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  1. SEGA GameGear Disassembly This guide will take you through the disassembly procedures of all 3 variants of the SEGA GameGear for cleaning and/or further repair. Table of Contents Hardware Notes Materials Required Tools, Parts, Additional Supplies Difficulty Time Estimate Console Variant Recognition GameGear Disassembly 1. Hardware Note: There are 3 variations of the SEGA GameGear that were released and this guide was originally based on the VA1. Any differences between VA1 and the VA5/VA5 variants will be noted below each step. 2. Materials Required: Tools: #00 Philips Head Screwdriver 4.5mm GameBit Tamper Proof Security Bit Specialty Scraping Tool (Can use small flat-head screwdriver) Parts: N/A Additional Supplies: N/A 3. Difficulty: Easy 4. Time Estimate: 25-30 Minutes 5. Console Variant Recognition: VA1: Smooth and flat screen cover with color “GameGear” logo in the top left. VA4: Smooth and rounded screen cover with color “GameGear” logo in the top left. VA5 / MAJESCO: Smooth and rounds screen cover with black and white “GameGear” logo in the top left. 6. Console Disassembly: Step 1: Flip the console face down. Step 2: Remove both battery covers, batteries, and game from console. Step 3: Unscrew (1) with the 4.5mm GameBit. Unscrew (2-7) with the #00 Philips screwdriver. Step 4: Gently unplug the cable connectors (1-3) from the audio & power boards. Step 5: Unscrew (1-12) with the #00 Philips screwdriver. Lift main board and set aside. (Note: Watch for the contrast wheel and the screen protector film as they can get stuck.) Step 6: Remove all buttons, D-pad, and screen protection film (1-5). Step 7: Unscrew (1-4) with the #00 Philips screwdriver, remove the metal shielding, and set it aside. Step 8: Unscrew (1-2) with the #00 Philips screwdriver from sound board. Remove the sound board and set it aside. (Note: Watch for the volume wheel as it can get stuck.) Step 9: Unscrew (1-2) with the #00 Philips screwdriver from power board. Pry the black plastic shield (3) with a flat head screwdriver or specialty tool. Remove the power board and set it aside. Complete: Clean and repair the console as required. To reassemble, reverse steps 1-9. (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  2. Sega GameGear: General Guides Below you will find general guides for everything from disassembly to full restores. Disassembly: If you need to do any work on your GameGear more than likely you will need to start here and then work with the repair guides below to fix any issues that might arise. Click HERE for the forum post OR Click the following for the PDF download. Disassembly - SEGA GameGear Cap Replacement: If your GameGear LCD Screen look washed out, dim, or lacking in contrast, if the sound is non-existent, or if it turns itself off randomly this repair guide could fix all of your issues. LINKS COMING SOON More guides coming soon... (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  3. Sega Pioneer LaserActive: PACs of Fun! This innovative machine could do just about anything when it comes to entertainment. Though we have listed the LaserActive with the Sega consoles, we have done so only because the system plays Sega titles. The device was manufactured by a company named Pioneer. Playing music, karaoke, interactive software and thousands of movies were all included in the all-inclusive entertainment system. Released in October of 1993, this rare device allowed people to play games on Laserdiscs (what came before the DVD) and arcade games. You may be thinking that this device couldn’t possibly be considered a video game console. However, because it was capable of supporting add on devices called LD-ROMs, which allowed people access to various Sega games. This was the first pack of many which allowed the LaserActive to be integrated with several other consoles already on the market. When the device was released, it was the closest available to integrate nearly every kind of multimedia entertainment form in its time. It was extremely expensive, and primarily competed with the 3DO consoles, though it far surpassed their abilities. While the LaserActive cannot play standalone games, it has several expansion PACs which provide excellent game play. With the expansion packs, one can play Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Mega LD, Laserkaraoke, and more. Unfortunately, the Sega Pioneer LaserActive was not as popular as one would hope for such an extravagant machine. The first issue was the high price; the device was sold at $970 in the US, much higher than a typical console. The other issue is that the LaserDisc technology proved to be insufficient for storing video data. The discs could only hold about an hour’s worth of video, which caused users to have to switch discs too often. It was meant to be a successor to VHS technology, but it wasn’t quite advanced enough, and was quickly replaced by the DVD. Because of the failure of the technology, the LaserActive was discontinued as soon as the mid-90s. Pioneer continued, however, to manufacture low-cost players until 2009. Now imagine if they would have been able to release something like this today with PACs from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and maybe even a Dreamer from Sega… It could have been smaller, cheaper, and the consoles manufactures of today would just have to build a PAC giving them time to focus more on releasing good games. ~Vic Sega Pioneer LaserActive - Model: PAC-S10/PAC-S1) ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? Original Release - This module was released by Sega and Pioneer, and it allowed consumers to play games on 8-inch and 12-inch LaserActive Mega LD discs. It also supported the hundreds of already existing Mega Drive and Mega CD games. This was by far the most popular add-on for LaserActive owners. NEC PAC - Model: PAC-N10/PAC-N1 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? The NEC PAC gave users the opportunity to play 8” and 12” LaserActive LD-ROMs, Engine CD discs, HuCards and CD-G discs. While this wasn’t the most popular model in its time, it is now one of the most sought-after add-ons by collectors today. Karaoke PAC - Model: PAC-K10/PAC-K1 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? If it was karaoke you were looking for, this was the PAC for you. With this add-on, users could play all NTSC LaserKaraoke titles. It includes two microphone inputs, volume controls and tone controls. Computer Interface PAC (PAC-PC1) ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? This PAC allowed PC and Macintosh computer users to control their CLD-A100 from their computer. It included a 330-button remote control, the LaserActive Program Editor and several sample programs. LaserActive 3-D Goggles (GOL-1) ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? This add-on allowed your 3-D CLD-A100 games to come to life using 3-D goggles. This system was compatible with the Sega Master System as well, as the Master System used identical connectors. Unit Lifetime: 1993-1996 Generation: Fourth Generation Introductory Price: $970 USD Units Sold (Worldwide): Around 10,000 Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): N/A Backwards Compatibility: PC Engine, PC Engine CD-ROM, Mega-CD, Mega Drive Media Type: LD-ROM, CD-ROM, ROM Cartridge (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  4. Sega Nomad: Now, There Are No Limits After the Mega Jet, the unique so-called “handheld console” designed for airlines, was released by Sega, they quickly began working on the Sega Nomad. Seeing success in the market of handheld consoles for other competitors in the market, Sega designed the Sega Nomad to compete with products like the Nintendo Gameboy. The Sega Nomad, unlike many other Sega products, was only released in North America and was never officially released world-wide. Due to the timing of its release, the console had no titles packed-in itself, but utilized the library of over 500 Genesis titles. Due to a number of factors, the success of the Sega Nomad was limited. Sega themselves, as a company, was overly focused on the marketing and development of the Sega Saturn, which left the Sega Nomad under-supported. Additionally, many Genesis peripherals like the Power Base Converter and the Sega CD were incompatible with the Sega Nomad. Originally, Sega wanted to employee the relatively new technology of touch screens for the Sega Nomad. However, because of the large price tag for this technology at this time, they stuck with more standard handheld console features. The Nomad was officially released in North America in 1995. According to insiders, Sega had little plans in place to market the Nomad, as five different consoles were being supported by the company at the time: Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Pico and Master System. With Sega’s hopes that