I’ve been working on gamepad/fightstick firmware as a hobby for about 6 months now. In that time I’ve worked on and released an alternative firmware for the Fightboard and Fightboard MX and the vsFIGHTER lines of keyboard-style arcade controllers. I wanted to start branching out from the ATmega32U4 used in those controllers, so I began researching the Raspberry Pi Pico and RP2040 microcontroller. The cost to performance ratio for the RP2040 is excellent, and the 2nd core allows for a ton of extra functionality without affecting the core input loop of a gamepad firmware. And so the GP2040 project was born…
I’ve been a huge fan of mechanical keyboards for a while now. I’ve also recently been getting into the world of custom arcade sticks. Thankfully these hobbies have a bit of crossover, with a prime example of this being the Fightboard line of custom keyboard-style controllers by thnikk on Etsy. This review will specifically be on the Fightboard MX version.
What good is our shiny new hardware without the fun and excitement that is configuring a new system? In my previous 1440p DIY Retro Handheld - Part 1 (Hardware) post, I recommended getting a Snapdragon 855 or higher device with a 1440p screen for optimal integer scaled retro gaming. This guide will walk you through configuring each emulator for maximum visual quality and minimum input latency. Strap in…this is gonna be a long one.
Retro handhelds are a popular trend lately. A vast array of $50-150 Chinese handhelds now exist to fill this market. Some of these, like RG351V and Retroid Pocket 2, are excellent devices for their purpose, but none of them provide enough power to run later console generations or use latency-reducing features like Run-Ahead in RetroArch. Knowing this, and me being the image quality freak that I am, I’m looking to build the best quality-to-price ratio 1440p retro handheld (as of April 2021).
I recently upgraded my phone from the One Plus 7T Pro 5G McLaren (that’s a mouthful) to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (slightly less of a mouthful) because the phone was damaged and I kind of wanted to get a new flagship device. The base specs like CPU, GPU, RAM, etc. are decent enough upgrades, but things like display and photo quality are miles ahead of the 7T Pro. One thing that’s nearly identical though is the screen resolution. The S21 Ultra sports a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels, while the 7T Pro has 3120 x 1440 pixels. These are both effectively QHD/1440p screens, but something is a little weird on this S21 Ultra. Let’s take a look…
Retro consoles and handhelds rendered their graphics at much lower resolutions than today’s displays output. Integer scaling is a method of resizing rendered output by multiplying the native resolution by whole numbers, resulting in a crisp, pixel-perfect output. The drawback of integer scaling is the image may not completely fill the vertical space of your monitor, leaving black bars. The next logical question, and what I’d like to answer here is: What is the optimal resolution for minimizing black bars with integer scaled retro systems?
The Logitech PowerPlay system is awesome, and I’ve been an avid user of it for over 2 years, but the charging puck can add a bit of weight to your mouse. For the longest time I’ve used the G Pro Wireless with the PowerPlay mat in a stock configuration, but I’ve realized a few things: