[Coladam] Super ColecoVision/ADAM

Joe Blenkle - Comcast jblenkle at comcast.net
Wed Oct 24 20:39:39 CEST 2012


Don't tell you guys don't create new stuff for the ADAM? I mean, have you
been playing a half dozen Super Games for 30 years?

Yup, pretty much so...I don't think anyone has created a true super game 
since Coleco dumped ADAM way back when...


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eduardo Mello" <eduardo at opcodegames.com>
To: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>
Cc: <coladam at adamcon.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:33 AM
Subject: [Coladam] Super ColecoVision/ADAM


> Jim,
>
> Well, it was you that proposed a new sort of ADAM in your original 
> message,
> so I just expanded on the concept based on ideas I have for the CV2 or
> whatever we call it.
>
> Now, I understand your concerns, we have already discussed that and I 
> think
> you are being very realistic and have pretty good points.
> However you might be super-estimating things a bit in some areas. Let me
> clarify.
>
> First, this isn't a 16 bit caliber console as you mention below. Not by a
> long shot. As powerful as the V9958 may sound for example, it isn't an
> Amiga killer, neither is it more capable than let's say a Sega Master
> System. There is a 3rd chip in the V99 line, the V9990, now that is the
> Genesis meets the Amiga on steroid, but we are not talking about it here.
> Second, you are forgetting that all the new stuff can be used optionally 
> by
> new games, most of them with very little effort. The V9958 offers hardware
> scroll, programmable color palette and 8 sprites per scanline. Those are
> all features seriously missing in the original TMS9928, and are features
> that could be used with little programming effort by any new game to 
> create
> an enhanced experience if the hypothetical new console is detected for
> example.
>
> Sound stuff is another thing that can be used optionally. In fact 
> nanochess
> is creating a new game that run on regular CVs and use the SGM second PSG
> if it detected, for improved music.
>
> That said, let's review your points...
>
>> While I commend your incredible vision concerning this new and improved 
>> CV
>> idea, I really do fear that there will be a VERY limited market for such
> an
>> item seeing as the retrogaming market for the CV, and especially the 
>> ADAM,
>> is very small already. Even with full backwards compatibility with the
>> current CV library and controllers (Roller Controller with it's odd-ball
>> power adapter would have to be supported as well via an adapter or the
>> inclusion of a compatible port on the new CV that would act as a
>> pass-through to the new power supply), a greatly enhanced CV as you have
>> listed out would probably draw the interest of only the hardcore CV fans
> and
>> a small amount of casual CV fans... especially in the price range of
>> $150-$175.
>
> You kidding me. People are playing almost $100 to get their CV refurbished
> by Todd. Lot's of people...
>
>> It's not so much that I am against the idea, so much as I would
>> be very fearful of the amount of time and money that you would have to
>> invest in such a project. It's a huge risk in my opinion, not the
>> development of it because I am sure that you could pull it off, and I
>> commend you for even considering it.
>>
>> Some things that come to mind concerning all the suped-up specs of this
>> proposed new CV or CV2...
>>
>> - while all the spec improvements are awe-inspiring, without a library of
>> games that take advantage of them and a group of programmers lined up to
>> pump games out, it could be a tough sell except for the fact that it 
>> would
>> function as a perfect replacement to the aging CV.
>
> The big question how much it would cost to have an exact clone of the CV
> produced, versus how much to have all those improvements. If the price
> different is minimum, let's say, less than $50, then I don't see why don't
> go with the improvements, if just because we can.
>
>> I know you would have a
>> couple game ready by the time of launch, but how many other programmers
>> would be willing to write games for it especially seeing as there has 
>> only
>> been one programmer to date, besides yourself, willing to develop a
> MegaCart
>> game in all the years that it's been available although 2 more (Nanochess
>> and Mystery Man) are close to having their MegaCart games released.
>
> Actually CollectorVision Mario Bros is also a MegaCart.
>
>> Aside
>> for the fact that the CV2 would be backward compatiible with the CV, I
> would
>> be very weery of purchasing it with only one person supporting it with 
>> new
>> games that take advantage of it's enhanced hardware features. Even then, 
>> I
>> don't know how interested I would be in these "improved" games seeing as
