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Thread: Was the N64 strategy the best way for Sega to return to the market? (Hypothetically)

  1. #376
    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    So I went back and checked Hideki Sato's statement. He doesn't actually mention the SVP by name - instead, he says the "Samsung DSP". Did Sega use any other Samsung DSPs except for the SVP?

    He said that Samsung made 200,000 or 300,000 DSPs, each costing close to $100, and they were all destroyed because they had quality control issues and weren't reliable. He specifically says Sega lost about $30 million on the ordeal.

    Could this be another DSP we don't know about? Unfortunately, Sato doesn't give any more details.

  2. #377
    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Even $15 is very high for one component, if it was $100 the game would never have been made.
    I can't see it being $100 per chip, that's the same sort of level MS was paying for the use of 360 CPU's. It would be madness for SEGA to be paying that for one DSP inside a Mega Drive cart
    Do find it hard to believe that SEGA was paying more of the SVP than what it was for the SH-2's inside the Saturn.

    But this is SEGA so one never really knows.
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  3. #378
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    So I went back and checked Hideki Sato's statement. He doesn't actually mention the SVP by name - instead, he says the "Samsung DSP". Did Sega use any other Samsung DSPs except for the SVP?

    He said that Samsung made 200,000 or 300,000 DSPs, each costing close to $100, and they were all destroyed because they had quality control issues and weren't reliable. He specifically says Sega lost about $30 million on the ordeal.

    Could this be another DSP we don't know about? Unfortunately, Sato doesn't give any more details.
    There must be more to it. If the chips were defective that should be on Samsung not Sega.
    VR on the Genesis was a technical marvel even with all the limitations. Put it in the Nomad and you've got a portable 3D console in 1995 -- way better than the Virtual Boy!

  4. #379
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    I'm not aware of Sega using any other Samsung DSP, though you'd have to check all their arcade stuff to be 100% sure about it. That may be worth checking actually, because there's no way they'd accept $100 chips to use on a Mega Drive cartridge (or the games would have costed way more than that, and we know Virtua Racing didn't), but that'd make more sense on an arcade board.

    And yeah, if all the chips were defective then Samsung should have taken up the cost… unless they were actually working to spec and the defects were Sega's fault (i.e. Sega's engineers screwed up how the DSP was actually meant to work so Samsung kept making chips that turned out to not work). I also guess that if it was Samsung's fault it would have still probably required taking them to court over it. The whole thing is still pretty bad tho regardless of who was at fault.

    Something here is fishy.

  5. #380
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    The used Fujitsu DSPs in the model 1/2.
    The SVP was definitely Samsung and I don't even know if they ever used any Samsung made ICs except for the SVP. The hardware I've seen from them predominantly uses Yamaha, Hitachi, NEC, and Fujitsu ASICs.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    There must be more to it. If the chips were defective that should be on Samsung not Sega.
    VR on the Genesis was a technical marvel even with all the limitations. Put it in the Nomad and you've got a portable 3D console in 1995 -- way better than the Virtual Boy!
    So true and most of the 3D polygons on my ST was better too. That said, it was rumoured in EDGE that the Virtual Boy was a complete rush job (like the 32X ) due to the delay of N64 hardware.
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  7. #382
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Honestly the Virtual Boy's big issue was the screen. I have no clue why they didn't decide to go with two discrete screens instead of that weird setup involving the mirror (which not only added to the weight and drained batteries quickly, it also led to the severe flicker and forced them to use red because red LEDs were the only ones fast enough for the job at the time). That alone would have solved the worst problems.

    As far as I can tell, the CPU and graphics hardware of the Virtual Boy were actually decent (forgot where it was regarding sound).

  8. #383
    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Honestly the Virtual Boy's big issue was the screen. I have no clue why they didn't decide to go with two discrete screens instead of that weird setup involving the mirror (which not only added to the weight and drained batteries quickly, it also led to the severe flicker and forced them to use red because red LEDs were the only ones fast enough for the job at the time). That alone would have solved the worst problems.

    As far as I can tell, the CPU and graphics hardware of the Virtual Boy were actually decent (forgot where it was regarding sound).
    It's close enough in sound to the PC Engine that the developer of a SFII' port adapted the PCE version soundtrack.


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    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

  9. #384
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    The used Fujitsu DSPs in the model 1/2.
    The SVP was definitely Samsung and I don't even know if they ever used any Samsung made ICs except for the SVP. The hardware I've seen from them predominantly uses Yamaha, Hitachi, NEC, and Fujitsu ASICs.
    I've never heard of any arcade PCB that used a Samsung DSP (although now that I've said that I'm sure someone will have an example).

  10. #385
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Honestly the Virtual Boy's big issue was the screen. I have no clue why they didn't decide to go with two discrete screens instead of that weird setup involving the mirror (which not only added to the weight and drained batteries quickly, it also led to the severe flicker and forced them to use red because red LEDs were the only ones fast enough for the job at the time). That alone would have solved the worst problems.

    As far as I can tell, the CPU and graphics hardware of the Virtual Boy were actually decent (forgot where it was regarding sound).
    The CPU is a similar architecture to the Model 2. I recall one of the developers from Argonaut saying that Nintendo could have used full color displays even back then but I guess that would have cost too much.

    I was only able to play a few of the VB titles back in the day, more recently I've watched playthroughs in 3D on the 3DS, I think I would have enjoyed the Wario game.

  11. #386
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    It uses a red lcd strip that is magnified and reflected by a mirror. It’s very primitive.
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  12. #387
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    IIRC, CPU is a NEC v800 series like that used in the PCFX. Kind of strange that the sound hardware is similar to the PCE/PCFX too haha.

  13. #388
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    OK was doing some math and… not sure exactly in which arrangement it scans, but it's definitely in the tens of kHz range, which means the strip needs to be able to update that fast. WTF Nintendo, was this really cheaper than two normal screens?

  14. #389
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Have you ever see a VB taken apart? It looks really cheap.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



  15. #390
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    I mean, I'd expect that (electronics are not exactly known for not looking cheap, Commodore added extra metal to their early computers just to make them feel less cheap), but I'd imagine that a strip that can change at that speed and a mirror that needs to be carefully calibrated is going to be pretty expensive compared to just slapping two LCD screens with backlight. I wonder if the mirror-based screen was the whole point behind that project and it didn't occur anybody to stop them when it was blatantly obvious that the result wasn't great.

    Back on SVP, it just hits me that it could be $100 per chip accounting for defective ones (i.e. the average price of the working chips when including all the money spent on the defective ones). If true then that'd show the magnitude of the manufacturing issues.

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