I think it’s high time to address the elephant in the room. Yes, GDEMU has been cloned. The clone is not perfect, it does work but not without issues and can’t have the FW upgraded.

And you know what, turns out it is – after all – my fault that it got cloned. The reason being I made my devices too affordable and picked common off-the-shelf parts with not enough security. I looked at the prices of other similar projects and figured I can make mine cheaper since it didn’t make sense to me that the ODE costs twice what the console does. Turns out that was a huge mistake, too many would rather stuff the cloner’s pockets and claim it’s competition. And best of all I’m the one being called money pinching piracy enabler – might as well play the part. Why should I care how many can afford my devices? If I price them at over 200 Euros I will get less orders but still the same profit. That’s less work for me too. Clearly I need to rethink what I’m doing here.

So, there will be changes. Let’s start with the rules – mentioning or discussing the clones is fair enough but posting links to ebay or sales pages is not. Don’t do it. Also, commenting only to say that you want a clone or got one and it works great? That’s trolling (not even very creative) and wasn’t allowed anyway but I mostly turned a blind eye so far. Too much, I suppose.

As for new projects – I will use more expensive parts now. I’m experimenting with clone-resistant code, and new ideas in general, and DocBrown is going to be the first device to test some of those. That’s why the menu software isn’t ready yet – or actually, it is, but I’m going to release it along with newer FW and not any sooner.

The PCE ODE will require a major redesign though, I’ve put too much time into it to just see it cloned right away. I was too obsessed with cost cutting and frankly I don’t care if I only sell 5 of these by the time I’m done. This was a hobby project I had hoped would be useful for other people as well and initially I only wanted to make just a bunch for some guys I know.

TL;DR: Enjoy your cheap SEGA CD ODE “competition”. Oh wait…

213 thoughts on “Ruiner

  1. the fact that a newer fw that fixes things cant be used to update clones. and the fact that clones are inferior both on compatibility and components. are enough to keep people away the price difference is very low to choose a clone instead of the real deal.

  2. I missed out on the last batch of DocBrown, do you have an approx timescale when these are likely to go back on sale? Thanks

    • Probably soon after I’m done with this batch, I actually should have some stock to just leave the orders open for a while (I hope). Several weeks, give or take.

      • That’s great, thanks for confirming.

        I did open up my Marty and couldn’t see any serial sticker on the PCMCIA slot, assuming I manage to get one ordered when they become available again how would I go about confirming I own a Marty?

      • i thought we where waiting for payment requests from the marty window open a few weeks ago ?

        Or are we taking a set of new orders ?

      • New orders. The current batch of DocBrowns was supposed to be shipping now, but clones happened and I had more GDEMUs coming so I figured it might be better for me to sell them earlier rather than later. So again, sorry you have to wait some more.

      • Thanks for reply,

        So if we where on the list from last batch and this is a new order coming, do we have to submit another order?

        little confused, if we got an email to wait for payment request a few weeks ago….do we have to submit another request like it was a new order?

  3. I think you should stop taking orders entirely. It’s the only way you’re gonna stop these cloner scumbags in their tracks. By all means, though, do keep us updated about progress on your various projects, they’re quite interesting to read.

    ~ Gil ~

    • Haha, but you know, it’s not such a poor idea. I mean, why release a device that will be cloned ASAP? Why do you think so few people actualy work on ODEs and such?

      • I can’t speak for everyone, but I appreciate the work you’ve done.

        I’ll never buy a clone for any of my systems, I’ll always buy from you. Hopefully these jackoffs don’t ruin it for everyone.

      • Well, it’s not going to be financially viable no matter how you spin it. I’m not even sure why the clone factories decided to jump on this, given that it’s effectively a niche of a niche market to begin with. So let’s say that all of the authentics being scalped for ridiculous prices on ebay run out, and people not willing to wait are left with only shallow copies of the device in question. That’s gotta be only a few thousand people at most, right? The cost of retooling their assembly line or whatever they’re using wouldn’t be worth it.

        I don’t see it lasting, but what do I know about such things?

        As for the genuine units you produce, it’s always been a hobby, you’ve been pretty up-front about that from the beginning. Sure, you could partner with someone that would be able to pump the units out en masse, but then there’d be the question of quality control, being able to decide what new features get put on there versus what they’re set up to manufacture, so on and so forth. It’d seriously cut in to the time you currently spend on expanding the scope of your ongoing projects.

        So when you say “haha” as if I’m goofin’ around, it’s only partially. It’s a silly situation to read about, the way you’ve decided to combat this is completely contradictive to how China as a country known for cloning products works, and something that should be poked fun at, but I’m also partially serious about it as well. As more people continue to hear about GDEMU, and worth of mouth continues to spread as it has for the past couple of years, demand for these things won’t grow exponentially, but it will continue to steadily climb up to a certain point. And if that’s something that’s gonna put a damper on your ability to progress further with what you’ve got planned…

        It’s worth thinking about, at the very least.

  4. I figure I ask, is there a timescale/estimate for Rhea and Phoebe sales? Thanks.

  5. Ok I might be alone here. But, I did get a GDEMU but if i was still trying i might try for a clone to pass the time I still want your products though but I also really want to play the games. I get thats not an answer you want to hear. I love the GDEMU and if i bought a clone and if it didnt work I would and will seek your products out and so will most the hardcore gamers. I get clones cheapen your work but until you see decrease deman for your actual product I wouldnt think you would need to change much. I think carging a little more is fine you had to raise prices a little while back and i bet didnt hurt your sales. I also know this sounds bad but I would purposely sale a few on ebay even under your own name that way if people miss the window of orders they could pay more for a guaranteed one. Maybe that alone would deter some of the scalpers therefore also opening up the sales window for the people that want one to use.

    • Hi, I have bought both a GDEMU and a PHOEBE which are both great products and worth every penny. Your hard work is appreciated.

      Competition is good but not like this, not when you’re being ripped off.

