I sort of discussed this briefly in a recent post, although most old timers here know that I have been trying to get something like this done since the early days of the SGM1 planning. Anyways, this time we got what it takes, we have the team and skills in place to make this happen. Without further ado:
Super Game Module 2
Pro Arcade System
- Super Game Module 2 (expansion module)
- Super Game Cartridge 2 (game cartridges)
- Super Game Controller (handheld controller)
- Upgrade the ColecoVision to arcade-level quality, circa 1987/1988.
- Use technology consistent with the late 80s.
- Create a natural evolution of the ColecoVision hardware, with components that are backward compatible or similar in architecture to the original ColecoVision chipset.
- Create a cartridge with vastly superior memory capacity but reduced complexity, resulting in games that are more advanced and yet affordable.
- Create a replacement for the dreadful ColecoVision controllers.
- Upward compatible with OMNI.
Super Game Module 2:
- Backward compatible with SGM1.
- New backward compatible CPU, 24-bit linear address mode, 5 MIPS.
- New video processor, 2 independent scrollable planes, thousands of tile/sprite patterns, 64 sprites on screen. 16 colors per tile/sprite, 256 colors on screen from 32,000 colors. Configurable screen resolution from 256x192 to 320x240 pixels. Zoom and rotation.
- New sound processor, powerful and versatile synthesizer with FM, PSG and ADPCM.
- High quality analog video (composite, s-video, and RGB) and stereo sound outputs.
- Estimated size 8”x4”, similar design to Coleco’s planned Super Game Module.
Super Game Cartridge 2:
- Stores main ROM, video ROM and audio ROM.
- Can save progress and content.
- Same physical format as OMNI cartridges.
- Small form factor, shaped like Coleco planned Super Game Wafer.
Super Game Controller:
- Compatible with ColecoVision regular controllers.
- 12 keys keypad.
- 4 action buttons.
- Similar size to ColecoVision original controller, but sideways.
- First wave will be a collection of arcade ports, with “arrangement” mode including enhanced graphics, sound and possibly gameplay.
- From there, if we can get enough traction, we plan a mix of enhanced arcade ports and sequels for Atari era classics.
Hi there fellow ColecoVision fans,
This is an exciting moment for me. Next week our team will dive into Super Game Module 2 design mode. Hardware team in Brazil is producing the first revision of the prototype board, while Ted Mayer (the designer behind the Intellivision II and III) will sink his teeth into our first tooling design based on his concept work from last year (most of it still unpublished).
For those who still don’t know, the Super Game Module 2 system will be the successor of the original SGM, fully backward compatible, but also upward compatible with the OMNI system. It is the module I have been dreaming of for years, since I started creating the original SGM, but couldn’t get done because I lacked the skills or resources back then. Well, now with a talented team behind me, things are finally possible and the time has come.
For those who have been following me for a while, I came up with many of the SGM2 ideas during the SGM1 long development cycle. Then, when the SGM became something a lot simpler, I moved most of those ideas to the “ColecoVision 2” system we started developing in 2012. I soon had to halt development to deal with difficulties in my personal life. We resumed the system in late 2016, and it eventually morphed into Prometheus as the result of our fallout with Coleco. Prometheus morphed into OMNI due to another fallout, and while OMNI is still coming, we decided that releasing it as a ColecoVision add-on first would make more sense. The SGM2 allows us to tackle the challenge of a new system in smaller and gradual steps.
SGM2 is our vision of what the next ColecoVision would have looked and sounded like. By assuming a 5/6 years lifespan, the CV successor would have come out around 1987/1988, so we designed a hardware that would have been possible within the technology constraints of that time. This isn’t an emulator system. Isn’t a Raspberry Pie sort of system. It isn’t a FPGA multicore system. Those have been done again and again. The SGM2 is an expansion module that greatly but elegantly enhances the CV graphic and sound capabilities and brings it in line with early 16-bit systems of the 80s. When the SGM2 is plugged into the CV expansion slot, the CV becomes a multiprocessing system, with the CV CPU handling all sound and I/O tasks, while the SGM2 CPU handles the graphics. Both CPU are compatible, but the SGM2 finally offers 24-bit linear addressing mode (Nintendo did the same thing with the SNES, compatible with the NES CPU but with 24-bit linear addressing). The new video and sound processors on the other hand have never been used on a console before, and that makes the SGM2 totally unique.
But hardware is meaningless with no software. For our first wave of SGM2 games, we have started some prep work for arcade ports of some of the most complex arcade games from the golden age of arcades: Zaxxon, Moon Patrol, Jungle King and Elevators are some examples. With the SGM2 the ColecoVision will finally fulfill its motto and offer a great arcade experience home. But the SGM2 can offer more than that. You can get pixel perfect arcade from MAME as well, but does MAME offer “Arrangement” modes with improved graphics, sound, and in some cases, improved gameplay with new content and modes? We have a team of talented professional artists in place ready to start working on those arrangement versions.