the Saturn would be more successful than Sony’s Playstation, Sega paid much of its attention to this product rather than marketing any of their other systems. Many collectors attribute the fall of Sega as a first party producer to be the sheer number of systems they produced in a limited time frame along with the lack of real marketing for most of them. While the Sega Nomad does not have its own game library, it does enjoy over 500 games which are available for the Genesis/Mega Drive. Additionally, the nomad is able to boot bootleg, unlicensed and home-brew games which have been created for the Genesis/Mega-Drive. The Sega Nomad was not particularly successful, and it landed the GamePro list of the 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time”. The biggest contributors to its failure were poor timing in the market, inadequate advertising and bad battery life. ~Vic Sega Nomad - Model: MK-6100 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1995 Original Release - The only model of the nomad released by Sega. This product could be plugged in or used wirelessly with 6 AA batteries. You could also plug more than one nomad together for a two player game or hook it to the TV and play there. Unit Lifetime: 1995 - 1997 Units Sold (Worldwide): 1 Million Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): No pack-in, 500+ Genesis titles Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Sega Genesis Cartridges Resolution: 320 x 224 Colors Available: 512 Colors on Screen: 64 Screen Size: 3.125 in Sound Output (All Models): 6-Channel Stereo (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  5. Sega Pico: The Computer that Thinks it’s a Toy Somewhere along the line, Sega came up with the idea to design a console which is explicitly for children. The Sega Pico, also known as the Kids Computer Pico, was a video game console which was designed to be educational entertainment, or, as marketed “edutainment”. The system was designed for children between the ages of 3 and 7 years old. It was released in 1993 in Japan, 1994 in North America and Europe and later in China. The Sega Pico was quite popular in Japan and was sold continuously through 1993 to 2005 when its successor, the Advanced Pico Beena, was released. However, sales were not nearly as good in North America and Europe and the product was discontinued there in 1998. Ultimately 3.4 million Pico consoles have been sold along with 11.2 million game cartridges. In order to design games which were especially appealing to young children, Sega was able to use licensed franchised animated characters such as Disney characters and its own Sonic the Hedgehog. The Pico was designed in the image of a laptop, and came with a stylus pen, or “magic pen”. The magic pen functioned as a mouse which allowed the child to select buttons on the screen of the console. Children are able to draw or even animate characters directly on the screen. The game cartridges were called “storyware”, and each one provided children a “picture book” game that gives a series of tasks and an option to turn the page. Sounds, voices and music accompanied each page, and most of the games featured learning activities including music counting, spelling, reading, matching and coloring. Games include Disney’s The Lion King and A Year at Pooh Corner. Additionally, games with the Sega mascot, Sonic, were featured as well. The Pico received a good bit of good press in certain parts of the world. Joseph Szadkowski of the Washington Times said “Pico has enough power to be a serious learning aid that teaches counting, spelling, matching, problem solving, memory, logic, hand/eye coordination and important, basic computer skills”. However, despite these reviews, North America fully rejected the Pico, which failed, some say, due to a lack of credibility. ~Vic Sega Pico - Model: MK-49002 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 Original Release - This is the standard model which is very similar to the Japanese HPC-0007 model of the Sega Pico. The only big difference between this model and the Japanese model is that it has a cyan/purple color scheme. Sega Pico - Model: MK-49325 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1999 Original Release - Majesco was given the rights to the older Sega consoles, and in response they designed this 1999 version of the Sega Pico. This version was simply cheaper to manufacture, and it doesn’t include the Sega logo. Unit Lifetime: 1993-2005 Units Sold (Worldwide): 3.4 Million Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): 300+ Introductory Price: $139 (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  6. Sega Mega Jet: Fly with SEGA! In 1993, Sega had an innovative idea which led to the development of the Sega Mega Jet. This strange console was designed to be an entertainment system for Japanese Airlines which were used as in-flight entertainment. The Sega Mega Jet was a handheld with no screen and had to be connected to a mounted TV. Japanese airplanes included televisions for each armrest, so the system was designed for players to utilize these small personal TVs. Only four games were available for the flight version of the product, including Sonic the Hedgehog. However, because standard Mega Drive cartridges worked with this product, passengers were also allowed to bring in their own games. Sega did not limit the Mega Jet to airplanes - a consumer version of the product was also released in 1994, but still had to be connected to another screen. While the success of the Sega Mega Jet was limited, largely due to its limited functionality, it did lay the groundwork for future technological innovation in the Sega industry. The Sega Nomad, the second fully functional handheld console designed by Sega, had a lot of features to thank the Sega Mega Jet for. Part of the issue of this product was that it was marketed as a handheld console, but in practice it was really anything but. While you may have the controller in your hand, because the console had no screen, it still had to be connected with bulky materials to a screen somewhere else. It had none of the conveniences of a handheld console, but was still marketed as such. This product had its best successes in the airline industry, where its concept was fairly useful. Further, it served as a great introduction product for new handheld consoles that Sega would release later. In the end, the Sega Mega Jet is one of the most innovative handheld console concepts that have come out of the video game industry. It is extremely rare today, and the majority of Mega Jets are now owned by private collectors all around the world. ~Vic Sega Mega Jet - Model: MK-6100 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 Original Release - While there was only one model number released of the Sega Mega jet, the product was first only sold to Japanese airlines as passenger entertainment. However, it was later released to the general public. Unit Lifetime: ??? Units Sold (Worldwide): ??? Authorized Games Released (US): ??? Backwards Compatibility: ??? Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: ??? Colors Available: ??? Colors on Screen: ??? Sound Output (All Models): ??? Power Requirements (All Models): ??? (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  7. Sega GameGear: Welcome to the Next Level On October 9th, 1990, the Sega GameGear was released to the public in Japan. The following year, it was released in North America and Europe, and was released in 1992 in Australia. The handheld system was designed to compete with the Nintendo Game Boy, Atari Lynx and NEC Turbo Express. The hardware included a full-color backlit screen and landscaping format, which led Sega to position the GameGear as superior to the GameBoy. Because of the library of games and affordable price, the GameGear was immediately good competition to the Atari Lynx and TurboExpress, despite being rushed to the market. It fell short, however, in competing with the GameBoy, because it suffered from short battery life and weak support from its parent company, Sega. When Sega began to see its sales decline as a result of Nintendo putting a handheld console on the market, they quickly began to design the GameGear. One of their tactics to make a great product in a short amount of time was to base the hardware of the GameGear on the hardware of the Master System. This was intended to allow Master System games to port to the Game Gear. While the GameGear was certainly designed with more technical capability, the sacrifice of battery life led it to be an inferior option to the Gameboy to many consumers. The Game Boy was capable of running for over 20 hours on four AA batteries while the Game Gear could only run for three to five hours with 6 AA batteries. One of the issues that led to the decline of the Game Gear was the lack of attention to it paid by Sega. At the same time