Sega System 1 is a type of arcade hardware used in various Sega arcade machines from 1983 until 1987. For most of its run it coexisted with Sega System 2 (1985–1988) and as a result had many similar features (the only major difference being that System 2 had two separate circuit boards instead of one). In its four-year span it was used in some 20 different arcade games, including Choplifter, Flicky, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, Wonder Boy, and Wonder Boy in Monster Land. System 2 is an updated version of the System 1.
The Sega System 16 is an early 16-bitarcade system board released by Sega in 1985. Over its lifespan, roughly forty games were released on this hardware, making it one of Sega's most successful arcade platforms. It was produced in two variants, the System 16A and System 16B. Some games released using this hardware include: Shinobi, Golden Axe, Altered Beast, and Dynamite Dux.
In order to prevent piracy, as well as illegal bootleg games, many System 16 boards used an encryption system. A HitachiFD1094 chip, containing the main CPU as well as the decryption key, was used in place of a regular CPU.
The System 16's pairing of a Motorola 68000 CPU and a Zilog Z80 coprocessor would prove to be a popular and durable arcade hardware configuration well into the 1990s. Capcom's CPS-1 and CPS-2 boards were built on a similar foundation, as was SNK's Neo Geo hardware. Sega would later use the 68000/Z80 combination to power its Genesis/Mega Drive home console.
The System 24 used two Motorola 68000 processors at 10 MHz. One was for input/output, while the other was used by the game. The board holds 1360 kB of RAM and 256 kB of ROM. It was the first Sega arcade system that required a medium resolution arcade monitor. The color palette is 4352 on screen selectable from 32,768, or with shadow & highlight, 16,384 on screen selectable from 98,304. The system could support up to 2048 sprites on-screen at once.
Sound was driven by a YM2151 at 4 MHz; it was capable of delivering 8 channels of FM sound in addition to a DAC used for sound effects and sampling. Early System 24s loaded their program from floppy disks. Games could also use hardware ROM boards to store games. No matter which storage device was used, a special security chip was required for each game an operator wanted to play.
Graphical capabilities: 128 sprites on screen at one time, 4 tile layers, 1 text layer, 1 sprite layer with hardware sprite zooming, translucent shadows, sprites of any height and length, row & column scrolling
Kyugo is an arcade system board released in 1984, co-developed with Japanese company Kyugo. It was used for three Sega games: Flashgal and Repulse in 1985, and Legend in 1986. It was also used by several other companies from 1984 to 1987.
The pseudo-3D sprite/tile scaling in Sega's Super Scaler arcade games were handled in a similar manner to textures in later texture-mappedpolygonal 3D games of the 1990s. Designed by Sega AM2's Yu Suzuki, he stated that his "designs were always 3D from the beginning. All the calculations in the system were 3D, even from Hang-On. I calculated the position, scale, and zoom rate in 3D and converted it backwards to 2D. So I was always thinking in 3D."
Sega OutRun is a 16-bit arcade system released in 1986 for the driving game Out Run (1986). It was also used for Super Hang-On (1987) and Turbo Outrun (1989). It is the second in Sega's Super Scaler series of pseudo-3D arcade hardware.
The Sega X Board is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1987. As the third in Sega's Super Scaler series of arcade hardware, it was noteworthy for its sprite manipulation capabilities, which allowed it to create high quality pseudo-3D visuals. This trend would continue with the Y Board and the System 32, before the Model 1 made true 3D arcade games more financially affordable.
The Sega Y Board is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1988. Like the X Board before it, the Y Board was known for its pseudo-3D sprite manipulation capabilities, handled by Sega's custom Super Scaler chipset.
Sprite pixels: 50 MHz video clock cycles, 833,333 (60 Hz) to 838,408 (59.6368 Hz) pixels per frame (262 scanlines), 3180 to 3200 sprite pixels per scanline, 397 to 400 sprites per scanline
The Sega Mega-Tech is an arcade system developed by Sega Europe in 1988. It is based on the Mega Drive/Genesisvideo game consolehardware, and more or less identical. Its operation ability is similar to Nintendo's PlayChoice-10, where the credits bought give the user a playable time period rather than lives (usually 1 minute per credit), and can switch between games during playtime.
