SNES CD history discussion

Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by retro, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,354
    Likes Received:
    823
    It's supposedly a dev kit, not a prototype. And that's Pulstec, not Pulsetech - the latter make battery chargers. They have (or at least had) a US division in California, but that was established after PlayStation came out.
     
  2. LuigiBlood

    LuigiBlood SNES and 64DD Savior

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    139
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  3. karsten

    karsten Member of The Cult Of Kefka

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,025
    Likes Received:
    171
    Oh well after 10 years or so i do not remember much.. Also back then they were only japan based.

    Talking about processors i wonder if there was a proto with a 68000 family processor... After all Philips seemed to love the 68xxx serie, and maybe in the joint effort...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2015
  4. Tchoin

    Tchoin Site Patron

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,478
    Likes Received:
    130
    Hi folks, I just finished translating the pages I scanned from the south american magazine Club Nintendo, I only translated pages 33 & 34 (2 and 3 from the 4 page scans), as page 35 had nothing to do with it.

    If you find any part lacking sense, please let me know and I'll do a better translation, I just did this on the fly as I was reading it. Mind you, it is mostly crap, don't expect anything crazy as these guys couldn't even write proper spanish it seems, maybe they did not do much proof-reading (ie.: "megabites") as the magazine's target audience were kids.

    There are a few statements that sound interesting though.

    @retro can you add this to the first post maybe?

    [!] TRANSLATION BEGINS BELOW [!]

    ~ BEGIN PAGE 33 ~

    "The Crystal Ball"

    Do you remember that in our first issue we mentioned the existence of the Japanese version of the Super Nintendo? Well, for that version, named "Super Famicom", Nintendo is creating an adapter that will come out under the name "CD-ROM", which brings the latest in technology for videogames.

    With this novelty system you will be able to enjoy Compact Disc games, in a higher quality of what's established in any other video game system.

    Don't forget that, when reading the following information, every time we speak about the Super Famicom, we also mean it will come out for his american cousin, the Super Nintendo.

    Lets meet the CD-ROM now.

    CD-ROM ADAPTER FOR SUPER FAMICOM

    Speaking about videogame machines, the one that stands out the most is the Super Famicom.

    Nintendo decided to begin with sales of the CD-ROM from January next year. The rising of this CD-ROM PLAYER has been rumored since the Super Famicom came out to the market, however, Nintendo did not develop it with Sony in the end, as it was originally planned, but rather with the dutch electrical company Philips, which was the creator of the Compact Disc system.

    The price, in comparison with other similar systems, is much cheaper. It looks like the goal is to sell around 300,000 units per month at early stages, between USA and Japan. At the same time, they are also planning on selling 3 games.

    Being Nintendo, it wouldn't be surprising to see a product coming out such as Super Famicom's "Super Mario World".

    They are about to make deals with around 50 game development companies at this moment. It is said that the price for games is going to be reduced to a bit less than the cost of a Super Famicom game.

    In the CD-ROM adapter model, the CD-ROM XA norms are being applied, developed between Philips, Sony and Microsoft. This model allows for the simultaneous reproduction of graphics and sound signals applied to video game development. In addition, Nintendo is installing an auxiliar microprocessor in order to aid the slow CD-ROM loading times. We know these terms might sound complicated, but the latest technology is being applied so that CD-ROM videogames can be used, and that technology is the CD-ROM PLAYER.

    SPECS TABLE ___________________________

    MEMORIES ====================
    Main Memory (RAM) - 8 Megabits
    Sub Memory (RAM) - 1 Megabit
    System Memory (ROM) - 2 Megabits
    ==============================

    READING SPEED ===============
    Max. information volume (after formatting) - 540 "Megabites" ~ aprox.
    Reading speed - 150 "kbites"/sec. ~ aprox.
    Transmission speed - DMA 2.68 Megs/sec. ~ aprox.
    Average access time - 0.75 seconds
    Max. access time - 1.3 seconds
    Reading error percentage - less than 10%
    =============================

    ADAPTER =====================
    Dimensions - 242x200x74 mm
    Weight - 1.1 Kg ~ aprox.
    Energy consumption - 4 watts
    =============================
    _______________________________________


    <> Page 33 <>

    ~ END PAGE 33 ~



    ~ BEGIN PAGE 34 ~

    THIS IS THE CD-ROM! LET'S TRY PICTURE ITS SHAPE BASED ON WHAT HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED OF IT.

