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tisurame
12-13-2011, 07:24 PM
When the Genesis was released in 1988, very few arcade boards at the time was able to produce the same video resolution (320x224). There are a lot of systems with a much better hardware but using a lower resolution, like Namco System 2 (288x224), Konami TMNT2 Based hardware (288x244) or Neogeo (304x224). The same could be said about the home consoles (SNES = 256x224).

Is there any technical reason for that?

Chilly Willy
12-13-2011, 07:54 PM
When the Genesis was released in 1988, very few arcade boards at the time was able to produce the same video resolution (320x224). There are a lot of systems with a much better hardware but using a lower resolution, like Namco System 2 (288x224), Konami TMNT2 Based hardware (288x244) or Neogeo (304x224). The same could be said about the home consoles (SNES = 256x224).

Is there any technical reason for that?

TV overscan. 320 pixels is NOT what you could see - overscan meant that of the 320 pixels, you might see 304 down to as little as 288 pixels, but it varied from TV to TV, so they allowed more with guidelines on where to keep the action and stats so that nearly all TVs showed all the "important" pixels. That same TV frame on 256 wide modes means you might see as little as 228 pixels - the same rules about overscan apply to all consoles. It's only with the advent of digital TV circuits and especially digital displays that overscan has dropped to almost nothing. You STILL lose several pixels on either side of the display on most TVs, even modern LCDs. If you know how to get into the service mode of the TV, you can adjust the overscan to a certain amount - perhaps even eliminate it altogether depending on the TV.

tisurame
12-13-2011, 09:30 PM
Hum. I don't think the overscan area eat that many pixels, and the overscan is much less prominent on the horizontal resolution. On the vertical resolution there are a lot of pixels hidden by the overscan area, but since Genesis games use x224 (and not x240), it's also a negligible problem.

For example, most PSOne games use 320x240. Then, a SDTV will only display 224 (vertical) pixels.

Overscan doesn't seem to be a valid reason. The SEGA arcade boards since the mid 80's started to use 320 pixels - so, I'm not sure why others companies did not do the same.

No doubt, with the resolution increase there is a huge impact in the viewable area of the game, and since most games are horizontal oriented, it makes much more sense to increase the horizontal resolution to 320 pixels and with that achieve a near perfect 4:3 aspect ratio. You can see a lot of arcade boards with multiple CPUs, sound chips and other crazy stuff - but using a resolution less than 320. So, I was wondering why.

Joe Redifer
12-13-2011, 10:11 PM
Overscan wasn't the reason. There was a giant border around all games (without exception) to account for that. But it would eat up a few pixels. I know that if you draw a perfect circle in a game that runs at 256x224 it will be horizontally stretched when viewed on a TV screen. This is why many SNES games look "fat". Compare Earthworm Jim, for example. Many, many SNES games are guilty of this. However if you draw a perfect circle in a game that has a 320x224 resolution, then you will get a very nearly perfect circle on the TV screen. 320x224 is closer to a square pixel version of a TV's aspect ratio. 256x224 does not use square pixels and that is taken into account during design as often as it should have been. Also, many games that were designed for 256-wide screens on other systems were squished inside a 320-wide screen ont he Genesis and given a status bar to make up for the extra screen real-estate it afforded like Devil's Crush/Dragon's Fury and Zombies ate my Neighbors. Also Blackthorne.

Chilly Willy
12-13-2011, 10:31 PM
Overscan wasn't the reason. There was a giant border around all games (without exception) to account for that. But it would eat up a few pixels. I know that if you draw a perfect circle in a game that runs at 256x224 it will be horizontally stretched when viewed on a TV screen. This is why many SNES games look "fat". Compare Earthworm Jim, for example. Many, many SNES games are guilty of this. However if you draw a perfect circle in a game that has a 320x224 resolution, then you will get a very nearly perfect circle on the TV screen. 320x224 is closer to a square pixel version of a TV's aspect ratio. 256x224 does not use square pixels and that is taken into account during design as often as it should have been. Also, many games that were designed for 256-wide screens on other systems were squished inside a 320-wide screen ont he Genesis and given a status bar to make up for the extra screen real-estate it afforded like Devil's Crush/Dragon's Fury and Zombies ate my Neighbors. Also Blackthorne.

Uh - no. 320x224 is NOT square, it's almost perfectly NTSC PAR (10:11). It's CLOSER to square than 256x224, but not so much that you can ignore the aspect ratio. It was as I said - overscan reduced the usable space on the screen, meaning you needed a slighter higher horizontal resolution to do more detailed images.

Joe Redifer
12-13-2011, 10:44 PM
It's CLOSER to square than 256x224
Yeah, that's pretty much exactly what I said:


320x224 is closer to a square pixel version of a TV's aspect ratio.

320 x 240 would be square, but the 320x224 area is not being stretched to the edges of the screen, so in development it can basically be treated as square pixels without much worry of distortion when the image is displayed on a TV screen. But your overscan explanation is common sense. The higher resolution, the more detailed the images. But it doesn't answer tisurame's original question. Lots of other game systems of the time which also worked inside the same overscan area predominantly used a lower resolution. Even the Neo Geo you can see a bit of black pillarboxing on many NTSC sets (though very, very slight). Overscan was not the reason for the 320 mode otherwise all systems would have 320. Genesis had a 256 mode as well.

I will accept that overscan IS the reason for the 224 instead of 240.

sheath
12-13-2011, 10:52 PM
The Genesis' 40 cell wide mode just adds another column of 8x8 cells. I assumed this didn't affect the sprite pixel aspect ratios at all unless the developer wanted it to.

j_factor
12-13-2011, 11:31 PM
Lots of old computers had a predominant resolution of 320 x 200, including the C128, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIgs, Tandy CoCo 3, and PC VGA in 256-color mode. I guess that was probably different in Europe.

Joe Redifer
12-14-2011, 03:29 AM
The Genesis' 40 cell wide mode just adds another column of 8x8 cells. I assumed this didn't affect the sprite pixel aspect ratios at all unless the developer wanted it to.

Basically, running a game in 320 mode does not mean you take a hit in the sprites nor do you gain anything from the sprites by running in 256 mode. The Genesis accommodates for the increase in resolution in 320 mode. As for their aspect ratios of course it changed. One is 256 pixels across and the other 320 pixels across all displayed in the same TV space.

Sik
12-14-2011, 04:26 AM
Basically, running a game in 320 mode does not mean you take a hit in the sprites nor do you gain anything from the sprites by running in 256 mode.
Um, actually yes... though the other way. The sprite limits are increased in H40 (320) mode. On the other hand, H32 (256) mode lets you get away with less pixels, which can be useful when you're really tight on memory usage.

sheath
12-14-2011, 07:28 AM
What I was asking without asking is if the sprites' aspect ratio changes between 32 Columns and 40 Columns. I think I know the answer to that question though because I've seen people talking about sprites getting stretched and needing to be redrawn for 320 wide mode.

Sik
12-14-2011, 07:57 AM
ALL pixels get stretched. The screen size remains the same, the pixel size change. Pretty much the same way as for different resolutions in computers.

sheath
12-14-2011, 08:25 AM
Is the background color that goes outside of the normal game screen considered part of the horizontal resolution?

Chilly Willy
12-14-2011, 12:36 PM
256 wide mode and 320 wide mode occupy the same space on the screen. All that changes is the width of the individual pixel. That means the in 320 wide mode, more pixels are visible and they are closer to square in aspect ratio. The "closer to square AR" is helpful with art, but not crucial as you can see from all the consoles that have 256 wide displays. The "more pixels are visible" is the REAL improvement since that means you can show more detail.


Is the background color that goes outside of the normal game screen considered part of the horizontal resolution?

No, but it technically should. Anything that is not part of the horizontal blank range should be considered the active line and therefore contribute to the horizontal resolution. TECHNICALLY, most "320" wide display modes are closer to 340 to 360 wide with the extra pixels not addressable and automatically filled with the background color. Now you're getting into the nuts and bolts of the VDP, so it will vary on the exact console, and sometimes revisions of the console.

Sik
12-14-2011, 01:21 PM
No, but it technically should. Anything that is not part of the horizontal blank range should be considered the active line and therefore contribute to the horizontal resolution. TECHNICALLY, most "320" wide display modes are closer to 340 to 360 wide with the extra pixels not addressable and automatically filled with the background color.
At this point you should probably just ditch the concept of resolution and use frequencies, considering how TVs have absolutely no concept of pixels at all. The idea of pixels is imposed by whatever generates the signal, not the display.


Now you're getting into the nuts and bolts of the VDP, so it will vary on the exact console, and sometimes revisions of the console.
Or in this case, even the pixel width can change within a given scanline... (and technically those shouldn't be even considered pixels, but rather VDP clock cycles)

Kamahl
12-14-2011, 01:36 PM
The genesis uses 320px because it's awesome.
(Honestly I have no idea, it's great that it does though).

sheath
12-14-2011, 01:47 PM
256 wide mode and 320 wide mode occupy the same space on the screen. All that changes is the width of the individual pixel. That means the in 320 wide mode, more pixels are visible and they are closer to square in aspect ratio. The "closer to square AR" is helpful with art, but not crucial as you can see from all the consoles that have 256 wide displays. The "more pixels are visible" is the REAL improvement since that means you can show more detail.



No, but it technically should. Anything that is not part of the horizontal blank range should be considered the active line and therefore contribute to the horizontal resolution. TECHNICALLY, most "320" wide display modes are closer to 340 to 360 wide with the extra pixels not addressable and automatically filled with the background color. Now you're getting into the nuts and bolts of the VDP, so it will vary on the exact console, and sometimes revisions of the console.

Okay, so the fact that I typically don't see the boarder color on my TVs and properly cut that section out when I make videos isn't lowering the resolution? That jives with the fact that when I record a 320 wide game and crop out the border the videos and pics are all 640x448.

Chilly Willy
12-14-2011, 03:38 PM
Okay, so the fact that I typically don't see the boarder color on my TVs and properly cut that section out when I make videos isn't lowering the resolution? That jives with the fact that when I record a 320 wide game and crop out the border the videos and pics are all 640x448.

D1 NTSC is 704x480 and goes from the end of the hblank for one line to the start of the hblank of the next line as well as from the end of the vblank to the start of the next vblank, summed over two fields. Consoles tend to output what is referred to as D1/2, which is 352x240. That has the exact same characteristics, going from blank end to blank start, but is 240p instead of 480i. 352x240 is exactly 4:3 for the display aspect ratio, taking into account that D1/2 pixels have a PAR of 10:11. If you calculate those values back, 320 wide with 4:3 DAR and NTSC PAR SHOULD give ~219 lines high, so the Genesis 320 has pixels just slightly wider or they merely accept that 224 will be a little taller than 4:3 just to keep the display height an even number of cells in height.

Black_Tiger
12-14-2011, 08:12 PM
Sega was an arcade game developer with current arcade hardware that ran at a resolution of 320 x 224 and previous arcade hardware that ran at 256 x 2224. Supporting those resolutions with their new console just made sense for porting their exclusive hit arcade games.

The Mega Drive was also brought in as competition for the PC Engine, which had games using a resolution of 336 x 240/224.

If anything, not supporting the 320 x 224 resolution would have been questionable. I'm guessing that all of the nice looking PCE games which only used the 256 x 224 resolution factored into Nintendo not bothering to go beyond that (for practical use) with the Super Famicom.

Curryman123
12-14-2011, 08:18 PM
The genesis uses 320px because it's awesome.
(Honestly I have no idea, it's great that it does though).

If that's the cause of blurriness than it's not awesome.

Chilly Willy
12-14-2011, 08:59 PM
Sega was an arcade game developer with current arcade hardware that ran at a resolution of 320 x 224 and previous arcade hardware that ran at 256 x 224. Supporting those resolutions with their new console just made sense for porting their exclusive hit arcade games.

The Mega Drive was also brought in as competition for the PC Engine, which had games using a resolution of 336 x 240/224.

If anything, not supporting the 320 x 224 resolution would have been questionable. I'm guessing that all of the nice looking PCE games which only used the 256 x 224 resolution factored into Nintendo not bothering to go beyond that (for practical use) with the Super Famicom.

This is almost certainly the real reason. :)

tisurame
12-14-2011, 10:12 PM
Well... But what are the disadvantages of using a higher resolution? I suppose it's just not a matter of choice, otherwise Nintendo would choose to also use 320x224 with the SNES.

sheath
12-14-2011, 11:07 PM
If I recall it depends a lot on the system bus speed, which is also usually dependent on the main CPU speed in some way. The SNES' DMA to its PPUs is also significantly slower than the Genesis' DMA to its VDP.

That is all in the nitty gritty engineering of the systems though. Nintendo obviously thought that more colors, the completely sample based sound chip, and Mode 7 more than made up for anything their competition could show. That is in fact how they marketed the SNES.

Sik
12-14-2011, 11:34 PM
Well... But what are the disadvantages of using a higher resolution? I suppose it's just not a matter of choice, otherwise Nintendo would choose to also use 320x224 with the SNES.
Um, takes up more memory? =P

And I guess Nintendo stuck to 256224 because that's what the NES used (even if they never implemented NES compatibility in the end). Note the SNES does have a 512-pixels wide resolution (though if I recall correctly it's faked by using blending, which is why the blending hardware isn't available in that mode).

Black_Tiger
12-14-2011, 11:51 PM
Well... But what are the disadvantages of using a higher resolution? I suppose it's just not a matter of choice, otherwise Nintendo would choose to also use 320x224 with the SNES.

Well, there are related pros and cons with various consoles, but they are simply related to resolutions, not a result of it. The Genesis can't shade as well or pack as much detail with the same variety of color as the other consoles, so the higher resolution helps with dithering and defining detail using fewer colors. The PC Engine can only line up 256 pixels wide worth of sprites per screen, so using its higher resolutions means less sprites on-screen than the Genesis. The SNES technically has higher vertical and horizontal resolutions, but I assume that they are also tied to various limitations (like interlacing) since they aren't commonly used.

If the SNES retained all of it's color abilities, but used a 320 pixel-wide resolution, it would take more memory to display the same proportionate amount of artwork per screen, so the lower resolution used in almost every SNES game keeps cart sizes smaller than if they ran in a higher resolution.

Kamahl
12-15-2011, 04:48 AM
If that's the cause of blurriness than it's not awesome.
It has nothing to do with the blurriness.

tisurame
12-15-2011, 04:03 PM
Well, there are related pros and cons with various consoles, but they are simply related to resolutions, not a result of it. The Genesis can't shade as well or pack as much detail with the same variety of color as the other consoles, so the higher resolution helps with dithering and defining detail using fewer colors. The PC Engine can only line up 256 pixels wide worth of sprites per screen, so using its higher resolutions means less sprites on-screen than the Genesis. The SNES technically has higher vertical and horizontal resolutions, but I assume that they are also tied to various limitations (like interlacing) since they aren't commonly used.

If the SNES retained all of it's color abilities, but used a 320 pixel-wide resolution, it would take more memory to display the same proportionate amount of artwork per screen, so the lower resolution used in almost every SNES game keeps cart sizes smaller than if they ran in a higher resolution.

OK. My main question is if the lack of colors from the Genesis hardware is somehow related with the higher resolution.

Cons = fewer colors
Pros = higher resolution

Is it safe to assume that?

Kamahl
12-15-2011, 04:11 PM
OK. My main question is if the lack of colors from the Genesis hardware is somehow related with the higher resolution.

Cons = fewer colors
Pros = higher resolution

Is it safe to assume that?
Nope, no relation in this case.
Now we could debate for ages about cutting corners in some places to add in others, but that wouldn't be directly related to the resolution.

Sik
12-16-2011, 01:22 AM
The lower amount of colors is directly tied to the low amount of memory, period. I guess this is because they tried to put CRAM on-die instead of having it separate (though having separate CRAM and color DAC could have potentially bumped up the price of the console quite a bit).

TrekkiesUnite118
12-16-2011, 09:37 AM
The lower amount of colors is directly tied to the low amount of memory, period. I guess this is because they tried to put CRAM on-die instead of having it separate (though having separate CRAM and color DAC could have potentially bumped up the price of the console quite a bit).

Did making CRAM a part of the VDP also make it impossible to put traces on the expansion port and cartridge port allowing for CRAM expansion? If it didn't I wonder how much more that would have cost to do.

Sik
12-16-2011, 09:58 AM
Did making CRAM a part of the VDP also make it impossible to put traces on the expansion port and cartridge port allowing for CRAM expansion? If it didn't I wonder how much more that would have cost to do.
No, given that all lines are available in the VDP (and some more... e.g. you can genlock two VDPs together). In fact, arcades based off the VDP use external CRAM and color DAC. They were probably just being cheap in this case =P

Curryman123
12-17-2011, 12:26 AM
It has nothing to do with the blurriness.
yeah....I figured later that I spat out some nonsense.

Tom M.
12-17-2011, 05:39 PM
TV overscan. 320 pixels is NOT what you could see - overscan meant that of the 320 pixels, you might see 304 down to as little as 288 pixels, but it varied from TV to TV, ...