A few things were omitted, such as the expansion hardware allowing for Sega Mega-CD or Sega 32X as these were not developed at this point, so would not likely be offered as an arcade expansion. The PCB for the Mega-Tech also includes the ability to display to a second monitor, which contains a list of the games installed in the machine and also displays instructions for controlling the game, 1 or 2 player information, and a short synopsis of each game. The second monitor also displays the time left for playing.
The Sega Mega-Tech system was soon replaced by its successor, the Mega-Play, a JAMMA based system. This system utilized only 4 carts instead of 8. This version also utilizes traditional arcade operations, in which credits bought are used to buy lives instead.
Sega's System 14, also known as System C and System C-2, is a JammaPCB used in arcade games, introduced in 1989. This hardware is based closely on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis hardware, with the main CPU, sound processor and graphics processor being the same, but with the addition of the Altera EPM5032 and Sega 315-5242 color encoder increasing the color palette. The CPU clock speed is slightly faster (8.94 MHz instead of 7.67 MHz), there is no Z80, and the sound chip is driven by the CPU. The DAC is also replaced by the NEC µPD7759, the same as the System 16 hardware. 17 known games were created for the System C-2 hardware.
There was another version of the System 32 hardware, called System Multi 32 or System 32 Multi, released in 1992. This was similar to the original, but had a dualmonitor display, a new NEC V70 processor at 20 MHz, a new Sega MultiPCM sound chip, more RAM, and other improvements. This was the last of Sega's Super Scaler series of pseudo-3D arcade system boards.
The Sega Model 1 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1992. It was Sega's first polygonal 3D hardware. The first game for the system, Virtua Racing, was designed to test the viability of the platform and was never intended to be released commercially, but it was such a success internally that Sega did so anyway.
However, the high cost of the Model 1 system meant only six games were ever developed for it, among them the popular fighting gameVirtua Fighter. Like the previous Super Scaler pseudo-3D arcade boards, the Model 1 3D arcade board was designed by Sega AM2's Yu Suzuki.
Designed by Sega AM2's Yu Suzuki, he stated that the Model 2's texture mapping chip originated "from military equipment from Lockheed Martin, which was formerly General Electric Aerial & Space's textural mapping technology. It cost $2 million to use the chip. It was part of flight-simulation equipment that cost $32 million. I asked how much it would cost to buy just the chip and they came back with $2 million. And I had to take that chip and convert it for video game use, and make the technology available for the consumer at 5,000 yen ($50)" ($85 in 2017) per machine. He said "it was tough but we were able to make it for 5,000 yen. Nobody at Sega believed me when I said I wanted to purchase this technology for our games." There were also issues working on the new CPU, the Intel i960-KB, which had just released in 1993. Suzuki stated that when working "on a brand new CPU, the debugger doesn't exist yet. The latest hardware doesn't work because it's full of bugs. And even if a debugger exists, the debugger itself is full of bugs. So, I had to debug the debugger. And of course with new hardware there's no library or system, so I had to create all of that, as well. It was a brutal cycle."
Model 2 has four different varieties: Model 2 (1993), Model 2A-CRX (1994), Model 2B-CRX (1994) and Model 2C-CRX (1996). While Model 2 and 2A-CRX use a custom DSP with internal code for the geometrizer, 2B-CRX and 2C-CRX use well documented DSPs and upload the geometrizer code at startup to the DSP. This, combined with the fact that some games were available for both 2A-CRX and 2B-CRX, led to the reverse engineering of the Model 2 and Model 2A-CRX DSPs.
The Sega Model 3 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1996. It was the final culmination of Sega's partnership with Lockheed Martin, using the company's Real3D division to design the graphical hardware. It was first unveiled at the 1996 AOU show. Upon release, the Model 3 was easily the most powerful arcade system board in existence, capable of over one million quad polygons per second and over two million triangular polygons per second. The hardware went through several "steppings," which increased the clock speed of the CPU and the speed of the 3D engine, as well as minor changes to the board architecture. Step 1.0 and Step 1.5 released in 1996, Step 2.0 in 1997, and Step 2.1 in 1998.
ST-V (Sega Titan Video game system) is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1994. Departing from their usual process of building custom arcade hardware, Sega's ST-V is essentially identical to the Sega Saturn home console system. The only difference is the media: ST-V used ROM cartridges instead of CD-ROMs to store games. Being derived from the Saturn hardware, the ST-V was presumably named after the moon Titan, a satellite of Saturn.
