and you are up in running in BASIC. If you want to create more complete programs in C/C++ or ASM then you will use the Tool chain we provide on a Windows PC, write the code, compile, and download to the XGS with a simple serial cable to program the cartridge.

GG: A few friends and I want to make a game for the XGameStation - what is the process we will have to go through to make this happen?

AL: Just hard work. But, you will fire up the assembler or C/C++ compiler write the game, make calls to my API, compile or assembly, download to the cartridge and press START. Or forget all that and do it in XGS BASIC right on the system.

GG: When the XGameStation is released will there be any games to play at launch, or will gamers have to wait until other people create games before they can play anything?

AL: Since the system isn't for "gamers" per se, so we aren't worrying about making games at launch, however, as soon as the first prototypes are available I will send them to key developers and see what they can come up for simple games to launch with. The thing to remember is this system isn't about making crazy games to do that use an XBox or PS2. This system is about learning every single aspect of building a game console and then writing games for it, and building more advanced systems yourself. This is like my book "Windows Game Programming for Dummies", but for hardware. This is the first step only, there will be others...

GG: XGameStation supports C/C++, assembly, and the XGameStation version of BASIC. Will prospective developers have to have their own compilers and debuggers to write code for it, or is there a "lite" version of a compiler/debugger included in the software development kit?

AL: There will be free assemblers and the GNU compiler, however, I STRONGLY advise serious developers to buy a more complete compiler from Metrowerks or ImageCraft (if I go with the 68HCS12). They both have incredible tools for that particular processor. However, to keep costs down I am just going to use what's available "open source" otherwise the price would increase at least USD 500 to license tools per unit!

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

The XGameStation Revolution

However much I hate consoles, I must say that this does have potential. Though I think that it will suck being their first attempt, people will follow this idea and make much better things from it. It's good that they're getting the idea out though.

The XGameStation Revolution

Great 4 hackerz i must say. This teaches u everything u need to know about how hardware works, an with that comes the knowledge of reverse-engineering and hacking the hardware. And wats even detter this is LEGAL. This is a great idea.

The XGameStation Revolution

this is not mainstream stuff, I never really seen anything like it, so it wont be so profitable and maybe fail.But I think it is an interesting idea, Im into electronics and programming, it might be fun to get something like this if it dont cost too much.

The XGameStation Revolution

man u Xbox lamers have no d**ks, still stuck with ur sega's and ps2's. And why the f**k do we need another console, think about game developers, now they have to make games 4 ps, xbox, pc, phantofantom shit and this xstation- just an example. I for example wouldnt mind buyin my puter a chip which would give me a remarkable boost, how come no f**kin one ever thinks about that. Yeah graphic cards they all great, but if u make a chip with alot of shit integrated, i dont care if its a box or something, extra memory, several CPUs and stuff like that, they can optimize it and gain speed from that. feckers

The XGameStation Revolution

As far as Im concerned, Microshaft got it right. Xbox is one of best consoles Ive seen in a long long long long long long long long long long long long long time. And yes microsoft will release the new Xbox b4 the PS3. PS to put it bluntly are shit and should have been f**ked over along time ago. They half the machine an Xbox is literaly.

The XGameStation Revolution

There we go, always braggin about how "powerful" the XBOX is. Why don't we bring music in. Let's take a look at, say...Britney Spears and Christina Assilera. Both suck or could suck me for all I care, but look at it like this. Think of Britney as the PS2, and Christina as the XBOX.Christina no doubt can sing 10000000000x better than britney, dance better and give better head. Britney is just another rich blonde chick that became popular because of her implants.Same thing with the PS2. The gayXBOX is stronger and more useful than the PS2. But why doesn't it "rule" first place in the industry? Because, the PS2 has better features (aka Boobs for Britney). Therefore, the success of the XBOX is inferior to the PS2. If you don't believe me, go do some research at faukyourself.com. Better yet, go take a look at Guiness. The XBOX definitely has "superior" junk in it, but no where else. Games of the same name is better found on it's competitors boat. Plus, the XBOX Live! is a piece of trash. Pay 2 play is a dumb idea, let alone the games cost way 2 much already. Stupid marketing plans, and non-funny commercials hold Microsoft from becoming the "next" former Nintendo. The XBOX sucks. Period.

