Picture of my other old consoles, from top, NES, SNES, Purple clear N64, and a megadrive.
History of the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Processor Speed: 3.58 MHz
Resolution: 512 x 418
Colors: 256 / 32,768
Max Sprite Estimation: 60 before slow-down, 128 max
Sprite Size: 64 x 64
Nintendo started out in 1889 as a playing card company and started getting into videogames in the early '80s, producing
hits like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. Their Famicom (FAMIly COMputer) videogame system had done pretty well in Japan, selling
2.5 million systems in 1984. After negotiations with Atari to sell the Famicom in the U.S. fell through, Nintendo decided
to release the system in the States on their own in 1985 and then again in europe in 1987.
Nintendo also released the NES 2 in 1993. It was a smaller, cheaper version of the original NES in a more SNESish case
with a standard cartridge slot becasue the original NES was very dirt-prone and easy to break.
The Super Ninendo Entertainment system or SNES as its more commonly known is probably one of the best consoles ever made.
There are hundreds of quality games available ranging from arcade conversions such as Street Fighter 2 to RPG games such as
The legend Zelda a link to the past, Mario all stars and Chrono trigger.
In addition to its built-in hardware modes, Nintendo later released a whole array of chips that added processing power
as well as other features to games. They came built into games' PCBs as opposed to plugging into the console's extension
port. The Super FX chip, which allowed for 3D graphics to be rendered in games, upped the SNES's speed to 10.5MHz and the
Super FX2 upped it to 21MHz. Many more chips were made available, and most of them played a large part in keeping the SNES
competitive even in the face of the newer 32-bit consoles.
One thing Nintendo did differently this time round was they didn't force software developers to write games exclusively
for them. Actually, this wasn't even an option for Nintendo because the major third-party software developers were already
signed up with Sega. The move was a right one, and many quality games available for the Mega Drive got written for the SNES.
Others, such as the arcade hit Street Fighter II, made their debut on the SNES. The censored version of Mortal Kombat was
a bit embarrassing, but anyway...
Of course, there was that whole issue with Nintendo and Sony (and later on Philips) who were working on a CD add-on for
the SNES. When Nintendo decided that loading times would plague games and broke the deal, Sony decided to start work on their
own CD-based console, and we all know what happened next.....
History of the Nintendo 64
CPU: 64-bit R4300i RISC (93.75MHz) / 64-bit data paths, registers with 5-stage pipelining
Co-processor: 64-bit RISC (62.5MHz)
RAM: 4MB (36Mb) upgradeable
Graphics: Pixel Drawing Processor (RDP) built into co-processor
Colors: 16.7 million (32,000 on screen)
Polygons: 150,000 per second
Resolution: 640x480 pixels
Sound: 16 to 24-channel 16-bit stereo (up to 100 PCM channels possible)
Nintendo made an announcement that the The Nintendo 64 was was to be released in 1996 the game media for the nintendo
64 would be 100Mbit cartridges and not CDs. The decision to choose cartridges over CDs did make quite a few software developers
turn away from the system all together. Not only were cartridges more expensive, but it meant that Nintendo would be the
only supplier, enforcing their grip on licenses. Nintendo's defense was to say that cartridges were still the media of choice
for home consoles because they did not suffer from slow load times and were more practical than CDs.
The unveiling of the Nintendo 64 (aka Ultra 64) was meant to come early 1995, but was delayed until the November Shoshinkai,
Nintendo's exhibition, in Japan. It was then that two games out of the 11 planned titles were shown to the public. No one
could doubt how impressive the graphics were, however, with none of the games even close to finished, and less than a year
to go until release date.
In 1995, Nintendo demoed a playable version of Mario 64 at the Japanese Trade Show. The game made up for all the delays
and complications that Nintendo had gone through, especially with the very few titles that would be ready by the release date.
The crowd loved the game and were convinced that Mario creator Miyamoto had another winner on his hands.
The console was finally released in September 1996 and managed to sell all its initial stock Two years later, The N64
Expansion Pack was released for the console, which added 4MB to the RAM to allow games to include larger levels and higher
resolutions, a good exsample of these types of games are perfect dark and zelda majora's mask.
History of the Sega Megadrive
CPU: Motorola MC68000 at 7,61 MHz
Co-processor: Zilog Z80a @ 3,58 MHz
RAM: 64 KB
ROM: 1 MB (8 Mbit)
Graphics: Graphics modes: - 320 x 224 pixels, 512 colours (9 bit), 64 simultaneously, max. 80 to 90 sprites (32x32 pixels),
2 scrolling playfields, 1 sprite plane (= 3 planes) FIXME - 40 x 28 text mode.Video RAM: - 64 KB Color RAM: - 64 x 9 kbit.
Input/Output: RF/AV outputs Expansion port 2 x 9-pin controller ports Headphone jack (MK-1601 only) 9-pin EXT port (MK-1601
only) Module cartridge slot.
While Sega had fairly been beaten up in the 8-bit era, since the Master System wasn't that kind of a success, it should
have been, because it was technically superior to the Nintento Entertainment System (NES), the Mega Drive would finally bring
Sega new financial support. The in-house name is "MK-1601", but Sega CEO Hayao Nakayama officially named it "Mega
Drive", representing superiority (= "mega") and speed (= "drive"). The word "mega" was
already used in an advertisement campaign that was supporting Sega's Master System, where it was generally used to promote
games that are more powerful than their predecessors. So combining these two words to "Mega Drive" would last longer
in childrens, parents and other customers minds than only "MK-1601": Simple marketing, as we know it.
Back at Sega Research & Development (R&D), Hideki Sato directed a team of engineers to forge the plans for Sega's
new 16-bitter. The Mega Drive derives from the already well-known arcade system, called "System 16". As the matter
of fact, the technical specifications of the System 16 and the Mega Drive are almost the same, so development went on rapidly.
Along with some minor differences, the major ones are, that the Mega Drive uses a slightly slower variant of the CPU (running
at 7,61 MHz instead of 10 MHz), that it carries a cartridge slot instead of an onboard EPROM and that it doesn't have a cabinet
screen, but a tv out port, of course. Now, this means, that it would be unavoidably easy to convert arcade titles to run on
the Mega Drive and therefore to bring them to the home console market, which was exactly what Sega had been planning to do.
As the first true 16-bit console, the Mega Drive was released with an initial price of ¥ 21000 in Japan, on October, 29th
of 1988. It didn't cause much of a demand, in fact it sold even less than NEC's PC Engine. Bringing their console to the U.S.A.,
Sega had to rename it, because the brand "Mega Drive" had already been trademarked there. From then on known as
the Sega "Genesis", meaning "rebirth" or "a new beginning" the initially US release date was
planned to be January, 9th of 1989, but the console was actually released on August, 14th of the same year, however solely
in New York and Los Angeles. All other corners of the country first saw the Genesis one month later on September, 15th. At
this time, the system was priced at US$ 189.99. In Europe, usually latest, when it's coming to release dates, the Mega Drive
was ready for purchase on November, 30th of 1990. The UK got it first, where minimum requirements regarding currency were
set to £189.99 for the product had been well supported there in the past. Even Australia got a package of Mega Drives in 1990.
The future of Sega and the Mega Drive would lead on to a new generation of console gaming, as Sega was already famous
for their arcade titles, of which many were to be ported to the Mega Drive, as the first console, being able to bring arcade
performance to the home user. Sega's new advertisement campaign "Genesis does what Nintendon't." was leading the
way into a great marketing and advertisement battle.