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Old August 8th, 2003, 05:34 PM   #1
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Odd and Strange Hardware

Probally not a lot of people have heard of this:

Nintendo Sataliteview (BS-X)



Quote:
The Satellaview was not really a console, but was an interesting add-on for the Super Famicom. It was liscensed by Nintendo , marketed by Bandai, and was released in Japan in 1995. It cost 14,000 yen (about $150), and a subscription fee had to be paid monthly to use the service. The unit sat under the Super Famicom, and was the only device to utilize the port on the underside. It connected to a satellite channel called St. GIGA, from which subscribers could download games, demos, news, interviews, and whatever else Nintendo felt like offering. There were no costs beyond the price of the device itself and subscription; all downloads were free. The system focused more on BS exclusive games rather than just demos of existing titles. The games could be saved for use later, and the games could only be downloaded between 4 and 7 PM. All other times, St. GIGA was broadcasting normal TV programming.

The base unit contained a 1 megabit ROM chip which contained the system's OS, 256k of flash memory to store downloaded games on, and 512k of RAM to add to the Super Famicom's capabilities (this may or may not have also been necessary to run the OS and it's various functions). If the 256k of flash memory wasn't enough, one could also buy Game Boy sized carts containing 1 megabit of flash memory that fit into a Super Game Boy style cartridge, called the BS-X Special Broadcast Cassette (which retailed for around $30).

The Satellaview broadcasted from 23rd April 1995 to June 30th 2000. It continued receiving new games up until March 1999. The first game on the system was a graphical update of Zelda no Densetsu (aka. The Legend of Zelda).

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Old August 9th, 2003, 01:14 AM   #2
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That's crazy.
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Old August 9th, 2003, 09:39 AM   #3
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Hey, I was always wondering what the BS stood for in Zelda BS. (I had a ROM of it.)
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Old August 9th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #4
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M2

3DO M2 AKA 3DO II AKA Bulldog




May 2, 1995 the 3DO company announced the most powerful console of the 32-bit/64-bit generation. The system, dubbed the M2, would remain the most powerful videogame system ever devleoped untill Sega launched it's Dreamcast system in the late 90's. The M2 project originally began as a 64-bit expansion for the original 3DO, ala 32X, but it soon evolved into a stand alone console.

On October 25th, 1995 3DO announced a $100 Million Pact with Matsushita, (the worlds largest electronics producer, aka Panosonic). Matsushita gained all rights to produce, distribute, and develop M2 technology. They have the rights to incorperate it in any of their devices, TVs, DVD players, whatever.

After several announcements of releasing the M2 technology, Matsushita decided not to go up against Sony.

Several games for the M2 are completed and sitting at Matsushita. Amung them is the original D2. D2 was released for Dreamcast in 2000, but the Dreamcast version is a completely different game than the Midieval M2 version. Warp attempted to port the M2 version to the N64, but the deal fell through and the complete game was put on the shelf forever, and will not see the light of day unless Matsushita released the M2 technology.

In 1998/1999 Matsushita saw was Sega was doing with Dreamcast and made announcements that development on M2 technology never ended, that the company was concidering releasing the M2 console along with 10-12 fully developed games. The company later realized that the systems graphics are just too dated for the 128-bit generation of Dreamcast and PS2.

M2 System Specs

CPU :

PowerPC 602 @ 66Mhz

64 kbits total Instruction/Data caches (32k/32k)
built in MMU - SPECint92 of 40
Single precision FPU (133 Mflops)
Price approx. $30US in volume.

