|Fast Facts on the Arcade Ultimate|
Like its predecessors, the name of this product is disputed and varies considerably between regions and distributors. While AtGames call it the Arcade Ultimate on their website, most packaging designs call the system the Gopher, with Sega Mega Drive Arcade Ultimate Portable, Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player, Sega Genesis Firecore Portable Player, and Sega Mega Drive Firecore Portable Player also in use. In Brazil the system is known as the MD Play.
There are three versions of the Arcade Ultimate, all with similar aesthetics. Models GP2628 and GP2628-80 are the most common with 20 or 80 built-in games respectively, however a GP2628R variant (frequently referred to as Gopher Wireless) also exists which adds support for AtGames' range of wireless controllers (which are both sold separately and bundled with some other AtGames consoles).
Arcade Ultimates are available worldwide, however are most common in the likes of Asia, specifically Russian and Chinese markets.
The Arcade Ultimate is a handheld device with a built-in, backlit LCD screen and a 6-button control pad (as oppsoed to the three seen in the Arcade Portable). Also featured is an SD card slot and a built-in lithium battery with USB charger. Furthermore there exists a TV output connection, so that games can be played on a large screen, however the device will only produce a NTSC signal.
The console uses the same "console-on-a-chip" technology as its predecessor, and comes equipped with a similar selection of Mega Drive games. SD card support allows most Mega Drive games to be played, emulation permitting. The console does not support saving however, thus games must be finished in one sitting.
To boot games from an SD card, Sega Mega Drive ROMs should be placed inside a folder called "GAME" at the root of the card. ROMs can be either .bin or .smd and all regions are compatible. There is not full compatibility with all games, if you find that a particular ROM doesn't work; try to use verified dumps [!] and if a certain region doesn't work, try another. The games will be listed in the order they were added to the card, you can use a tool called folder_sort to force this order into alphabetical order.
Images can be displayed for custom games on the SD card, in the same way as the built-in games, by the use of an MDB.DAT file. Without the presence of this file all games on the SD card will display a blank place-holder image. There are at least two tools that can edit or create an MDB.DAT file: ScreenGopher and MDB_Edit
Using either tool you need to create an entry for each ROM and assign a picture (120x112). The name you enter in the MDB.DAT must match the filename exactly (excluding the extension). You cannot use a period "." in the name and a space is automatically inserted before a capitalized word, so if you put a space in yourself you will see a double-space on the device's menu. For example "Sonic theHedgehog 2" in the MDB.DAT would give you "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" on your device.
You can read more about the structure of the MDB.DAT file in the ScreenGopher Manual. The application is currently unavailable but the PDF is filled with useful information.
Depending on the distributor, the number and library of games varies across Arcade Ultimate consoles.
The 80 Games version only includes 40 Mega Drive/Genesis games, however it also has 40 AtGames developed games to bring the total up to the stated 80. The game list is below:
|Sega Mega Drive Hardware|
|Console Variations||Japan | North America | Europe | Brazil | Asia | South Korea | Australia|
|Add-ons||Mega-CD (Multi-Mega | Wondermega | CSD-G1M) | 32X (Mega-CD 32X)|
|Controllers||Control Pad | Six Button Control Pad | 6 Button Arcade Pad | MK-1470|
|Network Services||Sega Channel | Sega Meganet (Sega Game Toshokan) | Tectoy Mega Net | TeleBradesco | XB∀ND|
|Misc. Hardware||4 Way Play | Action Replay | Game Genie | Genipak | Mega Anser | Power Plug | StuntMaster | Super Multi-play |Team Player | Tototek MD-Pro|
|Unreleased Hardware||Floppy Disk Drive | Video Jukebox|
|Consoles on a Chip||
Arcade Blast | Arcade Classic | Arcade Master | Arcade Motion Classic | Arcade Motion Dual | Arcade Nano Series | Arcade Portable | Arcade Ultimate | Genesis Gencore | GenMobile | Mega Drive Twin Pads