Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I read NES and Gameboy in programming guides.

 

Gameboy has 8k when NES only has 2k.

 

Gameboy has 10 sprites in a row without flickering while NES has 8 sprites in a row.

 

I wonder if Gameboy is slightly more powerful than NES?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The ram thing is irrelevant since ram was added to NES carts (and can be added to GB carts) as was typically 10k for NES total. So are you comparing GB or GBC?

 

The 10 sprites a scanline is nice, but you're also limited to a total of 40 sprites instead of 64. And like the NES, you're limited to 8x8 or 8x16 sprites, but not both at the same time. The GB sound has like one nice advantages and quite a bit of disadvantages. I guess two advantages if you count stereo volume on the GB. Obviously the lower res is a disadvantage, but the slower refresh rate of the GB LCD is both a disadvantage and an advantage (for tricks that exploit the slow refresh rate). The 4mhz CPU is effectively 1mhz, and it's not a real z80. So I'd say it's less powerful in this department. The GB does have some nice advantages such as DMA (NES only has sprite table DMA), but then again the NES has all vram on cart - so you can do things with it that even the SNES/Genesis can't do. So nice on the GB, but NES still has the edge. GB has an actual real interrupt cable hsync 'raster' effects system, but later NES with onboard interrupt timer on cart gives you that as well. Plus, NES was able to do split screen vertical scrolling with a mapper. You can do this on the GB but kills cpu performance so outside of demos, it's not done AFAIK. The same goes for sprite multiplexing - GB is capable of it, but it's a potential cpu performance killer.

 

 The NES is definitely more powerful, but the GB is a 'clean' design and easier to get more out of the hardware.. without additional hardware. I think a lot of the GB draw backs are fixed with the GBC. Faster clock, bigger palette, etc. The GBC also has an interesting mode where you can actually use 4 unique colors per tiles instead of the typical 3 + 1 common for all tiles. And while the NES has 3+1 colors for every 16x16 pixels, the GBC is 3+1 or 4 for every 8x8 pixels. And while the NES has emphasis bits that could be changed mid screen, the GBC has real palette update support per scanline (although most games just use this in "high color mode" stills.. but it can be used in game like how MSX games us this to get more colorful sprites). The GBC has twice the clock speed, so Hsync raster effects are less of a cpu resource hog - making some of those nice tricks more application in game. And while the NES has unlimited banked vram, and can be changed mid screen, the GBC does has more banks of vram than the original GB - which IS nice. Not quite as nice as the NES, but in application it brings it closer.

 

 I think for GB, the NES holds pretty much all the advantages if you're willing to include on cart hardware (which is the norm for NES). But I think when it comes to GBC, it's more of selections of trade offs between the two.

Edited by turboxray
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it also depends on which type of games you're expecting to play. For comparison, there has been a war going on for nearly 40 years between the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. On first look, the Speccy seems inferior on nearly all parameters, but then you get into 6502 vs Z80 at different clock frequencies and how the video memory is arranged. I think for first person wireframe games and isometric, it is confirmed that the Speccy has the upper hand, but for most other types of games that involve scrolling, moving objects, colours etc it is the opposite. In some respect I think you could call the original Game Boy a portable ZX Spectrum (not entirely accurate, but bear with me) and the NES a console version of the C64 (again widely incorrect, but it works for the comparison).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I know is that some of my favorite arcade ports are on the Gameboy like Donkey Kong, Mr Do, Burgertime and Dig dug

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of trade-offs between the two, but imo in practice they tend to be relatively minor.

 

The NES has 256 tiles for backgrounds and 256 for sprites. The Game Boy has 128 for backgrounds, 128 for sprites, and an additional 128 shared between the two (the GBC doubles these numbers).

 

The GB has a wavetable channel, which is more flexible than the NES's triangle channel but less powerful than the NES's DPCM channel.

 

The Game Boy has an additional "window" layer, which is used to great effect in games like Operation C and Metroid 2. Even with the its most powerful mappers, the NES has no raster effects as sophisticated as this.

 

Generally, I'd say the NES is more powerful, but when it comes to the stock system the GB did a much better job at hitting the sweet spot between power and usability.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think it probably should be pointed out that while 10 sprites per line vs 8 sprites per line seems nice, it's actually better than that. I mean even though both are 8pixels wide, from a screen realstate perspective - GB 10 sprites are able to cover 50% of the screen horizontally while the NES can only cover 25% of the screen due to its highe res. So lower res on the GB, but more screen coverage for sprites in your pixel mileage.

