Game Pie Advance: Now Taking Preorders

Don’t worry! The marks on the screen are actually on the lens protector.

I wrote up a little post over at the Game Pie Advance site about Pre-Selling GPA v2 DIY kits. Since the store is actually hosted on this site, I figured I should post about it here, too.

If you want to just jump to the product page, there’s plenty of info there.
http://www.flashmasta.com/product/game-pie-advance-diy-kit-v2/

Otherwise, I’ll give you a brief description of what it is here. The Game Pie Advance (GPA), as you may already know, is a project we’ve been working on to allow you to put the RetroPie Linux distribution on your Raspberry Pi Zero and fit it all inside of a GBA shell. The end result should mostly look and feel like a GBA, but it will be running a system made for emulation.

If you don’t already know about RetroPie, you should probably head over to their page and learn a bit about it. https://retropie.org.uk/

As far as this pre-sale goes, we are collecting orders now, so we can purchase PCBs, LCDs, and other parts. We are also engineering in a couple new main features like battery charging and the option to add X/Y buttons. See the GPA DIY preorder page for more info about all that stuff.

Also, I’d like to ask for your help a bit here. As we’re trying to “kickstart” this version 2 kit with help from preorders, I’d be awesome if you could share links to this project wherever you might think it’s appropriate.

Thanks!

Posted in Game Pie Advance

Black Friday 2016

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This image doesn’t have anything to with this post, but it brings back fond memories.

There hasn’t been a lot to publicly announce lately, so I’ve been fairly quiet as far as posting articles goes. The last time I posted here was August.

Today I am in the Thanksgiving spirit, and am spending the holidays with family. Today someone brought the Thanksgiving newspaper that is always full of Black Friday advertisements, so it reminded me that we were considering trying our own BF sale here.

Coupon Code: EXPIRED

Well, I have to run. I was just hailed to come get lunch (not Thanksgiving dinner quite yet).

Posted in NGPC Flash Cart

WS Flash Masta Finally Available PLUS Announcing Game Pie Advance

WS Flash Masta GreenWow. I really can’t believe that it’s been so long since I’ve posted an article here. I’ve been crazy busy. I’m currently working on several projects, and I have 2 to discuss here today.

First of all, the WS Flash Masta cart is finally available on the site. I just put up a page for it. I hope people still remember about this project. 😉 If you want one, please read the product description before ordering. The project is going quite well, but I want you to know exactly what you’re getting before you make a purchase.

Game Pie Advance (spinning)Next, I want to show off another handheld retro gaming project we’re working on. Yeah, I know it looks like a Nintendo Game Boy Advance. That’s because it’s living inside of a GBA shell, but it’s a full-blown Linux machine running RetroPie. We are calling it the Game Pie Advance.

We are making a custom circuit board that fits inside of the GBA shell (making use of the original buttons) and integrates with a backlit LCD to bring you a handheld retrogaming extravaganza. No, I don’t really know what that means, but I thought it sounded cool. I may have more details here or at http://www.gamepieadvance.com in the near future. For the short term, the plan is to build up 5 working units and auction them off on eBay to cover some of our costs and gauge interest. So far, we have 1 built and working. I’ll leave you with a video of that one.

UPDATE: I listed the first built on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/322231541500

Posted in Game Pie Advance, WonderSwan Flash Cart

WS Flash Masta shipped to early adopters

The flash cart that we’ve been developing for the WonderSwan is finally being sent to early adopters. If you recall, we had a survey for people that were interested in getting one. We have contacted everyone that responded positively. Those are now being shipped out. If you didn’t receive an email and expected one, let me know.

Thread For Early Adopters To Discuss The WS Flash Masta
http://forum.freeplaytech.com/thread-4411.html

As I will be out of town for a bit (starting yesterday), we have set up a forum thread for people to discuss the WS Flash Masta. Please feel to check that out and add your results there.

Posted in WonderSwan Flash Cart

SNK Neo Geo Pocket Keychains & Flash Carts In Stock

IMG_9032We have a new batch of Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB cartridges back in stock today. To go along with them, we also have some new (semi-experimental) NGPC keychains.

Check them out here:

Comment here to let us know what you think of the keychains. When I first had the idea to make them, I tried to save the cartridge stickers. You can see in the product photos that some keychains have an original sticker on the back. Once we actually did the rubberizing process, many stickers curled up. I think the ones without stickers may look the best, but we have also tried Flash Masta stickers on some. Which is your favorite?

P.S. I was really pleased with the response we got to the WonderSwan early adopter survey. We are now waiting for some PCBs to arrive, and then I expect to be contacting people in a few rounds of emails (based on the responses we received) to start the preorder process for WS Flash Masta.

Posted in NGPC Flash Cart, NGPC General

WS Flash Masta Pre-Presale

Many people have been asking about pre-ordering the WS Flash Masta. I’m warming up to the idea, but I first want to get an idea of how many people are truly interested in this.

If you have a desire to pre-order the new flash cart that we are creating for the WonderSwan, then please follow this link and sign up. Think of this as a pre-preorder. This is not a first-come/first-serve sort of situation. Just sign up. I’m thinking that we’ll have this form up for a week or so. I really just need to understand what level of commitment people have and how many people are willing to take this early-adopter step.

SUBMISSION FORM CLOSED. Thanks for all the responses.

The signup page details a bit about the state of the WS Flash Masta cart and some of its current limitations. This is not meant to scare you off. I just really prefer to be open about this stuff. I don’t want anyone to jump on-board and then be disappointed.

Personally, I would prefer to have something completely ready before opening it up to the public, however I know that we could use some help with money, testing, and maybe even coding. If you go into this thinking that you are helping “kickstart” a process that has been slow moving, I think that’s a good attitude.

