nullDC making rapid progress, Prince of Persia agrees

March 16, 2009
Posted by: gruso

Just four days ago we were shown the Dreamcast BIOS booting up on a Beagleboard. Today, we get Prince of Persia. This ride is fun already. Take it away, ZeZu:

Please note the framerate in this game is 30fps or so, the cpu percentage is correct and the RPS is similar to the framerate.

[ as in 8 / 30 would be 14fps+ PAL or ~16fps NTSC (if it worked out in that fashion)]

You might not label it “playable”, but its looking up from things a few days ago.

Yes. Yes it is.




  1. To be honest I’m not all that excited about this project.

  2. I love this site.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. Brilliant, keep up the good work! Would love to see Rez running on my Pandora.

  4. Seriously, how can you be “not all that excited” about this?
    I don’t know for how long they’ve been working on it, but going from just the BIOS to something that looks like it *could* play 2D games at acceptable speeds (not to mention the absence of any obvious glitches) in this little time is amazing!

    And yeah, Rez would be pretty awesome, as would Power Stone 2, hooked up to a TV, with 4 controllers. But I realize that’s still a long ways off, sadly.

  5. Gotta love these crazy fast improvements. Makes me wish I ordered first batch

  6. Seeing that quality of 3D gets me excited for the Pandora in general, even though DC might be a tall order. For some reason Quake doesn’t do that. Maybe because I’ve seen it so much.

  7. Hm, I trolled a few days ago about this project. Today I must give them applauds.

  8. It remains to be determined just how much more room for optimization is there. Although this is impressive, I myself do not believe you can squeeze much more out of the Pandy’s 3D processor. Playability will never be truly attained, IMHO. DC will be kinda like SNES on GP2X, or even slower… 😦

  9. Never played Dreamcast myself, but this rapid development is impressive!

  10. “DC will be kinda like SNES on GP2X”

    Bring it on, then. I’ve only run across a couple of SNES games that were unplayable (to me) on GP2X.

    If the same can be said about DC on Pandora, then I’m thrilled.

  11. I was saying “kinda” but I really believe it’s slightly worse 😐

  12. Damn, I would not have expected that much progress in such a short amount of time, I wonder how much optimization they’ve already done, and how much they can do. Running a 3d game so fast on such hardware is certainly impressive to say the least. Great job guys!

  13. sardaukar, a more fitting analogy would be psx on gp2x. Gp2x runs almost every single SNES game just fine.

  14. what speed does the beagal board run? 500mhz core and 55mhz DSP?
    Thats so great, i never belived it would get even 10fps…. but now, maybe pandora can do it^^

  15. “what speed does the beagal board run? 500mhz core and 55mhz DSP?
    Thats so great, i never belived it would get even 10fps…. but now, maybe pandora can do it^^”

    Oh I see that the Beagleboard uses a lower default CPU clock speed. But other than that, I believe that the Beagleboard and OpenPandora use exactly the same processor and graphics card, so that performance should be the exactly the same, if Beagleboard was clocked up or OpenPandora down.

  16. Impressive to say the least. To get from bios to this in such a small timeframe is darn good. Keep it up!

  17. @anexanhume

    I sold my GP2X a couple of months ago, but I remember not being able to run Chrono Trigger, Star Ocean, Super Metroid, StuntRace FX, Starfox, Senkei Densetsu 3 and Super Mario Kary (to name some) at full speed. With SquidgeSnes.

  18. IIRC Beagleboard cpu is clocked lower and it has 128mb ram instead of 256mb in Pandora. Oh Pandora, stop teasing me, I need the monies for a new PC, with Mechwarrior:Living Legends and Diablo 3(well thats probably not that soon) and …other stuff coming out!

  19. stunning work! would love to see what speeds it plays crazy taxi at right now, also an extra 100mhz (500mhz beagleboard vs 600mhz pandora) will give an increase, plus optimizing etc would be great to get 30fps on most games, keep at it lads!

  20. this is like one fo those dreams you wake up and realise how silly and unfeasible the dream was… only this is for real?? x~D
    the pre-release work that has trinkled in for the pandora is just ultracrazy.. totally unbelievable!
    (damnit I’m going to live in agonizing uncertainty now that I no longer expect border down to be impossible..)

  21. I don’t have any favorite DC games, but it seems to be a challenge to those making this work

  22. The ARM® Cortex™-A8 600Mhz+ CPU is overclockable to 900Mhz With 256 Mb RAM. If this movie is really running at 500Mhz we hopefully could playing some nice games on it :).

    I am extremely curious how much further optimizations, like Dynamic Recompiling, caching and memory accesses optimization will help to run some games. 🙂

    We just have to wait and see…
    So hopefully more updates on this project soon!

  23. I love the numb nut non-programmers who are constantly trying to delimit what is possible. I’ve gotten burned a few times on pre-orders, so I am more than happy to wait for a second run. If these are available before something better comes along, I’m in. In my head, I’m hearing Annie sing, ‘Tomorrow, Tomorrow…’

  24. sosilly, lots of programmers were saying DC wouldn’t get this far. It’s clear that everyone’s expectations are being changed based on this.

  25. […] nullDC making rapid progress, Prince of Persia agrees Posted by: gruso […]

  26. If they don’t try, they’ll never know how far they can get, right? And they are trying: that video shows that.

    Congratulations for the progress; keep it up guys!

  27. Well at least n64 emulation looks more feasible now.

  28. It’s not a matter of limiting the console, I’m just curbing my enthusiasm and expressing a personal opinion. But anyway, I’m a programmer so I’m sure you weren’t talking about me 😀

  29. I just want this to play Ikaruga, anyway 😀


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