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Jaguar vs. 3DO?


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#251 sheath OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:51 PM

It's probably too late now, but if you use the browser's back button can the reply be retreived?

#252 philipj OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:21 PM

But I have to ask, was there really any question about whether or not the 32X was inferior to the Jaguar? Not trying to start an argument here, but I thought that was pretty obvious. I've got a Sega Saturn, and I love that system. When I unloaded all my games and systems, the Saturn was one of the systems I decided to keep (along with the Jaguar and my 2600). The Saturn came out after the Jag of course, so I make no bones that it's pretty much a better system overall. But the 32X? Pretty obvious that it's inferior to the Jag.


It depends on how you define the system's strengths. The 32X is classed to be able to handle anywhere from two to five times the polygons per second than the Jaguar can. Depending on what you look at, Atari Age's own specs say that the Jaguar can "theretically" pull out 20,000 polygons per second and it has trouble with texture mapping. The 32X's theoretical limit is 50,000 polygons per second, with realistic in game limits in the 20-25k range (but it doesn't have enough RAM for a lot of texture mapping). The Jaguar homebrew community has made it pretty clear that the Jaguar's real power is in other areas like Voxel or Height Map engines, which is actually where the 32X's strengths lay as well.

I would say that the 32X and Jaguar are in the same league in processing ability, with the Jaguar being overall better mainly because of having four times the RAM. Even the 32X CD would need cut corners compared to what the Jag could do just because of the RAM.

As an aside, I've just finished my second 32X and Jaguar comparison video on both system's fighting games. The first was on the Jaguar and 32X's 2D Action-Platformers. I would enjoy more discussion on this topic and plan on starting a Racing game comparison video this week after my new PSU comes in for my workstation.


I think the 32X is very powerful in its own right using two 16bit SH2 32-bit RISC that run at 23MHz with only 256kb of ram... The Jag uses to RISC processors that run at that run at 27MHz both having internal cache, however, the Jag have 2MB of RAM compared to the 32X 256kb of ram. The difference between the 32X and the Jaguar is that the Jag has a 64bit blitter and object processor controled by the GPU which is what I feel is the Jags strength. The Jags weakness, as I see it, is the bottleneck architecture which stiffles the flow of data meaning the programmer has to be really smart to take advantage of the system. The 32X has the two RISK along with the Genesis chip set; the Motorola cpu, the z80 sound controller, and the YM sound chip. The good thing about the Geny is that the Motorola doesn't slow down the system when it's in use, however the Jag, which also has a Motorola (not to be confused to be the CPU... The GPU was suppose to be the real CPU without the warm and fuzzy feeling) slows down the 32bit processor when in use because it hogs the systems pipeline forcing the 27MHz to crawl at the same speed of the Motorola which is 13Mhz thus is the reason what most of the 3D games for the Jag moves so slowly. I could go on and on, but the Jag was greatest red headed step-child Atari ever created for the home console market.

#253 sheath OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:51 PM

I think the 32X is very powerful in its own right using two 16bit SH2 32-bit RISC that run at 23MHz with only 256kb of ram... The Jag uses to RISC processors that run at that run at 27MHz both having internal cache, however, the Jag have 2MB of RAM compared to the 32X 256kb of ram. The difference between the 32X and the Jaguar is that the Jag has a 64bit blitter and object processor controled by the GPU which is what I feel is the Jags strength. The Jags weakness, as I see it, is the bottleneck architecture which stiffles the flow of data meaning the programmer has to be really smart to take advantage of the system. The 32X has the two RISK along with the Genesis chip set; the Motorola cpu, the z80 sound controller, and the YM sound chip. The good thing about the Geny is that the Motorola doesn't slow down the system when it's in use, however the Jag, which also has a Motorola (not to be confused to be the CPU... The GPU was suppose to be the real CPU without the warm and fuzzy feeling) slows down the 32bit processor when in use because it hogs the systems pipeline forcing the 27MHz to crawl at the same speed of the Motorola which is 13Mhz thus is the reason what most of the 3D games for the Jag moves so slowly. I could go on and on, but the Jag was greatest red headed step-child Atari ever created for the home console market.


Just to be clear, each SH2 in the 32X has its own 128KB frame buffer, and the system itself has a total of 512KB of RAM (dual 128KB frame buffers plus RAM). Similarly, the Jaguar has four banks of RAM that add up to 2MB. I am not especially familiar with the bus limitations of each system, but from what I have read the Jaguar is bottlenecked more by bus contentions than anything else. The 32X literally has the entire Genesis as a graphics layer plus audio, and then its own graphics and sound capabilities.

