I'd say that it amazes me that you could write such an incredibly long paragraph like this and think it's not biased, but I'm really not amazed. It isn't your fault either, bias is inevitable. I like the Genesis because I like the games I can play on it. I also own a DUO/R and SNES that I keep hooked up to the same television at all times. I find them all to have strengths and weaknesses that affect certain game types in most cases. Because I have found this, I am by definition biased. You cannot escape this either, especially with the unreasonable statements you have so fragrantly made above.
Don't confused having an opinion with being biased. You're using composite to defend a system against criticism of its graphics. You're using is as a crutch to say, "Hey, it wasn't meant to be viewed on an emulator 20 years later". Bullshit. Genesis/Megadrive came with RGB as an option from day one. Not only was it a valid option, it was used by quite a bit japanese and european users. If the system ONLY had composite output, then you'd have a basis for an argument. I hold PCE to the same standards, even though there were not official RGB cables and it also required
an AMP to have a usable output. I don't make any handicap for the PCE. Nor do I for the SNES. So really, who's being bias in their comparison.. hmm?
I actually can. In the comparisons I am working on right now, including Lunar 1+2, Vay, Puggsy and Fink for Sega CD, I can see numerous artistic choices that included very obvious dithering that I cannot see the artist choosing if he/she were aiming for an HDTV or PC monitor. I say this because other scenes very obviously use other artistic approaches to make color selections as low as 16 look like a portrait. So, if we were comparing apples to apples instead of apples to watermelons, the obvious limitations of Megadrive games' palettes would *not* be so obvious.
Really? You've never
seen dithering to expand gradient on any other system that had RGB/monitor output put!? I find that hard to believe. Also, the dithering is there BECAUSE of the limitations of the subpalettes. Whether you think it's ONLY for composite output or not, is irrelevant. It serves the same purpose be it RGB monitor or composite or whatever. You really need to look at some Japanese PC games.
Dither serves two purposes. One is to add texture to an image. This is pretty apparent when it's used in this way. It DOESN'T lower the horizontal res when used in this method. The other use is to created the illusion of more detail in color. And it DOES reduce horizontal resolution (because you need two pixels to appropriate a single color). Genesis don't hold the monopoly on the second case, but it has have much more frequent use because of the DIRECT limitation of only having four
subpalettes on a 4bit
graphics system. PCE games also have examples of the second method.
I'm beginning to think you don't know what you're looking at or looking for.
Are you being serious? A single background limited to 8x8 tiles is limited to 16 palettes, and the sprites are limited to another 16 palettes. I presume that the total palette is indeed made up of 512 unique colors, but with this limitation between the background layer and sprite layer (not even including my theory about ROM size) I can see why no PCE/TG16 game, in your experience, exceeds 128 colors simultaneously. In my experience no PCE/TG16 game exceeds the mid 90s, but I have not played and taken screenshots of them all.
So what if it's not all for the BG layer? Are you daft? Do you not see sprites moving around on the system. Did you NOT understand about I and some others have mentioned about EXTENDING the Genesis VDP for the sprites to use their OWN 4 subpalettes? No different from that. Just because the sprites have their own separate 16 subpalettes that, somehow makes them less applicable? Jesus man, you need to get some experience with graphics so you'll understand this concept -_-;
Because RAM costs money, and you are asserting that the relative lack of RAM (or an extra chip?) for color palettes on the MD/Genesis is "inexcusable". With how detail oriented you are, I am really surprised that you would ask me this question again.
Let see.. just to put this back into context..
The PCE has 8KB of RAM and 64KB of VRAM, for a total of 72KB (totalled only for cost purposes). The Megadrive has 64KB of RAM and 64KB of VRAM for a total of 128KB of RAM. Since I have no knowledge otherwise, I will assume that each byte of RAM cost the same between the two systems, and between the system's RAM and VRAM. The Megadrive has 1.777 times the RAM that the PCE has.