      Come on people support the original product!

    • Well I suppose we will see if the clone just lessens my work or kills the GDEMU sales completly. Then I can agree or disagree with you.
      On the other hand buying the clone is a dick move in general as it emboldens the cloners and gives them necessary funds to try and break other devices.

      • I have GDEMU and PHOEBE as well and wouldn’t buy them from anyone except the person who put the time into designing them. I understand everyone wants to save a buck and such but when it interferes with new developments like other potential ODE devices that’s a problem. Hopefully these blogs and comments put a little sense and understanding into potential buyers to get it direct from the only source. (Which is here)

  6. This was bound to happen sooner or later. But hopefully people at some point will understand that cheap knock-offs can’t compare to your high quality. I’ve been following your work a couple of years know and got myself both a gdemu and a Phoebe, and I couldn’t be more pleased. If you keep coming up with new ODEs, I will keep buying them. A Mega CD ODE as well as the pc engine would be an instant buy. 👍

  7. Has anyone actually mentioned buying a clone because it’s cheaper? I don’t think anyone is complaining about the price. People are willing to spend more money to buy your product.

    From what I’ve read, every person here prefers the clones only because the original is impossible to buy. Not everyone can afford to wake up in the middle of the night and hit the refresh button for 5 hours.

    • This. I have not and will not buy a clone, but it is extremely tempting. I’d love to buy one of each ODE, and honestly, I’d pay more for them if I had to. I’ve been watching this site for almost a year now, and have never successfully got an order in. I work full time, have a small side business of my own, married, and have two kids… Despite my trying, it’s been completely impossible to buy any of these devices. Compare that with just about everyone else that compiles a waiting list. I’ve purchased stuff like this from SainT (RetroHQ), Ed Mandy (Flashmasta) and Richard Hutchinson (Vectrex) with no issues.

      I understand this is a small labor of love. If he doesn’t want to do a waiting list, that’s fine, it’s his choice. However, you also can’t be too surprised that people are looking elsewhere if your product is impossible to actually buy. Regardless, I truly do hope these clones do not I. Pact GDEMU’s bottom line and he is able to continue to build and sell these at a reasonable cost and profit.

      • But you could look elsewhere and by the usb gdrom. You don’t have to be a slimy thief by supporting slimy thieves. You already have another option. It is the case of “I want what I want and I want it now, my way!”

      • It’s called supply n demand buddy. If your product supply can’t meet the demands…this is what happens…other people will rise up and either make their own…or clones… As far as the dude who said there are alternatives like the USB GD-Rom…maybe that’s not what certain people want… They want this product but from all accounts I’ve gathered…your device is nearly impossible to obtain, and jacking the prices up, isn’t going to help, it’s going to segment your market even further, and create a larger price disparity between your product, and the clones, which in turn will only make the clones more appealing to people.

        I’m not trying to be an ass, I totally get this is a side hobby, you probably got a full time job, and you know…a life that is more important than churning out GDEMU’s cause let’s be real…making GDEMU’s isn’t gonna pay all your bills and let you retire in comfort. I completely get that. But for the consumer who wants your product…not everyone is willing to jump thru the hoops to get one, which mainly consists of waiting forever and hoping they get lucky.

        It’s just the nature of the beast sadly.

  8. Im sure its been asked a million times but what is stopping gdemu from making large batches? Or go into mass manufacturing? I could see you partnering with someone like jason from gametechusa to help with production as he does with other devs 🙂 Id say fight chinas fire with fire.

    • All devices would have to be shipped to me to program and test them. That would only work if the production was done locally and even then I can only do so many.
      The clones, they just sell them as-is and hope not too many will have issues.

      • Just curious, if you went that route and sold as is but had a really comprehensive replacement warranty for bad units, would that still be profitable? Or do you think fake warranty claims would be so numerous that it would destroy your profits?

  9. that was a joke by the way haha. do what you need to do to make the product free from cloners..

  10. Good devices are always cloned, unfortunately. real guys purchase genuine cards !

    You may get ride of these idiots that are always asking you discounts.

    So don’t worry too much about these clones and don’t spend too much time hardening them. These bastards will always find a way to clone your devices.

    Better check in a few months if your selling decrease. I’ve doubt the demand will decrease.

  11. Have you thought about adding DRM to your firmware? You could make a version of your firmware that is compatible with both your hardware and the clones but charge a license fee to those that want to upgrade their clone with official/latest software. Similar to what team xecuter is doing with their SXOS for the Nintendo switch… they sell their dongle which comes with a license built-in, or you can use a Clone/DIY dongle and just buy a license key.

  12. You produce quality work and I appreciate all the hard work and investment that goes into development and support. I refuse to buy any clones.

  13. I never bought clone products. I prefer to pay to the creator as they deserve it.

  14. I have to say I’ve bought the GDEMU and I’m really pleased with it. The price for me shows quality and affordability. I’d be gutted to see prices rise as I want Rhea down the line.

    You have to protect yourself and I stand by the fact that people who want a proper product will pay for it. Keep up the good work

  15. Dude, I have been trying to buy one a GDEMU for years.

    I want to give you my money.

    I am not gonna buy a clone for a whole litany of reasons… but I wish you would make them a bit more simple to purchase. (ie- not luck based).

    I understand why some people are going to make that plunge though. You cannot restrict access, and then get mad when someone else tries to make it easier.

    Just have a cue system. Make a list. Give people 72 hours to wire you the money when a new batch of GDEMUs become available. Make it automated. If they fail to do so… back of the line.

    Please take my money.

