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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:06 am 
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This is just something I have always wondered, because some of the later Super Nintendo games are extremely crammed, even after all the graphics compression. I know that it is more cost effective to use less memory of course, but why was 32Mb such a common limit? The only larger commercially released games are Tales of Fantasia and Star Ocean which are 48Mb carts. Whenever I am making something In Wla, I don't have a problem with increasing the cart size beyond 32Mb.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:05 am 
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I don't think that there's any mystery here, money is always the answer. 32Mb or 64Mb might not make such a difference today, but look at the prices of pen drives for example: a 64GB one does cost twice what a 32GB one does. AFAIK there was no technical reason preventing them from going beyond 32Mb, but the increased cost would have to be passed on to customers. When games cost more, companies have to justify this (e.g. by hyping the SuperFX), otherwise customers might favor the cheaper games. Hence, the simplest thing to do if the game doesn't have any particularly marketable features is to keep the costs down.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:20 am 
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I'd say that the fact that 4MB cartridges arrived when the 5th generation came in (which meant CDs with 600MB for cheap) probably had something to do with it. Which also backfired on Nintendo as they not only took a while to move onto the next generation, but they had also refused to switch to CDs when they did.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:50 am 
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I had thought it was only money, but I wasn't because many people online seem to act like small carts is some sort of SNES technical limitation. It's a bit of a shame that some of the arcade ports didn't have more memory to use, as some of the games would have looked much better (of course they would have coasted more, but I wouldn't even be alive to worry about it :wink: )

Although totally irrelevant, here's a picture I threw together (I'm sure most people will understand it)

Attachment:
Superpower[1].png
Superpower[1].png [ 1.95 KiB | Viewed 1861 times ]


Edit: Just thinking, what is the point of the chip in the SNES version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 (I can't remember the name) If it just quickly decompresses graphics? Wouldn't it be cheaper and a whole lot easier to leave out the chip and just increase the size of the game and leave the graphics uncompressed? Or is the chip actually cheaper than adding the extra memory?


Last edited by Espozo on Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:16 am 
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Espozo wrote:
The only larger commercially released games are Tales of [Phantasia] and Star Ocean which are 48Mb carts.

That and Far East of Eden Zero and Street Fighter Alpha 2, which are also 40-48 Mbit.

Memory cost is probably the biggest part of it, as three of the four games mentioned in this post contain hardware dedicated to decompressing graphics data with heavy bit operations because that was cheaper than just storing the data with lighter compression in a bigger memory and having the CPU sort it out. Also notice how much more Nintendo 64 launch titles cost than Super NES games of the same time (fourth quarter of 1996): $70 for a 64 Mbit N64 game vs. $60 for a 16-32 Mbit Super NES game.

Espozo: Good start. Someone ought to make a Neo Geo style parody like that, but with more official Super NES branding (the "SUPER NINTENDO" logo and the gray striped rectangle with four ellipses).


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:29 am 
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Espozo wrote:
Edit: Just thinking, what is the point of the chip in the SNES version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 (I can't remember the name) If it just quickly decompresses graphics? Wouldn't it be cheaper and a whole lot easier to leave out the chip and just increase the size of the game and leave the graphics uncompressed? Or is the chip actually cheaper than adding the extra memory?


tepples wrote:
Espozo wrote:
The only larger commercially released games are Tales of [Phantasia] and Star Ocean which are 48Mb carts.

That and Far East of Eden Zero and Street Fighter Alpha 2, which are also 40-48 Mbit.

Memory cost is probably the biggest part of it, as three of the four games mentioned in this post contain hardware dedicated to decompressing graphics data with heavy bit operations because that was cheaper than just storing the data with lighter compression in a bigger memory and having the CPU sort it out. Also notice how much more Nintendo 64 launch titles cost than Super NES games of the same time (fourth quarter of 1996): $70 for a 64 Mbit N64 game vs. $60 for a 16-32 Mbit Super NES game.


Looks like you beat me to it... (I'm a slow typer in case you haven't noticed)

tepples wrote:
Espozo: Good start. Someone ought to make a Neo Geo style parody like that, but with more official Super NES branding (the "SUPER NINTENDO" logo and the gray striped rectangle with four ellipses).


Thank You! By the way, what do you mean by the "gray striped rectangle with for ellipses"?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:37 am 
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Espozo wrote:
Thank You! By the way, what do you mean by the "gray striped rectangle with for ellipses"?

This thing at the lower right corner of each game's box art.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:36 pm 
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Does this look any better? I'm not to sure where I should put the symbol (sorry I took so long, I had to clean the bathrooms :roll:)

Attachment:
Superpower[2].png
Superpower[2].png [ 2.79 KiB | Viewed 1816 times ]


Here's the original Giga Power screenshot:

Attachment:
Gigapower[1].png
Gigapower[1].png [ 3.79 KiB | Viewed 1816 times ]


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:46 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Edit: Just thinking, what is the point of the chip in the SNES version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 (I can't remember the name) If it just quickly decompresses graphics? Wouldn't it be cheaper and a whole lot easier to leave out the chip and just increase the size of the game and leave the graphics uncompressed? Or is the chip actually cheaper than adding the extra memory?


Clearly if it had been cheaper to leave out the SDD1 they probably would have. They aren't going to waste money. It's interesting to look at dates of SNES and Genesis games and their ROM sizes. Sometimes you have a late game like Ninja Gaiden Trilogy which was released in 1995 if I remember right. It was only 12 megabits I believe. Surely it could have been more. It is missing certain things, probably ran out of time during development. But they have to keep costs low, particularly for any game they don't expect to move many units.

I think that would make sense for cases like Super Mario RPG that were 32 megabits and had the SA-1. They knew they would move alot of units. It helped justify the cost. But all we can really do is speculate on each case.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Does this look any better?

That one looks perfect, almost like something N itself might have created for a TV ad in the "Now you're playing with power" (pre-Super Mario All-Stars) era.


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