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Opinion Retro Hardware So Apparently Microsoft Pulled a SEGA (& Nintendo)...

Aug 28, 2019
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Per Seamus Blackley himself via Twitter:



In case you're wondering, the reference comes from when SEGA basically pulled the rug under 3DFX's proverbial feet and dropped using their GPU tech in the Dreamcast, following court proceedings leaking Dreamcast details ahead of SEGA's wishes. This led SEGA to go with the Japanese team's design (using the Hitachi SH4 and NEC PowerVR2).

However, in some ways this is maybe actually closer to what Nintendo did to Sony with the Play Station, where at the last moment - at a trade show, no less - Nintendo surprised Sony by suddenly announcing they were partnering with Philips instead and dropping Sony altogether.

It's funny, in a way, how both Nintendo and Microsoft would go on to unknowingly screw themselves in a way with these parallel decisions (although in Microsoft's case it was more due to Nvidia than Intel). SEGA ironically made off with a better system tech-wise going with Katana for Dreamcast, and it's not like 3DFX made it too much further as a player in the GPU space. Tho, Dreamcast had its own demons to contend with (PS2, and SEGA's own prior poor business decisions).

Anyway, just found this interesting and wanted to share.
 
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Azelover

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Nintendo did the right thing as well. Sony's deal was awful.

It's just the way Nintendo went about it that really inflamed the wound. They should have played nicer, but Sony and Nintendo had no future together.
 

FUBARx89

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To be fair, it's pretty funny how Sony kicked off and made their own console after it.

I wonder what gaming would be like if Sony didn't react how they did. Would the DC of been successful do you think?
 
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To be fair, it's pretty funny how Sony kicked off and made their own console after it.

I wonder what gaming would be like if Sony didn't react how they did. Would the DC of been successful do you think?
I do, actually. Saturn wasn't a bad system in itself (and they provided tons of documentation), it just wasn't ready for the industrial changes PS1 brought (thanks to Sony's money and resources). However, Sega also didn't quite lean into integrating their strengths like Nintendo did, because Sega was very reactionary with stuff like 32X and such. They also prob would've spread their resources thin due to all their active platforms.

However, without PS1 they'd of been the defacto CD-based option and gotten a lot more support due to that. Even N64'd of gotten a lot more support without Sony being a player, and Xbox would've likely also never came about. Prob would've had Sony and MS backing Nintendo/Sega via proxy.
 

Chiggs

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Sega did the right thing with the power VR chip......games just popped with that hardware

It was a great chip, but I'm going to post this for discussion's sake:


A little known fact is that Sega of America had specified not just a 3DFX
but a Motorola 603e (both American designed chips) for their preliminary
spec of the next-generation console, versus Sega Japan's spec of
Japanese-only hardware. (Note that more powerful variations of the new
design would also be used in next-gen Sega Arcade hardware.)

Sega Japan, which controls all of Sega, immediately rejected the Motorola
CPU in favor for an unavailable, untested, and unproven Hitachi processor
design. Sega's primary reason for rejecting the much more powerful and
well-proven Motorola PPC chip was primarlily political; they wanted a full
license to be made in Japanese fab under Sega's control, something I doubt
Motorola would grant. So both the Sega America (specifying 3DFX for
graphics processor) and the Sega Japan designs (specifying a yet unchosen
Japanese chip for a graphics processor) were in competition for the next
console design, and Sega America was forced to change their specification
for this unproven and as-yet-unavailable new Hitachi processor as well.

Note that there are other reasons they'd want to go with a proprietary
processor; they didn't want to lose their tight control over developer
releases either; if the 603e and 3DFX combo was used, then it would be a
fairly simple matter to emulate the nextgen console on a PPC equipped with a
3DFX Voodoo card... it would also open the door for developers to easily
port the next-gen Sega console games to a powermac equipped with a 3DFX
card; and if there's one thing Japanese corporations will not tolerate, it's
an open specification and the intense competition that comes with it. They
*want* the system to stay proprietary and closed; that's how they do
business as a rule (name any Japanese computer system that follows an open
spec; even their laptops use proprietary RAM modules, CDROM modules, docking
stations....). If someone wanted to clone the console, you can bet they'd
have a very difficult time getting the processor chips from Hitachi.