After the first wave, the plan is to create sequels for classic Atari era games. Last year we had the chance to make deals with several Atari era developers to bring those games to the SGM2/OMNI. All of this content will be exclusive to the SGM2/OMNI.
This combination of unique hardware and unique software is what makes the SGM2 the most ambitious, most challenging project in ColecoVision homebrew history. And I want to invite the community to participate on the SGM2 creation. If you share the same passion for bringing new stuff for the ColecoVision as we do, for pushing the envelope, for introducing new and exciting things, for being creative and innovative, for taking the ColecoVision to the next level, or simply want try something new and yet grounded on Atari era for your CV, you are invited to subscribe to our Innovator and Early Adopter campaign. By subscribing you won’t be just helping us getting enough backers to make this project happen, you will also be receiving first hand information, will get a look behind of scenes of the SGM2 creation and learn how all of this works . Please check the details below, and I hope to talk to you soon.
Innovator and Early Adopter campaign:
The goal of this initiative is to find 200 people interested in helping us with producing and manufacturing the complete Super Game Module 2 system. This is NOT a pre-order list. The 200 people limit applies only to this campaign.
200 people is the threshold number of backers we need to cover all production costs involved with the Super Game Module 2 system.
No money will be required or requested until we are ready to go into manufacturing.
By staying in the campaign you demonstrate genuine interest in the project and intent to buy. You are free to leave the campaign any time though. Please unsubscribe if you no longer have interest in purchasing the system. That way we can keep an accurate forecast of demand.
The campaign membership is non-transferable. Once the total number of subscriptions is reached (200 subscriptions), no more will be offered. Furthermore if you leave mid campaign, you may not be able to come back later.
We are offering two types of subscription: “Innovators” and "Early Adopters”. Innovators are limited to 50 people, and we reserve the right to select who will be in this group based on their history with us (Opcode). Early Adopters will be limited to 150 people, first come first served basis.
As a member of the Innovator and Early Adopter campaign, you will be offered some benefits:
- Learn first hand about the project progress
- Help select the games that will be part of the first wave
- Your name will be listed in the documentation as an Early Adopter
As a member of the Innovator campaign, you will be offered additional benefits:
- Help with design decisions
- Even more exclusive, non publicly available information
- You may be selected to participate in beta testing and pilot runs
- Your name will be listed in the documentation as an Innovator
Q: What is the planned price point for the module?
A: Under $150.
Q: What is the planned release date for the system?
A: Q4 2019.
Q: Will it come with pack-in game?
A: Undecided. Will depend on final cost.
Q: Will it run all my SGM games?
A: Yes, it will.
Q: Will the SGM2 offer AV outputs?
A: Yes it will. However the SGM2 AV output will only work with SGM2 games. You can’t use it for legacy ColecoVision or SGM1 games.
Q: Can I use my ColecoVision RF output when playing SGM2 games?
A: Yes, you can. For convenience you can play all your games, ColecoVision, SGM1, and SGM2 using the standard RF output on your ColecoVision console.
Q: My ColecoVision has been modded to offer better quality video output. Will I be able to leverage that when playing SGM2 games?
A: That depends on the mod you got. The general rule is, if your mod works with the Atari module, then it will work with the SGM2. The F18A has its own video output, so the SGM2 will not be able to use that. However the SGM2 offers its own AV outputs, and you will be able to enjoy high quality analog video (composite, S-video, and RGB) and stereo sound regardless the condition of your ColecoVision AV output.
Q: Is my ColecoVision being only used for power supply when in SGM2 mode?
A: Not at all! In SGM2 mode the ColecoVision becomes a multiprocessing system, with the ColecoVision CPU handling all the sound and I/O functions.
Q: Why can’t the SGM2 use a regular ColecoVision cartridge for SGM2 mode games?
A: For similar reasons that the Sega Genesis required a different cartridge format even though it could also run all Sega Master System games. The SGM2 more advanced hardware needs more cartridge lines than the ColecoVision cartridge can offer. For example, the SGM2 offers 24-bit linear addressing mode, while the ColecoVision cartridge slot barely offers 16-bit addressing. However while the Genesis required a cartridge adaptor to play SMS games, with the SGM2 you can still use your ColecoVision cartridge slot for legacy titles.
Q: Does the Super Game Controllers plug into the SGM2?
A: No, they plug into the ColecoVision unit, just like regular controllers and can be used to play most CV legacy games that require regular controllers.
Q: If the Super Game Controllers plug into the CV, why is it part of the SGM2 system?
A: While the Super Game Controllers can be used independently, we believe they will improve the SGM2 experience greatly with way more precise control and the addition of two extra action buttons. They are completely optional though, and not included with the SGM2.