I’m always very pleased and humbled by the community here, and I’m excited to see how this early-adopter presale works out to benefit everyone. Thanks!

Posted in WonderSwan Flash Cart

Just Before April Fools (WS News & NGPC Stock)

WonderSwan Flash Masta Cartridge 3-31-16I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to fool them, so I’ll try to publish this just before all that starts happening. There has been a lot happening here. In some ways I have nothing much to report, and in other ways, I have too much going on.

First of all, some of you may already be aware, but we have re-designed the circuit board for the WS Flash Masta cart. You can see it to the right (or click on the pic for a larger view). As you may notice, it has an on-board MicroSD card. I had some issues talking to the cartridge and having the cartridge communicate with the SD card at the same time. I have come up with a fix, but, sadly, it will require a new PCB revision. 🙁 On the upside, we were able to fit all the goodies on a circuit board that doesn’t stick out of the WonderSwan. Woooooo!

The plan is to make sure that’s all that needs fixing, make another set of prototypes, and then do a run of 25-30 boards for you early adopters that want to jump on it ASAP. I know there are plenty of people that have been excitedly waiting for our release. I wish it was a quicker process. I apologize for that.

In Neo Geo Pocket news, we continue to play with the manufacturing process. The last few times we have built up 10 or so boards, they’ve sold out almost immediately. Because of that, we continue working toward a better “mass” production method. We now own a LitePlacer to potentially help the process along. So far we haven’t worked out the kinks in the process, but we hope that it will be a very effective way of producing PCBs once we get everything tuned.

In the process, however, we have built up a bunch of NGPC USB cartridges and will likely be building more in 2 weeks or so. If you want one, here’s where to go: http://www.flashmasta.com/product/neo-pocket-flash-masta-usb-32mbit/

At the time of writing this, we have several units in stock (ready to ship). I will try to update this when they sell out. They sold out very quickly again. We will try to make more ASAP (maybe in a couple weeks).

Have A Happy April Fools Day, Tomorrow!

Posted in NGPC Flash Cart, WonderSwan Flash Cart

We Just Keep On Keepin’ On

To be honest, I really don’t have much to report. On the WonderSwan front, we are re-designing our circuit board. The current design seems completely functional, but now we are trying to reduce the board size to fit in a WonderSwan without sticking out.

The main reason I’m posting today is that we have 10 more NGPC USB cartridges in stock. I don’t really want my posts to be all about having carts soldered up and ready to sell. However, I know that people ask me about this lately, and my standard reply is that they should watch here to know when there are some ready. Until I come up with a better procedure, I guess I’ll have to post whenever we have some new units ready for people.

Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB - Buy It Now
Please Click Here To Go To The Product Page

Otherwise, I hope you gamers are having a great 2016 so far. I know we’re only 2 weeks in, but it’s been good for me so far. That’s partially thanks to you guys, so THANK YOU.

Posted in NGPC Flash Cart

Cart Wars: The Flash Awakens

IMG_6609I’ll get the big news out of the way first. I’m going to see Star Wars a little later today. Wait, what? You wanted better news? Hmm. Well, I guess to compensate, I can offer some more NGPC USB Flash Masta carts for sale.

We only have 6 of these to offer today. I really wanted to get more before Christmas. Maybe we’ll get another batch ready before then. I soldered up 10 of these carts, but 4 of them have some issues that didn’t pass QA. That probably means we’ll have 4 more ready next week (when I find some small soldering error), but I can’t guarantee it.

Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB - Buy It Now
Sold Out – $79.95 (Plus $3.99 Global Shipping & Handling)





Last time (near Thanksgiving) we put up 8 for sale they were gone in less than a day. I have no idea how quick these 6 will go, but I know that there are people waiting for me to release these. Please see http://www.flashmasta.com/2015/11/25/introducing-the-neo-pocket-flash-masta-usb-cartridge-and-new-software/ for more info.

May the force be with you!

Posted in NGPC Flash Cart

Introducing the Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB Cartridge (and New Software)

Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB - Shown With MVSLast month we announced that we were clearing out some of the “old” style cartridges, because some changes were coming. Today, we are finally announcing the new version. We have already sent out some early test versions to some specific people. The feedback has been good, which really means that there haven’t been any major problems reported.

The new “Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB” cartridge no longer requires a separate “Link Masta” USB device. The USB is now all built in, and it all fits inside of a standard NGPC cartridge. As of my posting this, there are only 6 cartridges available. These are still being assembled by hand and have cuts we do by hand, just like the previous cartridges were.

SOLD OUT

Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB - Buy It Now
Sold Out – $79.95 (Plus $3.99 Global Shipping & Handling)





We are still developing some pieces of the software, but it’s functional. It’s also built to interface with the previous bundle with the separate Flash Masta cart and Link Masta USB device. If you already own any Neo Pocket Flash Masta kit, check out this new beta software, and leave some feedback in the comments below.
http://www.flashmasta.com/software-downloads/#beta

Neo Pocket Flash Masta USB - IntroducingThe cartridge has a total of 32 Megabits and has a switch to choose between two 16 Megabit “slots” that contain games or apps that you upload to it. If the file you upload is over 16Mbit (2 megabyte), then it will take the entire cartridge (both slots). To upload a file to a slot, you plug in a micro USB cable into the side of the cartridge and use the software found here.

As you may have noticed above, the price is $79.95 for the cartridge, and the shipping cost is $3.99 (worldwide shipping and handling). This price is our best guess at the final release pricing once we’re ready to roll these out in a larger batch. To be clear, the actual release price may be cheaper, or it could be more expensive.

Have a happy Thanksgiving (or a happy Thursday for the rest of the world)!

Posted in NGPC Flash Cart