that the GameGear was being marketed, the company was also trying to support the Sega CD and Sega 32X home systems, and design a new home console system, the Sega Saturn. After the decline of the Game Gear, which was discontinued in 1996, Sega designed the Genesis Nomad, the last handheld console the company Sega would release. Over three hundred games were released for the Game Gear, including big names such as Sonic the Hedgehog, The GG Shinobi and The Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. ~Vic Sega GameGear - Model: 2110 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1991 Original Release - Other than a slightly different sports version with the same model number, this was the only version of the GameGear released. The variations of this model include one with a jet black case and a few limited edition models sold in Japan. The most common problem associated with this model is an issue with the sound output chip. In addition, some complain that players have to angle the screen too much for good viewing. Unit Lifetime: 1991 - 1997 Units Sold (Worldwide): 11 Million Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): 390 Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 160 x 146 Colors Available: 4096 Colors on Screen: 32 Screen Size: 3.2” Sound Output (All Models): 4 Layer Stereo Power Requirements (All Models): 6 AA Batteries or 10v 850amps (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  8. 8BitRat

    SNK: A Brief History

    SNK: The Future is Now SNK Corporation is a video game hardware and software company which has been doing business since the 1970s. The company began when Eikichi Kawasaki witnessed the growth of the video game market, in particular coin-operated games. The first successful games were Vanguard and Safari Rally, and after these successes, the company moved on to form a division in North America. The company ended in 2001, but was rebirthed later that year by sister company Playmore, Kawasaki’s new company. The most notable gaming system created by SNK Corporation was the Neo Geo, a cartridge-based arcade system board which was part of the fourth generation of video game consoles. It was originally launched as a coin operated arcade game which had the capability of supporting six different cartridges at the same time. This was a unique feature which found the Neo Geo success in arcades, as it saved space and money by supporting multiple games at once. Later, a home console version of Neo Geo was released called the AES (Advanced Entertainment System). The controllers for the Neo Geo kept close to its arcade roots, complete with a joystick and four main buttons. The Neo Geo was one of the most powerful consoles on the market in its arcade form, but the home console was considerably less powerful. All in all, the console received good reviews and was named the 19th best console of all time by IGN. The total number of games released for the Neo Geo system, including arcade cabinets, was 148. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  9. Sega Dreamcast: You Are Now Entering Chapter Three Sega took a step into the future with the Sega Dreamcast, the first of the series of sixth generation video game consoles. This console preceded other big sixth generation names such as Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo’s GameCube, and Microsoft’s Xbox. The Dreamcast was also the last console sold by Sega, ending 18 years of Sega’s presence in the market. As a strategy to answer the issue of expensive hardware in the Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast was meant to reduce costs with cheaper components. While the Dreamcast was not received with enthusiasm in Japan, it enjoyed great success in the U.S. largely thanks to a vast marketing campaign. However, as Sony began building hype for the upcoming PlayStation 2, interest in the Sega Dreamcast quickly declined. The Dreamcast was discontinued in 2001 and Sega withdrew from the console business, launching itself instead as a third-party publisher. Despite the Dreamcast’s poor reception, it was widely regarded as very impressive and ahead of its time. In addition to other features, the Dreamcast was the first console to include a built in modem for internet support and online play. Preceding the launch of the Dreamcast was a big disappointment in the sales of the Sega Saturn. In fact, Sega took a massive 75% drop in half-year profits due to its failure, and that was right before the Dreamcast would be launched. Regardless, Sega was confident in the ability of the Dreamcast to perform well, and indeed, it was attracting much attention and pre-orders. Anticipating the arrival of Sony’s PlayStation 2, Sega made a goal to sell over 1 million units before February 1999, but they sold less than 900,000. It was reported that many Japanese customers attended to return their Dreamcast’s in order to use the refund to purchase a PlayStation 2. Once again, Sega had missed the mark as far as the timing of entrance into the market goes. The first majorly successful game for the Dreamcast in Japan appeared in July of 1999, and it was called Seaman. (Why this weird game with a human headed fish was so popular still puzzles me) Other pitfalls and mistakes had already been made by the release of the Dreamcast, and other unfortunate events followed. Retailers in the United States were already sour with Sega due to the early release of the Sega Saturn. Additionally, EA announced, just prior to the release of the Dreamcast, that it would not help develop games for Sega. Though the system had initial momentum in the market, the Sony PlayStation quickly overtook the marketing narrative and stunted sales. Sega fell well short of their sales goals. On May 22, 2000, Okawa became the new President of Sega, and he advocated Sega’s exit of the console market. Sega discontinued the Dreamcast, and also their involvement in the home console market, in 2001, and the company became a third party developer. ~Vic Sega Dreamcast - Model: HKT-3020 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1998 Original Release - While they didn’t change the model number, after 2000, Sega changed a few minor things about the Dreamcast. A new cooling fan was added as well as a different CD Drive. In the US, because the Dreamcast was only manufactured for 2 years, this was the only version released, other than the cosmetically different special edition models. Unit Lifetime: 1998 - 2001 Units Sold (Worldwide): 10 Million Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): 638 Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: GD-ROM Resolution: 704 x 512 Colors Available: 16.7 Million Colors on Screen: 32,000 Sound Output (All Models): 32-Channel PCM, 8-Channel Stereo Power Requirements (All Models): AC 120v (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  10. Sega Saturn: A Little Bit Too Real Sega developed this fifth-generation console and released it on November 22, 1994 in Japan and on May 11th, 1995 in North America. The Sega Saturn was the direct successor to the Sega Genesis, with several added features and new breakthroughs to distinguish it. The Saturn uses a dual-CPU and 8 processors to maximize its power. Its games were in CD-ROM format, and you can find in its library of titles several original games as well as arcade ports. The Saturn enjoyed initial success in Japan, though it didn’t perform nearly as well in the United States. This was partially due to the fact that the Nintendo 64 was released in 1995 which quickly evaporated much of the console market for the product. As a result of this marketing failure, the Saturn was discontinued in the United States in 1998. With only 9.26 million units sold throughout the world, the product is considered a failure in the console market. Many experts say part of Sega’s failure with this system was their failure to expand the famous Sonic the Hedgehog series on the Sega Saturn. Additionally, it received little third party support. Some of the most popular titles for the Sega Saturn included Night into Dreams, the Panzer Dragoon series and the Virtua Fighter series. Former president of Sega of America gave his final assessment of the Saturn in 2009, saying “The games were obviously terrific, but the hardware just wasn’t there”. The hardware was criticized for being overly complicated and lacking in practicality. While, all things considered, the Saturn did not perform particularly well in Japan (only 5.75 million units sold), it did manage to surpass the sales of the Nintendo 64 in the country (about 5.54 million). In retrospect, many video game enthusiasts praise the game library of the Sega Sturn. Greg Sewart of 1Up.com says “the Saturn will go down in history as one of the most troubled, and greatest, systems of all time”. It was even named the 18th best video game console of all time by IGN in 