So it comes as no surprise whatsoever that Sega Japan would overrule Sega
America's design and go with a Japanese graphics processor as well. Since
the only Japanese processor that currently approachs the 3DFX's power was
the NEC chip (which of course is a major player in corporate Japan), it
seemed *invitable* that they would go with this. Indeed I had been quite
surprised when I first heard that they were considering the 3DFX at all.
 
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A.Romero

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Per Seamus Blackley himself via Twitter:



In case you're wondering, the reference comes from when SEGA basically pulled the rug under 3DFX's proverbial feet and dropped using their GPU tech in the Dreamcast, following court proceedings leaking Dreamcast details ahead of SEGA's wishes. This led SEGA to go with the Japanese team's design (using the Hitachi SH4 and NEC PowerVR2).

However, in some ways this is maybe actually closer to what Nintendo did to Sony with the Play Station, where at the last moment - at a trade show, no less - Nintendo surprised Sony by suddenly announcing they were partnering with Philips instead and dropping Sony altogether.

It's funny, in a way, how both Nintendo and Microsoft would go on to unknowingly screw themselves in a way with these parallel decisions (although in Microsoft's case it was more due to Nvidia than Intel). SEGA ironically made off with a better system tech-wise going with Katana for Dreamcast, and it's not like 3DFX made it too much further as a player in the GPU space. Tho, Dreamcast had its own demons to contend with (PS2, and SEGA's own prior poor business decisions).

Anyway, just found this interesting and wanted to share.
Nice find, thanks for sharing.

I believe Nintendo put out a press release about their deal with Panasonic. The press was confused about it because they already knew about Sony + Nintendo.

Ken Kutaragi leveraged that to death and convinced Ohga to continue with the Playstation with the excuse of responding to the offense.

Sony didn't even care, the amount of money they lost there was nothing. They didn't even seriously consider to sue.
 

Kagey K

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What's funny is that in the end Intel ended up screwing MS on Chip prices, which is why they could never significantly reduce the price and killed the OG Xbox so early.
 

Papacheeks

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Nintendo did the right thing as well. Sony's deal was awful.

It's just the way Nintendo went about it that really inflamed the wound. They should have played nicer, but Sony and Nintendo had no future together.

They should have renegotiated. Because Playstation ate Nintendo's lunch in the 90's. Nintendo could have made more money by having cheaper games instead of how pricy it was to manufacture cart's for N64. 64Bit was possible on disc back then. ANd it was way cheaper as that was the direction the medium was moving.

It was the publishing deal that was bad, Sony wanted to own the rights to hardware since it was their chips, disc, controller tech that was the Nintendo/Sony 64. If they had made a deal for Sony to own just the tech, and not the console it would have made it so Sony could not go into business for themselves in a non-compete clause.
 
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They should have renegotiated. Because Playstation ate Nintendo's lunch in the 90's. Nintendo could have made more money by having cheaper games instead of how pricy it was to manufacture cart's for N64. 64Bit was possible on disc back then. ANd it was way cheaper as that was the direction the medium was moving.

It was the publishing deal that was bad, Sony wanted to own the rights to hardware since it was their chips, disc, controller tech that was the Nintendo/Sony 64. If they had made a deal for Sony to own just the tech, and not the console it would have made it so Sony could not go into business for themselves in a non-compete clause.
N64 did well enough and it combined with Gameboy and Pokémon got them more profit than Sony got with PS1. Nintendos's model also was based on profit from hardware so giving Sony full control of hardware ownership would have been completely against it.