Nonsence. Overscan has nothing to do with horizontal resolution, like 320 pixels on Genesis. Overscan is related to scanlines, so in case of Genesis, to 224 pixels in vertical resolution. If Genesis used 320x240 there would be a lot of TVs that wouldn't display the whole picture because 240 scanlines at 60 Hz is simply too much for normal 15 kHz TV set.

And why 320 pixels On Genesis and only 256 on SNES? Because Genesis :rock: does...

Sik
12-17-2011, 07:04 PM
Technically Sega reported that there was one row of tiles at the top and the bottom that weren't guaranteed to be visible on TVs... and that's for 224 lines, so basically 240 lines would have been a waste (the SNES doesn't have a 224 lines mode, so either you're stuck with reduced vblank time or you're forced to use raster effects to get that extra blanking time).

Chilly Willy
12-17-2011, 08:16 PM
Nonsence. Overscan has nothing to do with horizontal resolution, like 320 pixels on Genesis. Overscan is related to scanlines, so in case of Genesis, to 224 pixels in vertical resolution. If Genesis used 320x240 there would be a lot of TVs that wouldn't display the whole picture because 240 scanlines at 60 Hz is simply too much for normal 15 kHz TV set.

What are you, an idiot? Of COURSE there's such a thing as horizontal overscan!! Don't open your mouth if you haven't the vaguest idea what you're talking about. :hand: :shame:

Sik
12-18-2011, 04:50 AM
In the end both of you are wrong though because I really doubt Sega went with 320224 because of any overscan issues =P (in fact I think the only thing that may be even remotely related to that is the V28/V30 switch, given how it only works properly in PAL, which shows more lines)

Chilly Willy
12-18-2011, 12:23 PM
In the end both of you are wrong though because I really doubt Sega went with 320224 because of any overscan issues =P (in fact I think the only thing that may be even remotely related to that is the V28/V30 switch, given how it only works properly in PAL, which shows more lines)

If you believe the V28/30 switch is remotely related, then you MUST also believe the H32/40 switch is related, even if remotely, for the same reasons. :)

In any case, the SEGA Software Guidelines clearly state that games may not put important info into either the first or last columns of the display due to horizontal overscan. If you NEED 256 pixels for your display and they MUST be visible pixels, you have no choice but to run in H40 mode.

JDB
12-18-2011, 12:53 PM
it's because it has MEGA power

Sik
12-18-2011, 01:56 PM
If you believe the V28/30 switch is remotely related, then you MUST also believe the H32/40 switch is related, even if remotely, for the same reasons. :)
Not really. The V28/V30 switch affects the amount of space the rendering area takes up on screen (vertical size changes, pixel size remains the same), while the H32/H40 switch doesn't (horizontal size remains the same since the size of pixels change). In fact, you get overscan in both H32 and H40 modes.

Chilly Willy
12-18-2011, 08:28 PM
Not really. The V28/V30 switch affects the amount of space the rendering area takes up on screen (vertical size changes, pixel size remains the same), while the H32/H40 switch doesn't (horizontal size remains the same since the size of pixels change). In fact, you get overscan in both H32 and H40 modes.

Yes, but H40 gives you more VISIBLE pixels to mess with. That's the point. How they do it is immaterial.

Tom M.
12-18-2011, 09:18 PM
OK I admit there is also a horizontal ovescan, but what I was trying to say: that is not the problem. the problem is always scanlines vs refresh rate - that's where some TVs start not to display the whole picture even when you adjust them (unlike horizontal adjustments which are always doable!!!)...

Sik
12-19-2011, 05:24 AM
Yes, but H40 gives you more VISIBLE pixels to mess with. That's the point. How they do it is immaterial.
I said that V28/V30 was relevant to overscan because V28 in PAL does not have vertical overscan, while V30 does (as opposed to NTSC which always has vertical overscan). On the other hand, H40/H32 really doesn't affect horizontal overscan.

In the end they just probably added H40 mode because they just wanted a higher resolution, period.

synapse
12-19-2011, 07:57 AM
You guys got it all wrong. The Mega Drive had blast processing. Which means guts. Guts to feature a higher resolution. That's all ;)

Da_Shocker
12-19-2011, 11:25 AM
3 words

HIGH DEFINITION GRAPHICS!

Chilly Willy
12-19-2011, 01:00 PM
OK I admit there is also a horizontal ovescan, but what I was trying to say: that is not the problem. the problem is always scanlines vs refresh rate - that's where some TVs start not to display the whole picture even when you adjust them (unlike horizontal adjustments which are always doable!!!)...

Sorry I was rude about it. Not been having a good week. If you can get into the service mode, you can often adjust the overscan to make more/all of the video visible. I did that on my TIMM, which had SEVERE overscan by default.

kool kitty89
12-20-2011, 08:08 PM
The Genesis' 40 cell wide mode just adds another column of 8x8 cells. I assumed this didn't affect the sprite pixel aspect ratios at all unless the developer wanted it to.
It changes the resolution for the entire screen, all pixels will be narrower than in H32, though you also increase sprite bandwidth to compensate (you get 80 sprites on screen, 20 per line, and up to 320 pixels per line vs 64, 16, 256), though you still need more VRAM space (and ROM) to hold those higher res sprites. (otherwise you just get narrower sprites of the same resolution, like setting an emulator to square pixels for H32 games -which often looks better regardless of that since most games assume square pixels)

The PCE's higher res modes don't add to sprite bandwidth, so you're stuck with 256 pxels/16 sprites per line (and 64 on screen) in all modes, which is the main reason the high res modes were less popular. (sprites will be smaller and take up less of the screen -or have more flicker/drop-out -especially in 512 res)





Um, takes up more memory? =P

And I guess Nintendo stuck to 256224 because that's what the NES used (even if they never implemented NES compatibility in the end). Note the SNES does have a 512-pixels wide resolution (though if I recall correctly it's faked by using blending, which is why the blending hardware isn't available in that mode).
Both the PCE and MD supported the NES/SMS(etc) resolution too (5.37 MHz) but had higher res modes on top of that . . . so making the VDP resolution more programmable would have been the issue, not NES compatibility.

For most games and most TVs at the time, the higher res wasn't that big of an advantage, though having closer to square pixels is nice too (MD went too far for that really to be worthwhile in NTSC -though incidental the PAL/NTEC compromise is nice).

Given the SNES's master clock (21.48 MHz), that could conveniently be divided to 7.16 MHz, so a clock source wasn't an issue in this case either. (and the exact same resolution as the Amiga and PCE highres) Albeit that's no good for square pixels . . . where you'd really want ~6.25 MHz, and the lowest 5.37 MHz-compatible clock that comes close to that would be 32.22 MHz (dividing nicely to both 3.58 MHz and 5.37 MHz while offering 6.44 MHz too -slightly narrower than square, but pretty close and a slight benefit to PAL users too).






TV overscan. 320 pixels is NOT what you could see - overscan meant that of the 320 pixels, you might see 304 down to as little as 288 pixels, but it varied from TV to TV, so they allowed more with guidelines on where to keep the action and stats so that nearly all TVs showed all the "important" pixels. That same TV frame on 256 wide modes means you might see as little as 228 pixels - the same rules about overscan apply to all consoles. It's only with the advent of digital TV circuits and especially digital displays that overscan has dropped to almost nothing. You STILL lose several pixels on either side of the display on most TVs, even modern LCDs. If you know how to get into the service mode of the TV, you can adjust the overscan to a certain amount - perhaps even eliminate it altogether depending on the TV.
Overscan is only a factor for vertical resolution, but only percentage of horizontal resolution . . . actual horizontal resolution is virtually unlimited and mainly dependent on dot clock (though practically limited by composite video and RF -or other transmission- limits as well as beam precision and phosphor dot pitch).

The main issue here is dot clock, and that's what the Genesis had over many contemporaries with H40 (320 wide mode) which did indeed allow roughly 320 visible pixels on average TVs of the early 90s (some a bit less and some might actually show a bit of boarder -ie TVs with very tight calibration with no overscan or even overkill showing more overscan than normal NTSC screen spec -albeit the latter case usually only from custom calibration).
In the MD's case, this is 6.7 MHz vs the common 5.37 MHz of NES/SMS/SNES/PCE(lores) and MD H32 (among others -like the Colecovision and MSX).
The Neo Geo runs at 6 MHz and gives nearly square pixels in NTSC (only slightly wide), but only shows ~280 visible pixels on average TVs. (ie TVs that show just under 256 pixels at 5.37 MHz or just under 320 pixels at 6.7 MHz)

However, there were several computers/consoles prior to the MD that have higher dot clocks: the PC Engine has 2 higher res modes (7.16 and 10.74 MHz -the former being much more commonly used), the Amiga's lowest resolution was 7.16 MHz, the Apple II used 7.16 MHz (though only 280 pixels), CoCo used 7.16 MHz (but only 256 pixels), the A8 computers have a 7.16 MHz mode, the C64 has an 8 MHz mode (320 wide with a large boarder), Atari ST's lowest res is 8 MHz (320 pixels with a large boarder), etc. But, prior to the MD, only ST and Amiga games used higher resolutions than 5.37 MHz as routine (and, again, both are higher dot clocks than the MD -and the Amiga wasn't limited to 320 pixels like the ST so the added screen space could be nominally useful -otherwise you'd at least be guaranteed to have 320 pixels on-screen even on TVs with hefty overscan)


It's also interesting to note that the MD's H40 resolution at 6.7 MHz is a nice compromise for PAL and NTSC pixels in games that have square pixel art (ie both look a bit off, but are still reasonably close to square -hence Sonic being a wide oval in PAL and a tall oval in NTSC -unless you specially calibrate the monitor to show square pixels)
The Amiga (and PCE highres, etc) has almost square pixels in PAL, but very tall/narrow pixels in NTSC (though having the resolution at exactly 2x the NTSC color clock makes for fewer artifacts in composite/RF than more in-between resolutions in the same range on systems using similar video encoders . . . especially at higher dot clocks like the ST -though lower clocks also have issues as seen in the MD and Neo Geo -5.37 MHz seems to fare better though, perhaps as it's exactly 1.5x the NTSC colorburst)
The ST (and C64 highres) has even narrower pixels such that even in PAL they're a bit off (but much more so in NTSC . . . somewhat like pixels in VGA mode 13h with the monitor calibrated to stretch 320x200 to 4:3)




As to why the designs used those resolutions, that's really up to the engineers, both in terms of hardware limitations (memory capacity and bandwidth/speed and DAC speed, and convenient system clock rates -many systems used colorburst-centric timing) and concerns for video quality (possible artifacting at higher resolutions and pixel aspect ratio issues).

kool kitty89
12-20-2011, 08:41 PM
OK I admit there is also a horizontal ovescan, but what I was trying to say: that is not the problem. the problem is always scanlines vs refresh rate - that's where some TVs start not to display the whole picture even when you adjust them (unlike horizontal adjustments which are always doable!!!)...
Sorry I was rude about it. Not been having a good week. If you can get into the service mode, you can often adjust the overscan to make more/all of the video visible. I did that on my TIMM, which had SEVERE overscan by default.
Horizontal overscan is a consideration, but it isn't a limitation like vertical scan resolution/overscan . . . horizontal overscan (and screen calibration) ONLY affects the number of pixels visible at a specific dot clock/resolution output by the VDP. (and virtually unlimited -only practically limited by monitor quality/video transmission quality)

This is compared to vertical resolution which is fixed (on SDTVS usually ~224 lines or a bit less -or double that for interlace).

So it's really all about the dot clock the system uses (with overscan only limiting the section of the scanline that's actually visible -which is approximately 75% of H-time on most SDTVs, or a bit more than that on some older/cheaper sets -and less than that on sets with little/no overscan or custom calibration).
Hence why the MD's H40 is "320 pixels" in the same context that H32 (and SMS/NES/etc) is "256 pixels" (for 6.71 and 5.37 MHz dot clocks, respectively). That's also why the PCE's 7.16 MHz dot mode is listed as 344 pixels. (though many older systems also used that resolution with only 320 pixels or less and a sizable boarder -save for TVs with really excessive overscan- hence resolutions being labeled as less than 344 pixels . . . or possibly more than that too -though you'd need a monitor with tighter calibration to actually display that, like 360 pixels on the Amiga or A8 -albeit the C64 or ST's 8 MHz res could easily show 380 pixels on average TVs)





The lower amount of colors is directly tied to the low amount of memory, period. I guess this is because they tried to put CRAM on-die instead of having it separate (though having separate CRAM and color DAC could have potentially bumped up the price of the console quite a bit).
Didn't the PCE take that route exactly (a separate IC holding the CRAM and DACs -similar to RAMDACs used on VGA cards)
And a 12-bit RAMDAC with 128 CRAM entries (or 121 if you forced zero to always be transparent -with 1 color reserved for the window layer) you'd still probably have a substantially smaller chip than the PCE used (9-bit DACs with 512 CRAM entries -so 4608 bits of SRAM vs 1536 or 1452 bits for 128/121 12-bit entries)

Plus, that's also a design choice that could scale very well in the long run (when larger ASICs became cheap to make), and the pin count would also be significantly reduced too. (no need for external digital pixel output lines -just analog RGB)

Chilly Willy
12-20-2011, 08:49 PM
Overscan is only a factor for vertical resolution, but only percentage of horizontal resolution . . . actual horizontal resolution is virtually unlimited and mainly dependent on dot clock (though practically limited by composite video and RF -or other transmission- limits as well as beam precision and phosphor dot pitch).

Why do so many people here know NOTHING about TVs? TVs don't show the ENTIRE ACTIVE LINE, they show PART of the active line. The rest is overscan. TVs have ALWAYS had a variable amount that didn't show. This has NOTHING to do with pixel rates and dot clock or anything of the sort. It has EVERYTHING to do with the limitations of the CRT. Old tubes have problems with convergence near the edges of the TV... that is, ALL EDGES - not just the top and bottom, but the RIGHT AND LEFT EDGES AS WELL!!! Because of this, they not only don't show all the lines from top to bottom, they also cover the left and right edges of the lines they DO show to cover the mis-convergence. That is precisely why SEGA made a rule that any game that places important info (like lives or score) in the left or rightmost cell columns would be rejected out of hand. Many TVs won't show those columns due to HORIZONTAL overscan.

Is this really that hard to understand? You cannot see the whole screen - not just the top and bottom, but the sides as well. Anyone who has worked on TVs or computer monitors (like myself) will tell you this. The older the CRT, the more overscan the TV generally has. Modern CRTs have special deflection yolks and circuits to minimize convergence errors over a larger area of the display, but still have some. When they use overscan on LCD TVs, it's usually so that you see something similar to what you are used to on the older CRTs, but they've been doing less of that now that digital broadcast is the rule. My HDTV in the living room does overscan on "TV" inputs, but no overscan on the VGA input.

Sik
12-20-2011, 08:54 PM
MD went too far for that really to be worthwhile in NTSC
Eh?

Also something I'm surprised nobody had mentioned yet: PCs. Two common resolutions on PCs were 320200 and 320240. It's possible Sega was trying to aim for the latter (320224 is close enough, and in fact PAL effectively can do 320240).

kool kitty89
12-20-2011, 09:06 PM
Why do so many people here know NOTHING about TVs? TVs don't show the ENTIRE ACTIVE LINE, they show PART of the active line. The rest is overscan. TVs have ALWAYS had a variable amount that didn't show. This has NOTHING to do with pixel rates and dot clock or anything of the sort. It has EVERYTHING to do with the limitations of the CRT. Old tubes have problems with convergence near the edges of the TV... that is, ALL EDGES - not just the top and bottom, but the RIGHT AND LEFT EDGES AS WELL!!! Because of this, they not only don't show all the lines from top to bottom, they also cover the left and right edges of the lines they DO show to cover the mis-convergence. That is precisely why SEGA made a rule that any game places important info (like lives or score) in the left or rightmost cell columns would be rejected out of hand. Many TVs won't show those columns due to HORIZONTAL overscan.

Is this really that hard to understand? You cannot see the whole screen - not just the top and bottom, but the sides as well. Anyone who has worked on TVs or computer monitors (like myself) will tell you this. The older the CRT, the more overscan the TV generally has. Modern CRTs have special deflection yolks and circuits to minimize convergence errors over a larger area of the display, but still have some. When they use overscan on LCD TVs, it's usually so that you see something similar to what you are used to on the older CRTs, but they've been doing less of that now that digital broadcast is the rule. My HDTV in the living room does overscan on "TV" inputs, but no overscan on the VGA input.
I already know all of that and pointed it out several times in my last 2 posts. (among other things)

Horizontal overscan only affects how much of a scanline is visible, it doesn't limit the horizontal resolution (that's limited by the dot clock of the VDC -and practically limited by the quality of the analog signal and monitor being used).


You could easily have 1024 visible pixels on an SDTV at factory spec if the VDC supported a high enough dot clock (ie ~22 MHz) . . . though the pixels might not be clearly visible unless you used s-video or component (or monochrome composite) and had a decent quality/size TV.



