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facattack
May 14th, 2012, 04:56 AM
Congratulations to everyone who participated in my last thread! Yay!

Now collectively I would like to discuss the relationship between Sega Saturn & Sony Playstation.

But first, cut to commercial! Theatre of the Eye. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP3ciD4Efr0)

Although the Playstation is Sony's first console, it originated as an aborted CD-ROM peripheral for the SNES...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_nintendo#Peripherals

During the SNES's life, Nintendo contracted with two different companies to develop a CD-ROM-based peripheral for the console to compete with Sega's CD-ROM based addon, Mega-CD. Ultimately, deals with both Sony and Philips fell through, (although a prototype console was produced by Sony) with Philips gaining the right to release a series of titles based on Nintendo franchises for its CD-i multimedia player and Sony going on to develop its own console based on its initial dealings with Nintendo (the PlayStation).[91]

http://www.i64x.com/i6img/hist_sega34.jpg

Image borrowed from... History of Sega Part IV. (http://www.i64x.com/hist_sega04.php)

Sega Saturn resulted from Sega repeatedly beating their viable console (The Genesis) with a stick til it died and became a dead horse. Which they beat like one! First came the Sega CD which was good. Then Sega decided they wanted a 32 bit component so in came the 32-X which could be used to play 32 bit cartridge-based games or 32 bit CD-ROM games.

Before landing on Saturn, Sega decided to not release Neptune which would have been a single Genesis/ Sega CD/ 32-X solution.

http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/3909/303256-sega_neptune_super.jpg

Sega Saturn was eventually released but many sources say it was hampered by having two co-processors. This leads me to wonder if it were the first "dual core" machine?

Its direct competition being the Sony Playstation. In one way did the Saturn excel over PSone was that it embraced traditional 2D gaming from its basic design. In making 3D as good as PSone, it faltered. Sony, also, had reservations about its licensees wanting to make 2D games for their system... games like Dracula X 2: Symphony of the Night (the Sega Saturn version being slightly better because it had two extra playable chars (one of which was exclusive)).

The PSone's biggest defeat was that it could not upgrade with more RAM. But thanks to over-sized cartridge slot it used for peripherals as well as memory cards, the Sega Saturn could upgrade its RAM to 4 extra MB! So therefore the Saturn version of X-Men vs Street Fighter was superior. And other Capcom games like "Dungeons and Dragons Collection" weren't ported to PSone.

(You couldn't have two swappable playable chars in the PSone game. So instead of each player choosing from two choices and having a total of four playable chars there was only two.)

EDIT:
http://www.pressthebuttons.com/2006/08/super_nes_cdrom.html

barythrin
May 14th, 2012, 02:12 PM
Guess I'm wrong but I thought Sony (Playstation) was contracted for the new 64-bit? nintendo console (Ultra 64) however Nintendo wanted a cartridge based system not CD so they fussed and rejected the console and Sony released it themselves as the Playstation. That was my ungoogled understanding. Maybe I'm thinking 32-but, it's been a while since the console wars were competing by bits.

facattack
May 15th, 2012, 03:29 AM
Guess I'm wrong but I thought Sony (Playstation) was contracted for the new 64-bit? nintendo console (Ultra 64) however Nintendo wanted a cartridge based system not CD so they fussed and rejected the console and Sony released it themselves as the Playstation. That was my ungoogled understanding. Maybe I'm thinking 32-but, it's been a while since the console wars were competing by bits.

Well, Nintendo had released (in Japan) a "N64DD" Wiki. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_64DD) But this an internal inside-the-company thing. I don't know much about it, but I think there was a Master Quest for "Legend of Zelda: Ocarnia of Time" released on it. Nintendo had stuck to cartridges partly because they'd been burned by Sony and mostly because they felt that piracy wouldn't be as bad.

This limited their game development somewhat because makers of PSone games were cramming tons of gameplay into successive CD-ROMs. This didn't make the games better, but people could brag "this RPG takes 60 hours to complete!!!" By contrast the games on N64 had to exist on a single cartridge.

While N64 also had memory cards like their competitors, most games could store game saves on the cart itself. Nintendo also came up with a gimmick where there ware multiple colors of game controllers and sorta encouraged each kid who played in a family's console to each have their own controller plus memory card.

Sega's new Dreamcast followed the put-the-memory-on-the-controller route Nintendo pioneered but changed it by having LCD screens on their "Visual Memory Units." Nintendo decided on a smaller mini-DVD format for the Game Cube discs (again concerned with piracy). Sony trumped Sega again by using DVD-ROMs while Sega had adopted GD-ROMs which stored one gig on each disc.

Microsoft joined the gaming race presumably because they'd provided the Windows CE license to Sega for making ports between PC to DC & DC to PC easier. Their Xbox was the first console to feature an internal hard drive.


At one point it was rumored that Sega Dreamcast was 128 bit. But I read somewhere that PS3 & Xbox 360 & Wii are just advanced modern PC-type machines with 32 bit processors.

deathshadow
May 15th, 2012, 08:55 AM
If you want to talk multi-processor game consoles, there's one that shares some interesting things in common with the TRS-80 Model 16! They both had Motorola 68000's sitting next to Z80's... and while in the case of both they were present for backwards compatibility (to the Master System and Model II respectively) they were leveraged for other tasks (mundane grunt-work like disk access or controlling video) leaving the main processor free to do the more technical stuff like running userland code.

@facattack -- to be precise all three of those systems are actually Power architecture! Yes, the CPU architecture Apple stopped using a decade ago.

The PS3 uses a IBM 'cell' processor, which is just a overglorified Power-PC type G5 like the pre-intel Mac's.

The Wii uses a IBM "Broadway" processor also of the Power Architecture -- though in terms of raw power at the stock 729mhz it's more equal to a 1ghz Pentium III... It's actually one of the slaps in the face Nintendo gave Microsoft and Sony as from a technical standpoint the Wii is multiple generations behind the PS3 and XBox 360 in capabilities; instead of making photorealistic depressing kill 'em alls, they went and made it fun.

The XBox 360 uses a 3.2 ghz triple core "Xenon" also made by IBM that's also of the Power Architecture.