Co-Processing:

Graphics ASIC & 10 custom co-processors for graphics/audio

Graphics:

Over 1,000,000 polygons/sec peak throughput
700,000 polygons/sec sustained throughput with effects (including texture mapping, light sourcing, and MIP mapping)
100 million pixels/second throughput o Destination-based texture mapping
RLE compression/decompression
Light sourcing
Linear, bi-linear, tri-linear, and point sampled filtering
MIP mapping o Pixel-level gouraud shading and Alpha channel pixel averaging/anti-aliasing
3-D perspective correction
Hardware Z-Buffering
MPEG-1 video decompression

Resolution:

640x480 in 24bit or 16bit colour
320x240 in 24bit or 16bit colour

Memory:

4 Megabytes memory (SDRAM/NVRAM) on base system
64-bit bus o 528Mb/second bus bandwidth
Cache coherent memory system o 2 Megabytes ROM

Sound:

DSP running at 66mhz, with 2k cache
32 Channels with hardware decompression and interpolation
MPEG audio decompression
3-D CD-quality sound

Options: PCMCIA slot
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Old August 9th, 2003, 12:50 PM   #5
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Why do they call it the 128 bit generation when only the PS2 has a 128 bit processor?
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Old August 10th, 2003, 04:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pahn
Why do they call it the 128 bit generation when only the PS2 has a 128 bit processor?
Because Dreamcast and GameCube are widely concidered 128-bit machines.
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Old August 12th, 2003, 03:49 AM   #7
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Are they just gonna keep doubling the processor every year? 8mb, 16mb, 32mb, 64mb, 128mb... (start off with Nintendo on the 8mb, could be less and think there was). What's next? 256mb?
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Old August 12th, 2003, 11:09 AM   #8
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I don't think they follow that pattern anymore, it's just not that simple.

Now we have full fledged GPU's, high speed processors, custom memory pipelines.

It's much like the processor market where just Processor Clock Speed isn't the only determining factor to how good, or fast, the processor actually is anymore.
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Old August 12th, 2003, 05:28 PM   #9
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Damn, an 8 MB processor? That's like a 67,108,864 bit processor, which would be insane. When are those coming out?
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Old August 12th, 2003, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pahn
Damn, an 8 MB processor? That's like a 67,108,864 bit processor, which would be insane. When are those coming out?
As soon as the retard learns how to formulate an idea with some clarity.
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Old August 12th, 2003, 07:55 PM   #11
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Bandai Pippen

Introduced in 1997.

Bandai at one point teamed up with Apple Computers to create a home videogame system, which was marketed in the US and in Japan. This is an extremely rare system, and is worth a good buck. The following article can explain the console better than I can:

Quote:
The Bandai Pippin is one of the most rare video game systems in existence. It's essentially an Apple Power Macintosh in a set-top-box configuration with game-style controllers. It can display video either on a computer monitor or a TV set (see the rear panel connections below). A floppy drive was optional, as was a keyboard. The Pippin shipped with Internet connectivity software, and connected to a standard Macintosh external modem (there is no built-in modem).

The front panel bears the legend, "ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY BY APPLE COMPUTER". Note that a "pippin", of course, is a variety of apple (yes, the kind that grow on trees -- the Bandai version certainly doesn't grow on trees, it's rare as hen's teeth!).

The Pippin concept was essentially a Apple copy of Commodore's idea for their CD32 console. Like Commodore, Apple thought they could capture some of the game console market by simply repackaging the PowerMac as a gaming machine. At the time, it looked like the 3DO was a serious competitor, and Sega was making noises about a Net Link internet access package for their Saturn system. The Commodore CD32, a game console package of the Amiga computer, was reasonably successful in Europe but less so in the United States (mostly due to a lackluster US advertising campaign by Commodore).

The future looked bright for the Pippin. Unfortunately, two big hits came back to back. First, the 3DO turned out to be a flash in the pan. Nobody wanted an "edutainment/multimedia" system for the home, they wanted the new, cheaper real personal computers. Around the same time, the internet was really taking off. Anyone who introduced a product without an internet spin on it would be largely ignored. So, Apple and Bandai re-spun the Pippin as an internet appliance that also played games. That didn't work either, because, by the time the Pippin was ready to go, PC prices had dropped even more.