For SDTVs, horizontal and vertical overscan are fixed factors for the most part (there's some variety from TV to TV, but a general defacto-standard for calibration that usually has overscan a bit beyond NTSC spec -hence ~224/448 lines rather than 240/480, and a proportionally "missing" part of the horizontal display too -the true spec intending approximately 80% of H-time to be active display)




Obviously, with manual/custom calibration, you could have a larger portion of a horizontal line visible (or less -like if you wanted an Atari ST or C64's display to fill the screen), but for standard TVs (and cheaper monitors without user-adjustable scan controls), you're stuck with the default calibration. (and hardware designers have to work around that -thus visible horizontal resolutions are limited by dot clock and maximum vertical resolution is totally fixed -aside from interlacing)

kool kitty89
12-20-2011, 09:22 PM
Eh?
I meant in terms of pixel aspect ratio for NTSC. (the MD's resolution is only very slightly closer to square than the common 5.37 MHz -on properly calibrated TVs)
The higher resolution is still advantageous in other areas, though with additional trade-offs. (namely memory usage and considerably greater composite video artifacting -though the latter can come in handy if you want to have blended/blurred pixels . . . though moire artifacts can still be a problem there too)

Given the SMS/MD 53.7 MHz master clock, it would have been interesting to see a VDP mode clocked at 1/9 that rate (5.97 MHz) which would be much closer to NTSC square pixels (and nearly identical to the Neo Geo) while obviously not pushing the VDP/VRAM speed any higher (opposed to 7.16 MHz, which would obviously need more bandwidth/speed).


Also something I'm surprised nobody had mentioned yet: PCs. Two common resolutions on PCs were 320200 and 320240. It's possible Sega was trying to aim for the latter (320224 is close enough, and in fact PAL effectively can do 320240).
320x240 wasn't common for PC games until the mid 90s (and by that point, much higher resolutions were common too), so 320x200 would be the only factor there

Plus, (IBM compatible) PC gaming was very niche/limited at the time the MD was being developed (and mainly limited to CGA/EGA/Tandy graphics and PC Speaker/Tandy sound) . . . unless you meant "home computers" in a more general sense than PC-compatibles, in which case there's much more to compare there. (including the high-end gaming computer in Japan at that point -the X68000- which had games usually running at 256x240 iirc, the much weaker but market-dominant NEC PC98 series with 640x400 with 16 indexed colors)


Plus, if you DID want pixel-accurate PC (or Amiga) type resolutions and aspect ratios, then you'd want a 7.16 MHz dot clock (or close to it) since CGA/EGA/Tandy games ran at that and VGA 13h normally has similar pixel aspect too. (unless you ran it at 60 Hz or manually adjusted the monitor)

Jorge Nuno
12-20-2011, 10:03 PM
Im not sure about this but I beleive MD's full line width (3420 master clocks, on H32 and H40) is chosen so that it remains an integer multiple of both NTSC and PAL color bursts (228 NTSC / 285 PAL bursts), meaning that color/Y artifacts resulting from compositing would remain stationary onscreen instead of moving to either side.

This would explain the odd EDClk division ratio, and rule out other crazy dividers like MClk/9 :U

On the other hand the 32X has a dedicated oscillator for color ruining this effort of line sync with the burst, and thus causing some "moving artifacts" on composite.

kool kitty89
12-21-2011, 01:24 AM
Im not sure about this but I beleive MD's full line width (3420 master clocks, on H32 and H40) is chosen so that it remains an integer multiple of both NTSC and PAL color bursts (228 NTSC / 285 PAL bursts), meaning that color/Y artifacts resulting from compositing would remain stationary onscreen instead of moving to either side.

This would explain the odd EDClk division ratio, and rule out other crazy dividers like MClk/9 :U
Do you mean that the dot crawl will remain consistent/solid from 1 line to the next rather than being staggered?

That doesn't seem to be the case for other platforms using 5.37 MHz dot clocks . . . (artifacts vary widely across the different systems, but the resolutions are all identical -TMS9918 derivatives, SMS, NES, MD, PCE, etc)


On the other hand the 32X has a dedicated oscillator for color ruining this effort of line sync with the burst, and thus causing some "moving artifacts" on composite.
Yet the 32x's video encoder shows fewer artifacts in general than any of the MD encoders, overall. (moire is MUCH less of an issue than on any encoder save the Samsung KA2195D and the picture is about as sharp as the best composite encoders on the MD -and much better than the KA2195D; the dot crawl seems a bit better too, but that's more TV dependent it seems -the blur is TV dependent to some extent too, though moire is not, though moire is usually not visible for H32 stuff and often not at all for PAL -presumably due to the higher color clock)

The dot crawl itself seems to be very similar on the 32x too. (and, unlike most contemporaries, present solely as vertical bars rather than checkerboard patterns -which IMO is preferable since you don't get swarming like with checkerboarding)

tisurame
12-22-2011, 09:07 AM
In the end, I really think the higher resolution is a great advantage compared to the SNES, for example. And it's something highly ignored when people talk about each system.

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/7106/reileaosnesmega.gif

As you can see, the higher resolution really affects the gameplay, since it gives you a wide view - unlike the color amount.

retrospiel
12-22-2011, 09:31 AM
Seems to me that Lion King was designed for MS-DOS PCs with 320x240 VGA in mind and then downgraded for Mega Drive (reduced colors) and SNES (reduced resolution). The MS-DOS version clearly was the best looking version of the game.

A comparable original Mega Drive game usually looks more colorful while graphic artists for an original SNES game take the low resolution into account when designing the graphics. If Lion King for SNES looks like on that comparison it would mean that the sprites appear stretched on TV.

Black_Tiger
12-22-2011, 01:06 PM
In the end, I really think the higher resolution is a great advantage compared to the SNES, for example. And it's something highly ignored when people talk about each system.

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/7106/reileaosnesmega.gif

As you can see, the higher resolution really affects the gameplay, since it gives you a wide view - unlike the color amount.

The resolution of a game only affects the view area when a game is ported without being re-proportioned. A Genesis game can also suffer when ported straight across from a different resolution.

kool kitty89
12-22-2011, 10:32 PM
Seems to me that Lion King was designed for MS-DOS PCs with 320x240 VGA in mind and then downgraded for Mega Drive (reduced colors) and SNES (reduced resolution). The MS-DOS version clearly was the best looking version of the game.

A comparable original Mega Drive game usually looks more colorful while graphic artists for an original SNES game take the low resolution into account when designing the graphics. If Lion King for SNES looks like on that comparison it would mean that the sprites appear stretched on TV.
Don't forget the Amiga version too. (not sure how the AGA version compares to the DOS game though . . . the music should be nearly identical though, like Aladdin -since the PC game uses MOD music . . . though the Amiga version seems to cut out music channels for SFX while the PC version doesn't -also note that some of Virgin's earlier games used Aldlib/OPL FM sound -rather poorly- like with Jungle Book -which sounds notable worse than the mediocre GEMS based MD version ;) -the case for pretty much all other GEMS games too that had Adlib PC counterparts)

The DOS game runs at 320x200 (standard VGA mode 13h), not 320x240 . . . which probably means most PC gamers had the graphics all stretched (since 13h normally gets displayed in 4:3 without a boarder in 70 Hz VGA -you could manually calibrate the monitor or drop to 60 Hz for square pixels and letterboxing though).



The resolution of a game only affects the view area when a game is ported without being re-proportioned. A Genesis game can also suffer when ported straight across from a different resolution.
True: a better example would be with a game optimized with modified graphics in 2 different versions with both scaled to the appropriate TV aspect ratios. (if we did that with Lion King, things would look "too wide" on the SNES, but also "too tall" on the Genesis -unless you aimed at PAL, then both would be too wide, but the SNES horribly so)
The Amiga version would probably look just about right in 50 Hz PAL though. (almost square pixels)

j_factor
12-23-2011, 09:00 PM
Also something I'm surprised nobody had mentioned yet: PCs. Two common resolutions on PCs were 320200 and 320240. It's possible Sega was trying to aim for the latter (320224 is close enough, and in fact PAL effectively can do 320240).

I did mention that, on page 1. Kthnx. 320x240 wasn't that common, though.

Tom M.
12-29-2011, 04:10 AM
320x240 would make more sence than 320x224 but as it was said, overscan troubles at 60 Hz... 50 Hz would be fine but stupid America and Japan... thanks god for ZX Spectrum and its 256x192 - fully "square pixels" 4:3 display as it should be...

Tom M.
12-29-2011, 04:17 AM
horizontal overscan (and screen calibration) ONLY affects the number of pixels visible at a specific dot clock/resolution output by the VDP. (and virtually unlimited -only practically limited by monitor quality/video transmission quality)

This is compared to vertical resolution which is fixed (on SDTVS usually ~224 lines or a bit less -or double that for interlace).

Yup, 224 scanlines / 60 Hz is a safe maximum for home TVs. But if you get yourself a genuine 15 kHz (or multisync) CRT arcade monitor like Wells Gardner D9500 :sonic:, you can easily get full 240 scanlines at 60 Hz. That's why I always say: do not bother with consumer scart TVs for MAME, get yourselves specifically designed arcade monitors because they can handle pretty much every 15 kHz resolution of any video game...

kool kitty89
12-30-2011, 04:39 AM
320x240 would make more sence than 320x224 but as it was said, overscan troubles at 60 Hz... 50 Hz would be fine but stupid America and Japan... thanks god for ZX Spectrum and its 256x192 - fully "square pixels" 4:3 display as it should be...
As far as pixel shape is concerned, overscan is a non-issue. What matter's is the NTSC standard resolution/calibration for the overall horizontal and vertical scan/picture shape. (ie, a TV may show more or less overscan, but the actual shape of the image should be nearly identical -just with more or less lost in the boarder)

As such, you could get square pixels extremely consistently on any TV, you just need the right pixel clock. For NTSC this is approximately 6.25 MHz, which gives roughly 298x224 pixels on TVs with average overscan (320x240 on TVs with perfect NTSC calibration and zero "extra" overscan -or custom calibration to show even more of the boarder).
You'd need double that rate for interlaced displays. (so 12.5 MHz and ~594x448i)

However, you wouldn't get square pixels with PAL TVs at that same dot clock.


Again, the Neo Geo uses 6 MHz, which is pretty close to that but not quite there (closer than either of the Genesis's resolutions). It will also be limited to roughly 286x224 on average TVs. (worse on some, better on others)

Jay See Double You
03-14-2013, 10:59 AM
Okay, so leave it to me to be looking for one piece of info, find nothing of value at all on google but a long dead thread on Sega-16 where people much more knowledgeable than myself are talking about something close to but not quite what I'm asking, and then have me come along with my semi-related (and comparatively basic) question, hoping to have someone like kool kitty masterfully answer my question (this just happened a few days ago with a question about FM approximated square wave tones, and kool kitty was awesome about it).....well, here we go again:

Let me start out by just stating the facts as best I understand them, then I'll leave myself open to correction about them:

SNES/SFC had the theoretical capability of running in 256x224 or 512x448, yet all but never used the higher mode for static images, and absolutely never did for actual game play. The sluggish CPU in the SNES was often suspected as the cause for the lack of high res support, but it actually had more to do with an issue in the PPUs (unclear on what that issue was) - in other words, 256x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.

Genesis/MD had the theoretical capacity of running in 256x224 or 320x224, and actually ran on both depending upon the game, but usually ran in the higher of the two - in other words, 320x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.

Neo Geo had the theoretical capacity of running in 304x224 or 320x224, and actually ran both depending upon the game, though it usually ran in the lower of the two - in other words, 304x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.

TG16/TG/PCE had the theoretical capacity of running in 256x224 or 336x224, or 512x224, though 336x224 was very seldom used in actual game play contexts, and the 512x224 was never used other than in games like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - in other words, 256x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.

Of these assertions, the one I'm the most confident in is the Genesis/MD, followed very closely by the SNES/SFC, followed at a good distance by Neo Geo, followed at an even greater distance by the TG16/TG/PCE assertion. Can anyone (kool kitty, or otherwise) confirm where I'm right, correct where I'm wrong, and flesh out both where I'm right and where I'm wrong?

Thanks!

p.s. The way this started, the only piece of info I was originally looking for was whether the nominal Neo Geo resolution was 304 or 320. An off-hand mention was made about PCE that indicated I might be wrong about my understanding of its resolution modes and frequency of occurrences, and so now I had to find out about that as well. While I was here, I figured I'd also just get myself fact checked about the SNES and Genesis as well (though I feel I have a more comfortable grasp on them). Don't you just love the snowball effect? :-)

XGoldenboyX
03-14-2013, 11:33 AM
Exciting topic.... : ) I like Joe`s explenation... Genesis still manages to impress yet again.

sheath
03-14-2013, 11:36 AM
The PCE / TurboGrafx-16 nominally runs at (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/content/turbografx-16)256x256 or 320x256 with usually only 219 lines visible. Plenty of games use either resolution, some like Art of Fighting ACD use both. Everything else looks about right to me. The SNES' 448 and 478 line modes are interlaced (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/content/sega-genesis-vs-super-nintendo) and the one game that tried to use them was low color and suffered from a juttery image.

Jay See Double You
03-14-2013, 11:45 AM
Okay, but if we're looking at the mode the TG16 most commonly ran in, would it be best to say 256x224 (256x256?), would it be best to say 336x224 (336x256?), or were they both common enough that neither statement would be fair? Also, you make mention of one SNES game that tried to run in 512x448, with disastrous results. Can you tell me what game that is? I would be very eager to check it out.

Also, if the list is not long, can you give me a rundown of PCE games that ran in higher than 256? I'll assume 336 unless otherwise indicated. If the list is very long, then don't worry about it. Or, if such a thing exists, can you point me to a resource that would have this info?

Thanks!

Espio
03-14-2013, 11:52 AM
I dont like the Genesis Overscan. Even when I play with aspect ratio on my tv I still see it and my TV reads the overscan as part of the video signal. It wouldnt bother me if it was solid black.

sheath
03-14-2013, 12:11 PM
Supposedly it is RPM Racing that does the SNES interlaced "high res" (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?7370-S-video-mod-giving-washed-out-colors&p=150575&viewfull=1#post150575) but I haven't been able to confirm this. I think it is 256 wide.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyvecUB5xp4

On the TG16 resolution, I think it is fairly split between 320x256 and 256x256 resolutions in software. Ninja Spirit is a higher resolution I know for sure.

XGoldenboyX
03-14-2013, 12:35 PM
It wouldnt bother me if it was solid black.
This I agree!

sheath
03-14-2013, 12:44 PM
Yeah, the Genesis is the only system I have noticed that puts the background/transparent color in the overscan. Fortunately I have always been able to test TVs before buying them and have always gotten ones that correctly crop the overscan out.

evilevoix
03-14-2013, 02:38 PM
When the Genesis was released in 1988, very few arcade boards at the time was able to produce the same video resolution (320x224). There are a lot of systems with a much better hardware but using a lower resolution, like Namco System 2 (288x224), Konami TMNT2 Based hardware (288x244) or Neogeo (304x224). The same could be said about the home consoles (SNES = 256x224).

Is there any technical reason for that?

It's mostly overscan, back in the day when I had to play my Sega Genesis on my 50" Plasma Via Composite I got the 4:3 box in the widescreen and the over-scan is just the overlaping of the background, most notably skitchin you can see how the game layers stuff to make the illusion of moving work. You aren't missing anything basically.

It also shows the one background color that everything is matched too, most notably shown in Eternal Champions.

Black_Tiger
03-14-2013, 02:43 PM
PC Engine games run in 224 or 240 pixel vertical resolutions. 240 was often used, but I can't say for sure if it was more common than 224 (I'm guessing that it was).

Other games like Shadow of the Beast use the 512 pixel wide resolution for still images. It is very practical (sprite bandwidth-wise) for many sections of various genres, but eats up way more memory to display the same artwork than lower resolutions and the PCE's color bandwidth already allows it to pack high quality (for the time) detail at its lowest resolution.

I'd say that most PCE games use the 336 wide resolution. I once sat down for a brief period and tested games that were close at hand and counted over one hundred which used the 336 resolution for real gameplay sections. I did not include 512 wide games and many games that I tested (but did not include) used the 336 res for sections that could arguably be included.

The Mega Drive came out just as the PCE had taken the lead in Japan. It makes sense that it would support similar resolutions to what the direct competition was using in its games. By the time that the SFC came out, the PCE had already proven that strong color bandwidth at a 256 x 224 pixel resolution was all that was necessary for graphics that rivals arcade games.

kool kitty89
03-15-2013, 12:27 AM
SNES/SFC had the theoretical capability of running in 256x224 or 512x448, yet all but never used the higher mode for static images, and absolutely never did for actual game play. The sluggish CPU in the SNES was often suspected as the cause for the lack of high res support, but it actually had more to do with an issue in the PPUs (unclear on what that issue was) - in other words, 256x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.
It's just that the higher resolutions weren't very useful for most things. Unlike the Genesis, the sprite bandwidth didn't increase with resolution on SNES or PC engine, so that becomes a problem quickly, and the SNES also has very limited background capabilities in 512 width mode. Sprite limitations also become an issue for running in interlaced modes (if you want decent height sprites), and VRAM usage comes into play for anything that's higher res (unless you re-use tiles like crazy -which kind of defeats the purpose of higher detail). AFIK, only Sonic 2's vs mode used interlace on the MD.

