Change one thing?

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davyK
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by davyK » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:57 pm

RGB SCART on N64.

Dreamcast - battery the same as Saturn.

English Invader
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by English Invader » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:29 am

One thing I don't get is why some Atari ST users want to mod the sound on their STs to make them sound more like Amigas. When I queried it on AtariAge, the only response I got was "because you can". I love my ST because of its differences from the Amiga and I prefer the ST's humble Yamaha to all the bombastic sound sampling in Amiga games.

My answer to Laird's question is for Sega to have stuck with the cartridge format for the Saturn. Most of the key titles on the Saturn are small enough for cartridge and they would be a lot more durable for it. As with the N64, there may have been a trade-off in terms of third party support but the Saturn was doomed to lose out to the PS1 anyway.

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davyK
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by davyK » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:55 am

Saturn using cartridges.

Would have been expensive but I like it.

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The Laird
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:01 am

If we are talking Saturn they should have added backwards compatibility with the Mega Drive. Firstly because it had a cartridge slot anyway, so why not make proper use of It? Secondly it would have given them an enormous user base to work from and made the 32X even more redundant.

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Matt_B
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:24 am

I'd think that the big problem with the Mega CD is that it was a flawed concept. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that adding a CD soundtrack and loads of highly compressed video doesn't make many games any better.

Saturn cartridges sound nice in theory, but you'd get similar issues to the N64 where there were substantially higher media costs that neither most publishers or customers were keen to absorb, with the result that a lot of games were cut down to be crammed into smaller cartridges, or simply not ported to the platform at all. There's still a bit of this going on with the Switch, despite optical media being an obvious non-starter on it.

With ST sound, I've got nothing against chip tunes for in-play music. There are some cracking ones for the machine and I think they've often aged better than their mod file equivalents, as the latter often use poor quality and inappropriate samples. That said, you can't beat samples when it comes to effects and although the ST can manage lo-fi playback by driving the YM chip as a DAC, it takes up a lot of CPU cycles that developers can ill afford to give up, especially when they're trying to do something complex like scroll the screen smoothly. So, it really needed sample playback and hardware scrolling; the rest I could live with. If it's got to be just one thing, it'd be the scrolling.

English Invader
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by English Invader » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:27 pm

The Laird wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:01 am
If we are talking Saturn they should have added backwards compatibility with the Mega Drive. Firstly because it had a cartridge slot anyway, so why not make proper use of It? Secondly it would have given them an enormous user base to work from and made the 32X even more redundant.
This makes me wonder why Nintendo didn't make the N64 backwards compatible with the SNES. The only stumbling block I can think of is that they would have had to redesign the N64 controller to be more SNES-friendly while the Saturn pad has more or less the same layout as the MD.

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Matt_B
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:38 pm

I don't think the N64 hardware would be sufficiently powerful to emulate the SNES, and the design is so different that none of the chips on board could be re-purposed to act in a compatibility mode either. As such they'd have to include pretty much the entirety of the SNES hardware in there to make it run old games which would significantly add to the price of the console, and the revised single-chip version of the SNES didn't appear until after the N64 had launched. There is, of course, the Tristar 64 which does just that if you're interested though.

It's much the same story with the Saturn. It's slightly better off, in that it's already got a 68000 on board, and would only need the VDP, the Z80, and the two sound chips which had already been combined into a custom ASIC by that point. Mind you, it's a machine with a pretty high chip count already, and Sega were already having to run much tighter margins than their competitors so it would have made for a bold inclusion.

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outdated_gamer
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by outdated_gamer » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:41 pm

N64 was totally different to SNES in terms of architecture and everything, only common thing they had was the use of cartridge media. NES compatability on SNES would make more sense, but I guess the NES was still a good seller when the SNES was already out. They made the trade-off by making the "Super Game Boy" that ran colour-enhanced GB games on the SNES. A fun fact is that the SNES was too slow to emulate the GB so they actually had to include to original GB hardware inside the cartridge for it to work. "Game Boy Player" for the Cube was similar in it's GBA games support which to me indicates that they always wanted to merge their home console and handheld console, hence the Switch.

The Saturn wouldn't have needed to flop as bad as it did in the West btw, they could've opted for cheaper and more 3D oriented hardware and make better deals with 3rd parties. I've heard SGI almost made a deal with Sega back then, but they declined the offer and they went to Nintendo instead so the Saturn could have nearly ended with N64's hardware inside it. Now combine that with a CD drive and better development tools and you could have your "Model 2 quality" Arcade ports on the Saturn.

Edit: looks like Matt_B beat me to it but the point is valid

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The Laird
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:39 am

Matt_B wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:38 pm
It's much the same story with the Saturn. It's slightly better off, in that it's already got a 68000 on board, and would only need the VDP, the Z80, and the two sound chips which had already been combined into a custom ASIC by that point. Mind you, it's a machine with a pretty high chip count already, and Sega were already having to run much tighter margins than their competitors so it would have made for a bold inclusion.
I think the MD hardware had been cost reduced enough by this stage to make it more than viable and, like you say, there was already a 68000 in there too.

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lavalyte
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by lavalyte » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:15 am

C64: 2mhz CPU.
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The Laird
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by The Laird » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:56 am

Atari 8-bit - I would have liked the machine to have had a mode that offered at least 16 selectable colours on screen at any time (not fixed gradients of the same colour). It was bad that a machine with such a huge palette was so limited in the ways it could display these colours without using PMG overlays, vblank interrupts or other tricks. Multi-colour sprites would have been nice too actually.

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GarryG
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by GarryG » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:41 pm

I'd like to change the VIC 20 to come with a bitmaped graphics mode as standard, which would probably mean more memory as well.
Why not visit my ramblings at Garry's Gaming Blog

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Matt_B
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Re: Change one thing?

Post by Matt_B » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:28 pm

GarryG wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:41 pm
I'd like to change the VIC 20 to come with a bitmaped graphics mode as standard, which would probably mean more memory as well.
Yeah, it's fundamentally a memory issue. You can do bitmapped graphics on an unexpanded VIC-20 but it leaves you with very little RAM for anything else, and if you want to do it from BASIC you can't use the full screen.

Coming with a full 16K of RAM as standard would have allowed the VIC chip to work to its full potential. However, static RAM was rather expensive at the time and the ethos behind the design was to deliver the cheapest possible computer, so something had to give there.

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Re: Change one thing?

Post by English Invader » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:50 pm

davyK wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:57 pm
RGB SCART on N64.

Dreamcast - battery the same as Saturn.
I recently tried my N64 out on my flatscreen through composite and it was virtually unplayable (Wave Race was an absolute travesty). It really came as a surprise that a console from the mid-late 90s could be as CRT-dependant as an Atari 2600.

Why would you want to do away with the VMU on the Dreamcast (one of the coolest features of the system) for a lithium battery that keeps failing and takes all your game saves with it?

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Re: Change one thing?

Post by kiwimike » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:59 am

Tricky!

Better sound on the Spectrum perhaps.

I think I would have loved to have seen a Vectrex with a colour monitor! :)

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