MEGA DRIVE (Genesis) CD-ROM News (detailed)

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Han J. Lee

Jul 4, 1991, 3:41:06 AM7/4/91
It looks like what Sega of America told me about Genesis CD-ROM having
scaling/rotation is really TRUE !!!

The following articles are translated from the July issues of Mega Drive
Fan and Beep! Mega Drive :

From Mega Drive Fan (July, 1991 -- June in Japan)

=== Mega CD's Scaling and Rotation Capability ===
One of the biggest news on the new Mega CD (Genesis CD-ROM Drive) is
its ability to do hardware scaling and rotation. Yes, indeed the Mega CD
is equipt with hardware scaling/rotation chip. Even until now, we have
seen some Meag Drive games that showed some neat rotation (done in software).
But undoutedly, the computation involved in doing the tricks put a heavy
burden on the CPU. But Mega CD is equipt with a chip that does the computation
in hardware, enabling very fast scaling/rotation without putting any CPU to
work. Of course, even the Super Famicom has the ability to do scaling and
rotation. However, Super Famicom has a limit in that it can only do scaling/
rotation on its background. On the other hand, it is not the case with
the Mega CD, in which the scaling/rotations can be done on the sprites as
well as the backgrounds. To be even more impressive, the Mega CD enables
rotations with two pivotal points (having two independent centers of rotations)
with different vectors for each rotatees in one screen !

==== Mega CD's Animation Capability ====

Recently, having intro or intermissions with animated scenes in a video
games have become so common that it is rare not to see one. The Mega CD
is equipt with advanced hardwares that support this type of animations
to the max. Although the screen size would be limited to about 2/3 of
the full screen, a continuos animation in 16 colors can be done for about
1 hour with the Mega CD. Further more, the Mega CD supports upto about 15
frames per second thus creating extremely smooth animation. This ability
is really something of a big deal and we can expect a lot from the Mega CD
just from the intros and demos of the games.

The following article is translated from the Beep! Mega Drive (7/91)

===== Mega CD -- the specs ======
<< Huge Size of Buffer RAM >>

As we have seen with the PC-Engine, it has become possible to play video
games with graphics and sound incredibly sophisticated with the help of
CD-ROM. However, the CD-ROM had its own disadvantage, namely its slow (and
annoying) access time. Although the CD-ROM could contain a huge amount of
data, with a single CPU and a single data path, the access time has been a
serious problem in defeating the game play. In developing the Mega CD,
one way to overcome the problem was to include a big buffer RAM.
This minimizes the interrupts to fetch more data in between.

<< Having a fast 68000 CPU >>

As explained above, to maximize the effect of having a large buffer RAM,
the Mega CD is equipt with its own CPU. The CPU chosen for this purpose
was obviously MC68000. However, the 68000 in the Mega CD runs at 12.5 MHz
whereas the one in the MD unit runs only at 7.5 MHz. By having a separate
CPU in the CD-ROM unit, the CPU in MD doesn't have to sit idle while
fetching the data. The CPU in the CD-ROM constantly fills the buffer RAM
with the data from the CD while the CPU in MD constantly reads off the data
from the buffer RAM. The access time in Mega CD is approximately three
times faster than that of the PC-Engine's CD-ROM2.

<< Scaling and Rotation in Hardware >>

One disadvantage of Super Famicom's ability to scale and rotate [only
on the background] has been corrected in the Mega CD, so expect something
here too.

<< Sound Capability is About Equivalent as that of Rad Mobile >>

Mega CD CAN play regular CD musics. However, it can do even more advanced
functions too! With 1 PCM and 6 FMs, even the Mega Drive alone is considered
as a very high quality sound machine. However, Mega CD can use its 8 PCM
generators. This allows the gamers to enjoy the sound quality that's only
found in 32 bit machine such as the Rad Mobile.


The following Mega CD games are announced in the Famicom Tsushin (6/28)
and MD Fan :

Ernest Evans -- Wolf Team (action)
Seireishinseiki Fay Area -- Wolf Team (RPG)
Super Gals Panic -- KANEKO (strip Qix)
Tenkashibu -- Game Arts
LUNAR -- Game Arts
Yumi mitkusu -- Game Arts
Shin Hajano hooin -- Kookato Studio
Shubalt shilt (?) -- Kookato Studio
Nostalgia -- Shield Wave
Dark Wizard Sorishi Yamino Matoshi- SEGA
Seima Tensetsu "3 X 3 Eyes" -- SEGA
Sim Earth -- SEGA
Lies of the Dragon -- SEGA
Crying Dragon -- Treco
Vice II (tentative title) -- Treco
Cosmic Fantasy -- Nihon Telenet
Alsran Senki -- Human
Hooshin engi -- Victor ongaku sangyo
World Rally -- Visco
Detnator Organ -- Hot B

Here's the list of third party companies signed up to support the Mega CD:
Asmik Shield Wave Nihon Telenet
Wolf Team Taito Nihon Busan
KANEKO Techno Soft Varie
Game Arts Toa Plan Pal Soft
Kookato Studio Toshiba EMI Human
Compile Toyo Recording Victor Ongaku sangyo
Sun Soft Treco Visco
CSK Mesiya (NCS) Hot B
Sigma Nihon Decsta Micronet


I haven't finshed reading the magazines yet, so if I find anything interesting
I'll be sure to post them as soon as possible!
Also, stay tuned for the updated list of new MD softs!
Han J. Lee /| /|| |/\
hl...@cory.Berkeley.EDU (Internet) / |/ || |>-|


Jul 4, 1991, 11:13:50 AM7/4/91
When you find out what types of games each of the CD games are, would
you please post it, I'm interested in finding out what kinds of games their
Mike Robertson
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