  16. Personally I have no interest in any Chinese knockoffs/clones. My money is better spent on your products.

  17. Dear mister GDMOO, pweese send WHAY an FEEBEE skuhmadics and firmware so we can copee
    thank you come again
    yours trulee CHINA

    On a serious note, if you could ever do a FeeBee order for the 8am PST West Coast like the others that would be great, that’s the last one I’m missing for my collection 🙂

  18. I wasn’t able to afford your stuff for a while and when I managed to get funds finally it’s always been a waiting game as I’ve always missed the release windows unfortunately. I’ll keep waiting and not bother with a clone. I would rather bug a product I trust from a seller with good reputation who actually designed the product. The people who are buying the clones probably just want to only play games they don’t own strictly anyways. They probably don’t even have passion for the Saturn/Dreamcast.

  19. You are the reason that clones exist. No one is itching to pay less for a cheap copy. Your customers want to buy anything at all.

    I don’t have much sympathy for you. The world will not stand still because you don’t want to change your “hobby” model of business. You have plenty of demand, but not only do you not even attempt to supply it, you routinely belittle your customers in both posts and comments when they justifiably complain and offer suggestions. We are all poor imbeciles to you; our paltry $150 is beneath your concern.

    Well, my man, here’s how I really feel about your situation: Womp womp. Maybe you should find a new “hobby” to indulge.

    • It’s funny, several times, I’ve kindly requested adding a ordering wait list., like how mnemo sells his product. Here’s GDMU’s own comments to my concerns:

      1) “Oh, so how many is MNEMO selling?”

      In regards to Rhea:

      2) “And why is there no alternative I wonder?”
      3) “Well then, once there is an alternative that is not a clone of my hard work, and it’s better, cheaper and more available, you can come back here and tell me about it.”

      Well, looks like now there’s an alternative that is an exact clone of yours. Since you dismiss our concerns and don’t give us an opportunity to buy your product, we will buy from someone else. But I guess that doesn’t matter anyway since this is just a “hobby” for you, right? Based on your posts and comments here, it looks like it’s much bigger than a hobby. I can’t wait to finally buy my rhea clone when it comes out next month. The best part about it, is I won’t have to set my alarm clock to 5 AM to order it.

      • You like to call a clone of my my work “an alternative” – I do wonder if what do you do for living couldn’t be perhaps made cheaper for everyone’s benefit by just copying it and not paying you? Or do you think only other people’s stuff should be cheap, preferably free to you?

      • You are delusional. I’ve said it SEVERAL times. I’d rather pay MORE for the clone than set my alarm clock to 3 AM and hit refresh for 5 hours. The majority of people here are asking for a better ordering process, NOT for cheaper costs. Anyway, since you cannot create an efficient ordering process, and do not want my money. I am happy to spend more money and support the clone.

      • See, that’s the thing. First, knowingly purchasing counterfeit product might be a crime in your country. You are willing to commit it because… you can’t get a new toy.

        Second, you know what, Radeon GPUs are in short supply as well and the prices on what’s left are insane. Why don’t you steal one and tell the judge you wanted it.

      • dude. we just want to buy your product.

        this situation exists because supply is so incredibly limited. you had to know this was an eventuality.

        and to compound it, if you continue to restrict access, the remaining customers will probably just go and buy the clone.

        I have literally attempted to buy the GDEMU for 4 years. So have a bunch of others. If you really want to beat the cloners, get some small business help and make a big batch.

        Yelling at people on your blog for being upset at not being able to buy your product is just going to alienate a lot of us.

        If something isnt working, continuing to do it the same way over and over again is insanity. You have been arguing with people on your blog about your availability model for 5 years now? Maybe make a change?

        Or just keep getting frustrated… keep arguing.. keep losing customers.

        I really hope you re-think your current path and make a change. I would love to purchase a GDEMU from you. Sincerely.

      • “The U.S. Department of Justice, however, has stated that federal law doesn’t prohibit an individual from buying a counterfeit product for personal use, even if they do so knowingly.”

        Looks like I’m not breaking any laws in my country. Paying for a good (whether it’s counterfeit or not) does not = stealing. How’s that “hobby” working out for you?

      • Cool. I always thought Americans were proud of their Made in USA stickers – but I guess that was the previous generation. Current one just wants free stuff. And you people wonder why all your jobs are being outsourced to Asia. Have it your way.

    • People like you are the reason why we do not get cool things for this hobby. If you want to play games, go buy a console and games. You can track down every game and pay a fortune to try everything. Where products like this make it easier for everyone and more cost effective. As well as more streamlined to enjoy our library.

      Someone like GDEMU is a hobbiest but also much smarter than pretty much everyone here. There seems to be only ONE PERSON in the world who is as smart as GDEMU when it comes to Opical Drive emulation for dreamcast and that person is MNENO the creater of the USBGDROM ODE.

      This man spends his time doing his reseach and engineering to create these projects. Without his initial work there would be NOTHING TO CLONE. This is why people like you should keep your pie hole shut and not say anything. Had GDEMU not done the work or made the product there would only be one card on the market (again USBGDROM). This guy spent a ton of his time to build this from scratch. The design of the board, the software and the results of all it together belong to him and him alone. He is under no obligation to share it or give it to any of us. He choose to take what he felt was good enough for the masses to sell and dis so at his own pace. He sells them how he wants to, when he wants to to as many as he wants to and YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to tell him otherwize. Your blaming him or blaming anyone other than the theives who stole his work is wrong.

      Your very attitude is why he is fed up of everyone. It is why people like me who buy all his products are going to now have to pay more and deal with a more harsher and stricter GDEMU developer.

      I am sorry but the chinese or anyone else are not cloning these to make it easier for everyone to get one. They are doing it to make money that does not belong to them. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. THESE CHINESE CLONERS DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE COMMUNIT. It would be like you working a full day and getting no money for doing so. Instead some guy who just randomly showed up, gets your paycheck and did nothing except punch a clock. I am sure you would be bitching if someone stole any of your work and got paid for it and you did not. People like you deserve to have your identity stolen and be put through hell to understand how you are treating this man and what you are saying to him. I do not think you understand the implications of your own post. Your lack of compassion and your moral compass are beyond broken.