You: doing exactly what you said you understood was not accurate. Me: calling you out on it. You: merging what I said with something else that I said to try to prove... some sort of point (looks like you trying to cover your butt or something). I don't see how system ram has anything to do with onboard IC palette ram. Let alone what this has to do with your original incorrect logic.
I only know that every Genesis owner that I have talked to considers it so, and every game magazine article, in the UK and US, makes sure to mention it. What do you consider of the PS2, PS3 Wii and Xbox 360's backward compatibility?
Go over to Sega-16 and take a poll that asks if any Sega fan or just Genesis gamer in general, would have bought the Genesis/Megadrive if it DIDN'T have BC BITD. I think you'll get a huge majority response saying that SMS compatibility was a non factor. It goes without saying, people aren't interested in playing the last gen games when something new and exciting is there and accessible. 360 doesn't have BC, it has recompiled cores and no, it didn't make a lick of difference. Same on the PS2 with PS2. How many people do you think bought a PS2 thinking, "Wow, I can play crappy looking PS1 games! Woohoo!". Wii is the exception to the rule.. for the very fact that the system isn't a new console. It's a slightly upgraded Gamecube with a new controller interface. So not really relevant. PS3, same as the other systems. The difference from SMS to Genesis was fricking HUGE. I don't know of anyone that wanted to play SMS games when at the time Genesis games were soooo exciting in every
category. I don't care what the magazines reported or listed. No one cared. Heh - you might have half a point if the Genesis was NES BC (because 8bit Megaman was still popular in the 16bit era)
So you would say that the additional RAM for more palettes was worth more to consumers at any point during the MD/Genesis life cycle than SMS compatibility was. How would you prove this?
Easy. 1) See above response. 2) A lot of Genesis fans were insecure about the systems "color" capability early on (relative to it's life span). The Super Famicom, even before it made its appearance, being shown in magazines and such - was clearly showing the lack of "colors" on the Genesis. Coupled with magazines (namely EGM) constantly mentioning the limited "colors on screen" amount of the system. It was there. All my friends talked about it. And it became very
when the SNES was released in '91 (which is 4 years before the death of the system). Ignoring all the detail and color range increase it would have provided upon initial release (giving the quality of softs and what they were already showing). Should I mention the PCE was already out a year before the Genesis? I can't believe this even needs to be discussed (again!). Ugh.
Why does the PCE-TG16 not use FM sound then? Why do the MD/Genesis or TG16, moreover, not use the SNES approach of an all ADPCM system? I think it's because technology advances, becomes cheaper, and otherwise changes every six months. As for the Z80, nearly all of the arcade systems from the 80s used it, and nearly all of the 68000 based systems had it as a coprocessor of some sort. There must be a reason why.
Yeah, backwords compatibility. You think the Amiga needs a z80 to do music? Hahaha - do you really think the PCE has no FM because it lacks a z80??? If NEC has built the PCE, it would have had an FM chip without a doubt (ALL their computers used FM chips). So you'd have to ask Hudson why they didn't go with one. The CD unit, released in '88 the same year as the Megadrive - didn't use a FM chip because CD audio was perceived as a bigger upgrade in audio/music (as an option). Arcade systems are NOT home consoles. Their video setups are incredible in comparison and they spent money on hardware with a totally different mind set. Trying to link the two is ridiculous. That X68000 machine completely blows away the Genesis in every category and yet... totally lacks a z80! The z80 was there in the Megadrive for backwards compatibility. Because they gave the option for the 68k to memory map in sections, doesn't allude to this fact.
ADPCM has almost nothing to do with the SNES synth system. It's just the format of the wave form. Nothing else. And the PCE is pretty similar to the SNES. It uses PCM waveforms just like the SNES. It's just that the PCE is limited in size of the waveform in comparison to the SNES (of things being relevant to the audio system). SNES is sample based synth, PCE is Tiny sample based synth. Or as a few pce coders nicknamed it WSG (as some japanese docs/mags have reference it as). But, audio isn't part of this topic, so I'll leave it at that.