ROM space would be the biggest limitation for either the Jaguar or the 32X, but RAM favors the Jaguar heavily in this comparison.

Edited by sheath, Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:16 PM.


#254 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:23 PM

It's probably too late now, but if you use the browser's back button can the reply be retreived?



Hah, still pissed, because I responded to some other people about the 3DO also... but I can't remember now.

Anyway, I'll break it up into two things:


32X - So, after watching your video, I certainly have a much greater appreciation for the 32X than I did before. The majority of my experience with it was comparing NBA Jam and Doom... which the Jaguar and 32x both have. At least with both of those games, there's really no comparison between the Jaguar and 32x. The Jaguar has more "depth" to it's graphics.

So, looking at a lot of the videos in your compilation that you made, the system has some decent speed. One thing I did notice though is that, like with those other two games, the 32X seems to mask what I believe to be a short-fall by making a lot of the 3d and sprite images ever so slightly smaller. Like when you compare the 32X version of NBA Jam and the Jaguar version of NBA Jam, the players are all a little bit smaller. When you look at the background, the images in the 32X game is less dense, and the graphics are less detailed. Both games on both systems appear to run fast.

I definitely don't want to give the wrong impression. Although I am definitely an Atari fan, I absolutely love my Sega Saturn. I also have a Master System, and like that system for a whole bunch of other reasons, but I love my Saturn... some of the games I have on there are awesome. As a matter of fact, when it came down to me having to decide what to get rid of (when I felt overwhelmed and wanted to get rid of everything I didn't really use or want), I got rid of my 3DO and my Playstation, and kept my Saturn.

In my opinion, I think the Saturn didn't really get good reception here in the US. It obviously did well overseas, but I almost wonder if it wouldn't have been better for Sega to put more effort into the Saturn and release it quicker than to build the Sega CD or the 32x. For what it's worth, I also have a Genesis, but it's broken (if you can believe that). I have a bunch of games for it, but haven't had the time to look at it and see why it's not working. It was given to me by a football player actually (when I used to work for the Miami Dolphins). I don't know what the guy did to it, but it looks brand new, it just doesn't turn on...


As for the 3DO, the 3DO is an awesome system. To me, the 3DO seems much like the XBOX is today. Most of the games I had for the 3DO were all computer games... like Wing Commander 3, Star Control II, Alone in the Dark 1 and 2...


OH!!!!! I remember what I was posting about, on the 3DO...

When I worked for CompUSA back when I was in high school, we were selling a 3DO computer card. I don't remember what it was called, but it was a near full-length card (16 bit ISA I guess?) that fit into a computer. It had a bunch of connections in the back (maybe for controllers) and came with a CD-drive that would get installed in the computer. It was so that you could basically play 3DO games on your computer. It was an official product, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was called. The dumb thing is that we only used it to play Top Gun (the movie) on our big monitors that we had. We never bothered to actually set it up for product demo. I don't ever remember anyone actually buying it. I think they were selling it close to 350 bucks or so.

I'm going to copy this text in case it doesn't take my post.

#255 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:53 PM

Depending on what you look at, Atari Age's own specs say that the Jaguar can "theretically" pull out 20,000 polygons per second and it has trouble with texture mapping.


That seems quite a bit lower than I remember people saying back "in the day" as to how many polygons it dealt with. My memory could be fuzzy, but I remember ATD saying that Battlemorph was shuffling 20,000 a second and I heard numbers of higher than that from others.

Could be wrong though.

#256 sheath OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:00 PM

From what I have seen the Jaguar's games are generally higher color than 32X games are. I haven't bothered to check with any Jaguar emulators, but I would bet that most Jaguar games are running in 256 color mode or above. Since the 32X only saw six months of releases, and most of the games only had a six month development cycle, most of these games, especially the Akklaim stuff, are using Genesis source material, letting the Genesis handle the far backgrounds and music but with some optimized aspects and the 32X pretty much only handles sprites and foregrounds.

That means that the far background in most Genesis 32X games are still limited to four 16-color palettes, or 61 colors total out of a 512 color palette. While that really should be enough for this generation, it is still going to look noticably less colorful than a game displaying 256 (or more) colors from a 16 or 24-bit master palette. Out of the games that I have put in videos so far, I think the only games that don't use the Genesis at all are Brutal and Blackthorne. Actually I think Blackthorne uses the Genesis for the right column menu, but it is also the only game that I have sampled that goes over 256 colors. Also note that these videos are comparing Jaguar S-Video to Genesis Composite, Composite is going to blur a lot of details also, but most of it would just be dithering or banding.

