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Encyclopedia > Homebrew (video games)

Homebrew is a term frequently applied only to video games that are produced by consumers on proprietary game platforms; in other words, game platforms that are not typically user-programmable, or use proprietary hardware for storage. Sometimes games developed on official development kits, such as Net Yaroze or PS2 Linux are included in the definition. Some, however, also refer to all non-commercial, "home-developed" games for open architectures as homebrew games, though these typically go under more frequently used labels, such as freeware. The term doesn't, however, include commercially sold games that are developed without the console manufacturer's license. A popular type of homebrewed games is fangames. Proprietary indicates that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties. ... The Net Yaroze is a development kit for the PlayStation video game console. ... Linux for PlayStation 2 is a kit released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002 that allows the PlayStation 2 console to be used as a personal computer. ... The term Freeware refers to gratis proprietary software with closed source. ... Fangames are computer and video games made by fans featuring popular based on one or more established video games. ...


In Japan, these games are usually called Dojin soft, which is the way of saying this software is not illegal depending on what the software does. Dōjin soft (short for software) are video games created by Japanese hobbyists, more for fun than for profit; essentially, the Japanese equivalent of shareware video games. ...


Homebrew games are typically developed to be used with emulators. There have been efforts to use actual console hardware; Atari 2600 homebrew developers can use various methods, for example, audio transfer via the SuperCharger module. Game Boy Advance homebrew developers have several ways to use flash memory cartridges (see Game Boy Advance flash cartridges). This article is about emulators in computer science. ... The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, is the video game console credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. ... “GBA” redirects here. ... A USB flash drive. ... X-ROM 512Mb Flash Cartridge Several cartridges containing flash memory have been developed for use in the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. ...


Today, along with the Sega Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, and the PlayStation Portable the most frequently used platforms for homebrew development represent a good part of the older generations of the consoles - the Atari 2600 and Nintendo Entertainment System. The Dreamcast , code-named Dural, Dricas and Katana during development) is Segas fifth and final video game console and the successor to the Sega Saturn. ... “GBA” redirects here. ... The PlayStation Portable , officially abbreviated as PSP) is a handheld game console released and currently manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. ... The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, is the video game console credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. ... “NES” redirects here. ...


The Atari 2600 and Nintendo Entertainment System are interesting because they both use the 6502 instruction set which is likely to be familiar to people who have programmed 8-bit computers, such as the Commodore 64. The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, is the video game console credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. ... “NES” redirects here. ... The MOS Technology 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor that was designed by Chuck Peddle for MOS Technology in 1975. ... C-64 redirects here. ...


Although on a much lesser scale, both the Sega Master System and Genesis/Mega Drive do enjoy some homebrew development, as there is no physical lockout mechanism (akin to Nintendo's 10NES), thus running homebrew software on that hardware is much easier. It has been stated that Yuji Naka had created a NES emulator for Sega Genesis, not many details were revealed about the project besides for the fact that it helped win the respect of his co-workers. The Sega Master System ) or SMS for short (1986 - 2000), is an 8-bit cartridge-based video game console that was manufactured by Sega. ... The Mega Drive/Genesis was a 16-bit video game console released by Sega in Japan (1988), Europe (1990) and most of the rest of the world as the Mega Drive. ... The RAMBO-1, a version of Tengens Rabbit lockout chip 10NES was the authentication code for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game console. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The Sega Saturn has a relatively small, yet very creative homebrew website in Denmark and is slowly increasing in popularity. The Sega Saturn ) is a 32-bit video game console, first released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America and July 8, 1995 in Europe. ...


A big factor is that the platforms (and portable platforms in general) are simple enough that a very small team, or a lone programmer, can make a decent enough game for them, therefore favoring homebrew projects which are usually undertaken by small teams or individuals.


All of the major sixth generation consoles enjoy some popularity with modders, but less so than earlier generations. Mostly this is due to the fact that producing software for powerful platforms needs more resources, there aren't very good emulators for these platforms yet, and the consoles themselves often employ rather complex systems to prevent unauthorized code. Homebrew developers often have to use "loopholes" to get their software to run. The sixth-generation era (sometimes inaccurately referred to as the 128-bit era; see section below) refers to the computer and video games, video game consoles, and video game handhelds available at the turn of the 21st century. ...

Contents

Sega Dreamcast

The Sega Dreamcast was a console that, while shadowed by its later competitors, is particularly lauded for its homebrew development capabilities because it does not need any modchip to run them. The Dreamcast , code-named Dural, Dricas and Katana during development) is Segas fifth and final video game console and the successor to the Sega Saturn. ...