The Pippin simply wasn't enough of a price break from a real computer, and the public wasn't ready to surf the web from their television sets. It's believed that less than 12,000 Pippin machines were sold in the United States, and most of those to developers anticipating a more wide release of the platform.

http://www.computercloset.org/
The System:


Optional Floppy dock:


The Pippen Docked:


Controller:


Optional Keyboard with Touchscreen:


Rear Panel:



The Pippen Atmark (white) was produced for Japan, the [email protected] (black) was released in the US:


What is more rare than the system it's self is the software. Two DBZ games were released for it, and are amung the most rare games in the world.

A Pippen Game:


System Specs:

CPU :
Processor: PowerPC 603e @ 66 MHz
Cache: L1: 64 k L2: Unknown
System Bus: 64-bit
Mac OS-derived system
Graphics:

NTSC and PAL
640 x 480 resolution
24-bit color

Memory:
6MB RAM (shared)
6MB VRAM (shared)
Media formats:

CD-ROM (4x speed)
1.44 MB Floppy (external, optional),
Options/ Ports:

2x serial (printer / modem)
2x Pippin-ADB
VGA and S-Video (NTSC and PAL)
Optional GeoPort internal modem

Last edited by Overkill : August 12th, 2003 at 08:04 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2003, 03:12 AM   #12
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Yo RobV, in the early 90's I made a friend who just moved from Japan. He brought his console, which the only thing that I can remember about it, had games that where on some sort of small thin (like flash cards these days). Do you know what I'm talking about?
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Old August 13th, 2003, 04:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by SAiNT-X
Yo RobV, in the early 90's I made a friend who just moved from Japan. He brought his console, which the only thing that I can remember about it, had games that where on some sort of small thin (like flash cards these days). Do you know what I'm talking about?
Could be a few things. It could be a Sega Master System, known as the Mark III in Japan. It used both Game Cards and Carts. Game Cards, though they were cheeper to make, held less info. The SMS II wasn't even compatible with them.

Image:


More likely he had a NEC TurboGrafix 16, known as the PC Engine in Japan, is was extremely popular in its home territory. It used what they called HuCards:


Image:


about:
Quote:
On October 30, 1987 the first 16-Bit home entertainment system was released in Japan by NEC. The PC Engine was clearly the "next generation" system with it's amazing specs, and wallet sized card games called "HuCards". The PC Engine was immensely popular in Japan, outselling the Famicom by a significant margin. With it's advanced graphics it dominated the Japanese market.

Two years after its Japanese introduction, NEC announced plans to bring the PC Engine overseas. NEC dubbed the US release Turbografx-16, and prepared to dominate both Nintendo and Sega as they did in Japan.

NEC was also the first to market CD based games using an add on device called the Turbografx CD. The console was even upgraded in Japan only with more RAM to combat the threat of Nintendo's next console. The upgrade was called Supergrafx, but NEC stopped distributing the console when they saw their PC Engine was doing well. Only 5 games were made to take advantage of Supergrafx extra RAM, and it played all PC Engine games as well as use the CD add on.

So how is it that a company that produced such state of the art gaming go almost unnoticed by the American gamers? So many factors contributed, but most stems from NEC's lack of marketing. Perhaps their success in Japan made them think the system would sell itself. Whereas you could find commercials and advertisements for Sega and Nintendo, you could not find any for Turbografx. Also NEC was introducing games, titles, and characters that American players simply weren’t familiar with, and many truly excellent games were either ignored outright, or subject to Nintendo's "exclusive licencing" policy that was in effect at the time. The gist of this policy was, if a game was already available on NES, game companies could not produce any versions for any other game system. Although this policy was later ruled illegal, it hurt the TurboGrafx a lot in the early stages of its life. Hudson Soft, the primary producer of PC Engine software, was also producing games for the huge NES market.