Not to mention, that model concept was basically what 3DO did and didn't work for that era. NEC and Hudson had a similar setup with PC Engine but it was very lopsided with NEC burdening all the hardware production costs and getting no software rev, so they had to rely on selling a ton of peripherals (one of the reasons the Turbographx-16 failed).

A.Romero A.Romero Yeah Kutaragi had fight like hell to get PS1 approved, Sony as a whole didn't give a shit. I think for a time PS corporate was ran out of some Sony Music offices even, or something like that. He had to leverage stuff like Virtua Fighter to convince higher-ups that the effort to make PS1 a home console would be worth it.
 
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A.Romero

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N64 did well enough and it combined with Gameboy and Pokémon got them more profit than Sony got with PS1. Nintendos's model also was based on profit from hardware so giving Sony full control of hardware ownership would have been completely against it.

Not to mention, that model concept was basically what 3DO did and didn't work for that era. NEC and Hudson had a similar setup with PC Engine but it was very lopsided with NEC burdening all the hardware production costs and getting no software rev, so they had to rely on selling a ton of peripherals (one of the reasons the Turbographx-16 failed).

A.Romero A.Romero Yeah Kutaragi had fight like hell to get PS1 approved, Sony as a whole didn't give a shit. I think for a time PS corporate was ran out of some Sony Music offices even, or something like that. He had to leverage stuff like Virtua Fighter to convince higher-ups that the effort to make PS1 a home console would be worth it.

It's my favourite part of gaming history. Follow closely by the conception of Xbox.
 

rnlval

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Per Seamus Blackley himself via Twitter:



In case you're wondering, the reference comes from when SEGA basically pulled the rug under 3DFX's proverbial feet and dropped using their GPU tech in the Dreamcast, following court proceedings leaking Dreamcast details ahead of SEGA's wishes. This led SEGA to go with the Japanese team's design (using the Hitachi SH4 and NEC PowerVR2).

However, in some ways this is maybe actually closer to what Nintendo did to Sony with the Play Station, where at the last moment - at a trade show, no less - Nintendo surprised Sony by suddenly announcing they were partnering with Philips instead and dropping Sony altogether.

It's funny, in a way, how both Nintendo and Microsoft would go on to unknowingly screw themselves in a way with these parallel decisions (although in Microsoft's case it was more due to Nvidia than Intel). SEGA ironically made off with a better system tech-wise going with Katana for Dreamcast, and it's not like 3DFX made it too much further as a player in the GPU space. Tho, Dreamcast had its own demons to contend with (PS2, and SEGA's own prior poor business decisions).

Anyway, just found this interesting and wanted to share.
Don't worry, Microsoft's executive board has pushed Bill Gates out for inappropriate relationships. https://www.wsj.com/articles/micros...o-prior-relationship-with-staffer-11621205803

AMD's K7 Duron with NVIDIA's nForce chipset (with iGPU) was the component for the prototype Xbox.
 
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rnlval

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I do, actually. Saturn wasn't a bad system in itself (and they provided tons of documentation), it just wasn't ready for the industrial changes PS1 brought (thanks to Sony's money and resources). However, Sega also didn't quite lean into integrating their strengths like Nintendo did, because Sega was very reactionary with stuff like 32X and such. They also prob would've spread their resources thin due to all their active platforms.

However, without PS1 they'd of been the defacto CD-based option and gotten a lot more support due to that. Even N64'd of gotten a lot more support without Sony being a player, and Xbox would've likely also never came about. Prob would've had Sony and MS backing Nintendo/Sega via proxy.
Saturn's quad polygon system is far from the industry standard SGI OpenGL's triangle polygon system.

Saturn's quad polygon system is actually four-sided sprites with warp/zoom features. 3DFX's Glide is based on OpenGL.
 