PlayStation 2

Early versions of the PlayStation 2 have a buffer overflow bug in the part of the BIOS that handles PS1 game compatibility; hackers figured out how to turn this into a loophole called the PS2 Independence Exploit, allowing the use of homebrew software. Another option for homebrew development is the use of a modchip. Or, developers can use a PS2 hard drive and HD Loader. PS2 redirects here. ... The PS2 Independence Exploit allows the execution of homebrew programs on an unmodified PlayStation 2. ... Xenium Mod Chip attached to an Xbox. ... HD Loader is a program for the PlayStation 2 video game console which allow users to play games installed to the optional hard drive peripheral available for the PS2. ...


Sony also released an official homebrew-development kit that allows PlayStation 2 to run Linux. See the PS2 Linux article for more information. The Linux Kit for PlayStation 2 was released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002 and included the Linux software, keyboard, mouse, VGA adapter, Network Adaptor (Ethernet only) and a 40 GB hard disk drive (HDD). ...


Nintendo GameCube

The GameCube, when it comes to homebrew, has historically enjoyed little success due to the fact that it uses quite obscure hardware. False rumors claimed that the GameCube used non-standard DVD-media that was incompatible with consumer DVD burners, or stated that GameCube discs spun backwards, claiming that the discs were written from the outside in. The Nintendo GameCube (GCN) is Nintendos fourth home video game console, belonging to the sixth generation era. ...


In fact, the only barrier to burning GameCube discs with a consumer DVD burner is the Burst Cutting Area, a "barcode" in the innermost ring of the disc, an area inaccessible to most burners and writeable only by very expensive disc pressing machines. For a long time the only way to run homebrew software on GameCube was through a patching-system exploit of Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II, requiring users to find the game and a Broadband Adapter. Both of these are difficult to find because a disc has been released (under the name Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus) and thus the original PSO is rarely sold, and because the BBA is not often carried in stores due to the Gamecube's very limited selection of online games. Bold text Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II is a video game released for the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox. ... Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus is a video game released for the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox. ...


Nowadays the most common method is to use a special loader software, often using a modchip, and homebrew software can be loaded from DVD-R, SD card (with a SD Gekko adapter), or over Ethernet. As the GameCube's case does not fit a full-size DVD-R, third party replacement cases are available. Nowadays most of GameCube homebrew software is developed to emulate other videogame systems such as NES, SNES, Master System, Genesis, Turbografx-16, Game Gear, GameBoy, GB Color, GBA, Neo Geo Pocket, Neo Geo CD, MAME, N64,... Xenium Mod Chip attached to an Xbox. ... A DVD+R disc The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... 16Mb SD Card Secure Digital, or SD, is a flash memory data storage device based on Toshibas earlier Multi Media Cards (MMC). ...


Microsoft Xbox

The Xbox console uses several measures, including cryptographically signed code to obfuscated firmware. The primary method of executing homebrew code required installing a mod chip which could be flashed with a modified Microsoft BIOS. This BIOS allowed the system to boot unsigned executables (XBEs) and control several hardware variables, such as region coding and video mode. With the leak of Microsoft's official development kit (XDK) homebrew coders were able to write replacement Xbox GUIs (known as dashboards), games and applications for the Xbox. The Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console produced by Microsoft Corporation. ... A modchip is a device used to play import games and/or circumvent the digital rights management of many popular game consoles, including the Xbox and PlayStation. ... For other uses, see Bios. ... Microsoft Xbox Software Development Kit (XDK) is a video games construction kit for the Microsoft gaming system, Xbox. ...


A softmod which uses a commercial game such as 007: Agent Under Fire, Mech Assault or Splinter Cell to load up homebrew software has been discovered. This method utilizes modified font and sound files to cause the Xbox to intentionally crash and load one of the homebrew dashboards. Once in this condition, the Xbox was now able execute homebrew games and applications. It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Agent Under Fire is a first-person shooter video game based on the James Bond franchise. ... MechAssault was the first Mech video game for the Microsoft video game console, Xbox. ... An image from the original Splinter Cell Splinter Cell is a series of video games endorsed by American author Tom Clancy. ...


Because the Xbox uses standard PC libraries and can execute C++ and assembly code, writing homebrew games is extremely easy, as the vast majority of commands available for a PC programmer are available to an Xbox homebrew programmer. This ease of coding is the same reason that commercial developers loved the Xbox. C++ (pronounced see plus plus, IPA: ) is a general-purpose programming language with high-level and low-level capabilities. ... Assembly language or simply assembly is a human_readable notation for the machine language that a specific computer architecture uses. ...


One of the more common type of homebrew games for the Xbox are ports of PC games who's source has been publicly released or leaked. Many classic PC games have been released for Xbox, but most are created with the XDK which limits their availability. The only places to find these ports are through IRC or peer-to-peer browsers. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of instant communication over the Internet. ... A peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is a network that relies on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively few servers. ...


