[Coladam] Super ColecoVision/ADAM

Eduardo Mello eduardo at opcodegames.com
Wed Oct 24 22:24:42 CEST 2012

Ok, but how about utilities, applications, even regular games....
BASIC programs? I mean, anything would benefit from an slightly
improved ADAM.


On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM, Joe Blenkle - Comcast
<jblenkle at comcast.net> wrote:
> 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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