    So, what could this so called "CD-ROM" system be, and what could be the shape of the machine? Let's try picture it based on what we know so far.

    First off, the style. The announced size of the CD-ROM is the same as the Super Famicom, and it attaches to the lower side of the console, forming an extension of its base. It's like you had two Super Famicoms, one on top of the other.

    The announced CD-ROM system, in this occassion, consists of the CD-ROM unit and a cart. Both things will be sold together. Within this cart, lies the auxiliary chip that speeds up the CPU's capacity (the Super Famicom's brain). This way, a fastest speed will be achieved in shooter games, and for example, computer flight simulation games can be ported.

    The CD-ROM is not only a simple machine like the others that exist currently in the market, but (as Nintendo themselves said): "It is not a model that exceeds the Super Famicom, but rather a way to improve it." So the most correct assumption would be to call it an adapter that improves the Super Famicom's functions.

    VIDEOGAME DEVELOPERS' REACTIONS. WILL THEY TAKE PART OR NOT?

    Nintendo has made, up until now, provisional/tentative contracts with 50 videogame producers, but many (amongst them: Imaginia, Irem, etc.) say that they are still deciding whether they will make games for the CD-ROM or not. We can assume that most of the companies that develop games for the Super Famicom, will also do so for the CD-ROM. There are many companies such as Square, Bandai, who have explicitely declared they are taking part in this, and have as well demonstrated a very positive attitude, like Seta, who has said: "We want to take part in this, as this provides a medium to exploit the animated cartoons genre. We are looking forward to begin selling as soon as possible."

    On the other hand, there have been favorable comments on behalf of the producers that also participate on similar systems like Sam Denshi: "We are positively analyzing the CD-ROM, it will be simple for us as we already have experience with Compact Disc games"; Razorsoft, another game developer: "We are planning on doing a develop and sale around the CD-ROM".

    As you might see, the CD-ROM for Super Nintendo will in the future undoubtedly be the best option in terms of videogames.

    The launch date is expected to be January 1993, and, like the surprises the Super Nintendo brought us with its rotation and scaling effects, rest assured the CD-ROM will bring surprises as well. Probably something totally unexpected... stay tuned.

    <> Page 34 <>

    ~ END PAGE 34 ~

    [!] END OF TRANSLATION [!]

    The bit that follows about Street Fighter II The World Warrior has nothing to do with this.
     
    sa1, ctRl and guardicgaiden like this.
  5. LuigiBlood

    LuigiBlood SNES and 64DD Savior

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    139
    Also, the more I look at the articles, the more I think the EXT port of the Super Nintendo would actually never ever be used by the SNES CD. A few magazines talks about the technical aspect, A-bus and B-bus. EXT is B-bus only, except the addon is connected to the A-bus.
    I won't expect any use of $21XX registers, technically speaking. However I may expect $20XX...
     
    guardicgaiden likes this.
  6. dclover56

    dclover56 Rising Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    5
    Most likely not. I think there may have been plans for Philips CD-I games with both a CD-I and SNES-CD binary on the cd
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2015
  7. Spyd

    Spyd Newly Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    This unit is made by Sony, and Philips and Sony never worked in this project together, in fact, it's believed that the involvement between Nintendo and Philips was the cause for Sony to make the PlayStation by itself as some way of revenge because the shame that was that Nintendo was talking with Philips about doing the Nintendo CD with them.
     
  8. Gemini

    Gemini Retro developer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    88
    If they wanted to have a SNES hardware layer somewhere in there, I much doubt it. Still, the m68k was a pretty good processor for the time, something totally suitable for anything higher level like C (just like the R2000). Let's see what this prototype turns out to hold on that mobo.
     
  9. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,354
    Likes Received:
    823
    Thanks, @Tchoin! I've linked to it in the first post, as it would hit the character limit ;)
     
    Tchoin likes this.
  10. Pottypotsworth

    Pottypotsworth Newly Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Very cool and informative post. Do we know enough about the development process of the SNES-CD to be able to put together a time line of pictures which shows the earliest to lastest units produced?

    Secondary question. It seems like the units that have been found and document all tend to be the Sony version which is a SNES and a Playstation single unit. Has the SNES-CD addon prototype that attached to the bottom of the SNES ever been seen outside of a magazine mockup?
     
    ctRl likes this.
  11. Ultron

    Ultron Spirited Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    15
    I believe in the documents somewhere, there would also be a cable coming from the cartridge to the rear of the CD unit as well.
     