The Xbox system is also very adept at running emulators which have been ported from PC. The Xbox is able to emulate systems up to the previous generation, including the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation. For this reason, many different emulators have been created for the Xbox, and some of them have even more development support than their PC counterparts. This article is about emulation in computer science. ... The Nintendo 64 ), often abbreviated as N64, was Nintendos third home video game console for the international market. ... The Sony PlayStation ) is a video game console of the 32/64-bit era, first produced by Sony Computer Entertainment in the mid-1990s. ...


Recently, progress has been made in the creation of a legal development kit for the Xbox, known as OpenXDK. The OpenXDK is intended to allow coders to create new applications and games, as well as port existing source codes, without using illegally obtained Microsoft software. The games and applications created under the OpenXDK can be legally hosted on the net, and downloaded by users. OpenXDK is a legal, open source development system for the Microsoft Xbox game console. ...


Even after the release of the Xbox 360, the Xbox homebrew scene remains extremely active, with new game ports, emulators, and applications coming out weekly. Microsoft is currently encouraging Xbox 360 homebrewed content with XNA, though at a charge of $99. It has been suggested that Xbox 360 Elite be merged into this article or section. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Microsoft XNA (XNAs Not Acronymed[1]) is a set of tools, complete with a managed runtime environment, provided by Microsoft that facilitates computer game design, development and management. ...


PlayStation Portable (PSP)

Main article: PlayStation Portable homebrew

PlayStation Portable homebrew refers to the process of executing unsigned code on the PlayStation Portable. ...

Nintendo DS

Main article: Nintendo DS homebrew

Nintendo DS homebrew is software written for the Nintendo DS handheld games console by hobbyist programmers, as opposed to a software/game production company. ...

NUON

The Nuon was a game chip built into several DVD players. The company who made the system called VM Labs released a homebrew SDK just before they went bankrupt. The graphical capabilities are on par with the PlayStation. The homebrew SDK & homebrew apps written in Nuon can be downloaded from http://www.nuon-dome.com/download.html. Homebrew Nuon apps can only be played on Samsung DVD-N50x and RCA Nuon DVD players. Nuon is a technology that adds additional features to a DVD player. ... VM Labs was the company behind the Nuon technology which was used in several DVD players from Samsung, Toshiba, & RCA. The Nuon technology bought features which other DVDs players didnt have at the time, this was around mid 2000, such as playing games created for Nuon, VLM (Virtual... The Sony PlayStation ) is a video game console of the 32/64-bit era, first produced by Sony Computer Entertainment in the mid-1990s. ...


Seventh-generation consoles

Xbox 360

Microsoft has released a free Software Development Kit (SDK) to would-be homebrew programmers. This SDK, called XNA Game Studio Express is a free version of the SDK available to professional development companies. Microsoft has announced that the games written with XNA Studio Express will be made available -- for no cost -- to all Xbox 360 owners, an announcement is due in Q3 2007. This will provide access to content creators (homebrew developers) access to its target audience of Xbox 360 owners. It is believed that a new "XNA Community" blade will appear in the console's Dashboard, similar to the Xbox Live Arcade. Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... A Software Development Kit, or SDK for short, is typically a set of development tools that allows a software engineer to create applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, operating system or similar. ... Microsoft XNA (XNAs Not Acronymed[1]) is a set of tools, complete with a managed runtime environment, provided by Microsoft that facilitates computer game design, development and management. ... A Software Development Kit, or SDK for short, is typically a set of development tools that allows a software engineer to create applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, operating system or similar. ... It has been suggested that Xbox 360 Elite be merged into this article or section. ... Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) is an online service operated by Microsoft that is used to distribute video games to Xbox and Xbox 360 owners and from late 2007 to Games for Windows - Live users [1]. The service was first launched in late 2004 and offers games from about US$5...


On the March 20, 2007 it was announced that a hack using the previously discovered Hypervisor Vulnerabilty in the Xbox 360 kernel versions 4532 and 4548 had been developed to allow users to run XeLL, a Linux bootloader. The initial hack was beyond the average user and required an Xbox serial cable to be installed and a flashed DVD Drive firmware. Felix Domke, the programmer behind XeLL has since announced a live bootable Linux CD suitable for novice users, with the capabilities to be installed to the SATA hard drive of the Xbox 360. Despite the availability of such a distribution, the Xbox 360 still isn't considered a popular platform for homebrew development, given the dependance of the exploit on the DVD-ROM being able to load a burnt DVD game, a modified version of the game King Kong, and two older kernel revisions of the console itself. is the 79th day of the year (80th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


A group independent of Microsoft is working on the means to run homebrew code, as part of the Free60 project. This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


PlayStation 3

The Playstation 3 has been designed to run other operating systems from day one. Very soon after launch, the first users managed to install Fedora Core 5 onto the Playstation 3 via the 'Install Other OS' option in the PS3's XMB (Cross Media Bar), which also allows configuring the PS3 to boot into the other OS installed by default.