The XGameStation Revolution

Better features? All I can see is the game content 'cause developers are too scared to switch sides. I’ve owned both at one point and I got rid of my PS2, I didn’t even sell it, I gave it away. Now we all know consoles suck anyway, but If had to side with one, performance is my first choice as it enhances the gaming experience.As for as your analogy, I think Xbox is Britney Spears and the PS2 is Catharine Zeta Jones. For you see Britney a bit of a bitch and doesn't understand the marketing side of things i.e. FANS! As for Catharine, well everyone has had a go and the only ones who do hang on are the saggy shapeless men/women.

The XGameStation Revolution

who cares about the 3 gig processors and mad videocards, to take full advantage of todays technology we would have to have a world like in lawnmowerman and tron, now if a game company could do that they would put everything else out of business

The XGameStation Revolution

if to many new consoles come out in the next couple years, then all of them will suck. There will be to many systems for developers to develope for. Instead of each console sharing a bunch of games and having a bunch exclusive, each console will have a majority of exclusive games so if you want to play all the good games you would have to spend around $1000 on consoles plus games. Then the consoles would be completely obsolete because you might as well get a computer instead.

The XGameStation Revolution

did any of you really read this article, well im suprised you dumbasses can read after looking at the stupid shit about britany and nvidiot is a retard. i didnt even understand what he was talking about.anyways this is for people to learn about developing games and consoles. its for people to learn about whats your console is doing. hence the titleXGameStation Video Game System development kita new video game console designed to teach digital engineering and low-level programming.soooo your all shit heads.

The XGameStation Revolution

ok, everyone should now know that the Phantom is a fake. it would take days to download the games, and the company was just made a while ago. i suspect that this is the same, XGameStation? X-Box GameCube PlayStaion, X Game Stationit is a very good idea but i bet its fake like the phantom

The XGameStation Revolution

I don't think this is fake, because Andre Lamothe has quite a reputation when it comes to games.BTW, Lamothe started a game publishing company called XGames3D.com, so that's where the X comes from(extreme). And that was before XBox.

The XGameStation Revolution

"your all stupid" - another attempt at making it as the alpha male has failed. Hence this horny, little d**k, white, greasy teenager has little more than a short over bloated comment and still no pussy.P.S - I would of gone into further depth to explain what I said earlier but I think I’ve wasted enough server space making my point on how sexually frustrated you are feeling.

The XGameStation Revolution

I just read a new article that came out a while about the new systems the article is here talks about some cool games that are going to come out for the counsels DAMM THE GRAPHICS ARE COOL check out the screenshots and the artice here [url removed]

The XGameStation Revolution

Rofl!!! Man u guys are a bunch of ignorant fools! This Xgamestation is nowhere near as powerfull as current consoles. Why the fuk are u guys comparing it to the xbox or the ps2.IMO i think this is a really good thing cuz people will be able to program their OWN games and learn the basics of video game programing. We wont see any mayor developer on this system, but we will probably see a lot of underground developers making games for it.

The XGameStation Revolution

Reading some peoples comment makes me feel dumber.Anyways, this "prototype" may have actual potential. This may be a great idea to help many people learn "the ropes" of the electronic industry. This idea may actually be a revolution. Some people have some great ideas, and they will create inventions that will help the scientists today.This is just the beginning of the technological age. The advancments of technology have only just begun.

The XGameStation Revolution

Nice idea that is great for the DIY gamer. Pity about the rest of us. Any fool can learn to program without having to buy this waste of money. The Xbox is a midget PC with a windows based OS. If you can program a PC then you can bloody well do a console (excluding kooky jap shit)

Add new comment