Likewise, the 256 color palette modes on the SNES are virtually useless for typical games due to the sheer VRAM space 8-bit color tiles take up (plus you need 2x the bandwidth to update tiles compared to 4-bit). Super FX games and splash screens are the only uses of these, and even then almost exclusively mode 3 since mode 4 has some other bugs. Typical SNES games use mode 1 or mode 2 using 2 16 (actually 15+transparent) color per tile modes with 8 palettes (plus 8 more for sprites). Both use 2 15 color tile BG layers, but mode 1 also gives a 3rd layer limited to 4 color (3+transparent) tiles. Donkey Kong Country and Earthworm Jim 2 used those for some far background effects, and a handful of others too. Some others used them for the status bars (rather than sprites), and Star Fox uses the 3 color layer to display the "Star Fox" logo on the tile screen. (3 color tiles also use 1/2 the memory of 15 color, they're 2 bits per pixel vs 4-bits -or 8-bits for 256 colors) You also get more subpalettes for the 3 color layer, 32 instead of 8. (the BG palette entries are divided on different intervals, but shared with the colors used for the 8 15 color palettes)

Mode 7 is technically a 256 color mode too though, and that's a lot more common since it's used for specific effects rather than a direct altenative to mode 1 or 2. (in fact, that actually has a separate 256 color palette, so you could technically have more than 256 colors on-screen without "tricks" if you had particularly colorful mode 7 textures used along with sprites)

There's also mode 0 with 4 3 color BG layers, but that was only used for a few stages in one or 2 games IIRC. This is actually really interesting since you get the full 32 subpalettes as well, and the advantage of 4 layers and less VRAM used per tile (and less bandwidth for updates). That potentially allowed for some really interesting color optimization potential with all those palettes in spite of the 3 color per tile limit, though no game really did that.
Too bad the PC engine didn't include a 2 layer 3 color tile mode . . . I'm sure that would have been popular for tons of games. (especially if they increased the subpalette count to utilize the full CRAM space -ie 64 palettes instead of 16)


Genesis/MD had the theoretical capacity of running in 256x224 or 320x224, and actually ran on both depending upon the game, but usually ran in the higher of the two - in other words, 320x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.
320x448 is the highest res in NTSC for the MD, and Sonic 2 used it.

320 wide is very common on the MD, and unlike higher res on any of its contemporaries, the sprite bandwidth increases proportionally to the increased resolution. (goes from 256 to 320 pixels) Not only that, but the number of sprites per-screen is increased from 64 to 80.


Neo Geo had the theoretical capacity of running in 304x224 or 320x224, and actually ran both depending upon the game, though it usually ran in the lower of the two - in other words, 304x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.
304 is all you'd see on a TV or monitor with normal screen calibration . . . actually, typical TVs would probably show more like 286 pixels on the Neo Geo. (6 MHz pixel clock, compare that to the 5.37 MHz of common "256" resolutions or 6.67 MHz of the MD's 320 width)

Note that several old consoles and computers used resolutions lower than would fill the screen with the pixel clocks used, so you have boarders. The 160 or 320 pixels on Atari 8-bit, 5200, and C64 leave quite a bit of boarder, as does the 320 of the ST and Amiga. (C64 and ST more so since they use 4/8 MHz dot clocks -or 16 MHz for the 640 wide ST mode . . . to fill the screen you'd need roughly 384 or 192 pixels for the ST, or on the Atari 8-bit and Amiga you have 3.58/7.16 MHz dot clocks and need about 172/344) In the Amiga and 8-bit, you could actually enable overscan to fill more of that space. The Apple II and Tandy CoCo have even wider boarders since they both use 7.16 MHz dot clocks like the Amiga's 320 wide yet only show 280 and 256 pixels.


TG16/TG/PCE had the theoretical capacity of running in 256x224 or 336x224, or 512x224, though 336x224 was very seldom used in actual game play contexts, and the 512x224 was never used other than in games like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - in other words, 256x224 was the -NOMINAL- resolution of the system.
Quite a few "normal" games used the "336" mode on the PCE, it wasn't super common, but it was at least reasonably useful (unlike the SNES's higher res modes). 336 is also somewhat conservative and typical TVs could probably show closer to 344 pixels (it's the same 7.16 MHz dot clock as the Amiga used), but I forget what the actual limits of the VDP scan is in that mode. (I'm pretty sure it's at least 344)

Sprite limitations are more severe in that mode though, which is why 256 is typical.





The PCE / TurboGrafx-16 nominally runs at (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/content/turbografx-16)256x256 or 320x256 with usually only 219 lines visible. Plenty of games use either resolution, some like Art of Fighting ACD use both. Everything else looks about right to me. The SNES' 448 and 478 line modes are interlaced (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/content/sega-genesis-vs-super-nintendo) and the one game that tried to use them was low color and suffered from a juttery image.
I'm pretty sure it's 512x448, the pixels look noticeably finer. The title screen really makes that obvious too. (in fact, I wonder why that mode wasn't used more for title screens and menus, given how nice it looks for that -and wouldn't have problems with the limitations for actual in-game use)




PC Engine games run in 224 or 240 pixel vertical resolutions. 240 was often used, but I can't say for sure if it was more common than 224 (I'm guessing that it was).
For 60 Hz displays, this really doesn't matter since you won't be seeing more than 224 pixels anyway, unless you custom calibrate your TV or monitor to show overscan. (or have a multimedia monitor or HDTV with auto underscan options)

Robotwo
03-15-2013, 06:48 AM
Yeah, the Genesis is the only system I have noticed that puts the background/transparent color in the overscan. Fortunately I have always been able to test TVs before buying them and have always gotten ones that correctly crop the overscan out.

Doesn't the Mastersystem handle it similarly?

sheath
03-15-2013, 08:40 AM
Probably, but I haven't had the same amount of trouble with games using the background color for overscan with Master System games. I think I did notice one game doing it recently but wasn't really paying attention to which one. :/

On the vertical resolution thing. I just went back and checked the Schluesinger's VDCDOX.txt (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/sites/default/files/SystemSpecs/TG16/vdcdox.txt) to see what the resolution was and remembered why it says 256 and not 224 or 240. The system internally has to display lines that are divisible by 8 because of the tile format. So the display is technically 32 tiles tall even if most games only display 219 lines of it. I usually capture at 720x480 and crop the image and haven't noticed a significant difference between SNES, TG16/PCE and Genesis output. In fact I can use the same crop template across all platforms and it usually works.

Interesting comparison of PCE Resolutions (http://forums.magicengine.com/en/viewtopic.php?t=1798).

Black_Tiger
03-15-2013, 09:15 AM
Cant quote kool kitty properly, but the jump from 64 to 80 sprites with the jump in resolution on Genesis is virtually meaningless. Using the smallest sprites possible, in 320 mode the screen gets completely filled (scanline limit reached on all lines) with 68 sprites. Both resolutions on Genesis and the PCE in 256 pixel mode can only ever fill as much as one screen with sprites. Which is why Genesis and PCE games look so similar. The SNES' bottleneck is the two sprite size limitation.

sheath
03-15-2013, 09:34 AM
Cant quote kool kitty properly, but the jump from 64 to 80 sprites with the jump in resolution on Genesis is virtually meaningless. Using the smallest sprites possible, in 320 mode the screen gets completely filled (scanline limit reached on all lines) with 68 sprites. Both resolutions on Genesis and the PCE in 256 pixel mode can only ever fill as much as one screen with sprites. Which is why Genesis and PCE games look so similar. The SNES' bottleneck is the two sprite size limitation.

How do you figure that? The smallest sprite object is 8x8, which would make 40 fit into 320 wide, which is twice the 20 sprite per scanline limit in that mode. The sprite per scanline limit in 256 mode is 16, so that is another way the 320 mode helps. Also, 320x224=71680 pixels, divide that by 64 pixels in an 8x8 sprite and you get 1120, the genesis would never fill the screen with 8x8 sprites before hitting its 80 sprite limit.

kool kitty89
03-15-2013, 07:36 PM
How do you figure that? The smallest sprite object is 8x8, which would make 40 fit into 320 wide, which is twice the 20 sprite per scanline limit in that mode. The sprite per scanline limit in 256 mode is 16, so that is another way the 320 mode helps. Also, 320x224=71680 pixels, divide that by 64 pixels in an 8x8 sprite and you get 1120, the genesis would never fill the screen with 8x8 sprites before hitting its 80 sprite limit.
There's also the issue of flicker/tearing . . . having more sprite allows for situations where you'd be willing to suffer some tearing/flicker to allow more simultaneous objects to be manipulated on-screen. (plus there's the issue of off-screen sprites) This would apply to cases of small sprites hittng the 20 per line limit or large sprites hitting the 320 pixel limit.

However, to address the 8x8 sprite issue, also you's hit the per line limit at 20 with only 160 pixels used, though even then you'd run out of sprites before allowing 224 pixels tall. With 8x32 you could fill the vertical screen and hit the horizontal sprite limit too.

I forget whether sprite bandwidth get eaten up with transparent tiles or not too, but that could be an interesting factor. (sprites are all mapped out of 8x8 cells, but if the VDP allows specific cell to be completely empty, it could avoid wasting bandwidth on partially filled sprites -otherwise, there's more cases you'd want to composite odd-shaped objects from smaller sprites to optimize for pixel bandwidth)




On the vertical resolution thing. I just went back and checked the Schluesinger's VDCDOX.txt (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/sites/default/files/SystemSpecs/TG16/vdcdox.txt) to see what the resolution was and remembered why it says 256 and not 224 or 240. The system internally has to display lines that are divisible by 8 because of the tile format. So the display is technically 32 tiles tall even if most games only display 219 lines of it. I usually capture at 720x480 and crop the image and haven't noticed a significant difference between SNES, TG16/PCE and Genesis output. In fact I can use the same crop template across all platforms and it usually works.
The MD tilemap is fixed at 64x64 iirc, though active obvously display shows far less than that. (it makes scrolling and tile updates more flexible though, with all that extra tile space)



Yeah, the Genesis is the only system I have noticed that puts the background/transparent color in the overscan. Fortunately I have always been able to test TVs before buying them and have always gotten ones that correctly crop the overscan out.
Not sure about consoles, but several home computers have control over overscan boarder/blanking color. I'm pretty sure the TMS9918 (and derivative) do that too.

TmEE
03-16-2013, 02:24 AM
MD tilemap is configurable from 32 x 32, 64 x 32, 32 x 64, 64 x 64, 128 x 32 and 32x 128.

kool kitty89
03-16-2013, 04:28 AM
MD tilemap is configurable from 32 x 32, 64 x 32, 32 x 64, 64 x 64, 128 x 32 and 32x 128.
Why did Stef mention he had to use 64x64 in his demo?

I can't keep the VRAM double buffer... SGDK use some tiles for plain color tiles and more over the font. Then take that i have to use 64x64 tilemap size for both plan, have to keep space for probable future sprites and of course for the background and then you can see i just run out of free tile to store a double buffer in VRAM.
SNES Starfox store sprites table in dedicated memory, tilemap are probably smaller, well i guess they are very short on free vram. I could probably optimize my vram usage but i know i will meet problems later with that so that will happen in last.

Does it have anything to do with using column scroll?

With the polygon layer needing no scrolling at all, I don't see why 32x32 wouldn't be used to save VRAM space. Or is it just that the tool set Stef is using has 64x64 set up as the default?

Chilly Willy
03-16-2013, 03:15 PM
Just because the map is 64x64 doesn't mean you HAVE to use ALL of it... if you never scroll the screen, you can use just the 40x28 part needed for a 320x224 display and use the rest for tiles or other things. The only parts of a tile map that needs valid values are the entries that will be displayed, which also depends on the scrolling used. If you only scrolled horizontally by one column before reseting, you'd only need to worry about the 41x28 entries. Add one row vertically and you'd only worry about 41x29 entries. I use 128x32 in a number of my demos, where the first 80 columns are used for double-buffering layer A, and the next 40 columns are used for an unscrolling layer B, with the last 8 columns being unused. It's all up to the programmer to make effective use of both the tile maps and the unused vram.

kool kitty89
03-18-2013, 07:16 PM
Just because the map is 64x64 doesn't mean you HAVE to use ALL of it... if you never scroll the screen, you can use just the 40x28 part needed for a 320x224 display and use the rest for tiles or other things. The only parts of a tile map that needs valid values are the entries that will be displayed, which also depends on the scrolling used. If you only scrolled horizontally by one column before reseting, you'd only need to worry about the 41x28 entries. Add one row vertically and you'd only worry about 41x29 entries. I use 128x32 in a number of my demos, where the first 80 columns are used for double-buffering layer A, and the next 40 columns are used for an unscrolling layer B, with the last 8 columns being unused. It's all up to the programmer to make effective use of both the tile maps and the unused vram.
It may also be an issue with the way Stef's MD tool set is currently set up. That, and I know he's keeping some things simple for now and optimize later.

Edit: Stef elaborated more here:
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?23549&p=564364&viewfull=1#post564364

So it seems that it' not anything specific to the tools he uses.

sengoku 2
11-10-2016, 05:25 PM
304 is all you'd see on a TV or monitor with normal screen calibration . . . actually, typical TVs would probably show more like 286 pixels on the Neo Geo. (6 MHz pixel clock, compare that to the 5.37 MHz of common "256" resolutions or 6.67 MHz of the MD's 320 width)


That's true, typical tv would show 286 pixels. And yes with normal screen calibration ( for example some sony trinitron with service mode ), we can have 304.
This represents approximatively 2/3 of neo geo library. Between 90 and 100 games are on 304*224.
And approximatively 50 games are on 320*224.
Perhaps with some tv models ( some sony trinitron ), we can see neo geo full screen on 320*224.
That's why Sony PVM is famous, thanks to gorgeous quality image and also we can see the neo geo full screen on 320*224.
Neo geo is an arcade machine, so when we play on neo geo mvs with an arcade cabinet, it is easy to have the 320*224.

Neo geo always displays 320*224.
For example, Metal Slug is on 320*224 with 2 black columns of 8 pixels.

http://edgeemu.net/screenshots/mame/Named_Titles/mslug.png

So real surface of this game is on 304*224. ( we remove this two black colums of pixels )

That's why Metal Slug is on 304*224.

Garou MOTW is on 320*224.
On arcade cabinet, many people makes the mistake of incorrectly adjusting their arcade screen.
For example, garou intro screen have black columns, so some people adjust their arcade screen because of that.
It's an error , because on 320*224, yes it will have black columns on this screen :

http://edgeemu.net/screenshots/mame/Named_Titles/garou.png

But, if we remain on 320*224, we will see that this blacks columns will disappear when we play the game.

Garou MOTW on 320*224 :

http://edgeemu.net/screenshots/mame/Named_Snaps/garou.png

tomaitheous
11-14-2016, 03:03 AM
Probably, but I haven't had the same amount of trouble with games using the background color for overscan with Master System games. I think I did notice one game doing it recently but wasn't really paying attention to which one. :/

On the vertical resolution thing. I just went back and checked the Schluesinger's VDCDOX.txt (http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/sites/default/files/SystemSpecs/TG16/vdcdox.txt) to see what the resolution was and remembered why it says 256 and not 224 or 240. The system internally has to display lines that are divisible by 8 because of the tile format. So the display is technically 32 tiles tall even if most games only display 219 lines of it. I usually capture at 720x480 and crop the image and haven't noticed a significant difference between SNES, TG16/PCE and Genesis output. In fact I can use the same crop template across all platforms and it usually works.

Interesting comparison of PCE Resolutions (http://forums.magicengine.com/en/viewtopic.php?t=1798).

Someone already necro'd this thread, and since it has some glaring issues.. I'll post.

The PCE, if you want to define the "resolution" in relation to the same horizontal window size as the Genesis, snes, nes, and master system is.. 256, 342, 512. The mid res, directly comparable to the other systems, is 342. Games tend to "clip" the display be adding "overscan", bring the visible window to 336 or 320. But doesn't "affect" the resolution; it's always 342 in relation to the other systems, when in mid res mode.

The only thing that's divisible by 8, in clipping or expanding the screen, is the horizontal resolution. If you have a 256 resolution in low res mode (pixels across the screen) and you setup the display only to show 240 pixels across, then you'll have a little more border on either side of the screen. The pixel size won't change, it'll remain in low res mode, but the amount shown on screen will be whatever you define it to be.

