Game history

Game History: 8-bit Generation Wars!! Gameboy Vs Nes Vs MasterSystem Vs PC Engine

I researched the hardware and graphics capabilities of 8-bit generation consoles, and several interesting things came up.

This topic will focus on the hardware/graphics capabilities of these older consoles.

I searched the web for data, mainly wikipedia, specialized sites, dev forums, old articles and interviews lost in time, but some data may or may not be inaccurate. I have some programming skills and OpenGL (mainly the fixed graphics pipeline) but I’m not an AAA engineer or developer so if you tech folks on the forum have better knowledge and better data, n feel free to post corrections and point out errors!

Many of you probably already know this, but let’s come back just for fun πŸ™‚

























game boy nes Master system PC engine

Producer

nintendo

nintendo Sega

NEC

Year

1989

1983

1985

1987

Lifetime

1989-2003

1983-2003

1985-1991

1987-1994

Media

ROM Cartridge | 64 KB ~ 1 MB

ROM Cartridge | 8 KB ~ 1 MB

ROM Cartridge | 128 KB ~ 4 MB

Where

Sega card | 8KB~32KB

ROM Cartridge | up to 2.5 MB

Bit generation

8 bit

8 bit

8 bit

8/16 bit

CPU

Sharp LR35902 | 8 bit | 1.05MHz | 0.62 MIPS

Ricoh 2A03 | 8 bit | 1.79MHz | 0.78 MIPS

Zilog Z80A | 8 bit | 3.59MHz | 0.53 MIPS

Hudson HuC6280 | 8 bit | 7.16MHz | 3.1 MIPS

RAM

8 KB on board

2 KB integrated + 8 KB on cartridge + 1 KB (exp. MMC chips*)

8 KB on board

8 KB on board

GPUs

Integrated PPU | 8 bit | 2.10MHz

Ricoh RP2C02 PPU | 8 bit | 5.37MHz

Sega VDP 315-5124 | 16 bit | 10.73MHz

Hudson VDC HuC6270A | 16 bit | 7.16MHz

GPU co-processor

–

–

–

Hudson VCE HuC6260 | 16 bit | 7.16MHz

VRAM

8 KB

2 KB + 256 bytes + 32 bytes

16 KB

64 KB

Color pallet

4 colors (black-green)

48 colors + 6 gray

64 colors

512 colors

Maximum On-Screen Colors

4 shades of green

25

32

482

Max Sprites on screen

40

64

64

64

Maximum sprite size

8Γ—8 or 8Γ—16

8Γ—8 or 8Γ—16

8Γ—8 or 8Γ—16

32Γ—32 or 32Γ—64

Maximum resolution

160Γ—144

256Γ—240

256Γ—192

512Γ—224

Parallax scrolling

1 fixed layer, scrolling layers simulated by default using line scrolling

1 fixed layer, scrolling layers simulated using line scrolling via expansion chips

1 fixed layer, scrolling layers simulated by default using line scrolling

1 Fixed layer, default simulated scrolling layers using line scrolling and live tiling

Special effects

Color Cycling and Swapping, Tiling Animation, Sprite Flipping, Wobble Fx

Color cycling and swapping, tile animation, sprite flipping

Color cycling and swapping, animating tiles, flipping tiles, fixed 2x sprite scaling

Color cycling and swapping, mosaic animation, sprite flip, shear effect, wobble effect, mosaic effect (software), sprite scaling (software)

Expansion chips on cartridge

nothing

Nintendo AOROM/CNROM/UNROM/FDS/MMC1~MMC6 | Konami VRC1~VRC7 | Sunsoft 5B/FME-7 | Namco 163

nothing

nothing

Joystick

DPAD + 2 buttons (A, B) + 2 service buttons (START, SELECT)

DPAD + 2 buttons (A, B) + 2 service buttons (START, SELECT)

DPAD + 2 Buttons (1, 2)

DPAD + 2 buttons (I, II) + 2 service buttons (RUN, SELECT)

Maximum players

1 player

2 players

2 players

2 players

Some examples of graphical output comparison:

Which graphics/pixel art is the best of the generation?



game boy nes Master system PC engine