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The State of LaunchBox on Android


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Lol, I wouldn't have just lopped off the discussion like that @Lordmonkus, but I suppose it is rather off-topic. I do think it's pretty silly to argue that mobile devices are real competition with PC hardware performance-wise. Ultimately that's a moot point either way though and doesn't really have anything to do with our decision to stop Android development.

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Hi all, I wanted to share some news about LaunchBox on Android; I have some good news and some bad news, so I'll start with the bad news. Unfortunately, we will be stopping development on Android for

For casual users, maybe. For anyone who wants better than decent emulation, never. Windows will always be king.

Hey all, I am considering the possibility of opening LaunchBox for Android back up for development and release. That said, I've done literally only a half hour of research and already I'm running into

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On 5/3/2020 at 2:32 PM, Pixelpiper said:

If LB was available for Linux, I'd reformat my boot drive this week.  Windows is a giant boat anchor, but a necessary evil to run some of the nicer launchers like LB.

 

As I had stated in an earlier post, I supported development by purchasing the android version even though I never used it. This being said, building off of what Pixelpiper said above,  Has there been any community poll taken to vote on consideration to revisit/ develop a Linux desktop port of Launch box as an alternative (better second option)  to windows?  Unlike android, Linux is obviously open source and like windows, would also provide the developer total control over the platform. I would think that many emulators would be supported including Retro-Arch which already has cores for most systems. Linux is lean and mean and would be quite a stable platform as an alternative to Windows for many.  I am even seeing Linux run many Windows Steam games these days.... Maybe I am in the great minority, but  I would purchase a Linux version.

Edited by MazJohn [Mr Arcade]
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46 minutes ago, MazJohn [Mr Arcade] said:

As I had stated in an earlier post, I supported development by purchasing the android version even though I never used it. This being said, building off of what Pixelpiper said above,  Has there been any community poll taken to vote on consideration to revisit/ develop a Linux desktop port of Launch box as an alternative (better second option)  to windows?  Unlike android, Linux is obviously open source and like windows, would also provide the developer total control over the platform. I would think that many emulators would be supported including Retro-Arch which already has cores for most systems. Linux is lean and mean and would be quite a stable platform as an alternative to Windows for many.  I am even seeing Linux run many Windows Steam games these days.... Maybe I am in the great minority, but  I would purchase a Linux version.

There was a poll, but it was a while ago. It turned out that lots of people were interested in a Linux version, but very few were willing to pay for it, which unfortunately is a common theme at this point. So it was clear that it was not a good business decision. I will say though that if development tools were up to snuff on Linux, we would have already attempted it regardless, because I would love to see it personally myself as well. Microsoft's development technologies are just light years above everything else though, so it would be a major challenge for us to bring it to Linux. The main piece that is not available currently on Linux is WPF, which we use for our theming engines for both LaunchBox and Big Box. So currently, moving it to Linux would require rewriting the theming engine completely (as well as dropping all existing themes and requiring all new themes), so that is currently largely a deal-breaker.

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 Jason you are right to drop android, I knew allot of people asked for it, but I knew it would be more trouble than it's worth.

However I thought it was very interesting  how you went about it.
Using Launchbox to build the library as set set and export it to a platform. 
Library building is what your product does best, and that should be your most forefront task.

However you have to be careful on Front Ends, more and more of them are coming out, and most of them are actually really nice.
I think more should go into BigBox, and exports for other frontend that don't complete with BigBox.

The Raspberry PI emulation world is huge, but it hard build a game collection.

Having Launchbox  export the game set to there PI system Frontend would be a nice thing to look at, your not planning linux, but you can entice PI users to use LB to use your product.
That maybe a good thing to look into. 

Also I've found the pinball world to be almost as big, but Launchbox and BigBox is lacking in this area.
I think you can reach more users, by making the "game collection sets" easier for everyone.
Its been a big time cruncher for me on the Pinball side of things.

Just my thoughts on things.

 

Edited by ninken
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On 4/17/2020 at 7:11 AM, mushmash said:

So, i expect a refund to be in my account shortly? as we were sold something that was never going to happen? there are good frontends out there for android, i dont see them giving up, andquitting because you think something will happen is pretty lame. enjoy my cash.

thats a bit crappy. i for one wont be requesting a refund, if i dont update to android 11 ( and gosh darn it to heck i want an S20) LB on android will continue to function we just wont get any updates.

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5 minutes ago, Stickyuk said:

Any chance you could host the last available APK?

i changed phones and cant get it from the play store anymore.

