Pill poll down, custom chip poll up

by wolf_ on 21-10-2009, 12:18
Topic: MRC
Tags: Polls
Languages:

It's high time for a new poll already. Prior to introducing the new poll, let's have a look at the previous poll: what to do with the big pills in Pac Man. After 37 votes, here's the result:

  1. Eat Joey, Paul, Willy and Franky 40.54% (15)
  2. Run Naked in a Field of Flowers 37.84% (14)
  3. Eat the other pills in peace 21.62% (8)

For most voters, hunger prevails over tactics and running naked prevails over hunger. With 37 votes it's hard to superimpose these statistics upon all of us, but they probably wouldn't be far off. And with that, time to leave these ghosts where they belong: in those dark pill-infested corridors with repetitive music in the background.

The new poll is more serious for a change. Konami's SCC chip was a nifty invention: rather than relying on musical developments from the regular manufacturers, Konami supplied their own sound extension with their games. How far could one stretch this concept among MSX fans today, from conservative purists to progressive developers? Imagine that someone makes a physical ROM game containing a CPLD today. With an SCC implementation this would be like any Konami SCC game, and probably very acceptable. But what if this CPLD contains a new custom-made video chip, with the cartridge containing its own video connector (like the Graphics9000).. would that be acceptable? What if this CPLD also contains its own timer and maybe even a co-processor to unload the Z80 or R800 of your MSX? Would a custom video chip which is in line with the V9938 or V9958 be acceptable? What if that video chip finally has direct VRAM access the way it should have been? For sure, it'd be possible to make great games and demos with such an extension. But would it be an MSX game or demo, or would it be be a game or demo from a completely new console that uses the MSX as power supply unit? You may recall an 90's Nintendo extension for MSX like that. If you don't agree on such a device being an MSX game anymore, where to draw the line when Konami's SCC is more or less the same concept?

It's basically the old question 'what defines an MSX' again. Let us know, cast your vote! Of course, if you have a more detailed opinion about all this, just let us know in the reactions. If you have an idea for a interesting poll, send your idea to poll@msx.org and we will consider running your suggestion for a month.

Relevant link: Poll results

Comments (22)

By MicroTech

Champion (382)

MicroTech's picture

21-10-2009, 15:02

Hope this kind of cartridge will become available soon, isn't it the concept behind ESE 4?
I think such a device could very well be considered an MSX extension if VHDL source and technical/functional documentation is made available.

By muffie

Paladin (933)

muffie's picture

21-10-2009, 16:19

My point is:

If someone launch a MSX cartridge with a game on it and also some custom chips: Perfect.
But, if you have to buy an add-on and then wait for someone to launch some games for it: BAD! Very bad...

-Of course the second option is, seems at first, a better deal. But, if we look at some historical examples: Cartridges for Mega Drive and Super Nintendo with custom chips sold "a lot" more than it's strange add-ons.

And, as we're using computers with more than one slot, we could always, in the future, create new games that could be used with the original "game cart with custom chips" on the other slot, right?

By st1mpy

Champion (489)

st1mpy's picture

22-10-2009, 00:44

Having this thing in a MSX cartridge would be cool.

Sega Virtua Processor:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Virtua_Processor

By muffie

Paladin (933)

muffie's picture

22-10-2009, 02:52

Another advantage should be that's already emulated on several mega drive emulators!!
Merging some of those on BlueMSX or OpenMSX shouldn't be a tough challenge to the emulator authors.

By dvik

Prophet (2199)

dvik's picture

22-10-2009, 07:21

Of course its an MSX game, but its imo quite pointless apart from being a fun technical challenge for the guys that would make it. Wouldn't it be better to to a game for SNES if you want fancy gfx, or better yet a PS4?

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6083)

ARTRAG's picture

22-10-2009, 07:34

IMHO
or the new HW is released in bundle with a super mega game fully exploiting the new vdp
or it will be a total waste of money/time for the 99% of the potential buyers
(falls in the 1% the developer who had fun developing it and few perverted among us who would start developing on the new HW for not finishing a single project )
Wink

The SCC model is clear: games & HW in bundle == success
The gfx9K model is even clearer: HW and no game in bundle == failure

By st1mpy

Champion (489)

st1mpy's picture

22-10-2009, 10:28

what was this "Nintendo extension for MSX" in the 80s ?