Releasing a game on TurboGrafx exclusively (as they would have to do) would restrict its potential sales (as the NES had a greater installed user base). Even the Turbografx CD with it's amazing potential was marketed poorly. Not only was this item priced at a ridiculous $399, but only two games were even released for it during its first six months of existence, and neither "Fighting Street" nor "Monster Lair" came anywhere close to taking advantage of the system’s capabilities. Later on word began to spread that the TG-16 was not a "true" 16-bit system, as its CPU was only 8-bit. (The system used two 8 bit processors). These factors caused the Turbografix to have a small impact in the US. However the system remained successful overseas for quite some time.

http://darkwatcher.psxfanatics.com
It was also packaged as the TurboDuo (a FG16 and TG-CD all in one):


And as the Turbo Express, which was an extremely advanced handheld. Released in 1991, it was a 16-bit portable TG-16 player, with a beautiful back-lit color screen:




Specs:
Processor - Custom 6820 (NEC)
Processor Speed - 7.6 MHz
Display - Active Matrix Color LCD
Display Resolution - 400 x 270
Maximum Colors Displayed - 512
Colors Available - 512
Maximum Sprites - 64
Sound Channels - 6
Major Add-ons - TV tuner



Unique Poetable version of the TG-16 called the LT, released only in Japan:

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Old August 13th, 2003, 04:35 AM   #14
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On an interesting side note...



Quote:
The NEC PC-FX

With the innovative design and power of the PC-FX, the face of videogaming has changed. Sporting a 32-BIT V810 processor, millions of colors, and one of the highest quality FMV in any home video game system, the PC-FX is definitely the system to get your hands on for some great gaming excitement.

It all started with the joint collaboration of NEC Home Electronics and Hudson Soft of Japan that spawned the PC-FX on December 23, 1994...

A Different Kind Of System ~ The PC-FX is one of the most unique video game systems ever made. Instead of the usual "flat & square" designs associated with video game systems, NEC decided to use a different approach when designing the PC-FX. One main factor was making the system expandable. In the PC market, this concept was already in full swing. Basically, if you compare a desktop PC to a tower PC, the latter will almost always have more expansion room. So, breaking away from the common console design, it was decided to create a tower video game system that offered (in the final design) 3 expansion ports for additional upgrades, and peripherals.

In addition to playing PC-FX games, the unit could also play audio CDs (with an expansive CD menu control screen), CD+Gs, and Kodak CDs for viewing your home photos. This option allowed you to zoom in/out and rotate the photo at will.


Expansion For The Future ~ The PC-FX had 3 expansion slots. The front expansion slot was primarly used for the FX-BMP, a memory expansion module that allowed you to save games to it, rather than the FX internal memory. The rear and bottom expansion ports were available for connections to the PC-9800 series of computers made by NEC. One of those connections were used for a PC-FX-to-SCSI adapter which allowed the FX to be used as a SCSI CD-ROM drive. To the rear of the unit, you can also find direct A/V, S-VHS connections, and the power cord. Voltage and other power information can be found to the top of the rear panel.


The Familiar Control ~ The PC-FX control pad should be familiar to anyone who has played the PC Engine. It is composed of 6 action buttons, run/select buttons, and 2 mode switches. The mode switches would give the 6 action buttons special features in games that supported them. For example, in Kishin Doji Zenki: Vajura Fight, when you turn on the mode option, the top 3 action buttons become special moves, when regularly you would have to do a D-pad movement to execute the moves. Additionally, NEC also released the PC-FX Mouse which was supported in most of the Anime Freak FX series of games and in some RPGs for faster control.



NEC PC-FX Technical Specs:

CPU: 32-Bit NEC V810 RISC Microprocessor running at 21.5MHz

COLOR: 16,777,000 maximum colors on screen from a palette of 16,777,000.

GRAPHICS CPU: 9 parallax scrolls, cellophane, fade, rotation, and priority effects.

