[Coladam] Super ColecoVision/ADAM

Eduardo Mello eduardo at opcodegames.com
Thu Oct 25 20:50:24 CEST 2012

I am glad that I could at least convince you to consider the idea. :D

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 7:19 PM, Jim Notini <jnoti2 at comcast.net> wrote:

> **
> Well, I asked "Why?", you answered "Why not?" and I have to agree with you
> more now about the possibilities of a CV2 offering the enhancements you
> mention seeing as the costs will be the same or slightly more to go that
> route than just making a clone of the CV using a combination of old-school
> and modern technology What really sells the discussion for me is the
> comparison of how much a Yurkie modded CV costs (which still relies almost
> entirely on all the old CV tech) compared to your proposed CV2.
> Hook, line and sinker... SOLD!      ;- )
> ----- 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 8:33 AM
> *Subject:* 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
> > 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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