Hi all this is a bit of a clarification post more than an update post. However before you read on any further, please watch this video…
Yes, that’s booting directly to stock menu, with extra elements added to stock menu, all running from NAND. (Courtesy of Cyanic)
We are aware it’s completely 50/50 between the people who want the “completely stock + extra games” approach vs the people who want to be able to customise their mini to get the most of it.
We understand this and we are trying our best to cater to everyone’s wants and needs.
Therefore we put together a quick FAQ of recent comments and questions we have had over the last week which will hopefully answer your questions.
I don’t want to boot to a boot menu! I just want to boot directly to the stock UI
That’s fine! The boot menu is designed so you have access to extra config options on console like adjust the CPU clock speed, enable SSH/SFTP and hopefully in the future, a savestate manager where you can actually delete save states! However…
On first boot after install, you can just set whatever item to boot directly to. (Stock UI, RA, maybe Emulation Station?) and then on every reboot you will boot directly to that element.
Also if you need to boot to the boot menu after setting auto boot to stock UI… you can hold a button on boot to boot up boot menu.
This should make everyone happy, if you have it set to boot directly to stock UI you wouldn’t really know it’s been modified otherwise!
I don’t want to plug in a usb I just want it to run from internal storage!
That’s fine too. Storage is limited though and currently after the mod and RA install, we are hoping you will have approx 190mb for roms/cores/savestates. (This is what we are aiming for and could very much change by RC1 so don’t hold us to it!)
This will mean you will be using all of the rootfs_data partition on the NAND which original purpose was for savestates. If you use all the space you won’t be able to save any more. However we believe this is the best solution that caters for all.
I want the full experience with OTG and external usb. Is this possible?
Not a problem, OTG still needs some more testing but external storage is working fine. No power restrictions like the PSC either. You should be able to plug a usb stick in one of the ports or otg adapter. (You can also use a usb hub on either otg or front ports)
When the stick is inserted, project lunar will auto detect, mount and then overlay it self on top of the existing NAND partitions effectively increasing the available storage completely eliminating the worry about disk space.
Why can’t it just be like the (S)NESC and just drag and drop
If only. Unlike the (S)NESc where you could effectively dump a rom on the NAND and upload a .desktop file with an execute command…Or the PSC where you upload the rom, intercept the launch request and upload index data to an internal db…The Mega Drive mini is a lot more complex…
This is why. You are looking at the UI, emulator, configs, elements and roms within 3 files. That’s it. The data is also encrypted and compressed using M2’s own proprietary methods just to make life difficult. Any data/roms being fed back into the emulator also needs the same encryption and compression otherwise it will refuse to load.
So to give an idea on just adding one rom to the stock UI, we need to:
- Extract the data file
- Decompress the data files
- Decrypt the data files
- Inject need rom
- Dynamically modify and rewrite parts of the Stock UI code
- Add the artwork into an artwork file
- Add to the file index data relating to rom
- Re-encrypt all the data files again
- Compress the data files
- Bundle the data files
And this is generalising the process! Needless to say this is a lot more complicated than what we have worked with in the past however we have got it working and currently working on it. The end user should hopefully not even know this whole process is taking place in the background
How much internal storage is available?
We are hoping 190mb as explained above.
How will the hack work?
It’s still TBD. The general idea is that you plug your console into the pc holding the reset button, run our desktop program which will backup and install and then you are good to go.
This is a separate project from hakchi and will be it’s own module. (Please take note above about the complexity of the mod. Because of this we are effectively having to create tools from scratch)
This desktop UI will most likely be primitive but easy to use on first release. It will eventually become more fully fledged as we progress and the intention is that it will eventually become a single module of a multi platform tool in the future.
TL;DR, it’s not going to be all singing and dancing on day one but it will be easy to use and functional. We have a roadmap and a vision, given enough time and support we will endeavour to make it as good as we can for you all.
When is it coming out?
When it’s ready. There is no deadline and we are in no rush to be the first either. We will be posting updates as and when we can to keep you all updated. However when we near RC1 we might go radio silent whilst we concentrate, eat pizza and work till the early hours to make it RC viable.
Right now there is at least one dev working on the project 24/7 so we are currently working as hard as we can!
Can you send me the roms/artwork?
No! Please, please, please stop asking. We do not endorse or encourage the distribution of copyrighted materials. It’s against the law. We write OSS and we honour the companies who put out these devices and don’t wish to get in trouble with them.
THANK YOU! The support from everyone has been overwhelming and generally super positive. We also appreciate your patience and we hope we can give you all some extra enjoyment out of your mini in the future.
P.s please note whilst we want as many features available on release as possible. Everything is subject to change, elements might get cut or delayed due to time constraints etc. Same goes for internal storage and hack method, until we put the project through it’s paces it’s unknown if we have thought about every issue/problem.
Bonus screenshots and video