      Here is the thing.. This man has announced a PCE and SEGA CD ODE (perhaps). There is nothing to clone if he does not build them. He is also under no obligation to do so. Just becuase he says he is working on it does not mean he has to. But should be work on it and finish it. IT IS HIS TO SELL to us. Not for ANYONE ELSE to take his hard work. Dupicate it and just profit from it. This is why I hope he uses the best tech to give us the best and most secure product on the market for whatever ODE he mades.

      I know where this man is coming from. I have also been the victim of someone stealing my products and coping them. MORE THAN ONE OF THEM. I have had 4 of my products copied and sold by china. It suck so badly. As a entrapenuer, I can only afford to build so many at once. I can afford to run off so many PCBs at a time. Of course I try to buy as many as I can so I can get the lowest Price to have the boards made and then sell them for a fair price and make a profit, which leads to more product made and sold as well as new products as newer products are needed. When China can run them off at pretty much little to no cost and sell them lower than you can it is almost like loosing a family member. Even if I wanted to make a $1 profit per item. (after processing fees and shipping). ONE whole dollar in my pocket per item sold, I can not do so becuase the chinese can make and sell them for less than I get them for even in the bulk that I order them in. This leads to me going out of business. There is nothing I can do either. My Products are not like GDEMU where it is something with a physcial PCB and CODE on chips. My products are CUSTOM made PCB boards that I desinged to make cetain other tasks easier, there is not code or Ics on them. They are Custom PCBs for Custom projects. I have no Copywrite, trademark or patent protections nor can I get any. I have to design a new product. Estimate how many I can sell and hope that I can afford to order enough to fill customer demand as well sell them out at a profit before someone buys one, clones it and starts selling it for less than I can make it for. That is something very hard to do. I have seen eBay, amazon and other sellers who sell my product for a profit and I can clearly see it is the clone, and I can estimate how much I have lost. I have lost over 43K in sales in the last year (minimum) and of that 43K I would say 12K of that would have been direct profit had those sales been direct from my and my stock. Now I can barely sell them for $1 above my cost after fees and I have a stock of 2K pieces left of one product the other 3 I do not even make anymore becuase basicly the chinese and their resellers get them less than the PCB maker will make my product for. I would be better off buying my own product from the chinese clone makers and selling my own product from the clone maker at the same price all the other resellers do. Again I would still make about a $1 per PCB. I used to make $5 per PCB and that was a 40% profit per item sold . SO NOW, with the stock I have left, I need to make 2000 individual sales to make $2K in profit from a product you can buy for the same price from china – maybe even $1 or more less than I sell it for and that is if I am lucky. So again I can very much see what GDEMU delema is here.

      I really am sick of people like you and others who blame GDEMU. This man did nothing wrong. Even his in ablility to offer enough to everyone who wants one is not a reason to take the product away from the man. Your all SO PETTY of of how he does things and you have no right to be. Its like showing up to play baseball or soccor and telling them you do not like the rules of the game and you want them changed or your not playing. Or being a prick and starting your own league and telling everyone who plays with you, to play by your rules or else. Most people like the game as it is and most will go play with the real teams. Only those who suck, are lazy, cut corners or dislike the hardest aspects of the game are going to play with you becuase of your changes to the game.

      The end of the day, you are ALL WRONG, ALL OF YOU…
      The only people I have seen here for months or years that are staunch supports of GDEMU are the only ones I have any resepct for. The rest of you…


      PS: deal with the spelling errors I am not proofreading..

      • “I really am sick of people like you and others who blame GDEMU”.

        So TRUE !

        I’m not here often, I simply purchased GDEMU and RHEA when they were released.

        But like you, when I connect and see comments, some are pretty good, some are just a bunch of shit. Look at that treat. We speak about support for GDEMU and some still post “Do you receive my PayPal wire ?” -> Idiots !

        But this is how world is built. There will be always good, bad and idiots (ugly is generally not your fault :-)).

        We have to leave with that and simply ignore them. Ignoring them is not that easy, I’ve to agree, however it will make your life easier and make you look forward for positive things. This is a waste of time talking / answering those idiots, believe me.

        As said in another comment, majority will purchase item from GDEMU and do not care about a few buck more to get QUALITY and SUPPORT.

        Some will purchase even more item like GDEMU when they will be available. I’m one of these guy and I’m patient.

        So, I (and I’m sure We) would be more thna happy to see more products /updates from you for our Retro machines. We will support you by purchasing them.

        “PS: deal with the spelling errors I am not proofreading..”

        -> Yeah ! I should use that sentence to all my posts 🙂

  20. This is all bad news. I’m sorry to hear how it has upset you. The people that attack you for how you sell or blame you for the clones, just dont understand your situation. They will never understand, no matter how many times you explain. The only improvement I can see is posting an exact time a few days in advance, but I understand that is not always possible because of other commitments in your life.
    Thank you for all your hard work! Try not to worry about china clones. They were bound to happen. Do what ever you think will work to fight against it and make it harder for them.
    Thanks again!

  21. Got my GDEmu today, thanks for all your efforts. Sorry that you have to deal with counterfeiters, but rest assured I will still buy from you even if you raise the price to cover more R&D and more secure components. Good luck with finding a solution that will work for you. Still waiting for a chance to buy Phoebe.

  22. I believe I told you in an Email to up the price on the devices… phoebe going for 800 on ebay gdemu were 350+… if anyone should be making that kind of money it should be you with very little meat and incentive for scalpers that stops them. im one of the suckers that bough a 350 one from ebay I would like to buy another but always seem to miss your post by hours last one misses by 30 min :o(

  23. Could I asked for an estimate of when Phoebe orders might open again? I’d really like to give you some of my money.

  24. Sooner or later I’ll get a GDEMU and a Phoebe, and a Rhea from you. I’ve had no luck as of yet in getting a chance to get anything, but I’m in no real hurry. They can keep the clones. I’ll finance the person that did the work, not the ones who copy it.
    Your work is appreciated by many – don’t let the idiots get you down.

