Some SNES Games Tested On The GCW Zero Prototype

Qbertaddict is back to test some requested SNES games on the new GCW prototype. It should be noted that these are not finished ports of the emulators and things should be improved by release, having said that it’s looking pretty sweet so far.

GCW team are offering a bonus for pre-orderers. The RAM will be bumped from 256MB to 512MB and the internal storage from 4GB to 8GB 16GB! You can pre-order on this page with a deposit of $65. The final cost is said to be around $110 to $120 and it’ll be released in July or August sometime. There are 100 of these spec bumped units up for grabs… go get ’em.

Edit: Whilst writing this article I somehow talked myself into pre-ordering one. Roll on August!

40 thoughts on “Some SNES Games Tested On The GCW Zero Prototype”

  1. I really love it! Finally a follow up to the caanoo with great community and therfor good software development. This little machine will already play all psx rpgs, like ff7 or breath of fire 3, which the caanoo sadly could not handle that well in the end (ff7 is too slow in battle, bof3 crashes on ice speel in dungeon).

    The Specs are really nice, the featurelist too. With 1 GHz and ~500MHz GPU and 256 MB-Ram this is a fast little thing : )

    Wow, if N64 emulation would become possible, what is quite thinkable here, more then on the pandora, that would be so fantastic. I have a good feeling here as well!

    I just pre-orderd one as well : )

    Thank you for making it! I hope it will become a success!

  2. I’ve got a few comments, and a few questions as well i’d appreciate you took the time to answer.


    The form factor is wonderful.
    I’m getting less and less interested in this type of machine because there is a current obsession with large sizes with large screens i simply cannot abide with.
    Most manufacturers seem to forget these are supposed to be portable, not just transportable. (and yes i’m also taking into consideration Sony and Nintendo’s endeavors in the subject)
    It’s a dedicated games machine first and foremost. The fact that is also a PMP is to give added value making better use of the available hardware. This is the way i see it.

    The screen size is perfect.
    I’ve always defended that 3.5″ is the sweet spot size for a 4:3 aspect ratio screen.
    320×240 is possibly the best compromise in resolution for all the machines it is capable of emulating, but it’s also a little too big or a little too small for certain machines or resolution modes.
    It will depend entirely on the quality of the filtering for the final word on the subject, but i do agree with it…….mostly…

    No resistive or capacitive screen?
    I couldn’t care any less about it. If anything, it’s a boon i don’t have to clean the screen of my fingerprints all the time, especially if the screen isn’t oleo-phobic, nor do i have to risk scratching it prematurely with a plastic or metal stylus, forcing me to buy a screen protector just for the purpose of protecting it.
    The damn thing has buttons for a reason, use them!
    I do “love” my iPod 4, but i hate the non-oleo-phobic screen to death, which forced to buy a SGP Steihneil Ultra Oleophobic Screen Protector.
    And i also love my DSL, but i would NEVER run it without a screen protector. I’ve used genuine HORI screen protectors from day 1 with my DSL, which are widely considered the best, and it shows, but after many months (years actually) of use, the bottom one is rather scratched, proving that i did well in using protectors, plus i bought a second pair as they were already difficult to find back then, so i’m covered for a long time.

    A 2800mAh battery?
    Whoa! That’s impressive if it’s rated correctly.
    I don’t know how thirsty the hardware is tough, so i wonder how long the battery will actually last once everything is turned at max. (Screen brightness, sound, default clock speed, Wi-Fi, etc.)
    The PS Vita is rated at 2210mAh, but the hardware is different in every way, so i don’t know how to compare them.
    I do suspect we’re in for a pleasant surprise with the GCW in this regard, even if emulation is very taxing on the hardware.

    According to us metric users, that stands @ +/- 226 grams.
    That’s a pretty good figure for a machine carrying that sort of battery (At 2800mAh, with that form factor and with 8oz total weight, the battery will probably be the heaviest part in the machine)

    It appears to have a good DPad, good sized and well shaped buttons with adequate spacing between them, and the L&R buttons have the right shape, size, positioning and i hope, action, as they should.
    The KISS* principle reigned supreme with these choices, and more power to it for it.
    The analog stick……………i really don’t care about it, but with PSX and N64 emulation, some games might make some use of it.
    Even so, thank you for not doing something really stupid, like putting the analog above the DPad on an handheld where 99% of it’s games are meant to be played with simple digital controls.

    * (KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid)

    And now, the questions:

    1 – How are you handling the pre-orders?
    I don’t see anything on your blog page other than a Buy Now button with a few payment options.
    No registration, no validation, no subscription.
    I don’t use social sites at all (yes really), so i don’t know if i’m missing something there.
    Please explain how are you handling the pre-orders and the lists of people making them.