RESOLUTION: 640x480

VIDEO OUTPUT: NTSC standard output

BUILT-IN COMPRESSION: JPEG with Run Length compression, full-screen/true color decompression at 30fps. Kodak Photo CD compatible.

MEMORY: 2MB of RAM, 1.25MB of VRAM, 1 MB of ROM, 256KB CD Buffer, and 32KB back-up RAM.

SOUND OUTPUT: 16-Bit Stereo with 2 ADPCM channels and 6 sample channels at 44.1kHz.

CD DRIVE: Standard CD-ROM media, 2x speed drive.

CONSUMPTION POWER: 16W

DIMENSIONS: 132mm (w) x 267mm (d) x 244mm (h)

RELEASE DATE: December 23, 1994 (Released in Japan only)

www.pcenginefx.com
Here is a full list of PC-FX games:
http://www.pcenginefx.com/PC-FX/pc-f...directory.html

A HUCard is depicted in this old TurboGrafix pring ad:
http://www.pcenginefx.com/TS/ad14b600.jpg

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Old August 13th, 2003, 04:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
And as the Turbo Express, which was an extremely advanced handheld. Released in 1991, it was a 16-bit portable TG-16 player, with a beautiful back-lit color screen:
Wasn't the Turbo express using the same technology as the TG-16?

If so, it was only 8 bit, dual 8 bit processors, yes, but still only 8-bit, not 16.
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Old August 13th, 2003, 04:46 AM   #16
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Wasn't the Turbo express using the same technology as the TG-16?

If so, it was only 8 bit, dual 8 bit processors, yes, but still only 8-bit, not 16.
Yes, well, it was marketed as a 16-bit system. People used to debate weather or not is was "16-bit" as people still debate weather the DC was 64-bit or 128-bit, or if the Jaguar was even 64-bit.

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Old August 13th, 2003, 11:51 AM   #17
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Old August 14th, 2003, 01:50 AM   #18
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thats the shortest cord...ever

HA HA

It's mock up for the photo...

Ever notice how in promo ads for systems the controllers sometimes never have a cord?
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Old August 18th, 2003, 01:47 AM   #19
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Damn, an 8 MB processor? That's like a 67,108,864 bit processor, which would be insane. When are those coming out?

You know what I was talking about... fucker.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 01:48 AM   #20
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Originally posted by Repeater
As soon as the retard learns how to formulate an idea with some clarity.

You too dipshit.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 01:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Viper
I don't think they follow that pattern anymore, it's just not that simple.

Now we have full fledged GPU's, high speed processors, custom memory pipelines.

It's much like the processor market where just Processor Clock Speed isn't the only determining factor to how good, or fast, the processor actually is anymore.

And thank you for answering the question.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 12:18 PM   #22
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It becomes that much more obvious as to the motives of Bandai trying to merge with SEGA. I still wonder what they would have done together...
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Old August 21st, 2003, 02:04 AM   #23
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It becomes that much more obvious as to the motives of Bandai trying to merge with SEGA. I still wonder what they would have done together...
Probally released some edutainment and some DBZ games.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 09:08 AM   #24
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What about Gundam?
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Old August 26th, 2003, 12:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Yes, well, it was marketed as a 16-bit system. People used to debate weather or not is was "16-bit" as people still debate weather the DC was 64-bit or 128-bit, or if the Jaguar was even 64-bit.
There is less debate on the DC front. The processor featured 64-bit integer and 128-bit floating point calcuations. The processor itself was so damn complicated that even Hitachi said fuck it and never advertised it as 128-bit. Sega never did either, they simply claimed the DC had "128-bit graphics" which is partly true. The PVR graphics card in it was a 128-bit card

Now, the Saturn was a beast, and that was simply marketed as 32-bit, cause well, it's main competitor was 32-bit, and it was being released after the 16-bit generation. How would you like to tackle labeling a sytem that ran off 3-32-bit processors, a 24-bit DSP, a 16-bit Yamaha sound processor, and 2 VDPs, among other components?
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