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9727)

wolf_'s picture

22-10-2009, 11:46

An adapter afaik. You stick a NES ROM into that adapter, and the adapter into the MSX. It'd simply use the MSX as power supply unit.

By muffie

Paladin (933)

muffie's picture

22-10-2009, 14:32

IMHO
or the new HW is released in bundle with a super mega game fully exploiting the new vdp
or it will be a total waste of money/time for the 99% of the potential buyers
(falls in the 1% the developer who had fun developing it and few perverted among us who would start developing on the new HW for not finishing a single project )

The SCC model is clear: games & HW in bundle == success
The gfx9K model is even clearer: HW and no game in bundle == failure

I couldn't agree more with ARTRAG.
That's exactly my point. I should only add that, once the game "fully exploiting the new chip" is ready and some ppl have it. Ppl could develop for it, using the original cartridge: New games in cartridge or loaded by disk that could use the original cart from other slot.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9727)

wolf_'s picture

22-10-2009, 14:39

The idea is that this 'new' hardware comes in a game ROM, in the exact same fashion Konami sticks an SCC to their game.

The question is not about userbase or popularity, but whether you consider such a game to be an MSX game (even if a new videochip requires its own output connector), and not a game for a new 'console' that uses the MSX as PSU.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6083)

ARTRAG's picture

22-10-2009, 20:35

Wolf, in this case, the poll is quite dummy
We all could feel that the new HW is real MSX extension but none of us could buy it as, without games, it is only an expensive way for producing CO2 and plastic wastes.

You are speaking only of feelings, noble feelings, humble feelings, I do not care.
What I care is what should happen.
Something like this:
- how good is the game that comes with the new HW ? Rumors say it is super ultra fancy.
- uahuu!! that good! I want a chart !! 1000 people have a chart and ends the games 10 times.
- I have the chart, I ended the game 10 times, I want to see how the new HW works inside.
- I want to try to do games using the great chip! I distribute the new game to 1000 people already having the chip
- The new chip lives...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9727)

wolf_'s picture

22-10-2009, 20:43

No, I mean: it would come *with* a game. It would be exactly like a Konami SCC-game, where the game comes with its own SCC chip. In a similar way a game could come with its own video chip, where the cart has its own monitor output.

It has *nothing* to do with user base, support and everything related to specific hardware that doesn't seem to get any establishment. If a game is out with a new video chip then there *is* a game. And for the next game, the video chip may be different again.

In similar fashion, a game could come with a co-processor, for instance to deal with the music player.

Whether a game is good is not something anyone can predict, but why think complex like that? Konami's SCC is exactly what we're dealing with here. The only question is: do we accept such new chips being 'msx', and how far can we stretch it?

By Ivan

Ascended (9038)

Ivan's picture

22-10-2009, 23:03

An adapter afaik. You stick a NES ROM into that adapter, and the adapter into the MSX. It'd simply use the MSX as power supply unit.And if I remember correctly it was released in the early nineties by Zemina.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9727)

wolf_'s picture

22-10-2009, 23:16

oh, could be.., dunno.. it was only a vague shadow in my grey area.. Smile

- there, fixed it for ya - ^^

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

Yukio's picture

22-10-2009, 23:23

Yes, there should be more games with custom chips in the future!
The SCC has important sound and "mapper" systems that some games mimics even today!

For the Adapters I also want some Famicom adapters.

There should be one for MSX and another for Family Computer (Famicom).
That adapter is the inverse ... You plug a adapter into a famicom and plug a MSX cartridge into the slot (to play MSX games into the Famicom). It seems to be one of those fancy cartridges with a "Z80" processor for Famicom!