    2 – I’m interested in a GCW Zero Special Edition, the upgraded hardware interest me immensely, enough to do something i have never done before, a pre-order, but i don’t know if i can still get one as there is nothing informing the customer on the website of their availability.
    Please don’t think of me as an hypocrite for what i’m about to say, for that really isn’t my intention, but for me, it’s either an SE trough pre-order, or i’d rather just wait to see where this project goes, avoiding any unduly stress in the process.


    • There is a video from the same person that shows an early prototype of the GCW, with the processor running at 800Mhz.
      He shows a SNES and PSX Emu, both of them unoptimized, but he shows them all running at frame skip 0 (zero) (aka. the way we truly want it).
      Even if the frame rate is shaky and lowish on the PSX, it was already showing lots of promise, so yeah, with proper optimization, and a bump to 1Ghz default speed on the processor according to the specs on GCWs page, we may very well end up with a PSP level of PSX emulation…………only better 😛

      Here’s the video link.

  3. no n64 yet? I’m really interested, will the n64 be supported? I saw in a comment from qbertaddict that only some low end n64 games could be supported.

      • I agree with you, but there is some games that have a superior rez. I’m wondering how about them.

        I guess DKS, Yoshi’s Island have a 256 × 224 rez?

        I was about to buy a Yinlips G16… what do you think?

  4. Had a good question asked today….OpenDingux, will I be able to build an app that was ported to OpenDingux (for the Dingoo A320) and install it on the GCW Zero?

    Even though this is running Open Dingux you will have to use the new tool chain we are developing and recompile the source to make it run on the GCW-Zero. But we are working on porting most of the items on Open Dingux for you so it might already be on console when you get it.

  5. I’m guessing the demands of this OS are going to be less than android reserving more of the processor power for emulation. Any truth to this GCW?

  6. GCW are there any plans to support/create blue tooth controllers like the dingoo a380? Are there still special editions left at this point? And will the upgraded RAM effect bettery life in anyway? Finally -and sorry for asking so many questions- does it appear that PSX and N64 emulation will actually be able to run properly on the system? I am really excited about this prototype and suspect I will be buying, its simply a matter of doing so now for the special edition, or waiting till it is actually ready to ship.

  7. Just goto paypal look up the details and unique purchase ID should be there… BTW giving a new incentive on lucky person will win a prototype in whatever stage of development it is in after 100 Special editions are sold so you will have a prototype and the final edition too boot if you win…

    • Hey man, is there anyway I can request the color I want on my order. I’m pretty sick of white. Got over that on gen 3 of the ipod

  8. Awesome, I just preordered. I don’t really see the point in cutting the ram in half though. Doesn’t this mean that most emulators written for this console will be optimised for 256mb so the extra ram really isn’t going to do anything?

    • tbh the increase in RAM probably won’t make any difference to emulation performance… emulation requires horse power and gpu more than anything else. 256MB is plenty for this device’s needs.

      but having extra can’t hurt can it 🙂

  9. Yes we will ship world wide …. As for the second question i don’t know the speed requirements or memory requirements for DreamCast but if it is doable yes we will try to get an emu for it.

  10. Would this device, in the hypothesis of a working dreamcast emu, ever be able to run those DC games with the available specs? And if it doesn`t… whatever.. looks really good so far 😉

    • very unlikely. just think about dreamcast on pandora (which despite its lower clock is probably a more powerful device) and dreamcast on high end android devices. not saying it won’t happen but if it does it’ll be a tiny handful of games running probably without sound.

  11. Sold! …er, when I get paid tommorow, hopefully those 100 units won’t sell out today. Can you guys wait a day or two before spamming the link around? ^_^;

    • Alright, my PayPal order went through. Let the link spamming commence! 😀

      Kinda stoked about having my name in the documentation as a supporter. Last thing that came out with my name on it was Project Majestic Mix, way back when.

  12. Any help anyone can do to help spread the word on there local or national forums is very much appreciated. The more people that know about this the bigger and stronger the community and support will be…

  13. Upping the incentive special editions 512MB Ram 16GB Internal Storage and sneak peek section exclusively for the people who get the GCW-Zero Special Edition. Status of orders so far for the GCW-Zero Special Edition 20 out of 100 come on people get yours while they are still available this is a one time thing the standard model will be 256MB and 4GB.

    I can’t provide incentive more then that for the special edition other then 10 of the lucky 100 will get signatures of all the development team on their console along with mention of there support for this console in the documentation or the about screen that has not been determined as of yet and all supports will get mention and gratitude on a special page on the website.

  14. I’m looking forward to this after four years of rehashing the same old, tired components. Looks like this is the one that’ll get wide scene support.


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