  25. I think it all comes down to people being unaware its a clone (just happen upon it when searching for dreamcast stuff on ebay) or inpatient/unfortunate where it comes to availability.

    Easy solve is to do larger runs to make these more available but it sounds to me you would rather not deal with the BS and just work on your projects.

    Luckily I know that GameTechUS has been screaming out to people like yourself to let him take care of preorders and distribution so the boffins can free up their time and concentrate on creating.

    He already runs the preorders for the HI-Def NES from Kevtris and the ultraHDMI N64 kits from Michelle. Also coming to the store is Woozle’s GBA Consolizer when that project is ready.

    All you would have to do is raise the price a little to cover his service and you can spend less time dealing with pre-orders, payments, shipping plus all the emails each of those generates and do what you would rather do, make awesome stuff!

    his contact at the store

    or twitter…. id do both, kinda hit or miss

  26. MOST of us here really appreciate your work. Keep your head up and I look forward to all of your future products. You definitely have my support.

  27. The Chinese knockoffs are NOT that much cheaper from the official GDEMU. They don’t cost like 25 bucks, they cost 70USD + shipping, so it is not a big jump. The reason people are buying Chinese versions is because availability issues with the real device.

  28. Keep your head up mate, you’re doing amazing work and really helped the community. I hate the scumbag cloners and those who support them, I hope the cheap clones break their consoles.
    These short sighted fools supporting the cloners are only hurting themselves and everyone else when and if you decide to not keep developing new devices. What a shame that will be. My feeling is that a lot of these people were never going to be real customers but are justifing their lack of moral backbone.

  29. I guess I’ll never understand why such a niche product like GDEMU isn’t open source and fully funded by the community at the development stage…

    This whole thing of select batches, and now artificially inflated prices make GDEMU unsustainable by default and will only lead to abandonware in the near future. It will be kinda ironic though, taking into account what GDEMU is for (you know, because it defeats DRM on a really over-engineered console, that was really expensive at launch, signaling the beginning of the end for SEGA, due to a bunch of really dumb decisions).

    Having clones is going to be inevitable, it’s going to be even worse when someone re-implements a similar product as open source hardware. Your solutions by scrambling the code and making it more expensive are only going to boost clone hardware, and motivate competition, since you are making your product even harder to get, which is why clones exist in the first place.

    Good technology meant to be sold and become ubiquitous and even if you attempt to control it like a cartel, in the end, demand will prevail, especially when your audience is tech savvy in the first place. This is really unfair due to the development you did so far, I get it, but this is why I think you should be funded at product development, not product distribution.

    Patreon is a thing, you know, and I’m sure it would give you a hefty monthly income to focus on development… Also open source hardware can’t be cloned, by definition, as long as the license is followed.

    • A quick answer: nobody wants to invest the time, which is not a free resource, to invent, test and build an open device for other people to just mass-produce and make money on it.

      • Except all the people who do exactly that…

        There are plenty of people who write software for free. There are plenty of people who develop hardware for free. There are plenty of people who develop open source software and hardware who get paid to do so by the community.

        There are numerous platforms at your disposal to help. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, etc.

        There is plenty of open hardware which isn’t generally available in final form. Just like there is plenty of open software without active development. Someone taking the initiative to order the parts, get them manufactured, and sold is in itself a valued service.

      • I agree on both accounts. Yet when you put all that work (and money) into R&D and get only peanuts in return because 99% of the profits go to people who can bring the device to market faster you by just copying your design – what kind of message does that send? Who is going to do the R&D next time?

      • I know that feeling. I’m a mechanical design engineer and in the process of trying to make things cheap and give open source designs people have taken them and now make money from my time and effort. Now I give nothing away.

        One day I hope to check my email in time to order a phoebe, so please keep going, little old nz needs you!

      • Exactly! Manufacturing is only part of the costs, and worse yet now people expect you to provide support and solve problems for free because it’s “your design”, take responsibility.

        And that’s the nice people. The not so nice ones will just claim their product is not based on your work and you’d have to prove otherwise in court first.

        And not just R&D, who would even choose go to school focused on engineering when you can only make money in manufacturing?

      • I guess Ikari must be a total nobody then, and SD2SNES doesn’t exist. Your head needs a firm exit from your ass.

        You’re so firm on this being a “hobby”, yet you’re a worse “company” to deal with than the likes of Apple. Make up your mind.

        Anyways, I’m still being terribly amused by all the comments on different forums of people that attempted to buy from you, but gave up. And you wonder why the clones exist?! Sad, delusional guy you are.

      • Tell you what, give me a couple million bucks and I will be making all my current and future ODE projects open and free. Deal?

        As for amusement, here’s hoping somebody will steal your car ’cause he couldn’t wait to get his own. I hope you’ll be equally as amused as you’re now.
        Just because you can’t buy my product you do not get the right to steal it. It’s the law, actually.

      • It’s not theft. It’s copyright infringement. Perhaps ironically the same as many of your users likely do with your device.

        Have you tried Indiegogo, Massdrop, etc.? Why not challenge those who ask for it to be open source and put the number you’re willing to make it open as the target? 10k? 50k? 100k? 1m? Make people put money where their mouth is.

        Either it’s a hobby or its not. People work on projects all the time, get asked to support those projects, and receive nothing (or little) in return. If its truly a hobby the money would be a secondary issue. You’d want to cover costs of materials, shipping, etc. at most. If you’re going to complain about support and dealing with people in this sense you might want to reconsider your approach. For many in the retro gaming field it is a hobby. They want the tech to survive and open source is an important part of that. If one wants or needs financial assistance to help further the hobby they have to engage the community for that assistance. A Patreon, a donation link, something. AFAICT you’ve not done any of those things.