My main point was that both systems aimed to be relatively compatable/capable of working with the previous generation of hardware/software *and* arcade games. That is opposed to the idea that I keep hearing you and others say, that Sega (in particular) should have designed a system that would look acceptable (without filters) in emulation twenty years down the road. Despite your and my bias on the subject, I sincerely doubt that displaying these games on a computer monitor ever crossed these company's collective minds.
You doubt? Umm.. the system has RGB out on the back as a valid option. Japanese gamers had access to RGB TVs. European users had access to RGB TVs. US gamers did have the option as well. Even game mags took pics of RGB out. I mean, there's soo much information to support that clean RGB was a viable options directly from the console and the designers who put it there. I don't see how you can say otherwise. That's retarded.
Backward compatibility became the standard in the industry, regardless of your opinion of its importance.
BC is a whole 'nother discussion altogether we don't need to get into. But it's funny how you're trying to link BC nowadays to that of Genesis and SMS. PS1 and PS2, both had extremely successful
runs. And you're comparing the pathetic sales of the SMS with that. That's just absurd by itself.
What? I thought the Z80 and the VDP were on the same chip!??? Just kidding. I was throwing out random examples, anticipating you wanting to carve the system up arbitrarily so it could still be "inexcusable" to not add more CRAM.
Well, I don't believe you >_>
RAM on the carts raises the average cart cost and severely limited the sell through of games. I've also seen several executive interviews where they said they had *no idea* if costs would come down *in time* for them. These machines were huge gambles no matter how you look at it.
Well, they're retarded. How was ram ever going to go back UP in price permanently? Every single piece of past history pointed to ALL ICs going down in price. Cost of production, yields, etc.
So I take it you think from year to year all hardware costs came down, and none went up? That's a big assumption.
Duh. If you look at anything in the short term, you're bound to see fluxuations. I don't think 1 year was an expectation of the systems life? I don't why this is even an issue. If price wasn't an issue, then there would be more ram on the system - no? I'm not sure where you're going with this. I stated the problem to the issue was easily addressable. Famicom/NES had been doing this for years on there carts/systems. It only had 2k of system ram. Very popular to have 8k additional on the cart. SNES went even farther with added processor on the cart (SA-1, the rest were just DSP with a hardcoded rom to act as a math processor/peripheral only). 8-24k more than is a cheap fix for the problem on the PCE. SNES, more expensive fix (though still viable). Genesis issue? Not fixable. Can't get any more easier to understand than that.
Right, our opinions weigh the same on this matter, and you don't know the "vast majority" opinion. The only facts are that Sega included SMS compatibility, and NEC did not, which opens up the whole cost discussion. Our individual experiences are only anecdotal evidence, which people can accept or toss out as irrelevant and be just as correct.
Well, at least I've seen more than just the opinions of my friends and school. I've seen this discussed on forums. That's more representative than your end. Never mind the logic of it all. You're trying to justify the expense of SMS BC. Tell me, was it worth the trade off for lower subpalettes? Was it?
Actually, my opinion is that the actual console output almost entirely alleviates the color issue from a gaming (i.e. not developer) perspective. The cost discussion lends context to the relative lack of colors on the Megadrive, which you did not provide before pronouncing it "inexcusable". The way you paint it one would assume Sega had a bunch of monkeys engineering the system and the decision to include more colors was just right their with no other considerations against it. When I pointed out those considerations, you dismissed them, and yet their existence contradicts your assertion.
Hook it up to a RGB monitor and get back to me on that first part
As for the second part.. reread this thread a few times over? I don't see how short changing the Megadrive VDP isn't inexcusable in any way, relative to the era, relative to the previous generation, relative to the new comer PCE. >_>
No it doesn't increase the actual colors, but it does have a function, which is what I was pointing out. We both agree that cutting S&L out would not have freed up enough cost to add RAM, I was just pointing out that it is better to have it *in the Megadrive* than to not have it.