The vertical resolution is different. It's 242 showable lines, but the average is between 240 to 224. It's also ~not~ limited by a multiple of 8 like stated by sheath. It also can be "clipped" with borders on top and bottom, in single horizontal line steps; not 8. You could do a 200 line display, and setup exactly how up border on the top and bottom - even offsetting the screen. A lot of PCE games use the 240 mode. The PCE isn't like the Genesis, SNES, NES, and Master System in that you have to update during vblank. So vblank isn't as important to the PCE as it is to those other systems. The other systems tend to favor more "vblank" lines than displayable "lines", so they could do more vram updating during vblank. On PCE, this isn't really a concern.


Genesis hi res mode (320) is pretty nice. In my opinion, the most important aspect of it is the greater sprite optimization because of the scaling of the sprite pixel limit with the increased res. Allows more smaller sprites on a line with flickering, compared to the lower res mode of the Genesis (256). As far as an advantage, I honestly rather have more colors and transparency effects of the snes. The 320 res mode is nice, but doesn't make up for the lacking in color. On CRT tvs back in the day, you couldn't even see the additional resolution of the Genesis high res mode over RF or Composite because of the terrible video output of the system (no phase shifting) - it just became blurrier. On emulators though, or RGB, at least you can see it.

Thief
11-14-2016, 08:44 AM
On CRT tvs back in the day, you couldn't even see the additional resolution of the Genesis high res mode over RF or Composite because of the terrible video output of the system (no phase shifting) - it just became blurrier.

Wrong.

Black_Tiger
11-14-2016, 11:54 AM
Wrong.

The Genesis had poor-for-the-time RF and composite. I remember thinking I was seeing all kinds of shading that I found out years later wasn't actually there.

You also have to keep in mind that people were playing on TVs from the 70's and early 80's and often on screens as small as 13" (and even in b&w).

tomaitheous
11-14-2016, 12:50 PM
Wrong.

How about backing that statement up with facts? Yeah?

Here's why I say that it ~is~ correct:

The rf and composite video output of the Genesis does not have a color burst phase alternation system. That means the TV decoder can't determine the interference between Y to chroma, and chroma to Y signal ( chroma is the color for the pixel, Y is the actual pixel but B&W). The SNES and PCE do have phase shifts (though the PCE can turn it on and off), and thus higher res is clearer (at least on the PCE).

If you don't understand how composite video works, and the inherent problem when the Y frequency (the pixel resolution) comes close to multiples of the color carrier signal, then the cross talk that doesn't alternate - is really difficult to near impossible to pull accurate pixel data out of the signal (Y). You can see this directly see this in Genesis video output; single white pixels are shown as dirty great with color fringing. And the fact that dithering on the Genesis is near solid - a visual confirmation that resolution is actually decreased as it's represented. I'm sorry, but you don't get both: blended dither and increased resolution.

Like I said, RGB out or svideo modded system - then what I said doesn't apply (obviously).

Thief
11-14-2016, 02:14 PM
How about backing that statement up with facts? Yeah?

I recall reading a gaming mag back in the day mentioning more detailed sprites in the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat 2, and mentioned Baraka's teeth as an example. Looked for the scans online quickly for two GamePro issues and didn't spot it. Must of been EGM. I'll see if I can find the scans later. If not, I'm not digging through my boxed mags.

And I too personally noticed a difference in resolution between the SNES and Genesis back in the day using only composite for both.

Sik
11-14-2016, 02:49 PM
The Genesis had poor-for-the-time RF and composite. I remember thinking I was seeing all kinds of shading that I found out years later wasn't actually there.
Even the best stuff nowadays wouldn't help because NTSC is too shit (too low color resolution), only the colors with a lot of contrast are distinguishable making it pointless.

The extra space was honestly welcome though even if it wasn't immediately noticeable, I mean it was the time where everything was still tile aligned usually and so it meant the ability to cram in some more stuff on screen. And the kind of arcades they intended to port were 320px wide, it'd be stupid to use anything else. And let's be honest: 160/320/640px wide was becoming the norm just about everywhere that wasn't a console, so why wouldn't you want to do the same?

OverDrone
11-14-2016, 02:59 PM
Funny you mention MKII Thief, that one always looked obvious to me (the improved resolution vs SNES version) thru RF. The improved detail on the fighters was quite apparent, and one of the ports only strengths.

Black_Tiger
11-14-2016, 04:26 PM
Even the best stuff nowadays wouldn't help because NTSC is too shit (too low color resolution), only the colors with a lot of contrast are distinguishable making it pointless.

The extra space was honestly welcome though even if it wasn't immediately noticeable, I mean it was the time where everything was still tile aligned usually and so it meant the ability to cram in some more stuff on screen. And the kind of arcades they intended to port were 320px wide, it'd be stupid to use anything else. And let's be honest: 160/320/640px wide was becoming the norm just about everywhere that wasn't a console, so why wouldn't you want to do the same?

Composite from RGB looks great on modern crts. Both from RGB to s-video mods and XMD-3.

The popular arcade hardware at the time wasn't 320 pixels wide. CPS is 384 and Konami, Namco and Taito's 16-bit era games were 288. Mortal Kombat games are supposed to have a high resolution for the time. Sega's own Model 1 hardware ran at something close to 500 x 400.

Thief
11-14-2016, 04:34 PM
Neo Geo wasn't a popular Arcade?

tomaitheous
11-14-2016, 04:41 PM
I recall reading a gaming mag back in the day mentioning more detailed sprites in the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat 2, and mentioned Baraka's teeth as an example. Looked for the scans online quickly for two GamePro issues and didn't spot it. Must of been EGM. I'll see if I can find the scans later. If not, I'm not digging through my boxed mags.

And I too personally noticed a difference in resolution between the SNES and Genesis back in the day using only composite for both.

Game mags didn't do captures/pics of composite video; they used RGB from the Genesis. And yes, the sprites could be more detailed, but if you filter that detail through a type of video signal generation that doesn't support it - then you don't see those additional details. If you have single pixel teeth on the Genesis in high res mode, represented as ascii here: #.#.#.#. With white "." and black being "#", then what you'll see onscreen looks more like this @@@@. As in, you won't see the gap. And single contrasted pixels get blurred across two pixels; ##.## -> #~~##. If you don't believe me, get yourself capture card. Or better yet, load a game up on the real system with original video output on a CRT and compare it to a raw pixel emulated image of the same game (closest thing to RGB output).

PAR is nice (pixel aspect ratio), even if there's detailed lost with 320 vs 256. The amount of pattern data to the width is nice too, for 320 mode, even if you can't see the individual smaller details. And this you can notice, but it's more akin to using 6x8 tiles than 8x8 tiles, all things being equal.. and not resolution per se (just resolution in the sense of number of blocks/cells per row in the same width).

Unless you're interpreting "shades" as details, then you're imagining seeing additional detail.
Here's a test: Which image is higher res?
http://www.pcedev.net/pics/capture/gameres_1a.png
http://www.pcedev.net/pics/capture/gameres_2a.png

Ryoandr
11-14-2016, 05:58 PM
Composite from RGB looks great on modern crts. Both from RGB to s-video mods and XMD-3.

The popular arcade hardware at the time wasn't 320 pixels wide. CPS is 384 and Konami, Namco and Taito's 16-bit era games were 288. Mortal Kombat games are supposed to have a high resolution for the time. Sega's own Model 1 hardware ran at something close to 500 x 400.

nearly all sega sprite-based arcade systems (if not all at the time of megadrive design) were 320

Sik
11-14-2016, 06:03 PM
Which is precisely what I meant with arcades they intended to port. Remember Sega was looking to port all their arcade games to console.

And yeah those are '80s systems, the arcade systems that were starting to appear in the '90s were all moving to high resolutions aside from budget hardware.

Pyron
11-16-2016, 07:47 AM
The both Resolutions are very common on arcades on 80's and 90's era
some system like the majority of data east boards can operate on both or more resolutions depending the type of game,
also the best looking games on 90's uses 320x240 or higher horizontal pixel clocks to increace the resolution
but in the the end uses 320x240 aspect ratio that looks mouch more closes to MD experience than the low res used on snes and pce
is a fact.

Black_Tiger
11-16-2016, 09:57 AM
The both Resolutions are very common on arcades on 80's and 90's era
some system like the majority of data east boards can operate on both or more resolutions depending the type of game,
also the best looking games on 90's uses 320x240 or higher horizontal pixel clocks to increace the resolution
but in the the end uses 320x240 aspect ratio that looks mouch more closes to MD experience than the low res used on snes and pce
is a fact.

The Genesis uses the same "low res" and a lot of its game did. The PC Engine can do any resolution in increments of 8(?) pixels between 256 to 512 pixels wide.

Obviously Sega chose that particular resolution because they had arcade games using it, but the biggest arcade games and publishers used different resolutions. Daimakaimura and Strider were more important to the Genesis than Altered Beast and Golden Axe, let alone SFII, Mortal Kombat, TMNT, etc. I find it hard to believe that CPS1 and CPS2 alone aren't considered part of "the best looking games" of the 90's.





And yeah those are '80s systems, the arcade systems that were starting to appear in the '90s were all moving to high resolutions aside from budget hardware.

I was talking about most of the big and/or important arcade ports that the Genesis and SNES actually received. Aside from Sega and Neo Geo ports, pretty much everything else wasn't 320 pixels wide in the arcade originals.

Pyron
11-16-2016, 10:48 AM
Obviously Sega chose that particular resolution because they had arcade games using it, but the biggest arcade games and publishers used different resolutions. Daimakaimura and Strider were more important to the Genesis than Altered Beast and Golden Axe, let alone SFII, Mortal Kombat, TMNT, etc. I find it hard to believe that CPS1 and CPS2 alone aren't considered part of "the best looking games" of the 90's.


Yes, MD uses both and ofc sega's delivers the best performance on 320x240 resolution to port their own games.. and the others big titles.

About the impact at this era is hard to tell
take your example... Strider in the 90's for the majority of the people its a md exclusive game
strider never as popular on the arcades, is very hard do find a cabinet..
we can talk the same for much titles on MD library at the time
for the gamers passes as md exclusive game than a popular arcade port..

Daimakamura i agree that's is huge.. and helped alot sell the system on EUA, but grafics wise Altered beast show much better the system power house,
another thing.. Golden Axe... is huge too and for me have the same importance of daimakamura.

About CPS1 and 2 are strongs systems, but MVS is far more impressive any day,
Namco, Data East, Konami, Sega and others have far more impressive hardware in the same time,
the strong point of the capcom never is the grafics but the games itself that is very well done.

Black_Tiger
11-16-2016, 11:58 AM
I think that 320 wide is a great resolution and the way it scales for sprite bandwidth is priceless, unless the trade off was the cost of better color ability.

My point was just that most important arcade games that got ports or people wanted weren't 320 wide as was claimed. Even Neo Geo ports were uncommon and most were fighters which were all a reaction to the game that matter: SFII.

While playing arcade bitd, I always wondered why graphic quality peaked with Capcom games. The resolution and level of shading in CPS1 games really came through and Neo Geo games relied on artwork and animation through huge roms, but by the time the hardware started really doing that the 32-bit generation was already here.

Like I said, those important Konami games were 288 and only hardcore gamers cared about Namco or Data East games as much as Konami, Capcom and Sega. What are the 16-bit console era arcade games by these other companies that Capcom's didn't look impressive compared to?

Even the argument that Sega wanted to do pixel for pixel ports of their own games was proven false early on. Instead of giving us ports of Fantasy Zone, Shinobi, Alex Kidd and the Lost Stars, E-Swat, etc, they opted for 8-bit console style "versions" of games. When it came to super scalers, 320' wide only hurt the ports, who assets were mostly frames of animation. With games like Monster Lair, they straight up re-drew everything, so almost nothing was ported.

Barone
11-16-2016, 01:32 PM
they opted for 8-bit console style "versions" of games
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Black_Tiger again.



Neo Geo games relied on artwork and animation through huge roms
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Black_Tiger again.

crazyteknohed
11-16-2016, 02:19 PM
The NeoGeo vs CPS argument is a non-starter IMO.

As bowled over was I by the graphics of SF2, Samurai Shodown took it to another level. Later NeoGeo games such as Garou: MotW and Last Blade were CPS-3 quality, never mind CPS-1/2.

Having said this I can understand why some might prefer the artwork of Capcom games over SNK, and likewise the other way around, but this is down to personal taste, not technical hardware.

Pyron
11-16-2016, 02:26 PM
My point was just that most important arcade games that got ports or people wanted weren't 320 wide as was claimed. Even Neo Geo ports were uncommon and most were fighters which were all a reaction to the game that matter: SFII.

I have to disagree... everyone here knows why SF2 was ported in low res for every console before of snes, so i will pass this topic
and the others neo geo ports did by takara have the seal of low quality, only FF2 and SS on MD was good, and FFS on snes are playable.. all the rest is very lame..

About the arcade ports that's important i have to disagree again
they all are great games from who really enjoy arcades and played it at the time,
ofc some of them are bether than the others but as arcade fan thats play it almost every day, have these games on my home is very cool and important to me
alot of them are underrated from the people who onlys plays the poor ports in the place on the originals on arcade cabinet,
but i can uunderstand the differences by limitations and enjoy the game
neo geo mvs is one of them..
all 16 bits ports of their games don't deliver the same gameplay or impact of the arcade, and in general all ports are very inferior than the original
SFII in this aspect is much betther than the others games in this era..

But to helps in this discution why not put all games ports of capcom / neo geo on 256px and 320px ?

256 Ports
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/635196-super-street-fighter-ii-genesis-screenshot-flying-kick.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/93666-street-fighter-ii-champion-edition-genesis-screenshot-chun.gifhttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/115907-saturday-night-slam-masters-genesis-screenshot-deathmatch.png
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/99189-fatal-fury-genesis-screenshot-battle-in-a-cafe.gifhttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/99177-fatal-fury-2-genesis-screenshot-thailand-buddhist-monks-are.gif



320 Ports
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/98175-chiki-chiki-boys-genesis-screenshot-starting.gifhttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/772182-the-punisher-genesis-screenshot-fight-near-pool.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/61082-forgotten-worlds-genesis-screenshot-flying-around-shooting.png
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/813462-ghouls-n-ghosts-genesis-screenshot-loki-lucifer.gifhttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/146151-mercs-genesis-screenshot-the-level-1-boss-perishes.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/127470-strider-genesis-screenshot-leaping-down-the-beautiful-mountainside.png
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/49549-final-fight-sega-cd-screenshot-more-baddies.gifhttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/68866-art-of-fighting-genesis-screenshot-the-graphics-are-very-different.gifhttp://www.hardcoregaming101.net/kingofthemonsters/King%20of%20the%20Monsters%20Screenshot%20Compare-Genesis.gif
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/kingofthemonsters/King%20of%20the%20Monsters%202%20Screenshot%20Comp are-Genesis.gifhttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/575002-samurai-shodown-genesis-screenshot-go-to-san-francisco.pnghttp://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8VLgkM1xpo8/U-lnv6A-GmI/AAAAAAAAQ7Q/AJio19Wds6M/s1600/ssmart06.png
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/109905-super-baseball-2020-genesis-screenshot-pitcher-change.gifhttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/467195-world-heroes-genesis-screenshot-dragon-vs-brocken-german-for.png


As you can see most of 256px arcade ports to mega drive are not in the reality a arcade port but its just a express and poor snes port..

*If i miss one sorry



While playing arcade bitd, I always wondered why graphic quality peaked th Capcom games. The resolution and level of shading in CPS1 games really came through and Neo Geo games relied on artwork and animation through huge roms, but by the time the hardware started really doing that the 32-bit generation was already here.
Arcade experience is very hard to compare, for you experience it can be true.. but i can't can figure how much games on arcades you really stop and are dedicated to play and how much games you have access to play in your city.

I play arcades always, almost every day and still enjoy do it today and i played ALOT of games, i hunt new machines with my friends wham i'm a kid and i can say to you...
cps games are the common here.. like a bar machine.. nothing special on it, for me capcom its always about gameplay and not tech or top grafics.

sega arcade with cool cockpits with hardware rotation and top noch sound it is a new generation.. namco, konami did amazing things too
SNK games is far more impressive tham anything capcom did.. take samurai shadow 2 and compare with any game on cps1 system..
have two worlds of diferences here..




Like I said, those important Konami games were 288 and only hardcore gamers cared about Namco or Data East games as much as Konami, Capcom and Sega. What are the 16-bit console era arcade games by these other companies that Capcom's didn't look impressive compared to?
We are hardcore games and we care about it :D
And about your question.. Capcom games dosen't look impresve over anyone.. for me looking whise is very closes each others..
lets take a examples?

