Hack-friendly console announced
Want to hack a video game console without having to worry about lawyers throwing the DMCA at you? Check out the XGameStation, a console development kit that promotes poking, prodding, and otherwise messing around with console game system development:
The XGameStation is the world's first 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.
With a maximum of two 16-bit Motorola processors running at 25MHz and a graphics architecture similar to the Commodore 64, the XGameStation won't be delivering much in the way of number crunching or pixel pushing power. Nostalgic gamers may enjoy the system's retro feel, but I wonder if many will buy into the console. After all, even one of VIA's sub-$100 integrated EPIA boards has a lot more processing power than the XGameStation, and the EPIAs also integrate USB, VGA, and Ethernet support.