Multiple NAOMI boards can be clustered to improve graphics performance and to support multiple-monitor output. A special game cabinet for the NAOMI, NAOMI Universal Cabinet, houses up to sixteen boards for this purpose. Multiple-board variants are referred to as NAOMI Multiboard hardware, which debuted in 1999.
Sega's NAOMI Satellite Terminal Hardware infrastructure enabled developers to make games with multiple control terminals, so several people could sit and play a game that has one large screen. The Satellite Terminal Hardware links up to 10 NAOMI boards. Multi-terminal systems like this made use of Memory Card Reader and Dispenser (MCRD) technology. Derby Owners Club (2000) and World Club Champion Football (2002) are two applications of these technologies.
Some NAOMI titles read game data from a GD-ROM optical disc, which is also the Dreamcast's software medium. Game data can also be stored in a 168-megabyte bank of solid-state ROM. GD-ROM support requires a specialized DIMM board in addition to the GD-ROM drive. When the NAOMI powers-on, it copies data from the comparatively slow GD-ROM to the faster DIMM memory. Thereafter, the game executes entirely in RAM.
An evolution of the NAOMI hardware with superior graphics capabilities, the Hikaru was used for a handful of deluxe dedicated-cabinet games, beginning with 1999's Brave Fire Fighters, in which the flame and water effects were largely a showpiece for the hardware. The Hikaru hardware was the first arcade platform capable of effective Phong shading.
According to Sega in 1999: "Brave Firefighters utilizes a slightly modified Naomi Hardware system called Hikaru. Hikaru incorporates a custom Sega graphics chip and possesses larger memory capacity than standard Naomi systems. "These modifications were necessary because in Brave Firefighters, our engineers were faced with the daunting challenge of creating 3d images of flames and sprayed water," stated Sega's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Barbara Joyiens. "If you stop and think about it, both have an almost infinite number of shapes, sizes, colors, levels of opaqueness, shadings and shadows. And, when you combine the two by simulating the spraying of water on a flame, you create an entirely different set of challenges for our game designers and engineers to overcome; challenges that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to overcome utilizing existing 3D computers. Hikaru has the horsepower to handle these demanding graphic challenges with clarity, depth and precision." In addition, the Hikaru also uses two Hitachi SH-4 CPU's, two Yamaha AICA sound engines, a Motorola 68000 network CPU, and two PowerVR2 GPU's.
Since it was comparatively expensive to produce, and most games did not necessarily need Hikaru's extended graphics capabilities, Sega soon abandoned the system in favor of continued NAOMI and NAOMI 2 development.
NAOMI 2's graphics-assembly contains two PowerVR CLX2 GPUs, a PowerVR Elan chip for geometry transformation and lighting effects, and 2X the graphics memory for each CLX2 chip. (Each CLX2 has its own 32MB bank, as the CLX2s cannot share graphics RAM). Due to architectural similarities and a "bypass" feature in the Elan device, the NAOMI 2 is also able to play NAOMI games (except for The House of the Dead 2) without modification.
With the NAOMI 2, Sega brought back the GD-ROM drive. For both NAOMI and NAOMI 2, the GD-ROM setup was offered as an optional combination of daughterboard expansion known as the DIMM Board, and the GD-ROM drive itself. The DIMM board contained enough RAM to allow an entire game to be loaded into memory at start up, allowing the drive to shut down after the game has loaded. This heavily reduces load times during the game, and saves on drive wear and tear.
The Triforce is an arcade system board developed jointly by Namco, Sega, and Nintendo, with the first games appearing in 2002. The name "Triforce" is a reference to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series of games, and symbolized the three companies' involvement in the project. The system hardware is based on the Nintendo GameCube with several differences, like provisions for add-ons such as Sega's GD-ROM system and upgradeable RAM modules. The Triforce was initially believed to have twice as much 1T-SRAM as the Nintendo GameCube (48MB instead of 24MB), but this was disproven by a teardown analysis of a Triforce board.
A few versions of the Triforce exist. The first two are the Type-1 and Type-3 units, the former using an external DIMM board (same as used on the Naomi and Naomi 2) while the latter integrates this component inside the metal casing. A custom Namco version exists which only accepts custom NAND Flash based cartridges, which has a different Media board and supposedly different baseboard. These boards use the same metal case design as the Type-3 Triforce.