        If you want to run this as a business then you should probably 1) not call it a hobby 2) run it like a business. The latter would probably mean having a proper “store” or working with 3rd parties to sell your devices in the same way many in this field do.

        You’re doing great work, people are literally fighting to give you money, there has to be a better way.

      • You just don’t get it, do you.

        WHY should I make more devices? Becuase otherwise you will steal from me? And it’s “my fault” then, somehow, because you feel it’s morally acceptable to steal if the supply is low? It’s not, in fact it’s breaking the law whether you like it or not.

        Now, granted, it might not be very nice of me if I were to limit the supply artificially to, say, raise the price. Did you see how much other ODEs cost? Even though it’s very much a free market if I did that, do you think that’s how I operate?

        It’s really very simple. It’s a theft if my IP, both hardware and software (dare I say, my trade secrects?) and I can’t belive you people are defendig it. Just because you can’t get a new toy to play with.

      • No, I don’t get it because you’re being obtuse with the facts.

        IP infringement is not theft. It just isn’t. You may not like it but its a fact of history and law. You can call it theft in a colloquial sense but it is in fact not. As mentioned prior it is somewhat ironic that you are taking a moral position on IP infringement when your device enables just that and the reverse engineering itself can and has been considered IP infringement.

        Why would you make more devices? Because as you’ve said its a hobby. Many, many people create hardware and software without being paid. Why do they continue to do so? What makes your situation different? If this is not a hobby, if this is a business, you have to manage the competitive threat by others. Whether that be with their own devices or clones. This is has been a fact of business for pretty much all time.

        You do limit the supply. You are a monopoly with regards to these devices. This is basic economics. If you supply is below demand and you fix the price below clearing you will have shortages. The price has not been the primary complaint by people. Its availability. Some people would gladly pay more to get a unit quicker and a side effect is that it’d help you create more units than otherwise would have possible.

        I’ve seen no one “defending” IP infringement. They are explaining to you *why* it is occurring and offering suggestions on addressing the situation. Part of problem is you have seemingly contradictory statements (hobby vs wanting money / trade secrets) and haven’t expressed an interest in resolving the problem.

        I ask again: why don’t you have a Patreon or similar way for individuals to support you? Why not use Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Massdrop, etc. to either sell individual units or sell the design & software? These would silence critics rather quickly. Make them put money where their mouth is.

      • See my new post about the price and supply.

        I repeat again: What would Patreon, etc, change? I would sell a bunch, someone would make a clone and undercut me. Then people would buy the clones and have the same argument that my product is too expensive or they have to wait too long for me to make it.

      • Yes or no. Is this a hobby or not? Complaining about compensation and units sold sounds like its not.

        What would Patreon and such change? It is an alternative way to pay you for your time. Kickstarter, etc. would enable a more professional platform for selling of devices. You seem to entirely ignore that many other projects work these ways successfully and fail to articulate why your project is different (or why it matters since as you’ve claimed this is all a hobby which implies little or no concern about direct compensation for time).

  30. That sucks man, i mean i guess it was only a matter of time before it happened. But sucks it hurts the original creator. Been trying to get one forever, hope this cheap knockoff doesnt screw us collectors out of a must have piece of equipment

  31. I get it, but that’s not what I said. I’m suggesting that for these cases it makes sense to use a different approach:

    Fund time and resources spent on invent test and build an open device via Patreon;

    Make group buys (at massdrop, for example) to produce the hardware.

    The difference is that you don’t make money on production, you actually make money on development.

    Thank you for reading what I wrote btw, I really appreciate it, and I don’t blame you at all if you don’t change your approach at this stage. Still, it means a lot regardless.

  32. I’m sorry to hear that this clone business is souring your hard work and great products. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my fill of your ODEs, but I feel for those who haven’t yet. Hopefully there’s a way to combat the piracy, but not alienate those customers. I will always be a consumer of yours, especially if you do a Sega CD ODE 🙂

  33. He never claimed to be a store. EVER…

    This is a BLOG and he set up a special page on the blog to order the results of his hobby to his readers.

    Personally I understand where he is coming from.

    If you guys still can’t figure out the difference between right and wrong and understand what it means to be one person producting their own warez.. Then you all need a civics class badly…

  34. it looks like my last message didn’t make it through, I wasn’t logged in and I think it was dropped suggest that you let Jason at GameTechUS handle distribution and preorder emails ect… that way you dont have to deal with all the nonsense, give you back your time to work on these projects and increase the amount available because it wont affect you time consumption if Jason is taking it on.

    he already does it for the ultraHDMI, HI-DEF NES and soon woozles GBA HDMI out as well as his own products, that’s three separate products from three separate creators

  35. I feel for you man this is an outrage.i would rather pay 500 euro a product from YOU than pay $1 US, for any CLONE.I thank you for all you have done for the gaming community and i support any decision you make.Do you know you will be taking pre orders for RHEA?
    also if/when the PCE ODE comes out will you make a version for the DUORX?
    I wish you all the luck in these trying times! and i completely understand if it never happens or you dont reply.PEOPLE PLEASE DO NOT BUY CLONES you should all be grateful this man has blessed us with such amazing products!

  36. If I bought a GDemu on eBay and am worried that I might have bought a clone by mistake, is there any way for me to know for sure by looking at the PCB? If I bought a clone then I want my money back.

    • To clarify: I want my money back from the cloner who, (assuming that this device which won’t update, which is apparently diagnostic of clones, is in fact a clone) was impersonating you and using your product name and copying text from your website wholesale.

      I don’t want money from you. I want to give money TO you.

    • Original GDEMU has 12mm plastic pegs for support. 2 of them and one screw to keep it from moving. The clone has 3 smaller plastic pegs, if any at all.

      • Yeah, at this point I’m like 99.9% sure I’m looking at a clone. This is infuriating. I’m really sorry for contributing to this problem.

  37. I wan to support you. I really do. But man, it’s virtually impossible to get in the list. I’ve been trying for years and next sentence is persistently there, no matter how many times I come back to this page: “Preorders are currently closed.”