The only way around that for the 32X would be to take up precious RAM letting the 32X display everything on screen and just letting the Genesis do nothing. So, good development on the 32X would let the Genesis save resources for the 32X to do what it is capable with sprites, foreground layers and digital audio samples.

In the polygonal 3D department I haven't seen the Jaguar really beat the 32X. I might have made a mistake in the fighters video by setting Virtua Fighter to widescreen mode and not stretching the video to 16:9, that made the characters seem thinner than they actually are. Doing a video for all of the racers on both platforms should be interesting though, obviously the Jag's psuedo 3D stuff is going to blow the 32X out of the water in object size, framerate and colors, but it doesn't have anything to make Virtua Racing Deluxe look bad. I do think that even though Checkered Flag has really bad gameplay it might be higher color and have more polygonal detail than Virtua Racing Deluxe.

I totally agree on the 3DO, if it wasn't so expensive originally I would have bought it back in the day. Awesome platform, easily the Sega CD's equal in library quality with fully next generation graphical capabilities.



Depending on what you look at, Atari Age's own specs say that the Jaguar can "theretically" pull out 20,000 polygons per second and it has trouble with texture mapping.


That seems quite a bit lower than I remember people saying back "in the day" as to how many polygons it dealt with. My memory could be fuzzy, but I remember ATD saying that Battlemorph was shuffling 20,000 a second and I heard numbers of higher than that from others.

Could be wrong though.


I tried to go back and edit that, it should have read theoretical limits of 20,000-40,000 and that wasn't Atari Age's estimates it is in the old Jaguar FAQ. That said, I haven't heard it said that the 3DO, Jaguar or 32X ever topped 25,000 in game.

Edited by sheath, Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:05 PM.


#257 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:54 PM

It was so that you could basically play 3DO games on your computer. It was an official product, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was called. The dumb thing is that we only used it to play Top Gun (the movie) on our big monitors that we had. We never bothered to actually set it up for product demo. I don't ever remember anyone actually buying it. I think they were selling it close to 350 bucks or so. I'm going to copy this text in case it doesn't take my post.


You are thinking of the 3DO Blaster. Those things are super-rare these days and go for a pretty penny if they are complete.

#258 twoquickcapri OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:47 PM

If you like your flat-shaded polygons the 32x did have some great games. BTW I do.


Shadow Squadron


Virtua Racing


Virtua Fighter


#259 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:53 PM

If you like your flat-shaded polygons the 32x did have some great games. BTW I do.


Likewise! Polygons like that from the early to mid '90s have a certain kind of charm to them. Something else interesting to note, something that I don't think has been done on the Jaguar, was the slight incorporation of flat-polygons into Knuckles Chaotix on the 32X. I don't mean the seperate bonus stages, but portions of the game where polygons are implented into the playfield as well, the main example being elevator you can ride up in one of the normal stages. It's pretty cool when you see it for the first time.

#260 sheath OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:58 PM

I think flat shaded looks better than cell shaded graphics any time. I also think it aged better than early texture mapped "warped sprite" 3D, especially when that included seam tearing and texture warping.

#261 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:06 PM

I think flat shaded looks better than cell shaded graphics any time. I also think it aged better than early texture mapped "warped sprite" 3D, especially when that included seam tearing and texture warping.


Cell shading is used for effect, generally in games that aim to have a cartoonish look (see: Jet Grind Radio, and I believe portions of Catherine). I wouldn't say it necessarily looks better or worse, but if you are going for a strict cartoon/drawn-out sort of 3D look, then cell shading probably works much better. Then again, I wonder what a completely plain, texture-less polygon game would look like in this day and age. Considering the ridiculously high polygon counts systems are capable of these days, I am curious about how good (or bad) it would look, when used in perhaps an abstract sort of title. Has one been done?

#262 sheath OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:13 PM

There were a ton of PS2 games that I would swear were using mostly untextured character models. HD era stuff focuses too much on bump mapping and lighting to tell, but I don't think I've seen anything that wasn't completely texture mapped.

I can see why cell shading is used, I would just be more happy if the same game used flat shading instead. Virtua Fighter Anniversary in VF4 Evo cell shaded the characters and I hated it.

Edited by sheath, Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:16 PM.


#263 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:09 PM

I love flat shaded polys! Gourad looks good too.

