Nisetoro Capture is a hardware and software system using the universal CPLD development board, which is capable of capturing video from Nintendo 3DS games directly to a PC monitor. Katy Co. Ltd. is currently applying for its patent as well as trademark.
Nintendo DS is not designed to output games to output devices such as a TV monitor, so if you want to take game pictures on a PC, animate it or broadcast it live on the Internet, it used to be the only way was to take pictures of the screen with a video camera or webcam. However, with this method, there was to some extent a limitation in picture quality, and it was inconvenient when retake them. In addition, there was the flaw where the person who was taking the video, or their stylus, could be shown in the video while they were playing.
IS-NITRO-CAPTURE, which is the commercial equipment used in the original DS, DSlite, DSi and DSiLL, is sold by Intelligent Systems in order to output the video for games. The commercial equipment for 3DS is called PARTNER-CTR and is sold by Kyoto Microcomputer. This commercial equipment is only available for purchase by development corporations which are licensed by Nintendo. It is not available for general sale.
The name, “Nisetoro,” is a pun for Intelligent Systems’ development code, “Nitro.” The development code of 3DS is “CTR” but “Nisetoro” is still used for convenience sake.
On the former DS, it was discovered that there was a signal line to the liquid crystal display directly on the board, and a product was developed where the signal was easily transferred to a PC using Chameleon USB and FX2. Since it scans the digital signal directly from the board, it enables pixel perfect capture. However, it requires the disassembly of the DS, soldering skills, and then reassembling the case. Thus, you have to be prepared and have a certain level of skill. (If doing it annoys you, you’d better order one on the site that does it for you.)
The original 3DS, DSLite, DSi, DSiLL, 3DS, and 3DSLL each have different boards and signals, and Nisetoro is only made for the original DS, DSi, 3DS, and 3DSLL. The DS is fully built-in and also capable of playing GBA games. Since the DSi has an increasing number of cables (over 40 cables), it becomes very difficult to reassemble the case after the remodeling, but optical digital audio output can be taken out instead to make room. On 3DS, the upper screen has a high speed actuation signal. With the traditional method that uses three screen capture, it would exceed 400Mb/s which is the maximum bandwidth of USB2.0.
As a solution, two built-in FPGA universal capture boards with over 600Mb of bandwidth were developed. The development and sale is by LOOPY overseas, and Chameleon USB FX SPA3 in Japan. The method of these two types is different but they are both capable of capturing the upper and lower screens, and their features are almost the same. They output between 30FPS and 60FPS, and support side-by-side output. If a monitor supports 3D, you can play a game in 3D. Even if a monitor doesn’t support 3D, it displays in Anaglyph mode. The installation work involves a high density of parts vulnerable during disassembly, so it requires significant risk. The wiring is also difficult because of less space inside. Therefore, we use a flexible cutting board. If you fail to assemble the kit due to its difficulties, there is a risk of damage to the main board, cables, and capture board.
There are 6 kinds of 3DS motherboard. Each one is different, thus, it is possible that the display won’t work even after adding the board if you wire it wrong. In Katy Co. Ltd., we measure the electrical voltage of each board, so it won’t have any display issues. When you add the board, the back-cover lid won’t be able to close so we have special back-cover lids, which are created to fit the size of each domestic version and overseas version.
A special capture board was developed for the 3DS LL. The board is completely built in. The slide pad for 3DS LL can be used if the power supply is changed to USB, which makes installation more challenging.
There is a board for the PSvita in the Nisetoro series.
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