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IFireflyl

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For those with privacy settings that don't allow external content to be displayed:



He liked my comment. :D
 
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TheGrat1

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I don't get what Ms have done...
From what I understand: AMD and Microsoft had an agreement to have AMD make the OG Xbox's CPU, so far into the deal they were that the announcement conference for the Xbox had SKUs with AMD CPUs in them running the demoes. However, MS announced at that very conference that they would be using Intel CPUs for the box, even with AMD people sitting in the front row. A shocking betrayal to them. This Seamus guy's heart is still bleeding over it 20 years later and turned to Twitter for therapy.
 
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01011001

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to be honest, at that time there wasn't much between Intel and AMD, there were basically interchangeable.
an Athlon/Duron or a Pentium III would have both basically resulted in almost the same outcome. remember that AMD started as a firm that produces third party versions of Intel chips! this means the architecture of both at that time was almost identical with 2 separate modifications to that architecture that are slightly different to each other.

I wonder why they changed it last minute tho? cost? did Intel basically give their chips away compared to AMD? weird for sure
 
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Saturn's quad polygon system is far from the industry standard SGI OpenGL's triangle polygon system.

Saturn's quad polygon system is actually four-sided sprites with warp/zoom features. 3DFX's Glide is based on OpenGL.

It's not a matter if it was industry-standard; fact is without PS1 present the Saturn automatically would've looked like the best option for a lot of developers and publishers. Things don't have to start as industry standard in order to become widely accepted; the PS2 had a lot about its architecture that wasn't industry-standard for the time but the developers of that era still learned them and mastered them, because they had a financial incentive to do so.

The same would've occurred more widely on Saturn if it wasn't for the PS1, there were already some devs who started mastering the quads approach regardless (SEGA, Treasure, Warp, Lobotomy, etc.). And it's not like the other alternatives would've snuck up past it. N64 was limited by cartridges which would've limited a lot of aspects of game design. The 3DO did not have a business model that was long-term sustainable, and lacked the 1P chops of SEGA and Nintendo. PC-FX was essentially a non-starter, Atari put out a bugged Jaguar design and had very little money plus no 1P dev arm.

That's why I said Saturn only looked relatively bad when compared to PlayStation since the latter changed a lot of the way things in the industry worked. Without it, Saturn would've quite easily been the leading platform for 5th-gen in support and sales IMHO, it's also not like the N64 was magnitudes easier to develop for by comparison. But N64 would've also done better than it did that generation by a decent bit.
 
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rnlval

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It's not a matter if it was industry-standard; fact is without PS1 present the Saturn automatically would've looked like the best option for a lot of developers and publishers. Things don't have to start as industry standard in order to become widely accepted; the PS2 had a lot about its architecture that wasn't industry-standard for the time but the developers of that era still learned them and mastered them, because they had a financial incentive to do so.

The same would've occurred more widely on Saturn if it wasn't for the PS1, there were already some devs who started mastering the quads approach regardless (SEGA, Treasure, Warp, Lobotomy, etc.). And it's not like the other alternatives would've snuck up past it. N64 was limited by cartridges which would've limited a lot of aspects of game design. The 3DO did not have a business model that was long-term sustainable, and lacked the 1P chops of SEGA and Nintendo. PC-FX was essentially a non-starter, Atari put out a bugged Jaguar design and had very little money plus no 1P dev arm.

That's why I said Saturn only looked relatively bad when compared to PlayStation since the latter changed a lot of the way things in the industry worked. Without it, Saturn would've quite easily been the leading platform for 5th-gen in support and sales IMHO, it's also not like the N64 was magnitudes easier to develop for by comparison. But N64 would've also done better than it did that generation by a decent bit.
PS1 and PS2 have a triangle polygon system, hence geometry artwork can be easily ported across other systems with a triangle polygon system e.g. N64 and PC's 3DFX (Glide is based OpenGL) and other OpenGL-based 3D accelerators.