2009. However, others criticize the handling of the system as well as the hardware. Many point to changes in Sega management as part of the downfall of the system. ~Vic Sega Saturn - Model: MMP-1/MMP-1C ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? Original Release - Based on the original Skeleton Saturn model of the Sega Saturn. It includes oval buttons and a Drive Access LED. Sega Saturn - Model: MMP-11 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? Variation #2 - Based on the second Skeleton Saturn model which uses round buttons instead of oval buttons. Sega Saturn - Model: MMP-1000NV (Game & Car Navi Hi-Saturn) ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? Variation #3 - This is a very distinct model of the Saturn. As far as design goes, this model has a square profile and an add-on LCD monitor included to play games on. There is no bulge of the CD drive. Functionality wise, the system also supported a GPS receiver. Unit Lifetime: 1994 - 2000 Units Sold (Worldwide): 9.26 Million Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): 597 Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Home video game console Graphics: VDP1 & VDP2 video display processors Sound: Yamaha YMF292 Power Requirements (All Models): AC 120v (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  11. Sega JVC X’Eye: The Perfect Experience The JVC X’Eye was released in the Spring of 1994 as the American version of the Wondermega, and was also released in Japan as the Wondermega II. It included a Karaoke feature and a SVHS output. While it included many unique features, it was overpriced (at about $650) and failed to launch very strongly. Essentially, this console combined the power of the Sega Mega Drive and the Mega CD. It included features such as microphone inputs and an 9-pin AV port. The X’Eye is compatible with CD+G discs and also supported the “Wonder CD” peripheral. This meant several MIDI jacks and the support of a music keyboard, nicknamed the “Piano Player”. This console can support the 32X add-on but due to the location of the Genesis/Megadrive connector you cannot use the CD portion at the same time which kills the 32x/CD games. The console never reached the market in Europe, though it was initially publicized. The Power Base Converter is not compatible without modification due to the lip that hangs from the back of the converter. The X’Eye was packaged with the titles Prize Fighter and Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia and also included a Karaoke CD. While in many ways, the X’Eye could simply be called a combination of the Mega Drive and Mega CD, it did have features of its own. It had an interesting light display, including bright green lights which showed around the CD drive when the console was active. This helped give the system a more high-tech look. It was also designed to follow Sega’s evolving theme of embracing music. The console appears to be designed in the image of a DJ desk system. By supporting MIDI, this console allowed users to connect their musical instruments to the system and with each other, creating a network of instruments. The audio files extracted from the instruments could be played on different platforms and allowed audio files to be installed on keyboards and several other instruments. This was a much cheaper alternative than any other system that provided that service. In many ways, this console was a step away from the norm for Sega, and a step into new territory which was never fully embraced subsequently. ~Vic Sega JVC X’Eye - Model: ??? ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 Original Release - The X’Eye, as opposed to the Wondermega II, has a slightly different aesthetic appearance, but beyond this, is nearly identical. Unlike the Wondermega, the X’Eye does not support S-video. Unit Lifetime: 1994 - 1995 Units Sold (Worldwide): Less than 10,000 Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Cartridge and Disc Resolution: 256 x 226 Colors Available: 256 Colors on Screen: 52 Sound Output (All Models): 6-Channel Stereo Power Requirements (All Models): 9.5v 1.5amps (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  12. Sega CDX: It’s a Sega Genesis, it’s a Sega CD, and it’s a Portable CD Player! The Sega CDX was released in North America in 1994. Similar to the JVC X’Eye, it is capable of playing both Genesis and Mega-CD games on top of audio CDs and CD+G discs. The CDX looks similar to many of the portable CD players of its time, demonstrating Sega’s desire to tap into that market. Unlike the Mega-CD, the CDX allowed users to be entertained on the move. The unit had to be connected to a PSU and connected to the television in order to support games. The console was supported by AA batteries which were quickly drained, sparking some criticism. In addition, the system is criticized for freezing and lagging in game play. In addition, though clearly Sega was trying to tap into the portable CD market, they made the console heavier than most portable CD players at the time. The CDX was no longer produced after the Sega 32X entered the market. It was announced as a novelty item rather than an actual console by Sega. It was no longer considered a priority at that point, and as is typical of Sega, they abandoned marketing the product to market their newer product. While it was not marketed heavily, it continued to remain relatively popular due to its lower price. Many considered it a viable alternative to buying a Mega Drive and Mega CD separately. However, because there were not as many of the CDX consoles produced, it soon became rarer and far more expensive than the standard consoles. The unit includes a controller port on the far left of its front panel, a power button in the middle and a second controller port on the right. It also had a small LCD screen on the top which would display the title of the track being played. It was packed with a control pad with 6 buttons, a power adapter, and the red, white and yellow (RCA) A/V cable. Additionally, the North American version bundled it with the Sega Classics Arcade Collection, and Brazil included Night Trap with every purchase. ~Vic Sega CDX - Model: Multi-Mega CDX ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 Original Release - This was the only version of the console released. It included a six button control pad packed within, the Sega Classics Arcade Collection (in the US) and Ecco the Dolphin. Unit Lifetime: 1994 - 1995 Units Sold (Worldwide): Less than 10,000 Backwards Compatibility: Genesis & Sega CD Media Type: Cartridge & Disc Resolution: 256 x 226 Colors Available: 256 Colors on Screen: 52 Sound Output (All Models): 6-Channel Stereo Power Requirements (All Models): 9.5v 1.5amps (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  13. Sega 32X: Just Stick it In Your Genesis! The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis. It was called “Project Mars”, and it was designed to increase the overall power of the Genesis and transition the console into the 32-bit console era while the Sega Saturn was being developed. It supported ROM cartridges and included its own library of games. The 32x was marketed to be a low cost alternative for any consumer who wanted to move towards 32-bit gaming. After the release of the Atari Jaguar, Sega felt the pressure to move towards 32-bit gaming, but they knew the Sega Saturn may not be prepared for release in time for good market strategy for the company. Because the Sega Saturn was being announced for release in Japan at around the same time as the release of the Sega 32x, it failed to attract the attention of either third party developers or consumers. Critics say the product was rushed into the market, which helped lead to a very small library of only forty games. It was released in October of 1994, and by the end of the year, it had only sold about 665,000 units. It was discontinued nearly as soon as it was released in 1996 as the Sega Saturn became the company’s main focus. When the Sega 32x was first released, it actually had quite a positive reception. Game titles such as “Doom” received positive reviews right away, and it got high initial marks by Electronic Gaming Monthly. However, as time went on, issues began to emerge, and the system was criticized for things such as freezing, overheating and performance glitches. By the time 1996 rolled around, almost all of the responses to the add-on were negative, partially due to critics complaining about the abandonment of the system after the release of the Sega Saturn. Many marketing experts, in retrospect, say that, while there was room for the concept of the 32x, it was poorly implemented and should have remained emphasized even after the advent of the Sega Saturn. Considered a commercial failure, the Sega 32x struggled most due to bad timing in the market and a small game library. ~Vic Sega 32X - Model: MK-84000 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1996 Original Release - This was the only alternative version of the original Sega 32x which was released. It is very similar to the original, but it was made in China rather than Japan. In addition, it could be hooked up with different combinations of the Genesis and CD. Unit Lifetime: 1994 - 1996 Units Sold (Worldwide): 400,000 Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 320 x 224 Colors Available: 16.7 Million Colors on Screen: 32,768 Sound Output (All Models): 2 PCM Channels added to Genesis & Sega CD Power Requirements (All Models): 9v 850amps (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  14. Sega Power Base: The Mega Adapter When Sega decided that it was time for a little more backward compatibility, they released the Sega Power Base Converter. This converter allows access to the Master System games if you only owned a Sega Genesis. Simply place the adapter into the Sega Genesis, and you’ll be able to play most of the SEGA Master System carts, cards and had use of some peripherals. The adapter required no additional cables or supplies and could simply be plugged in and ready to go. The adapter was compatible with the Model 1 Genesis, could but used with modification on the Model 2, but due to the size of the Model 3 there was no feasible way to attach it. The power adapter was not only designed for capability in game play, but also in design. The adapter fits attractively and comfortably into the Genesis, even bringing it had an entirely new color scheme. One of the common mistakes of Sega in the console industry was that it did not make enough consoles backwards compatible, which often interfered with sales. This adapter was a way to address this issue head on. Another issue stood between total compatibility across the board; the cartridge slot of the Mega Drive was a different shape than that of the Master System. For this reason, Sega decided to release the Power Base Converter to make sure consumers did not have to buy an extra console to play all of their favorite games. A player can either use the two button Master System pads or the Standard Mega Drive Pads to play SMS games. There are a few exceptions where the game is not compatible with the 3/6 button pad and the master system controller had to be used. There is little information available on how well the Power Base did in the market and how much it may have improved sales for SEGA. Part of the motive for selling the product may have been to alleviate the complaints of many customers who wanted to see more backwards compatibility on Sega systems. In any case, it certainly kept many Sega fans from having to purchase multiple consoles, whether or not it helped the company in any measurable way. ~Vic Sega Power Base - Model: 1620 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? Original Release - This was the only Sega Power Base system released, but in many ways, this console was a second version of the Sega Master System. However, this is often considered its own console because it requires the use of the Sega Genesis in order to function. It’s a system which allows you to play Master System games on the Sega Genesis Unit Lifetime: ??? Units Sold (Worldwide): ??? Authorized Games Released (US): ??? Backwards Compatibility: ??? Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: ??? Colors Available: ??? Colors on Screen: ??? Sound Output (All Models): ??? Power Requirements (All Models): ??? (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  15. Sega CD: To be this Good Take AGES, to be this Good Take SEGA Sega cashed in on some of the technological advances of the early nineties when they developed the Sega CD. The Sega CD was released as the Mega-CD everywhere but in North America. The console gives users the opportunity to play CD-based games, which brings a whole host of new features. Some of those features include more hardware functionality, a faster CPU and new graphic enhancements. In addition, this product allows users to play their favorite audio CDs and CD+Gs on the system. Compact discs were gaining popularity quickly in the early 90s for both music and video games. The first time CD technology was used for a game was by NEC who developed their PC Engine (TurboGrafix-16) CD-ROM System. One of the main benefits of the new CD technology was that there was much more storage capacity on every disc. This means that the games had a lot more room for development, and that made room for full motion video games such as the famous title Night Trap. Night Trap, in fact, was a highly controversial game which brought attention back to the issue of violence in video games. In 1993, Congress held a hearing on the state of video game violence and their ratings, and this debate would go on for many years. An add-on for the Sega CD was made available by Sega of Japan through a partnership with JVC, but they would not coordinate with Sega of America. Popular titles from the add-on included Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Lunar: Eternal Blue and more. Sega CD sold 2.24 units before it was discontinued as Sega shifted their focus to the marketing of the Sega Saturn. After new CD-based consoles like 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and the Phillips CD-i were released, the Sega CD was less sought after. It was discontinued quite shortly after its release, with no new development proposals accepted less than a year after release and no more advertising support for the Sega CD after 1995. The Sega CD has been praised for its functionality, but criticized for its high price and depth issues in the game library. ~Vic SEGA CD - Model: 1690 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1992 Original Release - The original version of the Sega CD. It was built for the Genesis to stack on top of it, boosting functionality. The Sega CD system included memory storage for saving games. This is one of the rarer versions of the Sega CD today. This release was intended for use with the Model 1 Genesis. SEGA CD - Model: 4102 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1993 Variation #2 - This model was created in Japan and has some differences in its design. For example, the CD Tray is held inside the machine slightly differently, though one cannot tell from the outside. The outer design is slightly more rounded and long. Some say that this version loads slightly faster than the original, though they have the same memory capacity. This variation was intended for the Model 2 Genesis. Unit Lifetime: 1992 - 1996 Units Sold (Worldwide): 6 Million Authorized Games Released (Worldwide): 209 Media Type: CD-ROM, CD+G Resolution: 320 x 224 Sound Output (All Models): 10-Channels added to Genesis Power Requirements (All Models): 9v 1200amps (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  16. Sega Genesis: Genesis Does what Nintendon’t Sega released its third console, the 16-bit Sega Genesis, in 1998. It was the successor of the Master System, and was also known as the Sega Mega Drive. The system was built by adapting the Sega System 16 arcade board. It supported a library of over 900 games which were made by Sega as well as many third-party developers. In addition, it supported Master System games if the Power Base Converter, Sega CD, and the 32X, each sold separately, were installed. The Mega Drive found its primary competition in Japan in the Super Famicorn and the NEC PC Engine. Against this competition, it did not fare well, but it did perform quite well in the North American market, in Brazil and in Europe. Part of its success in these regions has been attributed to the set of arcade game ports and the growing popularity of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Using aggressive marketing towards the youth, Sega successfully branded the Sega Genesis as the “cool” console for teenagers. Despite its initial success, two years later, upon the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System, it underwent a fierce battle for the market. In fact, this advertising battle was so significant that it has been termed the “console war” by journalists and historians since. The battle even brought more widespread public attention to video game consoles in general and arguably made them more mainstream. Part of that battle included the battle of the mascots. As Nintendo was successfully branding their company with the Mario series, Sega wanted to match them with their own mascot. This led to the creation of “Mr. Needlemouse” who was renamed Sonic the Hedgehog. The lovable mascot led to what is arguably one of the best video game franchises in history. Sonic featured pop culture references in his look and demeanor, with boots based on Michael Jackson’s attire and the can-do attitude of former President Bill Clinton. Popular game titles for the Sega Genesis included