 

 Another down side is that vblank is shorter on the GB than on the NES (like almost half I think). And you can't "force vblank" to get more vram bandwidth. So it has less room for updates during vblank, but then it again it has a general DMA so that might balance it out..

Edited by turboxray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, turboxray said:

I think it probably should be pointed out that while 10 sprites per line vs 8 sprites per line seems nice, it's actually better than that. I mean even though both are 8pixels wide, from a screen realstate perspective - GB 10 sprites are able to cover 50% of the screen horizontally while the NES can only cover 25% of the screen due to its highe res. So lower res on the GB, but more screen coverage for sprites in your pixel mileage.

 

 Another down side is that vblank is shorter on the GB than on the NES (like almost half I think). And you can't "force vblank" to get more vram bandwidth. So it has less room for updates during vblank, but then it again it has a general DMA so that might balance it out..

That's why we have more fighting games than on NES.

 

Samurai Shodown

 

World Heroes II Jet

 

Street Fighters II

 

Fatal Fury II 

 

Battle Arena Toshinden

 

Mortal Kombat

 

 

On NES

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Gameboy received more fighting games because the NES/Famicom was replaced by the SFC before SFII existed.

 

When the fighting game craze hit, the Gameboy was massively popular and had no serious competition.

 

Backwards compatibilty made the transition to GBC and then GBA smooth for publishers who could afford to greenlight new games right up to and beyond the end of one system's lifecycle. They could also later sell the same game again with minor updates catered to the new current hardware.

 

The NES already had major competition taking publishers and sales away before the SNES finally arrived.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really.  The NES/Famicom really slacked off hard after 1992, in the US... Japan, not so much, it kept growing for a time and they didn't hard discontinue it until 2003 shockingly (20 year life span!)  Yeah there was the TMNT game, there's also Joy Mech Fight Nintendo made in the homeland.  There are select very few others, names escape me, and then of course a bounty of crap famicom pirate carts, of which most are trash, but a select few shockingly play quite strangely well, one could argue as nice as Konami's game we got or better which is sad.

 

I've been sitting on this one as I'm a big Gameboy fan but this has kind of bordered into the realm of getting a bit more technical than I'm comfortable doing for some years now, and some are kind of trying to segregate the Color from the original, which is and isn't kind of fair, as even Nintendo did, for the translucent carts at least (DMG-xxx vs CGB-xxx.)

 

On the whole, both system had stock potential, and at a stock level Gameboy (DMG) is a winner.  But the problem is, both were made open ended to take memory mappers and other juicy hardware tricks based on chip(s) put into the carts.  Gameboy went into the realm of the MBC chips and a few others, Nintendo with their set of pre-MMC and MMCs and then third parties (VRC Konami, Namco, Sunsoft, etc.)  At that rate, the NES bordered into the realm of hybrid 16bit quality stuff you'd find on a Genesis or PC Engine in rare cases going well over the stock systems powers.  Gameboy though did counter this with further more capable MBC5 and up stuff along with the 2x CPU and 4x total RAM the GBC had, and gave the GBC another DMA channel too. The full extent of the true 8bit Gameboy (Color) experience shoves back against those we never got it Japanese super chips the FC got quite nicely.  Warlocked, Dragon's Lair 2bit color laserdisc copy game, Project S-11, Cannon Fodder, the list goes on, stuff the NES would dream it could do.

 

It's really in a way a toss up.  At face value the Gameboy probably would appear to edge it out, good examples from what others point out.  Less sprites and per-line, yet given the smaller resolution it created monsters that filled the screen the NES couldn't hack at all without dying or being a flickering mess.  Audio NES had the added chip sounds or that DPCM, GB could do sampled audio but was more muffled yet the standard channels sounded nicer.  This could go on and on, images, links to sound clips, the works, but it's pointless.  It's so picky on what to call better than the other, you could get a multi-person youtube debate for a good hour easily on this and not likely convince someone to change sides or agree with one over the other unless they had some biased favoritism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda tangential to the topic at hand, but I find it funny how people compare the Pico-8 fantasy console to the Game Boy, when in practice it's rendering model puts it much closer to the Lynx.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, carlsson said:

7800 + Lynx > NES + Game Boy?

Not sure about the 7800 vs. the NES, but the Lynx was 1000% better hardware than the Game Boy imo.  I was more than happy to acquiesce to my parents mandating me sell my Game Boy once I got the Lynx.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Hwlngmad said:

Not sure about the 7800 vs. the NES, but the Lynx was 1000% better hardware than the Game Boy imo.  I was more than happy to acquiesce to my parents mandating me sell my Game Boy once I got the Lynx.

Lynx has lower resolution than gameboy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Serguei2 said:

Lynx has lower resolution than gameboy.

