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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:06 pm 
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tepples wrote:
More address lines would have needed either a bigger, more expensive cartridge connector (think Neo Geo AES) or lots of CHR RAM, which was expensive in 1983. The TurboGrafx-16 incorporates most of what Dwedit describes, but it came out years later after costs had decreased somewhat.


I don't agree - for the Famicom, certainly the cartridge connector would have had to be different, but on the NES, the 12 more-or-less unused expansion port pins could have gone towards six extra address lines per CHR/PRG side. The additional on-board RAM would have been more expensive than having bankswitching hardware and a simple counter for a line interrupt.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:49 pm 
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This isnt really related to mappers in the sense that it can't be changed, but how much more would it have cost them to make the PPU able to display more sprites on a scanline?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:12 pm 
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Sogona wrote:
how much more would it have cost them to make the PPU able to display more sprites on a scanline?

I've read a few theories about this in the past, but I'm not a hardware guy so I can't say anything for sure. I know that memory had a huge impact on cost back then, and more sprites would also mean more memory needed to hold the sprite patterns for the scanline, which could have affected cost, even if they were able to tweak the sprite evaluation logic and pattern fetching to handle more sprites while still fitting in the available time.

I guess these "what if" discussions are kinda pointless though, the system is what it is and there's not much that can be done now to improve the console that doesn't involve very intrusive hardware modifications. Programmers who want to make games for retro hardware nowadays have a lot of different machines to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and they should pick the machine that matches the visions of the games they want to make. Picking a lesser platform just to have to battle its limitations trying to implement something beyond its capabilities is hardly the sensible choice.


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