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punchy71

Did Nintendo ever release a 16-bit hand-held, portable game machine?

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I think the GBA would make a really good home console. Lots of really good games on there. There's the Gameboy Player, but I never like those frames around the game screen.

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As said, the GBA runs on a ARM7tdmi RISC chip at 16.78 MHz (224cycles/second). It is a 32bit chip that can run on two different instruction sets. First, there's is ARM code , which is a set of 32bit instructions. Then there's THUMB , which uses 16bit instructions

 

So like Atari Jaguar (from 16 bits to 64 bits) and Turbografx 16 (8 or 6), this one can be 16 or 32 bits. I would think GBA games are designed either way depending on coder's preference.

 

Virtualboy is also 32 bits system.

 

So it seems Nintendo never produced a pure 16 bit portable system.

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Interesting topic.

I don't know a whole lot of technical stuff when it comes to handhelds. I've always wondered what each handheld ranked as far as how many bits each system had.

 

What is the new 3DS xl, 128 bits?

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I think bits as a measurement of performance lost all meaning in the 21st century. The Game Boy Advance (contrary to popular belief) is a 32-bit console, but offers games that are strongly reminiscent of the Super NES library. This current generation, I believe, is 64-bit, as are most multi-core systems and computers.

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Most systems currently are 64 bits systems.

The "128 bits" was a selling argument - there is actually no general use 128 bits CPU. The PS2 had a 128 bits data transfert architecture but his CPU was a "double 64 bits" CPU.

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....... and Turbografx 16 (8 or 6), this one can be 16 or 32 bits..

.... the NEC Turbografx 16 could run in an 8 or 6-bit mode? That's news to me...

I'm still confused as to whether the Turbografx 16 is an 8-bit machine or a 16-bit machine. My understanding is that it's cpu was 8-bits, but it's graphics chip was actually 16-bits, making it a kind of hybrid 8-bit/16-bit machine..

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Hybrid machines are commonplace.

 

Well for example the Atari ST and Amiga were 16/32 bits machines, as the processors could internally handle 32 bits instructions, but the architecture around was 16 bits.

The SNES sound chip is 8 bits (yes. amazing, isn't it?)

The Megadrive and Neo Geo use a 16 bits CPU for general instructions and a 8 bit CPU for sound driving (and for the Megadrive, to run SMS games).

TI99 sometime claim that their computer is the first 16 bits computer, but the video chip is a 8 bit one (the same that in MSX computer and into the Colecovision, BTW)

 

Machine bitness is usually defined by the CPU, but that's a thumb rule. If not, the Intellivision would be in the 16 bits range.

 

The bitness of console is defined mostly by the era and graphic capabilities. Else, the Atari 2600 would be classified with the PC-engine, which in term of graphic capabilities, gameplay possibilties, etc.. doesn't make any sense.

 

The PC-Engine is considered being part of the 16 bits era. It was sold from 1987 to 1994 (in Japan, with the last game released as late as 1999), had sound and graphic capabilities comparable with the Nintendo and Sega competitors, etc.

Edited by CatPix

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.... the NEC Turbografx 16 could run in an 8 or 6-bit mode? That's news to me...

I'm still confused as to whether the Turbografx 16 is an 8-bit machine or a 16-bit machine. My understanding is that it's cpu was 8-bits, but it's graphics chip was actually 16-bits, making it a kind of hybrid 8-bit/16-bit machine..

 

I got lazy finger problem. It should have been "8 or 16 bits". And it's video that is 16 bits but the main CPU, which is a custom variant of CPU used in NES and Atari 2600 that is only 8 bits.

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