#264 sheath OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:43 PM

I always get conflicting info as to what gouraud shading looks like. Some people think it only functions to make the edges of lower polygon objects look rounder, others say that it is just a flexible method for shading or light sourcing. I have even run into a number of people who claimed that gouraud shading was never used for lighting effects.

It doesn't get any easier since game magazines have no clue whatsoever, and tend to define ray tracing in the same way many folks describe gouraud shading.

Either way, I have hardly seen a non-textured polygonal game that had zero shading of any kind, and I know there are various forms of shading that can be used to simulate light sources. Shadow effects are something this generation just didn't seem capable of though.

Edited by sheath, Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:43 PM.


#265 82-T/A OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:35 PM

It was so that you could basically play 3DO games on your computer. It was an official product, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was called. The dumb thing is that we only used it to play Top Gun (the movie) on our big monitors that we had. We never bothered to actually set it up for product demo. I don't ever remember anyone actually buying it. I think they were selling it close to 350 bucks or so. I'm going to copy this text in case it doesn't take my post.


You are thinking of the 3DO Blaster. Those things are super-rare these days and go for a pretty penny if they are complete.


Yeah, I did some searches after I posted it and found some pictures of it. It's exactly like I remembered it... pretty cool. Apparently NEC also made one for their TurboGraFX-16 too...

#266 spiffyone OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:30 PM

Just noticed someone had pulled an Altered Beast on this topic about a month or two ago (WISE FROM YO GWAVE...!)

Looking back at some of these posts...wow...kind of embarrassing, actually. I think I made some good points, but should've just taken more of a high road on some things.

And armchair quarterbacking is something I often engage in; it's a fault. I admit it.

That said...I still think Atari shouldn't have skipped Panther, and should've held back on Jag for a bit. It didn't make sense, IMHO, to not have product out in '91. Even if Panther wasn't great hardware from a developer's standpoint (and there can be an argument made with regards to more RAM needed, etc.), and even if Sega and Nintendo would've outsold it by plenty (most likely scenario), it would seem Atari was a tiny bit more financially stable in '91 (the year Panther was to be released) so might've been on more solid ground than they were with Jaguar with regards to launching and supporting a console. Also, even if it was lapped in sales by Genesis and SNES, if it came in at an affordable price point (particularly if lower priced than the competition) it would've garnered some sales.

...another scenario I've thought of lately as I've gotten back into playing TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine games: What if Atari had signed a deal with NEC to handle the PC Engine in the US? Or, better yet, the SuperGrafx (which was released in Japan in '89, the same year that NEC launched the vanilla PC Engine as the TurboGrafx-16 in the US)?

Anyway, the reason for my responding and resurrecting this topic:

Okay as for Crash and Burn on the 3DO can someone confirm with proof that the background is indeed FMV and not real time?
...I'm so damn certain that Crash and Burn is real time but everyone keeps saying it's FMV.


This has been debated since that game was released. I know I stated earlier in the topic (back when the topic was first alive) that it's FMV...but now I'm not so sure. It is pulling off things that 3DO shouldn't really be doing, however, as the draw distance is very good (better than some early PS1 and Saturn games, actually), and it seems the amount of polys onscreen outweigh 3DO's capabilities.

But...not really. There is something "funny" going on, but not FMV, according to one of the members of the dev team:



I probably shouldn't say anything but what the heck. The track is being
pulled off the CD. Originally the entire track was in memory but when the
enemies cars were added the frame rate went all the way down to 5fps. The
solution was to write a tool that would, for each view of the track, remove
all the polygons that are not seen. Since you can move left and right and
up and down (cockpit vs 3rd person) nothing is 'pre-calculated'

...


The entire track is still in memory. The track consists of tons-o-polygons.
Far too many for any machine to display in real-time. On part of displaying
something in 3D is figuring out which parts you can see and which parts you
can't. For example, if you are driving down a race track and you are
looking forward you can't see behind you therefore you don't want to draw
the stuff behind you on the screen. So, you do some math to tell you what
parts of your 3D world you can actually see. This takes alot of time. In
fact it is probably this single biggest problem with anything that works in
3D. All programs deal with this in different ways. Flight Simulator does
it while it's running. It keeps a list of all the things you can see and as
you fly around it adds or removes things. To see it in action, fly in skew
mode and skew really fast and then stop. You will see different 3D parts
pop in one at a time as the program finds new things that are now in your
view.
On CnB we wrote a program that would 'drive' down the track and for each
section of the track it makes a list of all the parts that can actually be
seen. These 'lists of visible parts' are then stored in the CD and as you
drive down the track the 'list' for the part of the track you are currently
on is loaded. This makes it run faster because we don't have to do all the
calculations for which things are visible while you are racing.