>> they just wouldn't be the CV style and feel anymore, it would be more on
> the
>> lines of MSX2, Amiga, ST, Super NES or Genesis.
>
> We surely don't get as far as Super NES/Genesis capabilities. But again
> remember the enhanced features that can be used optionally.
>
>> - If I or someone else wanted a vastly improved gaming system, wouldn't 
>> it
>> be more logical to just pickup a SuperNES or Genesis at ridiculously low
>> prices and then have access to either of those system's game libraries
> which
>> number in the 1000s. Most loose carts and even CIB can be had for dirt
> cheap
>> and then there is the option of using their versions of MultiCarts /
>> Everdrives. Again, because of the easy availability of all these "newer
> than
>> CV" retro systems, it could prove to be extremely hard sell for a CV2. 
>> The
>> main advantage the CV2 would hold is compatbility with all existng CV
> warez,
>> which leads me to believe that a more simple design concentrating on the
>> improving the CV's main weaknesses of Video Output, Power Supply,
> Controller
>> ICs, overall aging of components, etc.would be the more feasible way to 
>> go
>> either as a replacement board or as a new system.
>
> A valid point, but we get again to the matter of total production costs. I
> checked with my sources in China for example, and they are some of the 
> best
> out there, they can get you any NOS chip next day, and new V9958s are now
> cheaper than TMS9928, actually half the price. Besides the V9958 has a 
> much
> improved RGB video output. So why would I pay more for something when I 
> can
> get some other that is half the price, has better video quality, more
> features? Even if I don't touch any of the new features, it is still a
> better buy option. Z80 is another example. It is much easier to get a PLCC
> 8MHz Z80 today than look for NOS 4MHz DIP Z80. So why don't take advantage
> of that and have the option to double the CV Z80 speed by software, even 
> if
> it never get used. I understand your point if it was a matter of paying
> more for stuff you are never going to use, but how about paying less for
> stuff you are never going to use but still backward compatible?
>
>> One example that comes to mind is the F18A by Matthew Haggerty. I guess I
>> should re-read all the enhancements that it provides before using it as 
>> an
>> example, but it seems to me that the only function it will ever provide
> when
>> installed in a CV or ADAM is improved video output via VGA. Will any CV
>> programmers support it and it's enhanced capabilities especially seeing
> that
>> maybe ten CV owners have purchased one and I know with 100% certainty 
>> that
>> there will not be any ADAM specific software written to take advantage of
>> it's features especially seeing as I only know of one person, Tempest,
> that
>> has one.
>
> We are talking about a VDP replacement that costs as much as an ADAM
> itself, not a very good comparison I think. The cost/benefit ratio is very
> low, as it solves a single problem at a very high cost.
>
>> As far as the listed ADAM enhancements,  very cool to even consider them,
>> but all of these proposed enhancements like 16Mb RAM, Ethernet, etc. 
>> would
>> more than likely go unused. It's actually pretty awesome to even consider
>> having such things available on the ADAM, but again, when it all boils
> down
>> to it, the average person in the retro scene just want to play games on
> all
>> this old gear, not perform any serious computer tasks, and any 
>> prospective
>> new hardware should focus on making this a possibility. So what the ADAM
>> World really needs most is an ADAMnet SD Drive like the one developed by
>> Else a couple years ago but that uses a menu program to control mounting
> and
>> unmounting of Disk/DDP Image Files versus Else's method of using DIP
>> Switches.
>
> Don't tell you guys don't create new stuff for the ADAM? I mean, have you
> been playing a half dozen Super Games for 30 years?
> The V9958 80 columns text mode is exactly the same as the TMS9928, just...
> with 80 columns. So applications can be easily ported. Don't you have 
> DOSes
> or anything? CP/M stuff?
>
>> Whatever route you decide to take, I know the end result will be an
> amazing
>> product and I wish you the best of luck. Maybe I am just too cautious 
>> when
>> it comes to matters like this or prefer to keep things simpler.
>
> Well, thanks for the kind words. Again, I understand your points, I think
> they are valid concerns. But if we can produce something that is better 
> for
> about the same price as it would cost to produce a clone (because no 
> matter
> if it is V9958, TMS9928, 4MHz or 8MHz Z80s, this is all very old tech, you
> know), then I think it is worth a shot.
>
> Eduardo
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>
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