Mortal Kombat and Night Trap, both games which, because of their violent content, helped lead to the Videogame Rating Council, which eventually became the Entertainment Software Rating Board. ~Vic SEGA GENESIS - Model: MK-1601 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1989 Original Release - This model had the box art and pack-in game "Altered Beast" sold with this version. The easiest way to tell this from all the other versions of the 1601 is the "HIGH-DEFINITION" text along the top of the cartridge slot, an expansion (EXT) port on the back, and when this unit is turned on it does not show the "License Screen". The FCC-ID Code on this unit is FJ846EUSASEGA. The "46E" original release version is one the easiest version of the 1601s to add RCA and S-Video to. Variation #1 - This model looks the same as the original release version but had "Sonic the Hedgehog" box art and pack-in game. With this version, SEGA added the License Screen before each game. This version also added the evil "Lock-Out" chip for region restrictions. The FCC-ID code on this unit is: FJ8USASEGA. The 46E portion was removed from this and all later variations. Variation #2 - In the final version of the 1601, SEGA removed the "HIGH-DEFINITION" text and the EXT Port were both removed. The FCC-ID code is the same as the variation 1: FJ8USASEGA. SEGA GENESIS - Model: MK-1631 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 Variation #3 - This was the first model which was a significant revision of the Sega Genesis. It included a reconfiguration of the output ports, the elimination of the volume control, headphone jack and RF output port. A new AC cable was required for this version. It also has a much better picture than the 9-pin Composite port. SEGA GENESIS - Model: MK-1461 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1998 Variation #4 - The final model of the Sega Genesis and was licensed to Majesco for manufacturing. It is much smaller than the original system. It has most of the same ports, except the elimination of the CD port. This means this version cannot connect to the SEGA CD. Unit Lifetime: 1989 – 1997 Units Sold (Worldwide): 40+ Million Games Released (Worldwide): 900+ Backwards Compatibility: Compatible with the SMS through use of the Power Base Converter Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 320 x 224 Colors Available: 512 Colors on Screen: 64 Sound Output (Model 1): 6 Channel Mono Sound Output (Models 2 & 3): 6 Channel Stereo Power Requirements (Model 1): 9V 1200amps Power Requirements (Model 2 & 3): 10V 850amps Best A/V Cable Available (All Model): RCA (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  17. Sega Master System: Hot Hits Today! More Hits on the Way! Originally released as the Sega Mark III in 1985 in Japan, the Sega Master System was a third-generation home console released in 1986 in North America, 1987 in Europe and 1989 in Brazil. A new, redesigned version of the console was also released again in Japan in 1987. This console utilized many upcoming technologies, such as light guns and 3D glasses, which worked with specific games. The Sega Master System was designed to be a console in direct competition with the Nintendo Entertainment System. As is a familiar story of Sega, though they designed a superior product than the Nintendo Entertainment System in many ways, they failed to market it in a way that allowed it to fully compete. In Japan and North America, the Nintendo brand was becoming so significant that it was difficult to cut its market share. However, the Sega Master System fared better against its competition in Europe and Brazil. One of the main criticisms of the Sega Master System was its limited game library, which, with around 350 games, is not nearly as numerous as the library of the Nintendo Entertainment System. The Sega Master System did win one battle against the Nintendo Entertainment System in Brazil; because of its popularity there, it is now considered the longest lived game console (30 years and counting). Sega marketed the Master System for many years, creating a remodeled version in 1990 which featured a lower cost. However, despite the efforts, sales for the Master System continued to decline, and production ceased in North America by 1992. Part of the problem for Sega was their small share of the market; Nintendo was found guilty of violating US antitrust laws and owned 80% of the market. Atari controlled another 12% of the market, leaving only 8% as competitive territory for Sega to participate in. Though its success in the US was limited, the Master System continued to be popular in Brazil and Europe and outsold NES in these regions. ~Vic SEGA MASTER SYSTEM - Model: 3010 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1986 Original Release - This version had no major changes from the original, but did include a different pack-in set. It also includes a credit card port that allows plug in of 3D glasses. SEGA MASTER SYSTEM - Model: 3010-A ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: Unknown Variation #2 - Included the snail maze game. SEGA MASTER SYSTEM - Model: 3010-B ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: Unknown Variation #3 - Included Hang-On & Safari Hunt, though some versions include only Hang-On. SEGA MASTER SYSTEM - Model: 3010-C ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: Unknown Variation #4 - Included Missile Defense 3D, which requires 3D glasses. Unit Lifetime: 1986 - 1991 Units Sold (Worldwide): 13 Million Authorized Games Released (US): 318 Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 256 x 226 Colors Available: 256 Colors on Screen: 52 Sound Output (All Models): 6-Channel Mono Power Requirements (All Models): 10v 850amps (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  18. SEGA: From Master to Dreamer SErvice GAmes (SEGA) is likely on of the most highly respected classic game manufacturers in history. The Japanese company’s first American home game system, the Sega Master System, was introduced in 1986, but in the years to come, they would develop 6 consoles, 3 attachments and 2 and handhelds in the United States. With a total of 3,800 games, Sega impressed its customers with a level of innovativeness and creativity that many argue went unrivaled by its competition. The mascot of SEGA used to unofficially be Alex Kidd, a popular figure from the game Miracle World. However, Sega realized they needed their own official and well-known mascot to compete with the Nintendo mascot: Mario. Sonic was an adorable but fierce blue hedgehog who has made numerous appearances in video games, movies, comics and shows, living on in the imaginations of people everywhere long past its creator. Unfortunately, to the dismay of many classic video game lovers, SEGA dropped away from the hardware business in 2001, becoming a third party software developer with a far less impressive track record. This occurred after SEGA flooded their own console market with the SEGA CD, 32X, Saturn, and Dreamcast in a short span of years resulting in the financial losses they experienced causing them to drop from the console race and begin work as a third party developer. Many gamers argue that with the loss of SEGA signaled the beginning of a loss of true originality in the gaming industry. Even though they have moved away from their roots, SEGA remains the world’s most prolific arcade producers, boasting 70 franchises with about 500 games. SEGA has also played a role in helping with the launch of other major video games for other companies, such as Nintendo with their Game Boy Advance. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  19. NINTENDO: Plumbers can be Heroes Too Would you believe me if I told you that Nintendo, the video game system which touts one of the most famous gaming mascots in video game history, actually got started in 1889? No, I don’t mean 1989. While there weren’t video games in existence over 100 years ago when Nintendo got started, there were cards. A 29-year-old man named Fusajiro Yamauchi started a family business called Nintendo Koppai back in 1889 which manufactured a card game called “Hanafuda” in Japan. This company was the first to successfully manufacture and sell western-styled playing cards by 1907. Moving from playing cards to everything from taxi service to toys, Nintendo became the manufacturer we know and love today. In 1977 when they released their first video game system, the Color TV 6. This console could play 6 versions of tennis, and found great success, selling one million copies in two years. They went on to develop 9 additional variations of their game which they then began to call Pong. Nintendo’s first version of a handheld game was called Game & Watch, and it consisted of just one simple game and a clock/alarm. The Game Boy, the next generation of handheld gaming, was ushered in by Nintendo in 1989. Nearly anyone who has touched a video game is familiar with the mascot of Nintendo: the lovable plumber Mario who sets off to save Princess Peach. Nintendo released the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985, but it didn’t become a hit until the release of Super Mario Bros. After sales began to soar, Nintendo found success with a long list of popular games such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros. 2, The Legend of Zelda, Solomon’s Key and more. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  20. MAGNAVOX: The History of the Future Magnavox is a company which has had its hands in a little of everything. Founded in 1917 by Edwin Pridham and Peter L. Jensen, this company started by producing moving-coil loudspeakers and has gone on to design many kinds of electronics across the board. From dehumidifiers to the famous old video game console, the Odyssey, Magnavox has shown themselves to be a jack of all trades. The Odyssey and Odyssey 2 were the only video game consoles released by Magnavox. The first Odyssey was released in 1972 as the world’s very first home video game console. That’s right - Magnavox was the first to step and line and spark the beginning of the home game console market. Work on the Odyssey went on for many years - work on the concept began in 1966 with the first prototype being finished by 1968. That prototype has gone down in history, known as the “Brown Box” and displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The Odyssey was powered by six C batteries and lacked sound and it required some strange equipment to work. A plastic overlay was included which players could put over their television to simulate color graphics. In addition, the Odyssey cam with dice, poker chips and score sheets much like the traditional board game. In total, 27 games were released along with 12 different card games. About 100,000 Odyssey consoles were sold in 1972, and by the time the newer model came out in 1974, over 350,000 units had been sold. Odyssey predated Atari, so when Atari came out with Pong which looked a lot like the Odyssey’s tennis game, Magnavox did not hesitate to sue. In fact, Magnavox never hesitated to sue much at all, suing Coleco, Mattel, Seeburg, and Activision, winning or settling every case. By the end of it, Magnavox had won over $100 million in lawsuits. Today, Magnavox is still a thriving electronics company which produces everything from televisions to air conditioners. From their invention of the moving-coil loudspeaker to the invention of the first video game console, this company has been writing the history of the future. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  21. 8BitRat

    3DO: A Brief History

    3DO: We’re Here to Play When the Three-Dimensional Operating System (3DO) Company came up with the idea for the 3DO game system, they had lofty goals in mind. Time Hawkins, founder of the 3DO company, and his team members RJ Mical and Dave Needle worked together to create what they envisioned to be the most innovative video game system of the 90s. It was designed to be a blueprint for the next-generation of video games: 32-bit, TV, VCR, CD player, computer and all-around multimedia system (similar to Gates’ vision for the original Xbox to which has partially been realized in the Xbox One). The company designed the system but did not manufacture it, instead selling the license to third-party companies like Panasonic, Goldstar, and Sanyo. Panasonic was the first company to take on the 3DO, releasing the first version in 1993 at the high asking price of $700 and further variations of the hardware were released in 1994 by Sanyo and Goldstar. The 3DO’s price tag may have spelled the death of the system; while it was designed to be a game system that doubled as a multimedia system, people had the perception it was just an overpriced version of the 16-bit systems they already owned and loved, such as the Nintendo SNES, Atari Jaguar, Sega Genesis and Commodore. Systems were sold at a heavy discount a few years later, and by 1996, the 3DO was retired entirely. Despite its flop in the market, the 3DO had hundreds of titles released worldwide. Serving as the unofficial mascot of the system, the smart-aleck gecko, named Gex, was one of the most popular games for the system. The lizard had to climb walls, fight its enemies with its tail and collect power-ups with its tongue. Another popular game, considered superior to the Playstation alternatives, was called Star Control 2. This space RPG game was ported onto the 3O from the PC version, and it proved to be far superior on the 3DO. Finally, the 3DO also claimed many games that have become wildly popular like Need for Speed and Road Rash on their not-so-popular system. The 3DO Company went bankrupt in 2003, seemingly never recovered from their legacy of bad sales. If you’re itching to get a taste of this classic and impressive video game console, there are a small number of emulators available, the most popular of which being FreeDO. Creative Labs also released a PC card which could be used in a computer called the Creative 3DO Blaster. ~Vic PANASONIC 3DO - Model: FZ-1 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1993 This was the original 3DO system which was released in 1993. It was priced originally at $699.99 in the US, but because sales were not good, was quickly reduced to $399.99 the next year. This was the first model of the CD-based video game/entertainment system, and it featured a comprehensive multimedia entertainment system. PANASONIC 3DO - Model: FZ-10 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 The Panasonic 3D) FZ-10 was released just one year after the original 3DO Model, the FZ-1, was released. This product was less expensive, slimmer and lighter. It featured a CD tray which could be loaded from the top, an internal memory manager and repositioned LEDs and controller port. The theme with this update was lighter is better - the controllers were also more compact, however did not have a headphone port. PANASONIC 3DO - Model: N-1005 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 This model was only released in Japan. Nicknamed the “changer”, this product featured a five disc drive so that more than one disc could be stored on the console at the same time. This model followed the blueprints of the FZ-1 more than the FZ-10, complete with headphone outputs on the controller. SANYO 3DO - Model: IMP 21J ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1994 This model was also only released in Japan. Unlike earlier models, this model has a pickup head on the tray which looks a lot like a laptop optical drive. This model was only released in medium quantities and was discontinued fairly quickly after experiencing poor sales. GOLDSTAR 3DO - Model: GDO-101 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1995 This model was only sold in South Korea, but was very similar to the Panasonic model of the 3DO. It was released about two years after the original FZ-1 Model. This model was blockier than the FZ-10 and looks much more like the first model of the 3DO. There were hardware differences between this model and others, so some games were not compatible with this model. GOLDSTAR 3DO - Model: GDO-101M ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1995 This model was very similar to the Goldstar GDO-101, but it was released in North America and Europe. In the same way as the original Goldstar model, this model had games which were incompatible with other 3DO models. GOLDSTAR 3DO - Model: GDO-203P ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1995 Called “Alive II”, this model is the rarest of all the 3DO models out there. It looks very similar to early PlayStation models. The console was only released in South Korea, and no other variants of this model were released in other countries. CREATIVE 3DO BLASTER - Model: ??? ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1995 The 3DO blaster was an add-on which was produced by Creative Labs which allows 3DO console games to be played on Windows based PCs. Using CD-ROM drives, 3DO games were made compatible with the equipment of many computer owners. The model never gained major momentum. Unit Lifetime: 1993 - ??? Units Sold (Worldwide): 2+ Million Games Released (Worldwide): 312 Backwards Compatibility: M2 (cancelled) Media Type: CD-ROM Resolution: 320 x 240 Colors Available: 24-Bit Colors on Screen: 16-Bit palletized color or 24-Bit true color Sound Output (All Models): RF Switch, Composite RCA, S-Video Power Requirements (All Models): ??? Best A/V Cables Available (All Models): ??? Emulator: FreeDO (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  22. COMMODORE: Are you keeping up with the Commodore? Commodore’s keeping up with you! The Commodore 64 was a revolutionary device produced by Commodore International which has been named the “highest-selling single computer model of all time”. The Commodore was an 8-bit home computer which was first produced in 1982, with somewhere between 10 million to 17 million units sold. Commodore International was a home computer and electronics manufacturer who was based in North America. The company began with Polish immigrant Jack Tramiel, a man who escaped from Auschwitz. He began a typewriter manufacturing company called Commodore Business Machines in Canada in 1955. Tramiel had the vision that home computers would become a common household item, and that eventually made his company wildly successful. The Commodore 64 was complete with 16 colors, a sound chip, cartridge slots and 64KB RAM, so it provided consumers with a powerful “gaming” machine. Their device was so popular as a gaming machine that they released the Commodore 64 Games System specifically for that aspect of their product. The device was extremely unique, with a sound interface device and recognizable graphics elements, making it a viable gaming system even today. Commodore Inc. also worked on a game console project which would utilize a new chip, one which was designed to help lead into the next generation of video game consoles, to create the Commodore Max Machine. Because the Commodore 64, despite also functioning as a PC, was technically a game console already, the later game console editions did not perform as well in the market. To date, over 15,000 games have been created for the Commodore PC and game consoles. The project leader of Retro Gamer CD, Tim Harris, is now working on a renaissance of the Commodore 64 by creating and mailing out new game cartridges from U.K. across the world. That’s right - there are manufacturers creating new games for these decades old system, and people are loving it. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  23. Sony: It’s a Sony! Sony is a multinational corporation which is officially headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. They’ve got a piece of plenty of pies, doing business in consumer and professional electronics, entertainment and financial services. Sony is one of the Fortune Global 500 corporations, making them one of the largest companies in the world. Sony got their start quite a long time ago: In 1946, Maseru Ibuka started an electronics shop in Tokyo with only $530 in capital and eight employees. For a brief period, they were called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, but changed their name to Sony. Their company was the first to build a tape recorder in Japan. They made their way into the global market with the launch of their transistor radio, which was very popular with American teenagers. After working in just about every electronics field you can imagine, Sony found a major footing in the home console industry under Sony Computer Entertainment. The first PlayStation was launched in 1994 and quickly garnered 61%of all global console sales, outperforming Nintendo. The original PlayStation is among the most successful consoles of all time, selling 150 million units by 2011. The PlayStation boasted 2355 games, the PlayStation 2 has 2469, the PlayStation 3 had 1026, the PlayStation 4 has 915, the PlayStation portable has 865 and the PlayStation Vita has 1,257. Sony is still making PlayStation games and consoles, as well as continuing to develop a wide range of electronics globally. From audio, visual and computing to video and photography, Sony has a footing in nearly every major electronic niche. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  24. Microsoft Xbox: Life is short. Play more. The Xbox is a video game console that was originally created by Microsoft. The original version, the Xbox, was the first console developed by an American company since the Atari Jaguar. It was released November 15, 2001 in North America and February 22, 2002 in Japan. It was the first video game console developed by Microsoft. The Xbox was designed to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 2, Sega’s Dreamcast (which ended American sales before the Xbox went on the market) and Nintendo’s GameCube. The Xbox Live service which was integrated into the Xbox allowed players to play online with or without broadband connection. When it was released, it competed with Dreamcast’s online service, but soon after competed more with PlayStation 2’s online service. Xbox became a huge success due to its superior service features, such as the buddy list. Halo 2 was released in November of 2004, which was the most popular game for the Xbox. Soon, it became, by far, the most popular online game for many years to come. The Xbox was launched in at a price of $299.99. It sold a total of 24+ units (before 2006) and its best selling game sold 8 million copies (since 2006). The console was able to support CDs and DVDs. The console was complemented by several accessories which could be bought as add ons. These included the Xbox Live Starter Kit, the Xbox Media Center Extender, the DVD Playback Kit, the Xbox Music Mixer, the Memory Unit and the Logitech Wireless Controller. The Xbox controller features two analog sticks and a direction pad which is pressure sensitive It also includes two accessory slots and six 8-bit analog action buttons. The Xbox has gone on to be released in tow additional forms and remains one of the gaming industry’s giants. It competes most directly with PlayStation due to both of the console’s superb online gaming interface and similar gamer demographics. ~Vic MICROSOFT XBOX (ORIGINAL) ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 2001 Original Release (v1) - The original Xbox version was produced in Hungary and Mexico. It featured an active cooling unit and a Seagate hard drive. it was also the first version to use a Conexant vide chip which was carried on through the 1.3 version. Xbox v1.1 - This revision got rid of the GPU fan and left only a heat sink. Xbox v1.2 - This version used several different hardware pieces and used Western Digital hard drive more than Seagate. Xbox v1.3 - This version is the one of the most common and was likely produced in greatest quantities. It includes the introduction of the Samsung DVD ROM drive and included a second Seagate drive. Xbox v1.4 - This is the second most common Xbox version. It was manufactured only in China and included another Western Digital hard drive. It also uses the Focus video chip for the first time in the Xbox series. Xbox v1.5 - Allegedly this version was only produced for a short amount of time in China and was pulled from production, replaced by the earlier version. This version includes the Focus video chip and was similar to the 1.4 version. Many speculate that there was a mistake with this version, and it is very rare. Xbox v1.6 - This revision includes major changes such as the TSOP chip no longer being flash-able, removed power and data lines. It also uses a new video chip, called the Xcalibur with the Xbox logo. Unit Lifetime: 2001 – 2009 Units Sold (Worldwide): 24+ Million Games Released (Worldwide): ??? Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: DVD, CD, DLC Resolution: ??? x ??? Memory: 64 MB of DDR SDRAM Storage: 8 or 10 GB Internal HDD Graphics Card: 233 MHz nVidia NV2A Colors Available: ??? Colors on Screen: ??? Sound Output (All Models): ???-Channel Mono Power Requirements (All Models): ???v ???ma Best A/V Cables Available (All Models): ??? (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  25. MICROSOFT: Be What’s Next The first thing you think of when you think about MICROcomputer SOFTware (Microsoft) might not be gaming, but they’ve definitely played a major role in the industry over the years. While perhaps Microsoft’s most major contribution has been in PCs, consumer electronics, computer operating systems and computer software, they have given the gaming industry the great gift of the DirectXBox (Xbox). The history of Microsoft is a fairly familiar story. The partnership of Paul Allen and Bill Gates, childhood friends who were passionate about computers, led to the founding of the company Taf-O-Data in 1972, which later evolved into the founding of “Micro-Soft” in 1975. Most of Microsoft’s first two decades were spent creating computer software, but by 2001, Microsoft released its first Xbox model. The Xbox, during its first release, was in competition with Sony’s PlayStation 2, Sega’s Dreamcast and Nintendo’s GameCube. Game titles such as Halo helped the Xbox quickly become a big name in the industry, faring well against its competition. With the first Xbox came Xbox live, an online gamer platform which is still popular today. Microsoft, as most of us know, is still a huge company which continues their release of new software for the PC, mobile devices, gaming consoles and more. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
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