Since 2012, amateur applications have been released for the Nintendo Wii that enable this GameCube-derived console to run Mario Kart Arcade GP, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2, F-Zero AX and Virtua Striker 4 Ver.2006. Triforce can be emulated in software by Dolphin.
The Sega Chihiro system is a Segaarcade system board based on the architecture of the Xbox. The 733 MHz IntelPentium III CPU and the Nvidia XChip graphics processor are common to both, but the Chihiro has a different MCPX chip with unique bootloader keys. The main system memory, at 128 MB, is twice that of a retail Xbox. In addition to this memory, the Chihiro also has additional RAM used for media storage - this was initially 512 MB but is upgradable to 1 GB. When the system is booted, the required files are copied from the GD-ROM to the RAM on the media board.
Because the Chihiro and Xbox share the same hardware architecture, porting from the Chihiro is theoretically easier than porting from a different arcade platform. In practice, there are a number of challenges - the first being that the half-size main memory restricts the size of your working set and the second being that fetching assets from Xbox DVD drive is orders of magnitude slower than fetching them from the 512MB/1GB of RAM on the media board. These challenges are not insurmountable, though - for example, the Xbox release of OutRun 2 was able to retain the look and feel of the original arcade version.
The Sega Lindbergh standard universal sit-down cabinet uses a 1360 × 768 WXGA LCD display.
Aside from the standard Lindbergh system (Lindbergh Yellow), Sega developed a Lindbergh Red which includes the GeForce 7600gs and Lindbergh Blue system, which have different specifications. Some late Lindbergh Yellow games used a GeForce 7800 which the operator would need to install into the system replacing the original GeForce 6 series card.
The Lindbergh has been superseded by the Ring series (RingEdge and RingWide), so there will be no new arcade games developed for this system. The last game to run on Lindbergh was MJ4 Evolution.
The Ring series of arcade machines are also based on PC architecture. Initially announced models include RingEdge and RingWide. The 2 pieces of hardware have MicrosoftWindows Embedded Standard 2009 as their operating system, mainly so other third-party companies would find it easier to produce games for the system.
The RingEdge is the main console of the Ring Series. It has better graphics and larger storage than the RingWide. It sports a better graphics card than the Lindbergh system, allowing for a higher performance graphically, all while costing less to produce. The use of an Intel Pentium Dual-Core (1.8 GHz per core) processor delivers better performance than Lindbergh's Pentium 4 (3.0 GHz) processor. A solid-state drive greatly reduces wear-and-tear due to a lack of moving parts, and also has much higher transfer rates than a hard disk drive, leading to better performance and loading times. The Ringedge also supports 3D game capability.
The RingWide is more basic than the RingEdge, and only has 8 GB (CompactFlash) of storage, while RingEdge has a four times larger storage (because of the use of the RAM Drive and SSD). The RingWide will be used to run games that are less graphics-intensive and that require less high-end specifications in order to cut down costs. Sega also appears poised to be designing a streaming hybrid for use with household TVs, similar to OnLive from the system's hardware as evident from this patent issued by them on November 17, 2009.
The successor to RingEdge, RingEdge 2 unlike Sega's Naomi 2, is not designed to be a more powerful version of the original RingEdge board, it is simply a redesign based on newer hardware since the hardware of the original RingEdge board was going end of life. Games designed for the original RingEdge as well as the RingEdge 2 are completely interchangeable however they might have slightly better frame rates on the newer RingEdge 2 board due to some better specifications in some cases.
The "suicide battery" (System 18, System 16 and others) generally refers to an arrangement by which encryption keys or other vital data are stored in SRAM powered by a battery. When the battery dies, the PCB is rendered permanently inoperable, in the sense that there is no way to reprogram the RAM from within the PCB itself — hence the term "suicide". This can be considered a form of Planned obsolescence, as the PCB is rendered useless, and the owner will have to buy a new PCB or arcade machine.
^ abJoão Diniz-Sanches, ed. (November 2003). "Closer to the Heart". Edge. Bath: Future Publishing (129): 87. Aside from the three different base unites, the internal workings of the Mega Drive found itself in a choice of guises, including... Megatech (an eight-way arcade cabinet that played Mega Drive games), Mega-play (a JAMMA-compatible arcade cabinet with Mega Drive software on proprietary boards, similar to SNK's MVS)...