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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 7:03 AM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 7:04 AM
I have to admit, that kind of intervention makes me smile...
A console that saves the state of a game like today's emulators do? That's pretty much impossible without making the console a single-chip wonder. An emulator virtually reproduces and controls every component of the machine it's emulating (CPU, graphic chip, sound chip, joystick interface, etc.) so making a save-state file in that context is relatively easy. But in real hardware, you have the CPU which is totally distinct from the graphic and sound chips, and the hardware can't "read" every single state data from every single hardware component at a precise time, unless the hardware is specifically designed to do that, which would make it a very expensive machine. Saving the content of the main RAM, video RAM and CPU registers is not enough to create a valid save-state "file", although admittedly that's a big part of it.
Also, by "ability to play better games up to 16bit", I suppose you mean games with more colorful graphics and better sound than what the regular ColecoVision is capable of? Putting aside the issues of hardware R&D and how expensive the end product would be, who would make games for such a console today, aside from Eduardo? There's already a promising console just around the corner, called the Ouya, which is far, far more powerful than the CV and has a much, much bigger chance of achieving a good level of home market penetration than the CV2 (regardless of its final specs) so homebrew game developers would be best advised to develop their 16-bit-like games on the Ouya rather than the "dream machine" you long for.
Edited by cimerians, Mon Oct 8, 2012 7:10 AM.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 7:12 AM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 8:45 AM
Edited by grips03, Mon Oct 8, 2012 9:35 AM.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 9:21 AM
The main thing for me in all reality is better video output (better than AV) and probably better controllers a power switch and power supply.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 9:28 AM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 10:37 AM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 10:38 AM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 11:21 AM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 11:35 AM
I need to check which kind of features the F18A got, as I just lost track of the updates a few months before it shipped. But again, unless Matthew would be willing to drastically reduce the price, I don't think it is an option for this project. And honestly, I don't think I want to get involved with FPGAs at this point, as it would suck years of my life to get what I want. So I prefer something that is readily available. Another option would be the V9958, we get some cool features with that, though probably not as good as the F18A. And finally we have the V9990, which is... I dunno, kind of overkill at this point, but a nice overkill nevertheless I would say.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 11:50 AM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 12:10 PM
Didn't you mention a few years ago that the V9990 wasn't backward-compatible with the TMS9928?
There's also the V9938, which is used in the MSX2, if I remember correctly. Is this particular chip no longer available?
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 12:24 PM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 2:10 PM
There is no advantage in using the V9938 over the V9958, as it doesn't offer hardware scroll. Both are still available, but the V9958 is the one to go.
About the V9990, it is a complement to the V9958, that is how it was created. The V9990 is a "MegaDrive meets the Amiga" kind of solution, where you get both the tile modes of the MD and the bitmap modes of the Amiga, but it actually exceed both in many areas, like color palette (32k colors), number of tiles, resolution, speed, etc. It was created for the aborted MSX3 and originally called the V9978. When they pulled the plug on the MSX3, Yamaha decided to go ahead with the chip and renamed it V9990, but it is still the exact same chip. It also had some pretty advanced functions, like 16-bit DMA access to the VRAM, the blitter is incredibly fast, it can draw vector at impressive speeds, etc.
The interesting thing about the V9990 is that it was never commercially used on anything. A expansion cartridge was create for the MSX (homebrew), but that is it. Also, no commercial software was released. Full documentation is available though.
Edited by Pixelboy, Mon Oct 8, 2012 2:12 PM.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 2:27 PM
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:03 PM
EDIT: Small question while we're at it: Does the V9958 display the exact same colors in 16-color mode as the ColecoVision's TMS9928, or should we expect the same color variances as with the MSX1?
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:21 PM
As I said, I am just throwing ideas here to see where that takes us. I am not saying I prefer this or that.
In fact I will say, my dream system would include a F18A with a sound chip similar to Konami's SCC. I think that is perfect match and the perfect balance between new and old. The F18A was designed in such a way that you can easily expand a game for the regular TMS9928 to include new functions. It is quite a list of cool features, all easily implementable. For example, the V9958 offers hardware scroll, however how do you create split screens (where the score area is fixed and the playfield is scrolling)? It isn't trivial. And you cannot have vertical splits, only horizontal, just like, let's say, NES games. Now, with the F18A you can easily have both vertical and horizontal slipts, in a way that is easy to implement and work nicely as an option (it uses the concept of scroll map, where you can define tiles that will scroll and tiles that will be static, super easy to expand a game that has no hardware scroll at all to use this). And a single bit can enable all the 32 sprites at the same scanline, so no flicker at all. The list goes on and on. You can even get a NES like mode that is actually an expansion of the regular Graphics II mode, pretty cool.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:37 PM
And we can't use the F18A because...? Ah yes, the price.
I'd be curious to read a price estimate on a complete hardware setup that would use the F18A. How much for a Z80 CPU, how much for a good sound chip, how much for the DB9 joystick ports, etc., etc. Perhaps it could fit in the 150-to-180$ range...
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:42 PM
Edited by 65Gamerguy, Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:47 PM.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:51 PM
I guess we are talking about 2, or more, options, that have to be ironed out into a final form if I read this correctly.
Here are my thoughts.
Option 1: A new CV board to replace the old one, but which is essentually the same system just a new more reliable board, potentially.
I don't have a need for this yet, (I have 4 CV's and they all still work) but I am sure that others do, and more will in the future. The only reason I said potentially at the end is no one can say for certain that the new board will not develop problems in 5, 10, or 15 years. I am not saying by any means that it will, but unless you have some insight into the future it is not guaranteed, but it would help out the people that currently have problems for sure.
Option 2: A slightly better but still 8 bit CV with somewhat better graphics and sounds but with backwards compatibility.
I would be interested in this if it had full backwards compatibility with current cartridges. I think it would be nice to have games that could offer possibly more colors and more sprites on the same scan line with less flicker. Sound is not all that big of an issue with me but I can see where a couple extra channels could be usefull.
Option 3: A totally new CV, or CV2. Possibly a 16 bit system.
I guess this would be the "what if" console, as in what if Coleco had survived and this is maybe what they would have created to counter the NES and SMS or the 16 bit systems that followed. This is an interesting idea and in a way I would like this on as well. But I wonder if there is a big demand for this? Unless this version is backwards compatible, I personally wouldn't be interested in this. Unless this could be mass marketed by the "new" Coleco and many games are developed I myself don't see a need for it. I love the idea! I just don't know if it is worth the trouble to make a few hundred or maybe a few thousand.
I guess my vote would be first for option #1 to be sold as a replacement board for those that need it, and I may be one someday. It could maybe be sold as a drop in replacement. Then option 2 as an upgrade with a new case and enhacements that are mentioned.
Just my thoughts.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:54 PM
Thanks for the comments. Now just to make it clear, no matter what we decide to go with, it should still be backward compatible with the CV, even what you called option 3.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 4:00 PM
Edited by opcode, Mon Oct 8, 2012 4:11 PM.
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 4:12 PM
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