Source: http://tinyurl.com/853ane3

Maybe what accounts for that strange "feeling" I get when playing the game that I'm playing FMV isn't that it is FMV, but rather the program they're using in conjunction with the apparently 24fps framerate. It isn't the graphics, per se, but the motion of the whole thing, especially when the track turns and parts of the track I've passed come into view further away. The way they scroll into site seems very...movie like. It just feels very different than how Virtua Racer 32x; Checkered Flag Jaguar; Daytona USA Saturn; Ridge Racer PS1; and Crusin' USA N64 did on their respective consoles.

#267 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012 2:58 PM

It's basically constantly loading elements off the CD as you are playing. Scorcher on the Sega Saturn does this as well, constantly, probably a reason why it rivals most PlayStation 3D games despite that system being technically superior to the Saturn in that regard.

#268 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012 3:13 PM

Is that what Alone in the Dark 1 & 2 do on 3DO, probably? Mine's got an iffy CD-ROM drive, and those games stutter and skip when you're not doing anything in particular, just walkin' around in a small area.

#269 volkanik_destruktor OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:56 PM

Comparing games library IMHO 3DO owns Jaguar. I've been always into fighting games and fps so:

- even if 3DO Doom is unplayable there are still equal Wolf 3D port and Space Hulk: VOBA is better than AvP
- both Primal Rage ports are equal but Jag has only nice Ultra Vortek and total crap Kasumi Ninja and Fight For Life. 3DO offers Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo (propably best 2D fighting game ever) and Samurai Showdown (eeh, all this cash spent on coin ups) - K.O.

PS. It's a shame that both consoles lacked any Mortal Kombat game :/ I'm sure they're able to handle with arcade-perfect MK ports.

Edited by volkanik_destruktor, Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:57 PM.


#270 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:52 PM

Space Hulk: VOBA is better than AvP


I think this is a poor comparison. Space Hulk is a vastly different game than AvP, focusing on team-based, strategic elements. They are really only similar in graphical style, and that's it.

#271 Felyx ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:29 PM

For me, technical aspects are less important than the games each system can offer.
There are interesting games on both.

We lack on Jaguar of some good games like Need for Speed.
The 3DO has Out of this world and Demolition Man: if we can expect the first one will be released, there is no chance to see Sly on Jaguar

Corpse killer looks like Operation Wolf but on Jaguar we have no equivalent at all (we could have had Area 51)

I can't say "if I have to chose" because I already did and the Jag had my preference.
The Jag scene seems to be more active and exciting than the 3DO one nowaday.

Despite the poor choice of good games, I won't change my Jag for a Goldstar :)

#272 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:39 PM

There was a recent poll on the 3DO Zero forums asking, "3DO, Jaguar, or both?". The majority picked "both", as both systems libraries complement one-another very well and make up for each's shortcomings in game selection.

#273 spiffyone OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 3:55 PM

Hate to resurrect this topic again, but something someone stated earlier about the ARM CPU in 3DO being halted when things were being texture mapped Is that actually true?

From my understanding, 3DO used a dual ported bus, so the graphics processors would be doing their thing somewhat separately from the CPU (well, the CPU and the math co-processor would be handling calculations, obviously). The 3DO specs I've read stated that the VRAM was dual ported, and was "capable of holding/executing code and data".

Wouldn't this lessen any bus contention issues? Why would the CPU need to halt while things were being texture mapped?

#274 philipj OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 7:27 PM

If that's the case, then the 3DO is like a big fancy version of the Atari 7800 where the CPU has to halt every time the graphics chip is in use.

#275 twoquickcapri OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 1:23 AM

Quotes from Next Generation issue 12 Dec 1995

"in a similar way to the Atari Lynx, organize the graphics into "animation cells." These cells are full color. high-rez images capable if being moved, scaled, rotated, warped, texture-mapped, and light-sourced with the aid of 3DO Cinematic Software Tools. The cell engines draw the image, leaving the CPU free to concentrate on calculating position (with aid of a math coprocessor) resuling in very fast realtime polygon generation - for the time anyway."

"But probably the 3DO's strongest feature is its Direct Memory Access engine, which enables it to shift large chunks of data around within its three megabytes of memory without using the CPU."




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