Sega Saturn VCD Cards

Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by skateforjondoe, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. SaturnHST

    SaturnHST Spirited Member

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    I have a few of each. They are not US spec. The only thing they have in common is the color of the case. The circular stamp on the inside of the case has the arrow pointed to "MULTI", while the US consoles have the arrow pointed to "USA" (Japan points to "JPN" and Europe points to "MULTI"). Samsung consoles are set to region code 2 (Asia NTSC) and has a unique wide-voltage psu that takes 110-220v, and also a unique bios that disables the Japanese language setting when the console is set to region code 2. The Kama consoles are set to region code 1 (Japan) with a 220v psu. I think by 1998 most of the country had already switched from 110v to 220v so there was no need to support 110v. Also the Kama motherboards have a "K" printed with white circular dots.
     
  2. SaturnHST

    SaturnHST Spirited Member

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    I uploaded that info on segaretro. That Asian vcd card (PAL-style label) plays both NTSC and PAL VCDs. I don't think it plays Photo CD's but I don't have any Photo CD discs to test it with. I think it was the very last VCD card produced; I remember opening it up a few years ago and looking at the board. The strange thing is that it doesn't have the option of choosing between the left/right/left+right audio channel, which would have been necessary in Hong Kong, as most HK VCD's have Cantonese on one channel and Mandarin on the other. The RG-VC20 and RG-VC3 cards have that option.
     
  3. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    The ones I had wouldn't play Photo CDs, which surprised me since I had initially assumed they were just VC3/VC20 cards with a different lable.
     
  4. Tyree_Cooper

    Tyree_Cooper Peppy Member

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    Why would they remove Photo CD support and L/R selection? Unless that helped cut hardware costs. But I thought most features were software/firmware related, and that the hardware was the same.

    On the bright side, that vcd card was the last breath and not many units must have been made, pretty sure nobody cared:D
     
  5. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    The only thing I can think of is that there was a licensing fee involved and they didn't want to pay it for a feature that it seemed nobody really cared about.
     
  6. abveost

    abveost Peppy Member

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    Any idea where I could even find an image of a photocd to test this?
     
  7. dj898

    dj898 Site Supporter 2015

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  8. abveost

    abveost Peppy Member

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    Thanks. I burned that and gave it a try. I have two apparently different versions of the 670-7089A. Identical front and back unless I'm missing something but function differently. One came in a VCD Saturn but might not be the original one. The other I found loose. When starting with the Photo CD in the drive each card gives a different error message. Both cards play the disk with the Photo CD OS. I've never tried a Photo CD before so I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be done.
     
  9. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    OK, if you get an error message when starting the console with a Photo-CD disc in the drive, then the card doesn't support photo CD. If you do the same thing using something like an RG3 then it will load the photo-CD operator code from the internal ROM and display the photos.

    Basically, in this case "Supports Photo CD" means "supports Photo CD without using the Photo CD operator disc".
     
  10. Tyree_Cooper

    Tyree_Cooper Peppy Member

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    They both have "CE" on the back sticker? Would the PCB of those cards be any different so we can tell what's going on?

    If it helps, here are some photos of my only Asian V2 card, taken from a VCD console.

    https://1drv.ms/f/s!AmyGI60uUyiWvApJnD5Q3RBKUWe1
     
  11. abveost

    abveost Peppy Member

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    I suspected it was something like that. So it's just a BIOS thing? I theory one could replace that to gain access to this very useful feature without need for the OS disk?
    Both have CE. I cracked one open yeas ago and took pictures but can't find them right now. Never opened the one that works oddly. It's entirely possible that one is just broken. I'll put taking pics of the boards, etc on my long list of things to do. Necrobump in another 7 years.
     
  12. Tyree_Cooper

    Tyree_Cooper Peppy Member

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    Regarding the Asian VCD card included with the VCD console, it is indeed true that it does not support Photo CD, nor Electronic Book. The bottom-right corner of the back of the box says:

    "This Hardware is designed specifically for use with game software displaying either the SEGASATURN, or NTSC-J mark. CD-G, CD-EG and audio CDs may also be played. *
    * You can also play photo CDs and e-book CDs by using the Sega Saturn Photo CD Operator or the Sega Saturn Electronic Book Operator, respectively."

    Cheap!!!

    DSCN2406.jpg
     
  13. SaturnHST

    SaturnHST Spirited Member

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    The Japanese and Euro Sega-made vcd cards never had Photo CD or E-book support anyways. They wanted you to buy an additional accessory. Only the Victor-made cards had those functions built-in.

    BTW check the typo on the back of the VCD console box: "*You can also play photo CDs and e-book CDs by using the Sega Saturn the Sega Saturn Photo CD Operator or the Sega Saturn Electronic Book Operator, respectively."
     
  14. Tyree_Cooper

    Tyree_Cooper Peppy Member

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    accesories ;)
     
  15. SaturnHST

    SaturnHST Spirited Member

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    I noticed there are 2 versions of the Saturn VCD console box that has different info on the PBC function. Could they include different VCD cards, or different revisions of the Asia PAL-label card?

    1997 box, upper right corner states that it does not support PBC function:
    [​IMG]

    1998 box, upper right corner states that it has Version 2.0 PBC function:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Tyree_Cooper

    Tyree_Cooper Peppy Member

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    Does RG-VC3 support PBC?
    One of the VCD units I had came with RG-VC3 inside, so maybe they fitted that card in later units.

    Edit: They also got rid of the Photo CD and Ebook disclaimer on that 2nd version box, indicating it must have come with an RG-VC3 or RG-VC20.
     
  17. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    All those Video CD units I ever saw had the Sega cards in them. I can't say for sure they never came with Victor cards, but it would seem strange to supply a Sega branded console with a Victor card in it.
     
  18. Tyree_Cooper

    Tyree_Cooper Peppy Member

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    Yes but they're the only ones that would justify the removal of the disclaimer at the back of the box, right?:eek::eek: what a mystery:D
     
  19. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    I would have thought that if they were supplying a card that supported Photo CD natively, they would have mentioned it - but what they have actually done is to drop all mention of PhotoCD entirely. One other possibility is they ran out of the Photo CD discs, and faced with a choice of making more or just dropping any mention of it they chose the latter. By 1998 Photo-CD was pretty much a dead format anyway...
     
  20. Tyree_Cooper

    Tyree_Cooper Peppy Member

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    that possible :) but please be nicer to photo cd, i think it has a lot of potential in the future:D:D
    what about that pbc function, can it be enabled by something else than the vcd card itself? i have no idea how those things work
     

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