  12. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,354
    Likes Received:
    823
    No.

    No.
     
  13. Ultron

    Ultron Spirited Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    15
    Here's the snippet from Volume 25 of Nintendo Power (June 1991 - Battletoads Cover). On a side note, EmuParadise has plenty of retro mags (including most of the Nintendo Powers) for download.


    NP25-p44.jpg
     
  14. Johnny

    Johnny Gran Turismo Freak and Site Supporter 2013,2015

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,232
    Likes Received:
    404
    As promised, scans from EGM #89, December 1996.

    [GALLERY=media, 246]EGM89_01 by Johnny posted Jul 7, 2015 at 1:36 AM[/GALLERY][GALLERY=media, 247]EGM89_02 by Johnny posted Jul 7, 2015 at 1:36 AM[/GALLERY][GALLERY=media, 248]EGM89_03 by Johnny posted Jul 7, 2015 at 1:36 AM[/GALLERY]
     
    sa1 likes this.
  15. Brian

    Brian Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    112
    I will say, even though the SNES PSX was cancelled, Sony Imagesoft (before there was an SCEI/SCEA) was still developing for Nintendo, even after the blow at CES where Philips was announced. We had plenty of games in the works all the way up to the PSX launch (3D, not SNES)

    Having said that, Nintendo and Sega still treated Sony Imagesoft as an independent publisher. And, in all my time there, never once do I recall Nintendo ever presenting a CD-ROM add-on coming for the SNES in any capacity. Back then, I think it was more rumor-mill stuff, because Nintendo clearly didn't like the sluggishness of CD at the time, nor did they want to lose hold of manufacturing of cartridges, which they held a monopoly on for their systems. The only item they presented to us was the FX chip and possible availability if we developed games for it exclusively. That's it.

    Sega on the other hand presented us all of their upcoming hardware at the time, from 32X to Pluto, etc. and their long term plans regardless of the "rumored" PSX (3D CD unit, not SNES).
     
    joehax and HEX1GON like this.
  16. Gentlegamer

    Gentlegamer Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2014
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    6
    Was the sluggishness Nintendo took issue with just FMV access and playback?

    The more traditional CD games I've played on PC Engine and Sega CD that just use CD music seem to play fine.
     
  17. Madsmaten

    Madsmaten Enthusiastic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    150
    This page comes from the Danish edition of Nintendo Power magazine. (In Danish: Nintendo-Magasinet).
    I can translate the page, if anybody is interested ?


    [​IMG]
     
  18. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,354
    Likes Received:
    823
    Yes, issue 6 from 1993, I'm reliably informed ;)

    Sure, go for it
     
  19. ctRl

    ctRl Newly Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, please.
     
  20. Madsmaten

    Madsmaten Enthusiastic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    150
    [​IMG]

    Translated from Danish:


    Latest news surrounding Nintendo-CD.

    Nintendo finally released technical specifications, about the newly announced CD-rom drive planned to launch in Japan and USA this fall. Super NES ND (Nintendo Disc) is the Japanese name, and comes with a 32-bit co-processor which makes it superior to any other system.
    The games will not look like ordinary CD’s, the CD itself comes in a cartridge, and will contain 256 Kbit of RAM memory, which works like the memory in a ”ordinary” cartridge based game.
    A safety chip is installed to prevent piracy.

    All of those who complained about the SNES processor working too slow, with it’s 3.58 Mhz, can look forward to SNES ND’s RISC-based processor, which clocks at speeds around 21.477 Mhz. In addition, the SNES ND contains a custom-chip which works like a ”second” processor, which makes the CD able to read RAM, without overriding anything else, it runs at a clock on 4.295 MHz.
    This is a Nintendo developed system called HANDS (Hyper Advanced Nintendo Data Transfer System).

    The biggest part of the system’s ”brain”, will be found in the System-Cartridge, which means that the system will be easy to upgrade, if that would ever be the issue.

    Which games that are on it’s way, still seems quite unclear. Virgin plans to make a SNES ND-version of the amazingly popular 7th Guest, while Seta have talked about their roleplaying game Gdleen, which is a game without text, only numbers.
    Which other games that is going to show up, we hope to see at this Summers CES-exhibition in Chicago, in the beginning of June. Same place as SNES ND was shown in public for the first time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    Gojiratron and ctRl like this.

Share This Page