Uh, yes it does. S/H hardware and just.. logic by itself, DOES increases the color count. I don't understand how you cannot understand this. It increases the color count, but not detail. Yes, having S/L is better than nothing. But again, along the same lines as the z80 for PCM. It's a poor work around for a much better method. You keep switching back and forth on S/H. S/L doesn't make up for the missing subpalettes like you've suggest it might be used. And no one said simply cutting S/L would be enough to cover the cost for more palette ram. But accumulation of cuts in hardware for more palette ram, S/L should be one of them. S/L isn't exactly cheap. It's not like some line changing thing. It's complex based on priority and layers and combing logic (which needs to run in parallel. I.e. not cheap either).
You completely misunderstood me. I know the PCE doesn't have the effect and so must swap palettes. I was pointing out that certain screens darken and lighten to *to the same effect* in PCE games. Thus the effect had a use in the games.
I'm not sure of the relevance of that, but ok...
This and other examples actually begs a question you are not addressing. With all of the extra palettes "available", why did developers choose to not use them? Your Final Fight and Street Fighter examples expose something that disagrees with your assertion that colors matter as much as you are trying to make them.
Wait, how does that disagree with my point? I thought I was pretty clear. I'm probably repeating myself again
for the 6th or 7th time, color count doesn't NOT direct equate to detail in a subpalette system. You asserted this, not me. I've been trying to prove otherwise. Final Fight 35 color VS 36 color proves just this. 1 color difference in count, but almost twice that in detail via color. The SegaCD shot could have had even more colors, like 40-45. It still wouldn't equal that single bitmap color system. I spent I don't know how many hours explaining, providing examples, posting pics, etc - just to show you how the two different systems effect detail. I honestly don't know what else to say to you to make you understand the fallacy of just counting colors (among some of the other illogical assumptions you've made. Like two more subpalettes on the Genesis would equate to the PCE or SNES using 96 colors. That's just ridiculous).
ACD Strider doesn't look as colorful or animate as well as the 8Mb Genesis Strider cart, Riot Zone SCD doesn't look as colorful or as animated as its arcade counterpart or Final Fight CD. Did the developers just not have the competence to make a game for the PCE, Capcom and Westone, really?
Don't lump two different games together. I
looked at both games at a low level. I make notes as to what each games is doing. Hell, I've looked at a lot more PCE games than just those two. Why? Because when I eventually got around to coding for the PCE, I was shocked as to why certain things weren't taken advantage of - like on the other systems. I traced through code, cracked compression schemes, etc. I didn't just compare Riot Zone to Final Fight and make some sort of assumption. I did a hell of a lot more than that.
It seems like you're questioning every explanation I have, but without any knowledge on the subject? Why are you so skeptical of me? I've put hundreds and hundreds of hours in coding for console, even just for the PCE. My findings aren't idle speculation. Forgive the analogy, but it's like explaining the in depth mechanics behind an gasoline combustible engine to a layman. And then having my knowledge questioned by that same person. It's annoying. You want answers, I gave you answers. Except you're just cherry picking what you want out of it, and ignoring the rest as it suits you. If you don't trust what I have to say, then I've wasted yours and mine time, and aren't really interested in the truth - just justification for defending whatever your opinion is (matter of fact, a hew your opening threads/post have pretty clearly pointed to this).
If you really want some answers, learn to code for yourself. Learn to trace through the games as I have and understand the logic as I have. Else, observation and speculation means little. You're comparison site isn't going to dither from other inaccurate sites (which we coders tend to snicker at). I'm sick of having to repeat myself and/or having my findings and facts discarded with illogical conclusions or whatnot. I'm wasting my time. You've seen what the PCE can do and the explanations I have given. You really think Strider is a victim hardware limitations? You know what, I am done wasting my time explaining things and discoveries. Someone else can chime in and you can cherry pick what you want from that. Trying to explain technical things to non technical knowledgeable people has got to be the most frustrating thing in life...