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Did anyone else know the NES VDP was based on the 9918?


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#1 in8regs OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:55 AM

From http://spatula-city....14u2c/vdp-99xx/,

http://spatula-city....s_Questions.doc

Q&A of one of the TI designers.

News to me:)

Edited by in8regs, Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:39 PM.


#2 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:24 PM

Can you quote the part containing that information?

Edit:

Q: If you could change anything about the 9918, what would it be?

A: You have to look at these kinds of questions in the historical context. We had started on AVDP that was going to add more sprites and bitmapped graphics and even got a chip out, but TI was behind in having CMOS process and the design used a very trick NMOS one that had a lot of bugs and they cancelled the program. At the same time Yamaha did a register level clone and superset that was similar to the AVDP. Yamaha was apparently doing the chip for Nintendo and being in Japan they had the inside track on that design (I don’t know why TI never sued Yamaha based on our sprite patent, maybe we had a cross license, I don’t know). I’m that their chip was register level compatible with the 9918 and suspect that Nintendo, which developed Donkey Kong for Colecovision, use the 9918 in there early game system development.



#3 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:37 PM

No I wasn't aware of that.

But there were quite a few game consoles and home computers of the era that had a TMS99xx related VDP (colecovision, SEGA SG-1000, MSX-1, TI-99/4A, Tomy Tutor) and later MSX-2, SEGA Genesis, ...

I think it was matthew180 (also active in this subforum) who did the interview with Karl Guttag.

#4 Kurt_Woloch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:43 PM

Hmmm... well, as far as I know there is actually some wrong information in this. It's true that Yamaha did do the "evolution" of the TMS9918, but as far as I know, it has been used in the Sega Master System. Since that was a direct competitor to the NES, I can't see Nintendo having used a Yamaha chip as well. They had their PPU which, if you look at the hardware specs, works very differently to the TMS9918. According to this page...

http://en.wikibooks....NES_Programming

the PPU actually was done by Ricoh.

I also can't imagine that Nintendo themselves designed the Colecovision version of Donkey Kong. Sure, the original arcade game is by them, but I think all the Coleco games (at least the early ones) have been designed by Coleco themselves. I did read somewhere that DK was actually developed on some "hacked" system back then.

If Nintendo themselves would have designed Colecovision DK, I think they could have borrowed quite a lot of code from the original arcade version (which uses a Z80 processor as well), and this would likely have improved the quality of the game.

#5 in8regs OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:10 PM

http://nesdev.parodi...23461b58957b7be


The article being referenced being in Japanese, on the making of the NES.

http://translate.goo...SCn-gPnTpfod1gA

Edited by in8regs, Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:25 PM.


#6 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:48 PM

If Nintendo themselves would have designed Colecovision DK, I think they could have borrowed quite a lot of code from the original arcade version (which uses a Z80 processor as well), and this would likely have improved the quality of the game.


opcode games is working on a new Donkey Kong version for the colecovision. I think they are using this procedure
where they change the frontend (graphics engine) but keep original code for getting the version as close as possible.

check out this thread.

Edited by retroclouds, Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:50 PM.


#7 in8regs OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:58 PM

Hmmm... well, as far as I know there is actually some wrong information in this. It's true that Yamaha did do the "evolution" of the TMS9918, but as far as I know, it has been used in the Sega Master System. Since that was a direct competitor to the NES, I can't see Nintendo having used a Yamaha chip as well. They had their PPU which, if you look at the hardware specs, works very differently to the TMS9918. According to this page...

http://en.wikibooks....NES_Programming

the PPU actually was done by Ricoh.

I also can't imagine that Nintendo themselves designed the Colecovision version of Donkey Kong. Sure, the original arcade game is by them, but I think all the Coleco games (at least the early ones) have been designed by Coleco themselves. I did read somewhere that DK was actually developed on some "hacked" system back then.

If Nintendo themselves would have designed Colecovision DK, I think they could have borrowed quite a lot of code from the original arcade version (which uses a Z80 processor as well), and this would likely have improved the quality of the game.



Yes, they had Ricoh do the implementation.. cribbing off of the Coleco Vision, aka 9918. As you can read from the NES history article, they intended to use a z80 for the NES, but went with the 6502 because it used much less die space.

Edited by in8regs, Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:58 PM.


#8 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:39 PM

Matthew, me, and a couple of others put those questions together, Matthew led the action. Karl's pretty awesome.

What you mention as incorrect information I think is a misunderstanding of what is being said.

The NES PPU is probably best described as "inspired" by the 9918 -- it's not a clone and is not compatible in any way at all, but it functions in a similar manner and even back in the day there were rumours that it was based on the 9918.

Sega used their own variants of the 9918, first in the Master System, then the Game Gear, then the Genesis. These three chips all vary some. The Master System and Game Gear are reportedly compatible with the 9918, the Genesis drops the 9918 modes. But they are a different line than the Yamaha 9938 and 9958, and are not compatible with those either.

#9 in8regs OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:38 PM

Matthew, me, and a couple of others put those questions together, Matthew led the action. Karl's pretty awesome.

What you mention as incorrect information I think is a misunderstanding of what is being said.

The NES PPU is probably best described as "inspired" by the 9918 -- it's not a clone and is not compatible in any way at all, but it functions in a similar manner and even back in the day there were rumours that it was based on the 9918.

Sega used their own variants of the 9918, first in the Master System, then the Game Gear, then the Genesis. These three chips all vary some. The Master System and Game Gear are reportedly compatible with the 9918, the Genesis drops the 9918 modes. But they are a different line than the Yamaha 9938 and 9958, and are not compatible with those either.



Uh, yeah, I don't think anyone is under the impression the NES PPU is a 9918:) Based on the information, the rumors were true.

#10 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:56 PM

Uh, yeah, I don't think anyone is under the impression (insert whatever I was clarifying)


It's not necessary to speak for the world at large. Someone thought it. ;)




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