Author Topic: Atari Gamestation Pro analysis  (Read 835 times)

forgotusername

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Atari Gamestation Pro analysis
« on: February 06, 2024, 05:46:10 PM »
My Arcade recently released a "firmware update" for the "Atari Gamestation Pro" console, downloadable via their website (see https://www.myarcadegaming.com/pages/atari-gamestation-firmware-upgrade-to-v-1-3-only). Similarly to the Arcade1UP firmware updates, this update is effectively just a full ROM dump of the console; allowing its entire contents to be viewed using a tool such as 7-Zip.

There is... a lot to note about this console, including the following:

*All emulation is RetroArch-based. It mostly uses unaltered RetroArch cores, though MAME is replaced with a custom (?) fork called "Jungle" (with variants for MAME 2003, 2014, and 2016).
*There is a "games.db" file with cached data related to the SD card. This includes a giant list of pirated ROMs, with names that match those seen on many recent bootleg consoles (e.g. "Little white rabbit lost.nes", which I have a ripped ROM of from another plug & play; it's an unhacked copy of Pyokotan no Dai Meiro). The ROM names are in English, Chinese, Korean, and Thai.
*The Atari 2600 ROMs have various oddities. Two games (Maze Craze and Surround) inexplicably use PAL copies, whereas the PAL prototype of RealSports Basketball uses a fan-made NTSC conversion. Aquaventure (another prototype) uses the bootleg CCE rom, with its hacked copyright; despite that proper Atari copies have existed for years.
*There are 4 or 5 2600 games that I'm almost certain My Arcade/Atari would not have permission to use on the Gamestation. These include Boxing, an unhacked Activision game; Drag Race, a fan-made graphic hack of Activision's "Dragster"; and Space Raid, an 80s bootleg of Activision's "MegaMania". There is also Fast Eddie, a game originally from 20th Century Fox; and the somewhat odd case of Road Runner, which is too complicated to even explain (and as a bonus, it's another CCE rom).
*The console features many "bonus games", all of which are licensed from Piko Interactive. These are mostly nasty copyright hacks of Beam Software NES games and other junk, alongside the detested hacks of prototype games.
*There are two Shiru NES games on this console that have not been dumped previously: POW 2, a 2048 clone, and Gorodki (mislabeled as "Gordoki"), a port of a Soviet arcade game. Note that (AFAIK) these two games were solely designed for use on Famiclone-ish plug & plays; they also appear on the Go Retro Portable. Snakky is also on this console (mislabeled as "Snakki"), which has been dumped previously but is uncommon. There are also two Piko-watermarked homebrew games from "Segaman", Sumo Slam and Switchblade; I'm unsure if these games have been dumped otherwise or not.

I have also created a TCRF article on the Gamestation (https://tcrf.net/Atari_Gamestation_Pro), which features some more technical details (and k-pop test samples). I have attached the three uncommon Shiru games; though not anything with the accursed Piko Interactive watermarks, in case they get angry and insist they're Illegally Obtained Unreleased Nintendo Switch Leaks or whatever. In any case, I created a .txt documenting any weird ROMs I noticed; you can easily download and navigate the firmware update to obtain them (note the game ROMs are on the "data.img" image within the Firmware.img file).
« Last Edit: February 06, 2024, 06:33:28 PM by forgotusername »

Azathoth

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Re: Atari Gamestation Pro analysis
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2024, 12:41:01 AM »
Very interesting information, thanks for taking the time to write this up and post it!

forgotusername

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Re: Atari Gamestation Pro analysis
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2024, 10:07:47 PM »
No problem, glad it was of interest. :)