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What would you expect from a new ColecoVision console?

  

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  1. 1. What would you expect from a new ColecoVision console?

    • I would like it to be just the same as the original ColecoVision, albeit with better A/V outputs
      18
    • I would like it to include some minor improvements over the original, closer to NES/SMS capabilities
      16
    • I would like it to be a major improvement, closer to 16-bits capabilities
      17
    • Same as the original ColecoVision but with the SGM functionality added to it
      29
  2. 2. How much would you be willing to pay for a new ColecoVision?

    • 100 bucks maximum
      15
    • $150 maximum
      31
    • $200 maximum
      19
    • Money isn't a problem
      15
  3. 3. Would you be happy with a new ColecoVision board that works as a replacement board for existing CVs if that helps to reduce the final price?

    • Yes, I would be happy with that
      38
    • No, I prefer a brand new case even if that means paying a bit more
      42
  4. 4. In case you voted for an improved CV, which features would you like to see added? (remember that each feature adds to price, so choose wisely)

    • Improved graphics
      51
    • Improved sound
      46
    • Be capable of improving existing games, like keep high scores, tune color palette, cheats, etc
      40
    • Be able to run games from a SD card
      46
    • Being able to connect a keyboard for computer capabilities
      13
    • Be able to play over the Internet
      20
  5. 5. In case you voted for a new case, how would you like it to look?

    • Like the original
      52
    • Something totally new
      28
  6. 6. In case you voted for an improved ColecoVision, which kind of games would you like to see released for it?

    • Arcade ports from the golden age (1979-1983)
      61
    • Arcade ports from the late 80s (1984-1989)
      58
    • 100% original games
      50
    • Popular games from other post-crash systems, like Castlevania, Zelda, etc
      39
    • Sequels for ColecoVision games
      49
    • Improved versions of classic games from pre-crash systems, like River Raid, Enduro, Yar's Revenge, etc
      42


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Only thing i want on the new CV will be Y/W/R outputs,SGM buit in and new game; i prefer 100% original game as for INTV with Christmas Carol vs. The Ghost Of Christmas Presents

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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. :)

 

Thats why I call it a dream machine. :P

 

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.

Edited by cimerians

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SGM built in

component / VGA

new controllers - like original Neo Geo controller, but with a keypad

internal power supply with PC type power cord

no need for Atari support - as I have an Atari

Power led

Reset button

Pause button - that cuts audio

BIOS with no boot delay

100% backward compatible with CV and CV SGM games

FM sound like Sega Master System

better video processor, I'm thinking something like PC-engine, 8 bit CPU and 16 bit video

Would prefer smaller case, but in style of original CV, black case, square looking, silver foil sticker

Edited by grips03

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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.

 

That we can both agree on, my friend. :)

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For sound I was planning to use the YM2151, that is the best FM chip you can buy, better than MegaDrive/Genesis. In fact I already have 200 pieces here, as I bought them a few years ago for one of the possible SGM implementations. And sound is something anyone can implement as an option for their games, so for example, in case you detect the FM chip you can switch to a FM soundtrack, otherwise you can stick to PSG.

For video we can keep the original TMS9918, or we can go all the way up to a V9990, which gives us slightly better than MegaDrive graphics. But we have some intermediate solutions too, like the V9958 and F18A which gives us Famicom/SMS class graphics, or a number of intermediate solutions and crazy combinations, like having a memory mapper for the TMS9928, allowing us something like the mappers used with the Famicom/NES, or combining two TMS9928 with super imposing and getting dual plane. So tons of options to choose from, but we must select one that is the most cost effective and offer the best benefits.

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Two times has happened me this: "You already have voted in this poll". But I didn't filled it before ???.

 

My suggestion would be a compatible Colecovision PCB board (I'm thinking that someday my CV will fail) with 24K of RAM, 2x or 4x speed processor, enhanced video outputs (S-Video/Components, HDMI), enhanced video processor (V9958 or F18A capabilites) and enhanced sound processor (SGM and/or FM).

 

I believe that a way to reduce costs is to use an FPGA (processor+video+sound+memory), as supplies of old chips are becoming rare and oxydized. Esentially most of PCB would be unused, and it could resort to using a single 5V+ power supply module that is becoming very common.

 

In case of a redesign of case, I would like very much to see a small-size Colecovision in the style of Atari Flashback but with the cartridge input and with slightly bigger joysticks and smaller keypads.

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I think it would be cool for a new console to be a logical extension of what Coleco was already doing, sort of as if the company didn't get out of video games in the mid 80s! Sort of a cool "what if" type console that would logically, by history, be a competitor for the NES/SMS! :D

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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.

 

I was thinking that in terms of cost benefits, the best solution would be the one that offers improvements that we could use optionally within games, not features that require games to be specifically designed to take advantage of them. A simple example is programmable color palette. One can easily create a game that runs on a regular CV but if the enhanced VDP is detected, then colors are adjusted.

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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.

 

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?

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If F18A with VGA is not possible due to costs, etc. then a VDP that outputs RGB would be great as there are so many RGB to whatever type of video adapters (Jrok, neobitz, XRGB, Quan's from NeoGeo / Omega) out there.

 

YM2151 for sound would be awesome!

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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?

 

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.

Here are some videos, all you see on those videos where created with BASIC, so that shows the speed of the VDP.

 

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A box full of YM2151 arcade quality sound chip.... :)

post-1432-0-46083800-1349720688_thumb.jpg

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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.

 

You know, if you're considering going that far with graphic capabilities, then perhaps you should consider the possibility of creating a new console that's not really a ColecoVision. It could be backward compatible with all CV carts, and CV fans could buy it for that purpose, but it wouldn't carry the name "ColecoVision" at all. Then you'd be free to include any special feature you want in the hardware, and if anyone says "This isn't a ColecoVision", you could simply respond "Nope, but you can still play all your CV carts on it." From that point on, you can have more modern controllers that use connectors other than DB9 (USB perhaps?), have separate connectors for external keypads (this would be transparent to all legacy CV games) and if anyone wants to develop software that pushes this new hardware to its limits, they'll be free to try.

 

I think it's beyond overkill to do this, and the V9958 would probably be enough for the CV2's needs, but still, I think the issue should be adressed: To be or not to be a ColecoVision, that is the question. :)

 

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?

Edited by Pixelboy

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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.

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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?

 

The default palette is a bit off but that can be adjusted by software. The TMS9928 palette is kind of funny, we don't get solid colors, everything look washed and some colors are hard to distinguish from others. The V9958 used more vivid colors. But again, that was on purpose, and you can set values that are really close to the originals, and that can be done from the BIOS during boot up.

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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.

 

And we can't use the F18A because...? Ah yes, the price. :P

 

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...

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And we can't use the F18A because...? Ah yes, the price. :P

 

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...

 

Let's take the SGM as an example, $80 for 200 units. And the SGM is pretty small and simple. See, we cannot use a $100 VDP and expect the console to be reasonably priced. Waiting word from Matthew on that....

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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 and with AV outputs.

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.

Edited by 65Gamerguy

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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.

 

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.

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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.

 

Well then that might change my option list then! LOL

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I assume you guys have seen this before: Castlevania Redux for the Opgrade Module, one of the many incarnations of the SGM, back when it was using a V9958. So that gives an idea of what the V9958 can do... I mean, I made that in 2006 or something as a proof of concept for the proposed SGM that used a V9958.

With the F18A we could have graphics that look similar, though it is quite more limited in number of tiles, so perhaps the graphics would look a bit less varied.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa4CFRAOD_w&feature=plcp

Edited by opcode
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