NVIDIA's quads polygon NV1 died along with Sega Saturn. On the PC, OpenGL's 3D concepts won the war. Direct3D's fundamental design is based on OpenGL. Microsoft Direct3D does NOT support the quad polygon system.
Sega Saturn games were converted to NV1-compatible formats on the PC, but it was marginalized by emerging Triangle polygon-based 2D/3D accelerators such as the low-cost S3 Graphics ViRGE, Matrox Mystique, 3DFX Voodoo, ATI Rage, and Rendition Vérité V1000 among other early entrants.

N64's 32.9 million sales numbers are superior when compared to Sega Saturn's 9.3 million. N64 has defeated Saturn.
 
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rnlval

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From what I understand: AMD and Microsoft had an agreement to have AMD make the OG Xbox's CPU, so far into the deal they were that the announcement conference for the Xbox had SKUs with AMD CPUs in them running the demoes. However, MS announced at that very conference that they would be using Intel CPUs for the box, even with AMD people sitting in the front row. A shocking betrayal to them. This Seamus guy's heart is still bleeding over it 20 years later and turned to Twitter for therapy.
Bill Gates caused mental damage to Seamus.
 
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PS1 and PS2 have a triangle polygon system, hence geometry artwork can be easily ported across other systems with a triangle polygon system e.g. N64 and PC's 3DFX (Glide is based OpenGL) and other OpenGL-based 3D accelerators.

NVIDIA's quads polygon NV1 died along with Sega Saturn. On the PC, OpenGL's 3D concepts won the war. Direct3D's fundamental design is based on OpenGL. Microsoft Direct3D does NOT support the quad polygon system.
Sega Saturn games were converted to NV1-compatible formats on the PC, but it was marginalized by emerging Triangle polygon-based 2D/3D accelerators such as the low-cost S3 Graphics ViRGE, Matrox Mystique, 3DFX Voodoo, ATI Rage, and Rendition Vérité V1000 among other early entrants.

N64's 32.9 million sales numbers are superior when compared to Sega Saturn's 9.3 million. N64 has defeated Saturn.
Jesus Christ stop tripping over yourself with roundabouts and focus on the topic at hand. No one's talking about quads vs. tris here except you. Also what do sales figures from the market as it was for the time have to do with the credible theory that Saturn would've most likely become the default platform for 5th-gen if the PS1 wasn't present and everything else played out the same?

Do you suddenly think devs would've constrained all of their game design targets to fit the cartridge format or a disk format that was constantly delayed? You're too obsessed with numbers but have poor comprehension of the context behind him, at least on this topic.
 

rnlval

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Jesus Christ stop tripping over yourself with roundabouts and focus on the topic at hand. No one's talking about quads vs. tris here except you. Also what do sales figures from the market as it was for the time have to do with the credible theory that Saturn would've most likely become the default platform for 5th-gen if the PS1 wasn't present and everything else played out the same?

Do you suddenly think devs would've constrained all of their game design targets to fit the cartridge format or a disk format that was constantly delayed? You're too obsessed with numbers but have poor comprehension of the context behind him, at least on this topic.
1. My comments are against your "Saturn wasn't a bad system in itself (and they provided tons of documentation)" assertion. I picked on a major design issue with Sega Saturn.

There are many design issues with Sega Saturn e.g. the dual CPU setup is a real pain to manage and debug and there was no real 3d hardware. The Saturn had the ability to warp a sprite between any 4 points, and a DSP.

The PSX has a dedicated transform and lighting pipeline based on a triangle polygon system.

The PS1 could place any part of a texture on the triangle. It'd be a triangle-cropped chunk of the texture, but the Saturn could only stretch the texture to the exact size of the quadrangle sprite. You had to use the full texture or not at all.

2. To be the dominant 5th gen games console without PSX, Saturn has to reach second place in real life. WIthout PSX, N64 is in a position to be 1st place.

Sega Saturn's quad polygon (sprite) system died along with NVIDIA's NV1.
 
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