92 Arcades

Capcom
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/finalfightclones/kingofdragons-arcade.png

Data East
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/darkseal/darkseal2-5.png

Namco
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/luckywild/luckywild43.png

SEGA
http://www.dcshooters.co.uk/sega/megadrive/goldenaxe/images/ga2arcade2.png

Irem
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/irem/undercovercops-8.png



But if take 94/95 game of the companys they deliver a very inovative features and technologies like 3D games or 32bits systems..
capcom stills delivers the same 2D fighters or beat em ups.. nothing impressive..
but lik i said before.. cool games to play






Even the argument that Sega wanted to do pixel for pixel ports of their own games was proven false early on. Instead of giving us ports of Fantasy Zone, Shinobi, Alex Kidd and the Lost Stars, E-Swat, etc, they opted for 8-bit console style "versions" of games. When it came to super scalers, 320' wide only hurt the ports, who assets were mostly frames of animation. With games like Monster Lair, they straight up re-drew everything, so almost nothing was ported.
Its true.. but for good side.. shadow dance or e-swat like you said is much bether game on md..
they dont port everything but tried alot.. and all them runs on 320 res...
about super scale grafics game never will be the same but most of them delivers a good experience in home

Edit: fixing the images

Vludi
11-16-2016, 05:29 PM
What's the resolution of those CPS-1 to PS1/Saturn ports? I think it was 320x224 and they looked pretty much the same as the real thing in that aspect.

And as much as I like Capcom, there were many arcades at the time that looked just as good, like crazyteknohed said before it's just preference.

Barone
11-16-2016, 06:34 PM
Edit: fixing the images
I think that wasn't Black_Tiger's point though.
Late 80s Capcom arcade releases were graphically impressive and frankly unmatched for the time IMO for the most part; and that's around the time the MD was released.
That was the period BT was talking about a few posts ago.

Also, 1991's SFII set the graphical standards that pretty all 1 on 1 fighting games would follow.

Later on other companies released games which also looked good, but many times their graphical quality relies on an atrocious amount of ROM usage; this is subjective but it's perfectly reasonable to question the animation quality of games which require much more ROM space in order to look as good as some older, less space-hungry games.
To be very honest, many Neo Geo games don't have stellar animation if you analyze them past their number of frames. And I think that's one of the aspects Black_Tiger was talking about.




What's the resolution of those CPS-1 to PS1/Saturn ports? I think it was 320x224
352x224 on the Saturn and 384x240 on the PS1, for the most part.

Vludi
11-16-2016, 07:44 PM
Really? I thought they were rendered at lower resolution, interesting.

I don't think Capcom's late 80s titles looked much better than Gradius II/III, R-Type II, Ninja Warriors, Ordyne, Darius II, E-Swat, Valkyrie no Densetsu, Image Fight, TMNT etc. In early 90s the situation became even more equal with new arcade boards if Capcom ever had an advantage with the CPS-1.

tomaitheous
11-16-2016, 07:57 PM
Just to give some perspective here, about how home console resolutions compare to arcades:
Neo Geo 320 mode (same res as 304, just extends into overscan).. is 320 pixels across the entire active display line. CPS-1 is 384 pixels across the entire active display line. Home consoles clip their graphics for overscan because not only would it not be seen, but these systems are processing things in preparation for that current line during this time.

Since we're talking high res in home consoles, here's the MD and PCE:

MD with max overscan in high res mode is ~350 pixels on the active display line.
PCE with max overscan in mid res mode is ~374 pixels on the active display line.

Now you can compare those directly to the arcade "numbers" and not worry about overscan throwing off pixel size representation. So to recap, this is to make all things even so you can see numbers in relation to "pixel size".


Btw, just for fun, pce/md/snes/nes/sms low res is ~285 pixels per active line. Not only did I calculate this myself, I tested these systems with my capture card that actually allowed recording video slightly beyond the edges of the active display line (had to use a special driver mode with Vdub for this.. years back). These should be accurate in +/- 2 or 3 pixel range.


I hope this makes thing more clear.

One thing that is not clear; what is the dot clock of the System16 boards? Is it the same for all? If the res is 320 pixels for the whole active line (no overscan), which is really typical to arcade systems, then that would indicate the Genesis resolution is actually higher than its arcade brethren. I think it would be strange for Sega arcade systems to have that much overscan, but then again maybe that's how they overcame the problem of prefetching/building issues with short hblank windows. The NG is known, but the CPS-1 and System 16 boards would need to be hooked up to an oscope or analyzer to know for sure what the active scanline looks like compare to the whole line. Or find the dot clock source, divide it be the tested frame rate, and divide that by the number of scanlines in the video signal (assuming they're all the same length). The NG comes out something like 325 active, so a few pixels of overscan.

Pyron
11-16-2016, 09:52 PM
I think that wasn't Black_Tiger's point though.
Late 80s Capcom arcade releases were graphically impressive and frankly unmatched for the time IMO for the most part; and that's around the time the MD was released.
That was the period BT was talking about a few posts ago.

before Mega Drive era Capcom was de CPS board and others weaker systems
and for me they are on the same level on the market
compare my one favority games by capcom that is Black Tiger and compare..

all from 87
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/654908-black-tiger-arcade-screenshot-kill-enemy.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/654586-karnov-arcade-screenshot-stage-1-city-region.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/655230-shinobi-arcade-screenshot-boss-appears-and-escape.png

And before capcom going foward another companys did their jobs and amazing things
remenber that double dragon defines what is modern beat 'm up and are launched in 87 too
after that konami also release TMNT arcade game..
these games looks and sounds unbelivable at the time
and capcom have nothing near of that

only in 88 capcom release cps-1 board and steps over for a brief time over the others,
because every ones upgrades thair boards too and reachs the same level of quality
so i really dont undertand this hype



Later on other companies released games which also looked good, but many times their graphical quality relies on an atrocious amount of ROM usage; this is subjective but it's perfectly reasonable to question the animation quality of games which require much more ROM space in order to look as good as some older, less space-hungry games.
To be very honest, many Neo Geo games don't have stellar animation if you analyze them past their number of frames. And I think that's one of the aspects Black_Tiger was talking about.
Its funny because what capcom did after be destroed in techs aspects by mvs games?
They just do the same... they simple launched the new board and increase the rom size and the games frame animations... nothing more than that... and did it again on cps3..

And on the same time the SNK using the same old MVS delivers the same quality or best visual quality tham capcom

Barone
11-17-2016, 05:21 AM
*sigh*

I find it hard to believe that CPS1 and CPS2 alone aren't considered part of "the best looking games" of the 90's.

While playing arcade bitd, I always wondered why graphic quality peaked with Capcom games. The resolution and level of shading in CPS1 games really came through and Neo Geo games relied on artwork and animation through huge roms, but by the time the hardware started really doing that the 32-bit generation was already here.

What are the 16-bit console era arcade games by these other companies that Capcom's didn't look impressive compared to?
Time frame: 1988-1994

Which games released in the same year by other companies for the arcades make the games listed below look NOT impressive?
1988:
Forgotten Worlds
Ghouls'n Ghosts

1989:
Dynasty Wars
Final Fight
Strider

1990:
Magic Sword
Mega Twins
Mercs

1991:
Captain Commando
Knights of the Round
Street Fighter II

1992:
Warriors of Fate

1993:
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
Dungeons & Dragons : Tower of Doom
Eco Fighters
Muscle Bomber Duo : Heat Up Warriors
Super Street Fighter 2 : The New Challengers
The Punisher

1994:
Darkstalkers : The Night Warriors

Pyron
11-17-2016, 06:36 AM
Rsrs calm down.. lets go!


*sigh*

Time frame: 1988-1994

Which games released in the same year by other companies for the arcades make the games listed below look NOT impressive?
1988:
Forgotten Worlds
Ghouls'n Ghosts

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/gng/ghoulsnghosts-1.pnghttp://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alteredbeast/alteredbeast-1.png



1989:
Dynasty Wars
Final Fight
Strider

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/strider/strider-4.pnghttp://www.hardcoregaming101.net/shinobi/old/sdancer-4.png




1990:
Magic Sword
Mega Twins
Mercs

http://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/118124213654.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/660702-pit-fighter-arcade-screenshot-bloody-face-kick.png





1991:
Captain Commando
Knights of the Round
Street Fighter II
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/655794-captain-commando-arcade-screenshot-captain-commando-with-a.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/813672-blade-master-arcade-screenshot-three-bosses-in-full-japanese.png




1992:
Warriors of Fate
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/830376-warriors-of-fate-arcade-screenshot-portor-and-kassar-demo.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/652306-golden-axe-the-revenge-of-death-adder-arcade-screenshot-what.png



1993:
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
Dungeons & Dragons : Tower of Doom
Eco Fighters
Muscle Bomber Duo : Heat Up Warriors
Super Street Fighter 2 : The New Challengers
The Punisher
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/660591-super-street-fighter-ii-arcade-screenshot-cammy-s-legs-drill.pnghttp://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/660151-mortal-kombat-ii-arcade-screenshot-get-over-here.png





1994:
Darkstalkers : The Night Warriors
http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/672155-darkstalkers-the-night-warriors-arcade-screenshot-anakaris.pnghttp://www.vgmuseum.com/end/arcade/c/kiboss-1.png

Its just few examples from my head..
i cant do it with everything thats you spoke here
but tell me where the big diference there?

And didn't take in comparison games that's is not a normal cabinet
for example while in 94 capcom release Darkstalkers, SEGA are lauching Daytona USA arcade..

so for me again...
i'm sorry but the capcom never was a top hardware company
that's delivers the best graphics on the arcades
their strong point will be always the games itself
and i love them, belive me.

Barone
11-17-2016, 07:29 AM
I'm calm but I think you kinda ruined the discussion by putting it out of original context; and just went completely superficial with screenshot comparisons like that.

Ghouls'n Ghosts has far richer animation than Altered Beast whose backgrounds are pretty much static and dull looking.

Shadow Dancer's shading is atrocious and it's basically an 8-bit arcade game on steroids.

Pit Fighter looks like ass. Terrible animation, horrid shading.

Blade Master's backgrounds are a dithering fest and the shading is noticeably inferior to Captain Commando's. The Capcom game supports up to 4 simultaneous players, Blade Master only two; the enemies animation, the variety of enemies, backgrounds, etc. are in a different league.

Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder is a mess IMO. Some parts look good, some parts look OK, others look bad. The color use is inconsistent and so is the texturing of the backgrounds and some of the enemies. There's enemies whose the mask has virtually no shading, it's odd.
Then you look at the characters themselves, most of them don't really look good; I mean, the art itself is very questionable in terms of how they look standing and how they transition form one frame to another when walking.
Warriors of Fate has its flaws too (the backgrounds look repetitive and generic, some dithering there too, color use is not great, etc.) but I still find the characters looking and animation far superior to Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder.

MKII runs at higher resolution but its backgrounds are static for the most part. I also don't think the characters animate that well.
Killer Instinct has similar flaws IMO.

Vludi
11-17-2016, 08:14 AM
Blade Master has lots of dithering but it's still a pretty and detailed game imo, the bosses definitely were more impressive than the ones ones on Captain Commando. The other Irem beat 'em ups looked even better though, and on par with anything by Capcom

Pyron
11-17-2016, 08:20 AM
I'm calm but I think you kinda ruined the discussion by putting it out of original context; and just went completely superficial with screenshot comparisons like that.

Ghouls'n Ghosts has far richer animation than Altered Beast whose backgrounds are pretty much static and dull looking.

Shadow Dancer's shading is atrocious and it's basically an 8-bit arcade game on steroids.

Pit Fighter looks like ass. Terrible animation, horrid shading.

Blade Master's backgrounds are a dithering fest and the shading is noticeably inferior to Captain Commando's. The Capcom game supports up to 4 simultaneous players, Blade Master only two; the enemies animation, the variety of enemies, backgrounds, etc. are in a different league.

Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder is a mess IMO. Some parts look good, some parts look OK, others look bad. The color use is inconsistent and so is the texturing of the backgrounds and some of the enemies. There's enemies whose the mask has virtually no shading, it's odd.
Then you look at the characters themselves, most of them don't really look good; I mean, the art itself is very questionable in terms of how they look standing and how they transition form one frame to another when walking.
Warriors of Fate has its flaws too (the backgrounds look repetitive and generic, some dithering there too, color use is not great, etc.) but I still find the characters looking and animation far superior to Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder.

MKII runs at higher resolution but its backgrounds are static for the most part. I also don't think the characters animate that well.
Killer Instinct has similar flaws IMO.

Its overlooking again...
is very easy found something you dosen't like on 1 title and try overlook what you like on capcom side..
its just your personal taste
you have to decide.. one time you dosent like a technical aspect or artistic element or gameplay style
and we talking about graphics just it..
you even talking about 4 players aspect and data east, konami and sega did it before capcom
again.. capcom did nothing impressive and new

Pyron
11-17-2016, 08:27 AM
Blade Master has lots of dithering but it's still a pretty and detailed game imo, the bosses definitely were more impressive than the ones ones on Captain Commando. The other Irem beat 'em ups looked even better though, and on par with anything by Capcom

Yes, its just a diferent artisct style.. capcom always comes to something more cartoon and hq, blade master have a euro painting style, much more detail in every sprite on the screen, backgrounds are nicer and richer.. but again its a artisct choice not a hardware limitation its simple..

Barone
11-17-2016, 08:42 AM
Its overlooking again...
is very easy found something you dosen't like on 1 title and try overlook what you like on capcom side..
its just your personal taste
you have to decide.. one time you dosent like a technical aspect or artistic element or gameplay style
and we talking about graphics just it..
you even talking about 4 players aspect and data east, konami and sega did it before capcom
again.. capcom did nothing impressive and new

Yes, its just a diferent artisct style.. capcom always comes to something more cartoon and hq, blade master have a euro painting style, much more detail in every sprite on the screen, backgrounds are nicer and richer.. but again its a artisct choice not a hardware limitation its simple..
I think you're completely wrong and completely missed the point many times... But I'll stop here since I feel like I'm talking to a wall.

Pyron
11-17-2016, 08:54 AM
I think you're completely wrong and completely missed the point many times... But I'll stop here since I feel like I'm talking to a wall.

OMG i'm sorry...
We start talking about res, visual quality, rom space, shading and etc.. etc...
and later you are talking about gameplay aspects, artisct elements and etc..
thats all subjetive and your personal preference..
so i really miss your point here sorry

Barone
11-17-2016, 09:03 AM
You seem to think vomiting screenshots to a thread is a great argument; it's not.

sengoku 2
11-17-2016, 09:08 AM
If you want to discuss about graphics quality.
You have to speak about high level pixel art of Irem and Toaplan. ( dogyunn, in the hunt etc...)
About resolutions, Irem at the end of 80's was on 384*256 ( Irem M72 : R-type, ninja spirit, dragon breed etc...)

http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=738

And later beginning of 90's , Irem M92 was on 320*240. ( undercover cops, in the hunt, gunforce 2...)

About Capcom, before cps 1 , street fighter 1 and Side Arms was already on 384*224.

Graphically, Cps1 was a graphical revolution at the time, combination of 384*224 with modern design for the time.
Cps 1 was all about graphics and great gameplay and replay-value, no use of multiple background layers ( just two and rarely 3 background layers ) , no zoom, no special effects.
Thanks to great graphics, great gameplay and replay-value, they have developed great masterpiece.
Just the first game, Forgotten World is a total success.
Also Irem was on the same style, top notch graphics, great gameplay and no use of special effects.
For special effects, it was more Taito, Sega,Namco, Konami... that used super-scalers, rotations etc...

Please, if you want to dream about arcade , watch AM Show and Aou Show 1991, 1992 :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Sg4brHu8g

EPSYLON EAGLE
11-17-2016, 09:15 AM
If you want to discuss about graphics quality.
You have to speak about high level pixel art of Irem and Toaplan. ( dogyunn, in the hunt etc...)
About resolutions, Irem at the end of 80's was on 384*256 ( Irem M72 : R-type, ninja spirit, dragon breed etc...)

http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=738

And later beginning of 90's , Irem M92 was on 320*240. ( undercover cops, in the hunt, gunforce 2...)

About Capcom, before cps 1 , street fighter 1 and Side Arms was already on 384*224.

Graphically, Cps1 was a graphical revolution at the time, combination of 384*224 with modern design for the time.
Cps 1 was all about graphics and great gameplay and replay-value, no use of multiple background layers ( just two and rarely 3 background layers ) , no zoom, no special effects.
Thanks to great graphics, great gameplay and replay-value, they have developed great masterpiece.
Just the first game, Forgotten World is a total success.
Also Irem was on the same style, top notch graphics, great gameplay and no use of special effects.
For special effects, it was more Taito, Sega,Namco, Konami... that used super-scalers, rotations etc...

Please, if you want to dream about arcade , watch AM Show and Aou Show 1991, 1992 :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Sg4brHu8g

This!

Pyron
11-17-2016, 09:24 AM
You seem to think vomiting screenshots to a thread is a great argument; it's not.