So far, several Linux flavors have been successfully installed to the PS3, such as Fedora Core 5, Fedora Core 6, Gentoo and Yellow Dog Linux (YDL). The latter comes installed with the Cell SDK by default, allowing programmers a low cost entry into Cell programming. See also: Linux for PlayStation 3 Fedora Core is an RPM-based Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. ... Yellow Dog Linux (often abbreviated YDL) is a free software, open-source Linux distribution for Power Architecture hardware. ... Ubuntu Linux installed on a PS3 The PlayStation 3 is capable of running Linux operating systems if installed on the console hard disk. ...


At this point graphics support is limited to framebuffer access only (no access to the PS3's graphics chip RSX yet). Since NVIDIA has a good track record when it comes to releasing Linux drivers for its products, there is some hope that Linux on PS3 will be able to support the RSX graphics card eventually. In the meantime however, they will have to make do with framebuffer access and software-only implementations of OpenGL, such as Mesa 3D. A port of Lua Player, which will implement Mesa 3D, is already underway. NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) (pronounced IPA: ) is a U.S. corporation specializing in the manufacture of graphics processors (graphics processing units, GPUs) technologies for workstations, desktop computers, and handhelds. ... Mesa 3D is an open source graphics library that provides a generic OpenGL implementation for rendering 3-Dimensional graphics on multiple platforms. ... Lua for the PlayStation Portable is interpreted with Lua Player. ...


Homebrew developers do have access to the revolutionary Cell microprocessor, including 6 of its 7 active Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The Game OS resides under a hypervisor and prevents users to take full control of the PS3's hardware. This is a robust security measure which has helped Sony feel secure enough to allow users to install other operating systems to the PS3. Layout of the IBM Cell die Cell is a microprocessor architecture jointly developed by a Sony, Toshiba, and IBM, an alliance known as STI. The architectural design and first implementation were carried out at the STI Design Center over a four-year period beginning March 2001 on a budget reported... In computing, a hypervisor (also: virtual machine monitor) is a virtualization platform that allows multiple operating systems to run on a host computer at the same time. ...


The Sixaxis controller has also been exposed to Linux, but as of yet no driver seems to have been successfully created that exposes its tilt sensor and accelerometer functionality. The Nintendo Tilt Sensor is a technology used for certain games on the Game Boy systems. ... A depiction of an accelerometer designed at Sandia National Laboratories. ...


Nintendo Wii

Main article: Wii homebrew

Wii homebrew refers to the reuse of Nintendos Wii game console hardware, accessories and software for purposes outside of those intended by the manufacturer. ...

GP2X

The GP2X by Gamepark Holdings is fully dedicated to running homebrew software. The GP2X is an open-source, Linux-based handheld video game console and media player created and sold by GamePark Holdings of South Korea. ... GamePark Holdings is a Korean company responsible for creating the GP2X that was founded by former employees of the game maker GamePark. ...


Gizmondo

The Gizmondo was cracked early 2006. Because Tiger Telematics, the creator of Gizmondo, is bankrupt, a small but loyal fan base provided a fair amount of homebrew applications and emulators. The Gizmondo handheld video game unit. ... The Gizmondo logo. ...


External links

  • DC Emu news (English)
  • GP2x developers forums (English, Dutch)
  • Dev-Scene Nintendo related Homebrew Portal (English)
  • PDRoms – Homebrew News and Downloads for many systems (English)

  Results from FactBites:
 
QJ.NET - QuickJump Home - PlayStation Portable News - PSP Updates (2002 words)
This award-winning homebrew puzzle game from PSP developer timwillhack takes all the elements of what made Tetris such an addictive game and throws its own unique spin to it.
Homebrew developer Victor_raymond dropped by QJ.NET PSP Development Forum and released a modified version of Anonymous D's PSP Trivia v1.0.
Homebrew developer Kwastie just dropped by the QJ.NET PSP homebrew development forums to release PSP-Quiz version 0.1, an early beta build of a promising quiz game.
homebrew: Information from Answers.com (1394 words)
Homebrew is a term frequently applied only to video games that are produced by consumers on proprietary game platforms; in other words, game platforms that are not typically user-programmable, or use proprietary hardware for storage.
Homebrew games are typically developed to be used with emulators.
The popularity of homebrew development for the Game Boy Advance system in 2001 through 2006 is due to the availability of C compilers, ready-made, high-quality code libraries, and the direct gdb debugger integration for VisualBoyAdvance (the most popular GBA emulator).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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