Itaca Innovation has launched a campaign on Crowdsupply for a DIY open hardware retro-gaming console called uSVC. The uSVC is a simple, DIY game console that enables you to create and play retro-style 8-bit games with standard USB controllers and keyboards. It comes as a kit, so you will need to assemble it, and you only need basic through-hole soldering skills to assemble it. The only thing you do not have to solder is the microSD card socket.

The uSVC can be viewed as:

  • A DIY soldering kit that is optimized for simplicity and fun
  • A retro-gaming console with three pre-installed games
  • An educational platform featuring a comprehensive Application Programming Interface (API), and a series of guides that will enable you design your own games in no time
  • A development framework that encompasses more than gaming use, but also with the expansion headers you can connect third-party peripherals, and you’ve got everything you need to design any number of low-cost devices that depend on USB connectivity and VGA output

The uSVC is capable of displaying up to 256 on-screen colors at its standard resolution of 320×200 pixels. It also enables a 57 Hz refresh rate (or it can render up to 400 lines with a pixel aspect ratio of 2:1). It features four 8-bit PCM channels mixed to a 10-bit mono channel and samples at 30 KSPS. It also enables an optional global low-pass filter with a per-frame selectable low-pass frequency. The uSVC can handle multiple video modes, including 8×8-pixel tiled modes with 16 or 256 colors, and a 2 bits-per-pixel (bpp) bitmapped mode that supports up to 256 on-screen colors by changing the palette every 8 horizontal pixels.

Tiled modes support sprites with the following features:

  • Sprites up to 128 pixels in width or height are automatically handled by the graphics engine, so you don’t need to join smaller sprites to achieve larger ones
  • Up to 128 8×8 sprites can be drawn in one 256-color frame if they are 8-pixel aligned
  • For arbitrary alignment, up to 66 sprites can be displayed in one 256-color frame
  • All tiled modes support horizontal and vertical sprite flipping
  • The 256-color tiled mode supports 90°, 180°, and 270° sprite rotation and x/y swapping
  • By blending sprites and background graphics in 256-color mode, uSVC also supports partially transparent sprites that can be used to represent explosions, smoke, ghosts, and other lighting effects
  • Choose whether to give layer priority to sprites or tiles

The uSVC also features a smooth, full-screen, arbitrary-x/y scrolling in tiled modes. Its color-change engine for 16-color mode supports per-line changes to the entire palette or to any one of its 16 colors. Color-change also functions at high (400 line) resolution for smoother dithering effects and up to 256 on-screen colors. Its Per-line vertical row remapping feature enables you to produce reflection effects, such as water and split or flipped screens. Also, row remapping works at high (400 line) resolution. It also supports an optional, bottom- or top-fixed section to display status information such as a running score. About uSVC, the company says:


About The Author

Muhammad Bilal

I am a highly skilled and motivated individual with a Master's degree in Computer Science. I have extensive experience in technical writing and a deep understanding of SEO practices.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top