We are talking about graphics and show some images helps to ilustrate some point
also you can said alot of stuff here.. thats cps-1 runs on 384*224 thats really a advantage
but you back in 80's and 90's you really know something about that? NO
you just going to machine look at screen and feel the game and presetation
and for everyoje in the time looks just another game runing in 320x224 on the side

lets talk about it..
Take your example, you said alot of captain commando, about 4 players cabinet, gameplay and etc..
in the same year we are playing turtles in time on arcades
have the 4 players coop, much bether animation, bether music, bether voices, full voice over intro,
cool presentation between stages, cool bosses, scaling effects, more dinamic and fun gameplay
one of the bests beat 'em ups out there..

its simple

Pyron
11-17-2016, 09:28 AM
If you want to discuss about graphics quality.
You have to speak about high level pixel art of Irem and Toaplan. ( dogyunn, in the hunt etc...)
About resolutions, Irem at the end of 80's was on 384*256 ( Irem M72 : R-type, ninja spirit, dragon breed etc...)

http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=738

And later beginning of 90's , Irem M92 was on 320*240. ( undercover cops, in the hunt, gunforce 2...)

About Capcom, before cps 1 , street fighter 1 and Side Arms was already on 384*224.

Graphically, Cps1 was a graphical revolution at the time, combination of 384*224 with modern design for the time.
Cps 1 was all about graphics and great gameplay and replay-value, no use of multiple background layers ( just two and rarely 3 background layers ) , no zoom, no special effects.
Thanks to great graphics, great gameplay and replay-value, they have developed great masterpiece.
Just the first game, Forgotten World is a total success.
Also Irem was on the same style, top notch graphics, great gameplay and no use of special effects.
For special effects, it was more Taito, Sega,Namco, Konami... that used super-scalers, rotations etc...


Yes, and in the hunt runs over the same board that they made blade master, because that i said its just a artisct choice and not a hardware limitation

sengoku 2
11-17-2016, 10:16 AM
Yes, i'm agree with you, it is a different style and also great pixel art and not a hardware limitation.
Undercover cops has also this colors choice and everyone is agree about high level pixel art of this game.

Arcade pcb :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZblYfUN_Q0

Before neo geo, most SNK games was on 256*224. ( beast buster, prehistoric isle in 1930, street smart, POW etc...)
But there was also some SNK games on 384*224 ( or 224*384 for vertical games ). ( psycho soldier, bermuda triangle,guerilla war...)

Barone
11-17-2016, 10:21 AM
We are talking about graphics and show some images helps to ilustrate some point
also you can said alot of stuff here.. thats cps-1 runs on 384*224 thats really a advantage
but you back in 80's and 90's you really know something about that? NO
you just going to machine look at screen and feel the game and presetation
and for everyoje in the time looks just another game runing in 320x224 on the side

lets talk about it..
Take your example, you said alot of captain commando, about 4 players cabinet, gameplay and etc..
in the same year we are playing turtles in time on arcades
have the 4 players coop, much bether animation, bether music, bether voices, full voice over intro,
cool presentation between stages, cool bosses, scaling effects, more dinamic and fun gameplay
one of the bests beat 'em ups out there..

its simple
I quoted the BT claims a few posts ago so we could stay on the subject, 'cause you kept deviating from it, ignoring the time frame, etc.

He mentioned "resolution and level of shading" and then you pasted shit like Pit Fighter as something impressive. Gimme a break, man.

Blade Master's sprites have good shading, but its backgrounds don't. They actually deliver less details and inferior shading to the Capcom games released at the same year. You must be blind to not see the difference or really hate Capcom to not be willing to admit it.

I didn't talk about Captain Commando's gameplay, the fact it supports 4 simultaneous players obviously impacts in how much animation it has to handle on the screen given that each playable character is completely different from the other.

But now about arcade's Turtles in Time vs Captain Commando, again, Captain Commando has *clearly* better shading. One just have to look at the characters to notice that (each screenshot received a 3x resize with no filtering):

http://i.imgur.com/eS2nMDf.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/2Wa9L8s.png

http://i.imgur.com/t48VAzh.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/Gv1yj74.png

And I'd love to see you trying to come up with any kind of measurement that could support your claim that TiT has "much bether animation". Hint: sprites sheets won't favor TiT.

But I "hype" and "overlook", OK.

Pyron
11-17-2016, 10:28 AM
Yes, i'm agree with you, it is a different style and also great pixel art and not a hardware limitation.
Undercover cops has also this colors choice and everyone is agree about high level pixel art of this game.

Arcade pcb :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZblYfUN_Q0

Before neo geo, most SNK games was on 256*224. ( beast buster, prehistoric isle in 1930, street smart, POW etc...)
But there was also some SNK games on 384*224 ( or 224*384 for vertical games ). ( psycho soldier, bermuda triangle,guerilla war...)

also data east on begining of 90's launches boards based on m68k thats have amazing graphics for the time on games like robocop 2 and caveman ninja
in 91 they release boards based on 32bit arm cpu that did captain america and the avengers and night slashers. Taito did Darius 2 on 89 with 3 monitors and was high res graphics and a rich pixel art and colors on the screens.. every company in this time are doing their job to deliver the best

Pyron
11-17-2016, 11:48 AM
I quoted the BT claims a few posts ago so we could stay on the subject, 'cause you kept deviating from it, ignoring the time frame, etc.
Man please dont do it, everything that i showed here is from the same period of any thing you quoted before...



He mentioned "resolution and level of shading" and then you pasted shit like Pit Fighter as something impressive. Gimme a break, man.

You asked.. show me something impressive at same time..
you can hate it, and it really have a few frames of animation and i agree with you
but they tried do something diferent, the game have digitalized chars, scaling and makes a huge sucess at time
ask for anyone on arcades.. what is more impressive side by side in same year?




Blade Master's sprites have good shading, but its backgrounds don't. They actually deliver less details and inferior shading to the Capcom games released at the same year. You must be blind to not see the difference or really hate Capcom to not be willing to admit it.

Dude i really love what the capcom did on the arcades, the a lot of the good moments of my childhood was playing their games
i already said here that in game department they are one of the best

Stage 1 from both games, i'm blind?
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/finalfightclones/captaincommando-3.pnghttp://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/1181242060377.png




I didn't talk about Captain Commando's gameplay, the fact it supports 4 simultaneous players obviously impacts in how much animation it has to handle on the screen given that each playable character is completely different from the other.

But now about arcade's Turtles in Time vs Captain Commando, again, Captain Commando has *clearly* better shading. One just have to look at the characters to notice that (each screenshot received a 3x resize with no filtering):

http://i.imgur.com/eS2nMDf.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/2Wa9L8s.png

http://i.imgur.com/t48VAzh.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/Gv1yj74.png

And I'd love to see you trying to come up with any kind of measurement that could support your claim that TiT has "much bether animation". Hint: sprites sheets won't favor TiT.

But I "hype" and "overlook", OK.

I think is very clear that is just a different art style?
One is cartoon based and tried look like it and captain commando was your own styles
TiT have others advantages thats i already sad

About animation i agree with you that's 4 players thats looks almost the same make the things easier
but everything is vivid in this game, the turtles by itself are very good and the enemys is full of life
but if you wanna sprites sheets..

The regular enemy of TiT have almost the same number of frames than the main char and the regular enemy of Captains Commando together
https://www.spriters-resource.com/resources/sheets/52/55325.png
https://www.spriters-resource.com/resources/sheets/6/5759.gif
https://www.spriters-resource.com/resources/sheets/49/51588.png

*Ps: The others ninjas colors have their exclusives frames too

Barone
11-17-2016, 01:45 PM
Man please dont do it, everything that i showed here is from the same period of any thing you quoted before...
This is one of your quotes:

SNK games is far more impressive tham anything capcom did.. take samurai shadow 2 and compare with any game on cps1 system..
have two worlds of diferences here..
Enough said. ;)



You asked.. show me something impressive at same time..
you can hate it, and it really have a few frames of animation and i agree with you
but they tried do something diferent, the game have digitalized chars, scaling and makes a huge sucess at time
ask for anyone on arcades.. what is more impressive side by side in same year?
It looks like shit IMO and I've never heard it was a huge success.




i'm blind?
The tiny screenshots hide the nastiness of its dithering and makes it difficult to evaluate how much detail each game shows (again, 3x scaling with no filtering):

http://i.imgur.com/AhqFA42.png
http://i.imgur.com/ktIyIFO.png

Captain Commando makes better use of the resolution mode it runs.



I think is very clear that is just a different art style?
I agree, but you suggested it in a discussion which was supposed to be centered at resolutions, level of shading, etc.



The regular enemy of TiT have almost the same number of frames than the main char and the regular enemy of Captains Commando together
The same could be said about it compared to the TiT turtles + TiT bosses.
The ninjas aren't that big and they're used over and over again; while Captain Commando has more different enemies each one of them with less fluid animation, yes.
But I find it a stretch to say TiT has "much better" animation. The turtles walking frames aren't that good to begin with and the bosses are pretty much in the same range of the Capcom games (25-40 frames depending on the size of the characters).

Thief
11-17-2016, 02:59 PM
Using IrfanView;

http://i.imgur.com/AhqFA42.png
^ 147 unique colours

http://i.imgur.com/ktIyIFO.png
^ 130 unique colours

Pyron
11-17-2016, 03:48 PM
This is one of your quotes:

Enough said. ;)
And is true, you can try zoom in 3x times any cps-1 against it to see by yourself




It looks like shit IMO and I've never heard it was a huge success.
Pit Fighter is not a Street Fighter 2 but everyone knows about him...
ask about it in any arcade and the people will tell about the game
later mortal kombat takes his places but didn't takes his importance at the time





The tiny screenshots hide the nastiness of its dithering and makes it difficult to evaluate how much detail each game shows (again, 3x scaling with no filtering):

Captain Commando makes better use of the resolution mode it runs.


The post of Thief with color count show what i trying show to you
Even you choosing a place that's favorize your point instead using the same example from stage 1 without take a pick from blade master thats blocks the second layer of background =D

I really i dont understand why you did that



The same could be said about it compared to the TiT turtles + TiT bosses.
The ninjas aren't that big and they're used over and over again; while Captain Commando has more different enemies each one of them with less fluid animation, yes.
But I find it a stretch to say TiT has "much better" animation. The turtles walking frames aren't that good to begin with and the bosses are pretty much in the same range of the Capcom games (25-40 frames depending on the size of the characters).
TiT follow the cartoon, they just face foot soldiers and some others things and everyones are in the game to equalize that they put alot of others elements on stages
just play both side by side... is very clear who is betther in this subject

Barone
11-17-2016, 04:04 PM
And is true, you can try zoom in 3x times any cps-1 against it to see by yourself
Then you don't like when I say you completely missed the point BT was making.



Pit Fighter is not a Street Fighter 2 but everyone knows about him...
ask about it in any arcade and the people will tell about the game
later mortal kombat takes his places but didn't takes his importance at the time
I'll not even comment this part.





The post of Thief with color count show what i trying show to you
So now it's about unique colors on screen? Not shading, not resolution, not graphics definition... Geez.



Even you choosing a place that's favorize your point instead using the same example from stage 1 without take a pick from blade master thats blocks the second layer of background =D
I really i dont understand why you did that
I chose shots which had a somewhat darker theme.
And I wanted to show how "good" the other character looked in the game you picked. His chest is indistinguishable, but I bet you think it looks great. The same for the background tiles with poor shading.



TiT follow the cartoon, they just face foot soldiers and some others things and everyones are in the game to equalize that they put alot of others elements on stages
just play both side by side... is very clear who is betther in this subject
If you only had understood the subject to begin with.

Black_Tiger
11-17-2016, 05:04 PM
I don't have time to go into detail about so many misconceptions in recent posts. I do find it ironic that in such desperate attempts to revise history so that Capcom's arcade games were both ugly and titles with no impact on the 16-bit generation... peopke are actually contradicting their posting history and now going to great lengths to prove that the SNES is just so superior to Genesis. "Lower resolution + higher color counts are all that matters, no natter how fugly or uninspired the artwork."

It's a good thing that the Turbo-CD port of Pit Fighter got cancelled, otherwise the TG-16 would have gone head to head against SNES, while the Genesis died out early on.

Barone
11-17-2016, 05:24 PM
I do find it ironic that in such desperate attempts to revise history so that Capcom's arcade games were both ugly and titles with no impact on the 16-bit generation... peopke are actually contradicting their posting history and now going to great lengths to prove that the SNES is just so superior to Genesis. "Lower resolution + higher color counts are all that matters, no natter how fugly or uninspired the artwork."
:D

Pyron
11-17-2016, 05:38 PM
It really is funny and ironic, where you say that something a fan likes is not surprising and stratigraphic as he claims to be is the same as saying that ugly and disgusting,
typical of children in kindergarten that subverts everything you say Since it does not have good arguments.

:D :D :D

goldenband
11-17-2016, 05:55 PM
Pit Fighter was fairly big -- at least in the northeastern US in the early 1990s. It was a machine I saw quite regularly at arcades, and the 3P simultaneous gameplay and digitized graphics certainly caught my eye (and others' as well -- I remember it as being fairly busy). It hasn't aged well to say the least, but it definitely made a splash at the time.

Again, to be clear, I'm not arguing anything about the game's quality or long-term importance. But I think it had a real impact, and probably did whet our collective appetite for the more explicit brutality of Mortal Kombat.

Sik
11-17-2016, 07:43 PM
I swear the discussion here had devolved into "resolution X sucks because this game had resolution Y" (regardless of whether it's larger or smaller)

LinkueiBR
11-17-2016, 08:18 PM
OFF: Talking about impressive games for their time i choose the 1991 Captain American Arcade game.
The backgrounds still looks very impressive to me!

The game runs in 320x240 and they used digitalized hand drawed art for the game backgrounds and they looks extremely detailed and with cartoon like quality. Looks like they don't drawed with tiles, but with a full bitmap loaded directly from the ROM. Theres no other game from this year with backgrounds so impressive!
https://tcrf.net/images/c/c6/Captain_America_Avengers_AC_Title_BG_Cropped.pnght tps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c0/Captain_America_and_The_Avengers_(Arcade)_gameplay .png
http://www.vizzed.com/vizzedboard/retro/user_screenshots/saves40/409292/CAPTAVENU--Captain%20America%20and%20The%20Avengers%20US%20Re v%2019_Aug11%2011_17_23.pnghttp://www.vizzed.com/vizzedboard/retro/user_screenshots/saves30/301707/CAPTAVEN--Captain%20America%20and%20The%20Avengers%20Asia%20 Rev%2014_Nov2%2014_10_31.png

sengoku 2
11-17-2016, 08:21 PM
also data east on begining of 90's launches boards based on m68k thats have amazing graphics for the time on games like robocop 2 and caveman ninja
in 91 they release boards based on 32bit arm cpu that did captain america and the avengers and night slashers. Taito did Darius 2 on 89 with 3 monitors and was high res graphics and a rich pixel art and colors on the screens.. every company in this time are doing their job to deliver the best


End of 80's until 1991, Data east was more on 256*240 as caveman ninja, vapor trail, dragon ninja, crude buster, midnight resistance, atomic runner...
And then they passed on 320*240 as roha armor force, captain america, robocop 2, night slasher etc...

Very great artistic touch with caveman ninja...


peopke are actually contradicting their posting history and now going to great lengths to prove that the SNES is just so superior to Genesis. "Lower resolution + higher color counts are all that matters, no natter how fugly or uninspired the artwork."


Yes, artwork, artistic touch is the most important and also great colour use, resolution comes at the end.
After all, one of the best looking megadrive game ( beautiful graphics and design ) is on 256*224, i speak about monster world 4.:cool:

Vludi
11-17-2016, 08:34 PM
I don't have time to go into detail about so many misconceptions in recent posts. I do find it ironic that in such desperate attempts to revise history so that Capcom's arcade games were both ugly and titles with no impact on the 16-bit generation... peopke are actually contradicting their posting history and now going to great lengths to prove that the SNES is just so superior to Genesis. "Lower resolution + higher color counts are all that matters, no natter how fugly or uninspired the artwork."
Nobody said they were ugly, just refuting that anything that wasn't made by Capcom has inferior graphics, which is kinda insulting considering all the cool looking games that came out in the first half of 90s, not to mention it's a pretty subjective matter.
I think Turtles in Time has shit gameplay compared to any Capcom beat 'em up, but I'd be crazy to say it looks bad or inferior, the sprite animation is excellent and so are many of the backgrounds.

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/tmnt/tmnt_files/tmnt-tit-ac-8.png


OFF: Talking about impressive games for their time i choose the 1991 Captain American Arcade game.
The backgrounds still looks very impressive to me!

The game runs in 320x240 and they used digitalized hand drawed art for the game backgrounds and they looks extremely detailed and with cartoon like quality. Looks like they don't drawed with tiles, but with a full bitmap loaded directly from the ROM. Theres no other game from this year with backgrounds so impressive!
https://tcrf.net/images/c/c6/Captain_America_Avengers_AC_Title_BG_Cropped.pnght tps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c0/Captain_America_and_The_Avengers_(Arcade)_gameplay .png
http://www.vizzed.com/vizzedboard/retro/user_screenshots/saves40/409292/CAPTAVENU--Captain%20America%20and%20The%20Avengers%20US%20Re v%2019_Aug11%2011_17_23.pnghttp://www.vizzed.com/vizzedboard/retro/user_screenshots/saves30/301707/CAPTAVEN--Captain%20America%20and%20The%20Avengers%20Asia%20 Rev%2014_Nov2%2014_10_31.png
Totally agree, the backgrounds in Captain America are amazing, and while the sprites are tiny they are still very nicely animated.