Yes, I believe this is true, but a Lynx II with the backlit on was tons better than the green smear screen of the OG Game Boy.  However, I will say that through emulation a lot of Game Boy games come through really crisp and clear whereas some games on the Lynx look like a pixelated mess.  That being said, back in the day, the Lynx II that I had was totally awesome to be playing on.  I loved it to death!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

160x144 in 4 shades of green/grey compared to 160x102 in 4096 colours. Are those extra 42 pixel rows that important?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/20/2021 at 6:59 PM, Serguei2 said:

That's why we have more fighting games than on NES.

 

Samurai Shodown

 

World Heroes II Jet

 

Street Fighters II

 

Fatal Fury II 

 

Battle Arena Toshinden

 

Mortal Kombat

 

 

On NES

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters

 

To be fair, NES also has Karate Champ, Yie Ar Kung Fu and Urban Champion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, carlsson said:

160x144 in 4 shades of green/grey compared to 160x102 in 4096 colours. Are those extra 42 pixel rows that important?

To be honest, for most games yes. It's 41% more vertical resolution. And given the GBs had that pixel gap around the whole pixel (and not the sub pixel), it make the res look even higher in real life. Sort of how like scanlines (gap) have that similar effect. Ninja Gaiden 3 looks a horrible pixelated mess on the Lynx. You've got 16 colors on screen.. there's not much 4k color is going to do for you haha (let alone the actual screen even cable of display half that). With 16 colors, you got room for maybe 2 shades of a color. At least with the Game Gear you have 31 colors on screen.. and the same GB res. Too bad it used that same horrible sound chip as the original Mark I.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, carlsson said:

160x144 in 4 shades of green/grey compared to 160x102 in 4096 colours. Are those extra 42 pixel rows that important?

For me, back in the day, hell no!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, carlsson said:

160x144 in 4 shades of green/grey compared to 160x102 in 4096 colours. Are those extra 42 pixel rows that important?

For some games, yes.

 

Ms. Pac-Man on Gameboy

20912-ms-pac-man-game-boy-screenshot-close-view.gif.1492a64a9fda373cfb0f139a83a87d16.gif  20913-ms-pac-man-game-boy-screenshot-far-view.gif.ba15605f51fbd60723b548d857d5f6a7.gif

 

And on Atari Lynx

140264-ms-pac-man-lynx-screenshot-first-maze.png.3528a056067d66d36dbde1190313cd3e.png

 

Some games work better on lynx, others not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lynx may have color and a few tricks the GB can not do, but are we really going to go into a pissing contest over that?  I guess if you are and only are a technophile sure, we can agree on that ground alone.  But officially how few years was it the Lynx got games and were there really that many must own?  I know this isn't a games thread, but it's also not a Lynx one either.


Lynx was like an excellent second handheld option, just like the PCE, Sega GG, even some other B to C-tier stuff too.  If Nintendo knew and did something well, it was as they worded it, withered technology and they used it like a master.  But hey if we want to do the hardware game, perhaps let's just compare the end game of the system Gameboy Color to Lynx.  Sure it's not backlit, but it's very capable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

Lynx may have color and a few tricks the GB can not do, but are we really going to go into a pissing contest over that?  I guess if you are and only are a technophile sure, we can agree on that ground alone.  But officially how few years was it the Lynx got games and were there really that many must own?  I know this isn't a games thread, but it's also not a Lynx one either.


Lynx was like an excellent second handheld option, just like the PCE, Sega GG, even some other B to C-tier stuff too.  If Nintendo knew and did something well, it was as they worded it, withered technology and they used it like a master.  But hey if we want to do the hardware game, perhaps let's just compare the end game of the system Gameboy Color to Lynx.  Sure it's not backlit, but it's very capable.

I won't start a gameboy vs lynx topic since I own both systems and I love them.

 

I play Steel Talons, STUN runner, Rygar, Batman returns and Lemmings on Lynx

 

Samurai Shodown, Tetris, Lethal Weapon, Castlevania, Super Mario Land 1,2&3, Catrap, Qix & Pokémon on Gameboy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See yeah you get it.  That was really about it.  Sure the hardware are both handheld, yet very different but also very capable in their own ways.  Not a bad selection of stuff there too for either.  Don't often see Catrap come up, i own that one and it's quite good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, no need to start a Lynx vs. Game Boy thread.  Too each his/her own, which by sales numbers there are a lot more peeps for the Game Boy than Lynx, so that's that in my book.  However, this thread is about the NES vs. Gameboy.  I would say that the NES is superior over the Game Boy, but the Game Boy sure was big time for a while, that's for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...