By dvik

Prophet (2199)

dvik's picture

22-10-2009, 23:29

The line between an MSX game and just an adapter is I guess not black and white. I've been tempted to do a cart that just passes joystick and keyboard info to a PC or PS4 so I can play games like Metal Gear 4 on my MSX, but even if the MSX had some application to read and translate joystick info, I doubt you'd call MG4 an MSX game. With simple sound chips like SCC is pretty much a nobrainer too, all game logic and gfx are run inside the MSX, and the SCC helps doing audio with a technology that was available and affordable at the time.

A modern video chip with modern 3D acceleration is I think on the gray side of things. Even though you run game logic on the Z80, you are actually offloading in my mind too much work to a co processor that is not representative of the 80's and early 90's. So in a way its more of an adapter type thing, than and MSX extension.

In either case I wouldn't mind buying such monster cart if the game is good. I wouldn't mind having an SNES adapter either, or a PS4 adapter for that matter.

By Salamander2

Expert (124)

Salamander2's picture

23-10-2009, 14:51

MSX3?

have we talked already about it?
remember my msx3 post from one year ago?
VDPX anyone?
japanese support for the new hardware?
easy, cheap to build, cheap to buy, full msx-basic compatible, direct acess for
the 32/64mb ram/vram, mpeg 4 decoder, some very basic 60 fps polygon hardware engine
with mp3 and produo stick/sd slot(+4 gb) all of these things stuffed in tiny and little cartridge?

sell this to me and with my basic knowledge, i will steal lethal enforcers gfx and build a
segacd/megacd conversion pretty easy. Tongue

By Imanok

Paragon (1142)

Imanok's picture

24-10-2009, 12:17

The line between an MSX game and just an adapter is I guess not black and white. I've been tempted to do a cart that just passes joystick and keyboard info to a PC or PS4 so I can play games like Metal Gear 4 on my MSX...
Manuel Pazos did something like that some years ago. He made a cable connected from the MSX joystick & printer ports to the SNES pad connector. It came with a MSX program where you could assign the desired keys to the different SNES pad buttons (even button combinations).

It was fun playin SNES Parodius from the MSX keyboard Wink

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

Yukio's picture

24-10-2009, 14:20

I agreed with the 32MB RAM, MP3 and memory cards ... But the rest of the stuff is a little over exaggerated (at least for a external cartridge)! Sure someone with TON's of money could build something like IT. After all, there are a lot of OVER extravagances around the WORLD ...

[ps: It was obvious that I had some wish's withs similar specs, after all IT is already 2009! This type of stuff should not be much expensive either ...]

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

Yukio's picture

27-10-2009, 11:36

Microsoft had the Z-80 SoftCard add-on for Apple II. If Microsoft made a card to use their own version of BASIC along with the CP/M, it is valid to believe that something similar would benefice the MSX standard. Imagine new cards with more powerful CPU cores that could use standard software ...

By Salamander2

Expert (124)

Salamander2's picture

28-10-2009, 02:56

i just can´t believe that these things will cost a lot of money.

let me tell you somehing...
last week, some guys here in Rio Grande, asked me to explain
why the people talk about the msx a lot. they say that maybe
it's because of metal gear, gradius, etc.

i've downloaded graph saurus and draw something and
explained that i could move this graphic with commands,
that they will not do these things right away in the pc.

they liked the way i've explained and asked if they
could create their games with knowledge of msx basic.

what type of game was my question

and they asked about the pump it up dance videogame.

and i said it's not possible. and they turned down.

pump it up, uses prerendered gfx and a 500mhz pc
to replay these gfx in the background of the game.

how much cost a mpeg4 decoder?
here we have cheap chinese portable players
under $25...

why not use these with this new vdpx, mp3 replayer
and sd card to program in basic this game?
the game play is rediculous easy to understand.

these people don't know about past games.
they want to do games based in the one's that they play.

i can't believe that this hardware will cost tons of money...

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

Leo's picture

06-11-2009, 15:42

the limit is economical , if your msx cost 50 euros and you put an extension that worth 500 euros it is no more msx.

let s suppose we are in 1988 , if a game were sold for 40 euros or so with a cart that contains many many hardware nobody would complain. if it costed 300 euros it would an 'evolution' like pc engine with cd rom = pc engine duo.

My MSX profile