Quantcast

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 31 to 42 of 42

Thread: Xband has someone got it working yet?

  1. #31
    WCPO Agent Greg2600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    758
    Rep Power
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by McValdemar View Post
    On YouTube there's a video from 2019 where they show a proof of concept of Mortal Kombat 2 played on Genesis and XBand.

    So a week ago, the author of this video posted this informative reply. First, Retro.Live is dead, not having made much progress, stifled by the latency introduced by using VOIP rather than strictly copper land lines.

    There is a ton of confusion about this and other XBAND-related projects and I hope to rectify some of that. Trying to keep this as short as possible, but it's hard because there are so many details to cover...

    Retro.Live, as mentioned in the Wrestling With Gaming documentary about XBAND, is a dead project. As a final nail in the coffin, the Discord guild was recently deleted by a third party with access to the admin's account, and cannot be restored. While it was a huge loss of a community, and a lot of us are frustrated, the fact remains that no active development on XBAND had been taking place there for several months.

    Retro.Live was developing their own XBAND server reimplementation, which you can see in the aforementioned documentary and a few other videos on YouTube. TripleXBAND was my own server implementation, based on the source code that Retro.Live obtained from Catapult (the original XBAND developers). Mine was separate from Retro.Live, and most of my work was done before I had any direct involvement with them, but this should also be considered a dead project. I do have some tentative plans to work on it further in the future, just to make it a bit more feature-complete, but I cannot make any promises. Internet gameplay is extremely unlikely to happen.

    Retro.Live's own server source code is readily available on github and I believe is functional for SNES. The Catapult files are also out there if you look around.

    XBAND relied on the phone network of the 90s to function. There are various solutions available to connect old analog phone devices to VoIP, but all of them have inherent latency that the old phone network simply did not have. That's before you even get any data out onto the internet, which itself has further non-deterministic latency. Even though you may be able to order a "landline" phone today, 9 times out of 10 you are going to be provided with a box that does the same thing: convert analog phone signals to VoIP. Getting a real, copper POTS line is very difficult these days, and flat out impossible in many areas. It works for voice calls, but modems have different requirements that makes them flaky over VoIP to begin with, even disregarding latency.

    Retro.Live was able to get XBAND working over the internet, on SNES, with some latency-related issues. Genesis on the other hand is a completely different story. Its latency requirements are much tighter, and does not work even on a local network when you factor in the latency of phone-to-IP conversion. The only way I was able to get it working for this video was to cut out IP entirely and simulate an old-school phone line. Sure, it works, but what's the point, when I could just plug in a second controller and not involve XBAND at all?

    I came at this and developed my server from a preservationist and retro tech nerd perspective. At no point did I plan to make some grand reimplementation of XBAND that would return us to its glory days in the 90s. I never want to say that it's impossible, as I know there are some unexplored avenues to help with the latency issues, but I'm pretty sure we're not going to see it, because the effort required to do that would be better placed elsewhere.

    ...Which brings me to this final item, Retro.Link. You can consider this a "fork" of the Retro.Live group. Retro.Link's goal is to provide real hardware network multiplayer, but using brand new, modern hardware which doesn't require a zillion hacks to get working at all like XBAND modems do. I'm also involved in this project to some extent. You can find details as they are available at http://retro.link, but please be aware that the project is still in development and there's not much to show at this time. There is no release date or schedule.

    This was longer than I wanted, but I hope it helps answer some of the questions people have had. Again, feel free to ask if there is anything else you want to know. Either contact me on YouTube, or find me on twitter at @agirisan.
    Instead, there's an ongoing project called http://retro.link/ Retro.Link, which aims to use different modems for networked multiplayer. Therefore, the X-Band modems themselves are basically just display pieces now.

  2. #32
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,966
    Rep Power
    70

    Default

    In case anybody is curious about this part:
    It works for voice calls, but modems have different requirements that makes them flaky over VoIP to begin with, even disregarding latency.
    From what I recall the big issue is that VoIP compresses the audio signal in a lossy way. This lossiness is enough to make modems stop working at higher baud rates, especially if the phase information gets lost in the process (which will wreck 1200bps and up as they rely on it to encode data, forcing modems to drop their speed even lower).