    I’m not going to waste my time hitting F5 everyday until having to opportunity to be on the list. You need to change a lot of things, not only about security on your cards. The way you produce items is extremely inefficient.

    A lot of people will buy the clone card just because it can be purchased. Not like your cards…..

    “Preorders are currently closed.”
    “Preorders are currently closed.”
    “Preorders are currently closed.”


    • You say it cannot be purchased. That’s not true – you can buy one on ebay for 300+ EUR. But you want it both available and cheap, which is my point. You’re just looking for a moral excuse to buy stolen goods so you shift the blame on me rather than yourself.

      • Who should we buy from on ebay then? The guy with a dozen+? Is that you? There are several people selling on eBay. Some with many units claiming to be legit.

      • Oh, so ebay clone scams are now also my fault somehow?
        I don’t sell on ebay. And “who” wasn’t really an issue until a month ago or so – yet the BS argument that you can’t buy it is as old as this blog. You keep using words like business and free market but only when it works for you. I’m just supposed to be a cheap mass manufacturer – and if I won’t or can’t, you steal from me.

      • “Oh, so ebay clone scams are now also my fault somehow?”

        Feel free to point out where that was said.

        You complain that clones exist. Complain that people above the price you sell for. Then effectively you tell people to buy from cloners at increased prices?

        Not once did I complain about prices. In fact I suggested selling via auctions which would likely lead to increases in the selling price. Not once did I tell anyone to “steal” from you. Pointing out why something is the way it is is not endorsement.

        People on here have been suggesting ways to manage the situation and rather than take the suggestions or respond with logical reasons for why they may not work or show how you’ve tried them and they failed… you attack people and play the victim. I fail to see how that addresses the problem. You’ve now gone so far as to spite yourself and told people to buy clones.

      • Two can play this deflect game. Feel free to point out where I told people to buy clones. Also, IF you don’t mind the reseller prices WHY are you giving me all this unsolicited advice in the first place?
        Not everbody is like you and many would not accept a higher price – which means if I raise it and start ebaying things you will stop annoyng me but someone else will start.

      • Hey, not trying to be contentious here… What is your ultimate endgame with the GDEMU project? I am honestly wondering. Not trying to troll you or trick you. Is it purely exercising your engineering and mental muscles? Is it making money? Something else? A little bit of everything?

        A lot of us who follow you are completely on your side. We want to work with you. It just seems that the way things are currently situated isn’t working.

        Maybe sit down and write a personal project statement. Set out your goals and your desires for this project. What is your dream scenario? What things do you need to accomplish v. what would you like to accomplish. What are the things that you are okay with sacrificing to achieve your dream scenario. What will you never do. At the end of the day, make sure you know what you want… and then let us know.

      • It’s both – I like doing this and making money keeps it going.
        My dream scenario would be to actually know in advance how many devices will sell. While it might seem like a big market, it’s not. Unless you also count in people who just want cheap, disposable devices to buy on a whim and trow into a drawer after a few hours of play. I can’t provide that but cloners can.
        Ideally I’d only sell to people who genuinely want to revive their consoles and/or keep them going a bit longer. Not run ODE Amazon. On one hand it’s nice to have more customers, on the other…

        Also, and this is just a fact, I’m not attacking your idea, I can see page visit counters and every time I post something that is not orders announcement it gets more or less ignored. No point in writing personal statements like that.

      • “My dream scenario would be to actually know in advance how many devices will sell. ”

        Kickstarter? Indiegogo? A waiting list? Then talk to 3rd party sellers, RetroRGB or other YouTubers and people on social media in this space to get people to go and register? You do it once…. if it doesn’t work out then so be it. At least you gave it a shot.

      • I wasn’t suggesting you share your “manifesto”, as it were, with us. Just for yourself. You could just give us the Cliff’s notes. Sometimes for clarity’s sake, or just personal catharsis, writing down your goals on a long-term project every few intervals can be helpful.

        In any case. If both are really your goal (not to be overly reductive), I hope you consider perhaps changing your methods. You cant possibly enjoy the harassment some people toss upon you. That’s not why you or anyone would do this.

        I know you have a certain idea in your head how you would like your operation to run, but maybe that isnt feasible.

        Try and figure out how you can maximize the time you spend on the “fun” part (engineering cool tech), while maximizing the amount of money you feel you need to subsidize this half hobby/half business venture. Maybe charging 10-20% more to delegate some of your operations to a third party? I don’t want to throw out specifics, because I am not trying to tell you how to do things better/more efficiently.

        I have read your other posts on why you do things, and don’t do things. I get it, but like I said before.. you do not seem to be getting the results you desire. It just seems like we (your [mostly] adoring fans), and you have been talking in circles for years now; and you have become (understandably) frustrated.

        Most of us just want to see you happy… and us by proxy (via your ODEs).

        Step back from how you do things now, and maybe build your business model from the ground-up, with those two pillars as the base for how you set-up GDEMU 2.0.

      • “Two can play this deflect game.” It’s not a deflection. A question was asked and you failed to answer it. Instead you made accusations which you can’t substantiate. That appears to be deflection to me. However, if you mixed me up with someone else… that’s fine… but you could at least admit as much instead of continuing to attack.

        “Feel free to point out where I told people to buy clones. ”

        You said: “you can buy one on ebay for 300+ EUR.”

        Instead of offering people ways to purchase your (legit) device you (and your white knights) have on more than one occasion told people to go to ebay. Which you have confirmed has “clone scams”.

        It seems to follow that if you are stating ebay has clones, and suggest people buy from ebay, and you’re unable or unwilling to indicate who from ebay is selling legit units… you are suggesting to people to buy clones.

        In the same way: If someone asks “How do I get game images for GDEMU?” and the response is “Well… you should rip your own games but you can find them around. Just google.” you are telling people to infringe on the IP of others / pirate without outright telling them to do so.

