Obscure Systems

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pacman000
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Obscure Systems

Postby pacman000 » November 26th, 2017, 7:16 pm

It's fun to read about old systems for have head about, so let's start a thread about 'em!

I've been interested in the Casio PV-1000 for years now, ever since I saw a picture of it on Old-Computers.com There's so little information on it, and most sources seem to parrot either English Wikipedia or Marriot Guy. Today I decided to look up its graphic chip. Found this: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/PV-1000

Now, it's just the Japanese version of Wikipedia, but it did have some interesting info. It said the graphics/sound chip was made by NEC, a fact no one else mentioned. Also said it had 3kb of RAM and 16KB of VRAM, which contradicts other sources. Seemed to say the PV-1000 and 2000 were discontinued so Casio could focus on MSX based machines. (Don't take my word for it; this is just my understanding of Google's slightly mangled translation.)

Anyone know any other sources? Neither version of Wikipedia has a good collection of cites I could use to research anything.

pacman000
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby pacman000 » November 30th, 2017, 6:07 pm

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... t=&act=url

Reviews of Super Cassette Vision games, from a defunct Japanese classic game website in the Internet Archive. Translated via Google.

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zetax
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby zetax » November 30th, 2017, 11:20 pm

Since this seems like a related topic, anyone have experience with the Wonderswan/Color handheld? Been looking at these things for years, but seemed like too much dependence on knowing Japanese.

Are they worth it, or should I just get more Neo Geo Pocket/Color games?

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Retro STrife
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby Retro STrife » December 1st, 2017, 10:36 am

@pacman000- I'm definitely into obscure systems, but I don't own or know anything about the Super Cassette Vision or Casio PV-1000. However, that link to the review website looks like it'll be useful in the future. Thanks for providing it.

zetax wrote:Since this seems like a related topic, anyone have experience with the Wonderswan/Color handheld? Been looking at these things for years, but seemed like too much dependence on knowing Japanese.

Are they worth it, or should I just get more Neo Geo Pocket/Color games?


The Wonderswan Color, on the other hand, is one that I bought a couple years ago, and picked up about 15 or so games for it. The system is perhaps best known for its RPGs (especially Final Fantasy) and other text heavy adventures, and you're correct that you will have no hope of playing those due to the Japanese text. However, there are plenty of games that are playable without knowing the language. I found a good list to work off of for "English-friendly" games, and also watched Youtube videos and read reviews. From there I was able to narrow down a list of games that I was interested in.

Is the system worth it? Well, that depends. I haven't really played mine much, but that doesn't mean it's a bad system (it's just a bad habit of mine to buy things and never get around to playing them). If you're the type that likes owning a lot of systems, then I think it's one eventually worth adding. It's a decent handheld to play and mess around with here and there, but not something with any must-play games. It's quality level is about on par with the Neo Geo Pocket Color.

pacman000
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby pacman000 » December 1st, 2017, 2:29 pm

I've been interested in the Wonderswan since I read it was created by Gunpei Yoki. Don't know much about it, but I'm glad for the info Retro Strife. Wish it was released over here.

pacman000
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby pacman000 » December 4th, 2017, 5:37 pm

https://www.wired.com/2001/11/wonderswa ... onderborg/

Wired Review of the WonderSwan Color, from 2001.

Funny, I doubt the WonderSwan's that obscure in Japan. I wonder if a lot of systems are well-known in their home country but obscure out of it. That reminds me of this review of the Atari 2600, from Japan:

Hard that made many people recognize the existence of consumer game machines. If you say Atari, it may be a machine that you are not interested so much for those who only know hard, such as "Atari Shock" neta and "Jaguar" · "Links".
However, the machine which caused the boom globally (15 million units seems to have been on the market), has historically remained a great achievement, the machine which I want you to pay attention to.

"Atari 2800" is the Japanese version of "Atari 2600" (commonly known as VCS = VIDEOCOMPUTER SYSTEM, released in October 1977) that was a big hit in the world. Prior to that, it was released through distributors such as Toyo Bussan Co., Ltd. (sold as video computer system) and Epoch company (sold as cassette TV game), but in May 1983 the manufacturer himself bought a Japanese branch office I made and landed.

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... t=&act=url

pacman000
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby pacman000 » December 16th, 2017, 12:01 pm

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/com ... t=2&c=1049

Stellar Electronique Micromat. From France. Odd doesn't begin to describe this thing. It was apparently a chess computer which could also play video games. You could save games to audio tapes. Media included carts, tapes, and phonograph records.

I don't even know if this was released; the only English-language info I can find is from old-computers.com.

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scotland
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby scotland » December 16th, 2017, 1:18 pm

The Micromat uses vinyl records? Wow.

It's got a Z80 under the hood, so that's pretty good for 1979. I still have my chess computer from around the same time, so it kinds makes sense. However, if all it displayed were chess moves or simple statements like 'check, would it still be a video console? A computer sure, but a console?

pacman000
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby pacman000 » December 16th, 2017, 2:43 pm

According to Old-Computers.com the Micromat could be connected to a TV. Games included "tic-tac-toe, checker, chess, bridge, lunar landing, star war, chess, go." I'd assume Lunar Landing and Star War had graphics. Sounds like they're quoting an old ad; they only have one b/w photo of the system.

pacman000
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Re: Obscure Systems

Postby pacman000 » December 22nd, 2017, 9:52 am

The Soundic SD-290: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/com ... t=2&c=1294

Apperently this was another series of cheap consoles released under a bunch of different names. Here's another, the Hanimex HMG-7900: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/com ... st=2&c=696 Apperently based around an NEC microcontroller.

Here's a video of the SD-290 running a Pac-Man clone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1HOQkxUOsk


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