    Also uh yeah, not surprised about the tighter requirements on Mega Drive. When I saw the interface and noticed there was only enough to hold four frames worth of data (~66.67ms) I was wondering how the heck would they be able to get it work over internet where lag tends to be higher. You'd overflow the buffer very easily.

  3. #33
    The Cat in the Hat Shining Hero NeoVamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    10,330
    Rep Power
    190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    Therefore, the X-Band modems themselves are basically just display pieces now.
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, they look too awesome to be irrelevant!

  4. #34
    WCPO Agent Greg2600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    758
    Rep Power
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    In case anybody is curious about this part:
    From what I recall the big issue is that VoIP compresses the audio signal in a lossy way. This lossiness is enough to make modems stop working at higher baud rates, especially if the phase information gets lost in the process (which will wreck 1200bps and up as they rely on it to encode data, forcing modems to drop their speed even lower).

    Also uh yeah, not surprised about the tighter requirements on Mega Drive. When I saw the interface and noticed there was only enough to hold four frames worth of data (~66.67ms) I was wondering how the heck would they be able to get it work over internet where lag tends to be higher. You'd overflow the buffer very easily.
    Yes, the original X-Band engineers purposely used a 2400 baud modem so that there was little to no compression. The bits were sent/received basically as is, and that granted them the proper latency.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVamp View Post
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, they look too awesome to be irrelevant!
    Well I have no idea what their actual plans are, as I can't stand Discord to be bothered to look. I suppose if they were developing a new board, it could be placed into an existing X-band.

  5. #35
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One McValdemar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Rome (Italy)
    Age
    47
    Posts
    74
    Rep Power
    6

    Default

    In the end the message is always the same.
    XBand relies on physical aspects of the lines thare are no longer available as of today.
    Genesis XBand is way more sensitive to those things than SNES one.
    Probably would be the wrong direction to try to make work the old adapter but is realistic to expect feasibility of a new adapter, modelled on actual internet, to be offered. Problem would be to identify funds and someone capable of taking over such project.

  6. #36
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,966
    Rep Power
    70

    Default

    You mean Mega Wifi? :​P (heck, there was a bunch of work to add support for it in BlastEm the last week or so)

  7. #37
    Outrunner maxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    569
    Rep Power
    23

    Default

    I don't care too much for netplay on the MD, but I could kill someone in exchange of netplay for the DC fighting games.

  8. #38
    WCPO Agent Mad Moham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    843
    Rep Power
    22

    Default

    I think I mentioned this in another thread somewhere. But when I bought my console the sales assistant got me sold on the system by telling me I could play Altered Beast over the phone with a friend. Xband didn't exist at the time and was a few years away, so I don't know where he got that stupid idea from. He probably heard of the Mega Modem and mistakenly believed that it worked for every game.

  9. #39
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,966
    Rep Power
    70

    Default

    Considering what they said in this interview? Possibly, especially since back then Western magazines would often piggyback off Japanese magazines for news: https://mdshock.com/2018/07/08/the-s...drive-is-here/

    (underline mine)
    Modem

    Sega has put a lot of effort into researching network gaming, but that would be out of the question without a modem. If you are worried about cost, it appears that Sega is going to sell its high performance modem for an unprecedented low price. The modem will allow you to play games in real time with distant friends. In addition, Sega will eventually offer new games which can be downloaded onto floppy disks using the modem, so you can avoid the nightmare of waiting in line for new releases.
    It certainly sounds vague enough that it could be misunderstood after a couple of relays…

  10. #40
    WCPO Agent
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    956
    Rep Power
    22

    Default

    Has there ever been any discussion of adding online play to the Mega Sg? That seems like a more technically feasible option.

  11. #41
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,966
    Rep Power
    70

    Default

    Over what port? :​P (it doesn't have neither wi-fi nor Ethernet as far as I'm aware, firmware updates come over SD cards)

  12. #42
    WCPO Agent
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    956
    Rep Power
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Over what port? :​P (it doesn't have neither wi-fi nor Ethernet as far as I'm aware, firmware updates come over SD cards)
    Oh... well I guess that would make things difficult lol

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •