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Thread: How mcuh more advanced was a NES to computers at the time?

  1. #1

    Default How mcuh more advanced was a NES to computers at the time?

    I mean like being able to fluently scroll left or right or up & down. The amount of colors displayed at one time. The RAM? It's a given the NES games in America were on cartridge but some games in Japan I have heard were on floppies of a sort. Games like 3-D worldrunner and Final Fantasy were on FAMICOM disk drives.

    So, what's the diff? I only remember seeing a few games that were NES on DOS or other machines.

  2. #2
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    So basically, you want to look at just the display and, based on that, the NES is better? I have both an IBM PC XT and a NES that were built in Nov. 1986. I think it really depends on the graphics card in the computer. If you got a 256 color SVGA sdspter in your computer, that would be equivalent to the NES, IIRC.
    -Marcoguy

  3. #3

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    I am not saying "better" just to toot the NES' horn. Just wondering quite honestly if computer games scrolled on the fly like that.

    DEJA VU, Uninvited, and Shadowgate were on Apple II GS but they didn't scroll. They used static images that faded in to black or faded out or was it a transition or something between screens. I forget. But those are ports to NES.

    I'm pretty sure the NES Metal Gear was on DOS... but that had a static screen, and it wasn't constantly scrolling in any direction. You moved to the edge of the screen and the next one replaced the old one.

    I just recalled Nintendo had exclusivity agreements which were very excessive. Maybe that's why few NES games were ported outward?


    EDIT: I just remembered Thexder on Tandy. I think this was a DOS game as well. This one definitely had dynamic scrolling...

  4. #4
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    The NES did have certain hardware advantages over several computers, although I think it was thoroughly eclipsed by the Commodore Amiga in the graphics and sound department.

    True smooth scrolling on a DOS machine had to wait for Commander Keen.

    3-D Worldrunner did come out on the Famicom Disk System first, but was later re-released as a Famicom cartridge. Final Fantasy never came out on disk for the Famicom, only for the MSX2.

    Quote Originally Posted by facattack View Post
    I mean like being able to fluently scroll left or right or up & down. The amount of colors displayed at one time. The RAM? It's a given the NES games in America were on cartridge but some games in Japan I have heard were on floppies of a sort. Games like 3-D worldrunner and Final Fantasy were on FAMICOM disk drives.

    So, what's the diff? I only remember seeing a few games that were NES on DOS or other machines.

  5. #5

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    Hah. I remember one low point of NES history was "King's Quest V."

    NES



    PC


    The PC version had full digitized voice. The NES? Not so much. Text was generated, white font on a blue screen.

  6. #6
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    I'd say that Atari 520ST gave the NES a good beating on both graphics and sound too.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisCwmbran View Post
    I'd say that Atari 520ST gave the NES a good beating on both graphics and sound too.
    Even the Atari 7800 had better graphics than the NES. The problem is that most of the games for it were just enhanced re-releases of old 2600 games, and the few new 7800-specific games all pretty much sucked.

    The Sega Master System suffered the same fate: better graphics than the NES, but not enough good games to play on it.

  8. #8
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    You're comparing two different animals here. The NES uses a 6502 processor, which was (IIRC) the same processor used in the Apple II computer. The C64 used a totally different processor, as did the IBM PC, and Tandy CoCo.

    The graphical tricks were pulled off on the NES because of the secondary processors that dealt specifically with graphics, and because the programmers were trying to pull off such tricks using that hardware. In the computer world, most game designers were designing games around the lower-powered machines so that their product could be enjoyed by more people (i.e. they wanted more sales, and didn't want to try and force someone to upgrade their system just to play a game).

    IMO... we could've had NES-style graphics much earlier on the PC had the computer industry and business-minded developers and engineers converged with the home-minded/gaming systems. And, of course, if hardware prices had fallen enough to allow for such expansions. And as has already been noted, the ST and Amiga series had the hardware in place as standard to far surpass the NES graphics and sound at their initial launches.

    Always remember in these kind of hypotheticals... the NES is a MUCH less complicated machine designed to do a single task with relatively low-cost devices. The computers of the era were designed to do a broad multitude of tasks, and were built to be expanded - usually with relatively higher-cost devices
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick1978 View Post
    IMO... we could've had NES-style graphics much earlier on the PC had the computer industry and business-minded developers and engineers converged with the home-minded/gaming systems. And, of course, if hardware prices had fallen enough to allow for such expansions.
    The IBM PC was supposed to be a business machine, not a gaming computer, so we should be glad it supported any kind of graphics and sound, however limited!

    The PCjr was IBM's home computer made with games in mind, and its improved graphics and sound (which later became the Tandy 1000 standard) was enough to make it comparable to the ColecoVision, which was the top video game console at the time (1983). However, it still lacked sprites (a.k.a. "player/missile graphics"), so its animation capabilities were not as strong as a C64, Atari 800, or any of the video game consoles of the time.

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    This is a pretty neat take on the old idea of console vs. PC. Have to agree, the Atari 520 ST's sure did a whooping on the NES as far as games went. Also, afaik the IBM compatibles could do more given the hardware and software in them.
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