Barone
11-17-2016, 08:39 PM
Nobody said they were ugly, just refuting that anything that wasn't made by Capcom has inferior graphics, which is kinda insulting considering all the cool looking games that came out in the first half of 90s, not to mention it's a pretty subjective matter.
When stupidity and ignorance go through the roof everything becomes subjective since the comprehension of any rational discussion becomes impossible.

sengoku 2
11-17-2016, 08:42 PM
About first half of 90's, there were several graphic schools, there is something for every taste, one guy will say he is more capcom touch.
Another is more toaplan touch and another else is more Irem touch etc...

Vludi
11-17-2016, 08:46 PM
You have to be pretty dense to discuss art style exclusively by so called objective values though ;), kinda like judging art only by realism

Pyron
11-17-2016, 09:05 PM
End of 80's until 1991, Data east was more on 256*240 as caveman ninja, vapor trail, dragon ninja, crude buster, midnight resistance, atomic runner...
And then they passed on 320*240 as roha armor force, captain america, robocop 2, night slasher etc...

Very great artistic touch with caveman ninja...



Yes, artwork, artistic touch is the most important and also great colour use, resolution comes at the end.


Yes.. also in 1990 MVS is already on the market and say that SNK dosen't delivers the same or bether graphic/artistic quality than the Capcom titles its a bad joke to me.
When i defend mega drive games that uses 320x224 resolution its just because you got more closer to the majority of the arcades on 90's
turning more natural transition between each other, also is much betther plays on full screen crt tv than a flattened screen with black stripes
but in the end what did the game really great like you sad is artwork, use of colors, talent and gameplay

sengoku 2
11-17-2016, 10:02 PM
I am a neo geo fan, my pseudo sengoku 2 is about sengoku densyo 2 on neo geo.:cool:
About SNK, it was around 1989 that there was a first real improvement ( prehistoric isles in 1930, beast busters ) and it was with neo geo mvs that they could compare with Cps1.
On 1988 and 1989, in graphical department it is true that few developers could reach capcom graphics quality. ( Irem...)
In fact, others developers as Sega, Namco, Taito, Konami has other strenghts : special effects.
Namco System 2 was a huge beast for example.
But i do off-topic because this topic is all about resolution, graphics, colours, no special effects.:)

Beast buster ( realeased in Japan on november 1989 ) on arcade cabinet ( scanlines, crt , true feeling ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3txCb5tpkc


ps : i'm just speaking about end of 80's here.

tomaitheous
11-18-2016, 01:14 PM
I not exactly sure what you guys were arguing about; too much to read. But I do appreciate the pics :D

Thief
11-18-2016, 02:39 PM
We're arguing about Irem pixel art VS Capcom pixel art. ... I think.

paulojr_mam
11-18-2016, 05:23 PM
And how does this tie with resolution? One of them usually used higher resolution than the other, is that it?

midnightrider
11-18-2016, 09:19 PM
Don't suppose we could have just ended this thread with "because Genesis does," huh? :p

As for what looks better graphically, eye of the beholder?

Barone
11-18-2016, 10:22 PM
I'll try to summarize the recent discussion for those who got lost:
- tomaitheous resurrected the topic in order to correct the inconsistent information sheath had provided. (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765069&viewfull=1#post765069) That's one of the best posts in this thread IMO.
The subsequent posts by tomaitheous were also very informative and interesting; especially the one which explains, once again, why the 320x224 high res mode of the Mega Drive did NOT deliver any visual advantage through RF or composite back in the days. (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765116&viewfull=1#post765116) And it has everything to do with the main subject of the thread since it refutes the idea that such mode was there to provide better image quality (or higher definition) rather than the advantages it delivers in terms of sprite usage.

- Sik remembered that NTSC is a shitty color encoding (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765121&viewfull=1#post765121) (which I've always said; other members also supports this notion) so even if the composite output of the Mega Drive wasn't so shitty some shadings would remain indistinguishable (as Black_Tiger said).

- Sik also claimed that "the kind of arcades they intended to port were 320px wide, it'd be stupid to use anything else" (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765121&viewfull=1#post765121). And this is was challenged and refuted by Black_Tiger, who said "The popular arcade hardware at the time wasn't 320 pixels wide. CPS is 384 and Konami, Namco and Taito's 16-bit era games were 288. Mortal Kombat games are supposed to have a high resolution for the time. Sega's own Model 1 hardware ran at something close to 500 x 400." (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765131&viewfull=1#post765131).
Pyron and others tried to support what Sik said but they didn't provide strong evidence and made some quite absurd claims to be very honest. They cited Neo Geo games as an argument when it was released well after the Mega Drive's release and, with that said, it's simply stupid to cite it considering that the discussion was about WHY Sega chose to support/use that resolution on the Mega Drive.

- Black_Tiger listed the companies which were more relevant in the end of 80s and which resolution they were using (the vast majority wasn't 320 pixels wide); some people kept mumbling about it but failed to provide strong evidence to the opposite.

- Black_Tiger also categorically refuted the argument that Sega chose that resolution because they wanted to do pixel for pixel ports of their own games (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765288&viewfull=1#post765288).

- Black_Tiger then made another claim - "While playing arcade bitd, I always wondered why graphic quality peaked with Capcom games. The resolution and level of shading in CPS1 games really came through and Neo Geo games relied on artwork and animation through huge roms, but by the time the hardware started really doing that the 32-bit generation was already here. (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765288&viewfull=1#post765288)"- and that ignited a lot of (ignorant) criticism and some ridiculous remarks.

Thief
11-18-2016, 10:32 PM
Anyone else get the feeling that SNES devs usually used more sprites to create bigger more detailed characters to get around the lower res pixel art limitation, which in turn resulted in other issues.

Thief
11-18-2016, 10:49 PM
Case in point, games like this seem rare on the SNES.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SazNEQ-P5Vs&list=PLib8CA6AKJM_RL_XFHUTa-PbqTGzPh9Pi&index=30

Even buddy in the video says it has a Genesis feel (2:05 timestamp) (https://youtu.be/SazNEQ-P5Vs?list=PLib8CA6AKJM_RL_XFHUTa-PbqTGzPh9Pi&t=125).

Sik
11-19-2016, 01:31 AM
- Sik also claimed that "the kind of arcades they intended to port were 320px wide, it'd be stupid to use anything else" (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765121&viewfull=1#post765121). And this is was challenged and refuted by Black_Tiger, who said "The popular arcade hardware at the time wasn't 320 pixels wide. CPS is 384 and Konami, Namco and Taito's 16-bit era games were 288. Mortal Kombat games are supposed to have a high resolution for the time. Sega's own Model 1 hardware ran at something close to 500 x 400." (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765131&viewfull=1#post765131).
Pyron and others tried to support what Sik said but they didn't provide strong evidence and made some quite absurd claims to be very honest. They cited Neo Geo games as an argument when it was released well after the Mega Drive's release and, with that said, it's simply stupid to cite it considering that the discussion was about WHY Sega chose to support/use that resolution on the Mega Drive.
Don't forget Ryoandr's reply though:
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765146&viewfull=1#post765146

Remember: they were aiming for the hardware capabilities of the System 16 boards, which are indeed pretty close (I bet you could make an 1:1 port of the Quartet games, even S/H is used by them). That they later decided to get all those games on the Master System instead is a different matter, the hardware team was working without any input from the game developers and were just cramming in whatever they thought was acceptable.

Also: the original intention was to include sprite scaling, and then it had to be removed because they ran out of die space (which is why the Sega CD got it instead), so it shows that the original idea was to get the superscaler games ported and actually looking good. I need to find the interview again, tried last month but no luck <_<; (in this same interview was when they also mentioned the hardware team wasn't working with game developers)

EDIT: ...and then I find it in the first try /o\
http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/2/3/7952705/sega-genesis-masami-ishikawa


The biggest hurdle was the size of the chip. We wanted to include enlarging and minimizing capabilities as well as sprite-spinning functionality, but the circuit design was becoming too large to fit on one chip, which would have lowered the production yield rate and hiked up costs, so we had to remove it from the spec.
The process was not like it is today we did not ask software developers for opinions. We simply had a one-way meeting when we finished drafting the specs. Since the Saturn, however, the software development environment was improved, taking into account third-party opinions. From that point, the development methods, organizational structure and staffing systems were changed.(which also brings us the lesson: don't let game developers influence the hardware design, look at the clusterfuck that ended up becoming the Saturn)

Also huh:

The complex circuit designs were FIFO memory, read/write of one line buffer method for drawing, and interlace display.
I suppose the line buffer refers to the single line framebuffer where it draws the sprites into. But that aside he mentions the FIFO and interlacing... huh?!

So if we wanted more colors and wanted to get rid of something that was mostly useless, it'd have to be the interlacing modes? =|

Flygon
11-19-2016, 01:42 AM
I still reckon Interlacing could have been worth it, had there been 128kb VRAM available instead. But, alas.

Sik
11-19-2016, 01:52 AM
I'd have rather spent it on having more graphics honestly (and possibly smoother animations). The fact that transfer bandwidth is doubled is really useful too.

Flygon
11-19-2016, 04:26 AM
Oh, definitely. But it would have also made the Interlace Mode quite viable in itself. The ability to fill a screen with unique tiles, and still have plenty to spare, is quite handy in itself.

Though, I suspect the Progressive modes would've been used regardless. Less stuffing around with anamorphic artwork, and the ugliness of interlacing if you don't draw carefully.

Barone
11-19-2016, 07:01 AM
Don't forget Ryoandr's reply though:
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?19640-Why-the-Genesis-video-resolution-was-higher-than-most-other-systems-at-the-time&p=765146&viewfull=1#post765146

Remember: they were aiming for the hardware capabilities of the System 16 boards, which are indeed pretty close (I bet you could make an 1:1 port of the Quartet games, even S/H is used by them). That they later decided to get all those games on the Master System instead is a different matter, the hardware team was working without any input from the game developers and were just cramming in whatever they thought was acceptable.

Also: the original intention was to include sprite scaling, and then it had to be removed because they ran out of die space (which is why the Sega CD got it instead), so it shows that the original idea was to get the superscaler games ported and actually looking good. I need to find the interview again, tried last month but no luck <_<; (in this same interview was when they also mentioned the hardware team wasn't working with game developers)

EDIT: ...and then I find it in the first try /o\
http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/2/3/7952705/sega-genesis-masami-ishikawa

(which also brings us the lesson: don't let game developers influence the hardware design, look at the clusterfuck that ended up becoming the Saturn)

Also huh:

I suppose the line buffer refers to the single line framebuffer where it draws the sprites into. But that aside he mentions the FIFO and interlacing... huh?!

So if we wanted more colors and wanted to get rid of something that was mostly useless, it'd have to be the interlacing modes? =|
Oh, thanks for reminding me about that post and for the great info provided.
I think there's good evidence the 320 pixels wide resolution was there due to Sega own intentions; given that other major companies didn't use it at the time, the hardware was designed without third-party's input and Sega used it extensively in their boards at the time.



I'd have rather spent it on having more graphics honestly (and possibly smoother animations). The fact that transfer bandwidth is doubled is really useful too.
I think it would have been a major boost, especially in terms of arcade ports. While it's possible to accommodate games in a significantly reduced VRAM space, it usually requires a far more complex sprite engine to do so than if you had twice the VRAM space.

sengoku 2
11-19-2016, 10:09 AM
One thing that is not clear; what is the dot clock of the System16 boards? Is it the same for all? If the res is 320 pixels for the whole active line (no overscan), which is really typical to arcade systems, then that would indicate the Genesis resolution is actually higher than its arcade brethren. I think it would be strange for Sega arcade systems to have that much overscan, but then again maybe that's how they overcame the problem of prefetching/building issues with short hblank windows. The NG is known, but the CPS-1 and System 16 boards would need to be hooked up to an oscope or analyzer to know for sure what the active scanline looks like compare to the whole line. Or find the dot clock source, divide it be the tested frame rate, and divide that by the number of scanlines in the video signal (assuming they're all the same length). The NG comes out something like 325 active, so a few pixels of overscan.

Dot Clock here :

https://pineight.com/mw/index.php?title=Dot_clock_rates


6.25 MHz for Sega X-board : http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=698

6.29 MHz for Sega System 16B

Even if it's under dot clock megadrive, dot clock of system 16 is not a problem, it must work on arcade cabinet aero city where we can adjust the screen geometry.


About megadrive, i read :
H sync : 39 pixels
Back porch : 32 pixels
Active display : 348 pixels ( 13+320+15 )
Front porch : 8 pixels


About Konami resolutions, some arcade games on first half 90's were higher resolution :

224*376 : Gaiapolis (1993)

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/konamibeatemups/gaia-19.png

384*256 : Xexex ( 1991)

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/konamishooters/xexex-2.png

384*224 : Cow boy Moo mesa ( 1992 ), Bucky O'hare (1992), Violent Storm ( 1993 )


http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/konamirunnguns/moomesa-7.png

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/konamibeatemups/bucky%20o%27hare-1.png

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/violentstorm/violentstorm-02.png

Barone
11-19-2016, 10:14 AM
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to sengoku 2 again.

tomaitheous
11-19-2016, 11:34 AM
Thanks sengoku! So the System16 is slightly lower res than the Genesis (nothing noticeable though).

What I find more interesting, is CPS-1/2 specs of 8mhz. I've seen this number through around before and it really never added up. But it just dawned on me; arcade systems have calibrated monitors. Unlike home TVs where the horizontal and vertical adjustment could be all over the place, resolution in varying overscan as well as different PAR (horizontal and vertical settings directly affect this). CPS-1 has some impressive specs; 3 BG layers as well as 1536 pixel scanline limit for sprites (NeoGeo has the same sprite pixel limit, but has no BG layers). A large overscan area would be needed to handle it; 8mhz is 500px line with 384 active pixels to give you an idea. I mean, it's not above and beyond what the nes, genesis, snes, etc were doing - they all have about the exact same ratio of active pixels to line length (in pixels). But the key thing I was missing, is that on a perfectly calibrated NTSC TV set - you'd see those overscan borders on all these consoles. And arcade monitors are setup and calibrated (there are grid overlays you place on the monitor and adjust as needed to with test grid image matching the overlay). So while the pixel resolution of the CPS-1 is technically higher than a lot of systems, once you calibrate the system to the monitor and remove the overscan (borders) - it effectively gets reduced down to ~7.3mhz dot clock resolution. Finally.. it makes sense. The PAR they have listed as 0.77 on that site, would actually be closer to ~0.82. Assuming the monitors are actually 4:3 and not something else.

Vludi
11-19-2016, 02:27 PM
384*256 : Xexex ( 1991)

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/konamishooters/xexex-2.png

Xexex is just gorgeous, probably the best looking hori at the time. Shame the western version is so fucked up like many of Konami's arcades.

Pyron
11-19-2016, 03:31 PM
About Konami resolutions, some arcade games on first half 90's were higher resolution :


Irem did some hi-res arcades on late 80's and begining of 90's too

Kid Nikki 1986, Battle Chopper 1987, R-type 2 1989, Hammerin' Harry 1990, Cosmic Cop 1991 = 384x256
http://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/1181242123457.pnghttp://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/118124206066.pnghttp://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/1181242155173.pnghttp://www.hardcoregaming101.net/hammerin/harry-5.pnghttp://cfile1.uf.tistory.com/image/2005C6174A576F54121A60

Taito Launches some too on late 80's

Gigandes 1987, Superman 1988 = 384x256 (but the marjority of their boards runs at 320x224)
http://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/118124212010.pnghttp://www.arcade-history.com/images/game/2792_3.png


Also another cool case is Atari thats uses almost the same resolution in all their arcade generations

Gauntlet 1985 / Roadblaster 1987 / Riot 4wd 1991 / Primal Rage 1994 = 336x240
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5411df7ee4b01dce1367679d/557eebbce4b085fc53df04df/557eebbde4b00a74542fc257/1434381245644/664100-gauntlet-arcade-screenshot-level-8.pnghttp://www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/1181242156265.pnghttp://www.arcade-history.com/images/game/2235_3.pnghttp://s.emuparadise.org/MAME/snap/primrage.png

sengoku 2
11-19-2016, 03:52 PM
That's why i said this :):


If you want to discuss about graphics quality.
You have to speak about high level pixel art of Irem and Toaplan. ( dogyunn, in the hunt etc...)
About resolutions, Irem at the end of 80's was on 384*256 ( Irem M72 : R-type, ninja spirit, dragon breed etc...)



http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/dragonbreed/dragonbreed-3.png

sengoku 2
12-13-2016, 06:53 PM
Hi, i made small article about neo geo resolution with neo geo gamelist by resolution screen.
There are 320 and 304 pixels but also another resolution.
I could be wrong about 4 or 5 titles that i'm not sure about resolution.

Check this article here :

http://neogeo-megashock.blogspot.fr/p/neo-geo-resolution.html