        “IF you don’t mind the reseller prices WHY are you giving me all this unsolicited advice in the first place?”

        Because maybe I, like pretty much every other person offering suggestions, am looking to help solve your problem? Because as someone with experience in commercial & FOSS software development, business, and IP law I figured I could help? Because I like your products and would like to see more people have access to them and see you rewarded for creating them?

        “Not everbody is like you and many would not accept a higher price – which means if I raise it and start ebaying things you will stop annoyng me but someone else will start.”

        Hence the suggestion to do both. As has been brought up before… this is *not* unique. Bands for instance will sell tickets to shows at a lower, fixed price in limited quantities so hardcore fans can get tickets at a relatively reasonable price. They then sell the other tickets through traditional means or auctions. So… take some percentage of your batches and sell them on ebay with a base price of your normal asking price, no buy it now, and let those willing to pay more, pay more.

        Those who wish to support you and have more money than time will buy via the auction. Everyone else buys via the current model. The only downside is there X fewer units at a fixed price but that’s on the margin and statistically the people complaining about price would have complained anyway. Instead of batch 1 they my have to wait for batch 2. But they are already willing to wait so no loss. In that sense it’s only a win for all parties.

      • Sigh. “Do both”. Sure, let me just snap my fingers and have both stock and low price. I’m not even going to ask how exactly I’d select people that get the lower price. I’m sure nobody would ever object to having to pay more becacue they weren’t selected.

        You know what, let’s just agree that I’m stupid and lazy for not thinking exacly like you do. And with that I’m off to waste my time. You won.

      • “Sigh. “Do both”. Sure, let me just snap my fingers and have both stock and low price. ”

        That’s not what was said. I’m at a loss as to why you see this as difficult.

        You have 50 units. Sell 40 on your site *exactly* as you do today. Sell 10 on ebay. You have more money for the same number of units. You can pocket the extra money as profit or use it to buy a bigger batch next time. Either way you’ve made it so both parties can be satisfied. Those who want it at the cheaper price but willing to spend time and those who have less time than money and want to support you.

        Yes, it’s more work than “snapping your finger” but it’s not difficult.

        “I’m not even going to ask how exactly I’d select people that get the lower price.”

        How do you think everyone else who does this does it? They limit a single email address and/or mailing address to N tickets. Is it perfect? No. But it works reasonably well. I’ve seen people complain of scalpers. Maybe they bought them from you in bulk. Maybe they were actually selling clones. If the former is a concern to you then you can use that to mitigate larger scale scalping. Selling them yourself on ebay would also do that. Especially if you advertise as it being legit. Clearly that’s a concern as some have started advertising as much.

        “You know what, let’s just agree that I’m stupid and lazy for not thinking exacly like you do. And with that I’m off to waste my time. You won.”

        This isn’t about winning. You are way too hostile / jaded for your own good. There are ways to manage this and yes… I could claim you’re lazy or stupid but I’d like to think it was ignorance or uncertainty. I and others have tried to offer suggestions on making the situation better. If you want them to shut up you can yell at them or you can try to fix the situation by either trying their suggestions or otherwise addressing their concerns. If you aren’t interested in that then you should make it clear you aren’t interested in changing things rather than arguing with people. I’d also suggest not bringing up the complains / issues as it just stirs the peanut gallery.

  38. you have an approx timescale when the next GDEMU batch are likely to go back on sale? Thanks

  39. Hello. I am just hearing about this piece of hardware and am very impressed. I, like many others, don’t mind spending a bit more for a higher quality, supported product. I also, like others have said, am in favor of a more organized ordering process, such as ticketing, or a waiting list. I respect your stances on how you run your shop, but people not being able to get a product for four years in indicative of a problem. As someone new to the device, the process looks terribly confusing, and if I didn’t do my research, probably would have ended up with a clone by accident. No moral or financial aspect, just that’s what I saw when I looked for an ODE. Making your product easier to order would help everyone involved, including yourself, as the cloners have the advantage of them sitting there, being available with no “process”. I would also advertise your genuine products where possible to discourage buying of clones, but that would drive more orders to you and require a more organized ordering process. Please consider some organizational reforms that could make this better for all parties, EXCEPT the cloners.

  40. You are rght that its your own fault. You whine about someone stealing your work. But you based your worked on the research of many people and didnt credit them also you got cloned mainly because you where so afraid of being cloned that you thought it was a great idea to just do small batches inhouse. Turns out it wasnt right because of the small qantities you created a huge demand and with that you made sure that the chinese clone industry would notice your product. If you dont change your business modell you will get cloned in the future too and rightly so.

    • Oh, this is something new. So who are those people that I didn’t credit, and what for exactly?

  41. First of all, I’m very sorry to hear about the clones. I understand how this has been upsetting for you, on many levels. As a fellow hobbyist, I fully appreciate the effort that goes into making these sorts of devices.

    I have always been impressed by the design and quality of your products. I’ve never been off-putted by the price. In fact, I would consider your products to be “budgetary”.

    However, from my personal experience, I am frustrated by the ordering process (lack of an order queue). The shortages of inventory compound this problem. I have been unable to purchase your ODE solutions for Saturn and Dreamcast (I love my DocBrown!). This has forced me to buy these solutions from other creators. In fact, I’ve been a top-tier sponsor of Satiator project, just so I have a solution for my Saturn.

    Why not sell your products through a reseller? They can help market, handle orders and ship product. This would greatly reduce the amount of frustration that both you and your customers face. Also, customers would know that they are getting a genuine product, when they buy through an official reseller.

    I cannot tell you how much I value your contributions to the retro gaming community. I for one, will be the first in line for your Sega CD ODE 🙂

    Best regards,


  42. Oh boy. People are buying a clone that’s cheaper and more available, and your solution is to..increase prices? Good job giving people more reason to buy clones not less. Pig headed decision. You made this grave, lie in it.

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