If you bought it you can still re-download it, it will be in your purchase history.

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totally understandable. at the end of the day i dont use android devices THAT much for gaming. and when i do there are already a few others that do the job. I actually find myself using Parsec to just stream big box from the PC. (which works perfectly for me) I definitely would rather 100% of attention going to the desktop version.

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On 4/26/2020 at 9:08 AM, Jason Carr said:

If it was closer to being ready for release, I would. But in its current form, the new features/views are not useful.

It's way too easy to confuse/mislead users. Just use an older version if you need.

I did just that & I will continue to have the old & new version installed. You just did a review of the Reset Android front end & so i tried it & its great. The fact that it uses YouTube videos for mobile is great & it has faverates! But it does not have ratings & even if it did phones currently dont have the memory to support a collection. LaunchBox has a rating system in which I can create a playlist of games with a 4+ rating. Why not allow an export even if its to Androids main directory?  You already developed it. Are we talking about the click of a mouse? You can be a neutral export to any android front end! I think I just talked you into it which is amazing that im actually talking to someone that can make something happen.

Edited by samiam
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Just caught wind of this today.  Had no idea as I purchased it purely to support the team.  Now I can remove it from my shield. 
 

that being said, does nobody stream?  I launch big box through the steam link app and poof.  I have the big box experience on my tv or smart device. 
 

I “think” this is even possible outside the network, connections withstanding.  Steam remote play is really robust.  There’s even moonlight if you want to use Nvidias gamestream. 
 

Wouldn’t know though.  I’m old.  I don’t leave and if I do it’s certainly not to sit on a curb and bust out my phone for some retro gaming.  WTB time machine. 

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On 5/21/2020 at 6:27 PM, klepp0906 said:

that being said, does nobody stream?  I launch big box through the steam link app and poof.  I have the big box experience on my tv or smart device. 

i grabbed one of those 1€ Steam Links when they were getting rid of their inventory, i don't really use it much but having the option for just 1€ is really nice,
getting it set up for the first time was a PITA though, there is some really clunky stuff.  
2 essential tips for LaunchBox/BigBox are: bring a BlueTooth KB+M or you'll do a lot of walking back and forth between TV and PC.  
And you will want to disable that mode in Steam Big Picture mode where your gamepad emulates a mouse on the right stick when the app you launch through Steam loses focus (which happens every time Big Box launches an Emulator, that almost drove me crazy because none of the games were reacting right and it isn't instantly obvious what is happening).  

Too bad they discontinued the device, a Steam Link version 2 that supports 4K, 120Hz and FreeSync would have been nice, not that i would have use for it anytime soon.  

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3 minutes ago, Z3R0B4NG said:

Too bad they discontinued the device, a Steam Link version 2 that supports 4K, 120Hz and FreeSync would have been nice, not that i would have use for it anytime soon.  

They moved to a app instead, it is available on ios and Android, and therefore directly on smart TV's that use Android TV as the OS.

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44 minutes ago, neil9000 said:

They moved to a app instead, it is available on ios and Android, and therefore directly on smart TV's that use Android TV as the OS.

My Samsung TV is so old it can't do Netflix... what you are talking about is Science Fiction 😜

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I used to use steam link, however there are 2 problems, one of them being a serious PINA.

1. The image quality with steam link is noticably worse than using an hdmi cable. I'm usually not too concerend with having the best pissible image quality, but with steam link the colors just didn't pop. I didn't even have to A/B it. One day I just tried an hdmi cable and the differene was immediately apparent.

2. This is the problem that killed steam link for me. The input latency. I have a fairly powerful PC and internet, I connected the steam link via ethernet cable and tried many different settings. Input lag is not noticable in role playing games or so, but try playing super mario world, for example, and you really feel the input lag.

I tried to convince myself that it wasn't too bad, but the longer I played, the more it bothered me. Now I have 2 X 20 meter HDMI cables with an hdmi repeater running through my house. Now I have zero input lag and as a bonus, superb image quality.

Edited by SiriusVI
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@SiriusVI

hmm... i didn't notice any input lag (i seem to be immune to that sensation anyway, F-Zero felt like it always did, Turtles in Time as well.), the picture also looked perfectly normal to me.  

40M HDMI cable?... ok that is a bit nuts, but then how do you handle input? My Bluetooth gamepad would not make it that far (heck i know for soure my WiFi does not make it that far, i had to setup a 2nd wifi router just as additional hot spot, even the WiFi repeater thingy doesn't make it through the thick walls in the middle of the House).  

Edited by Z3R0B4NG
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