SNES CD-ROM – Famimaga Article

Posted By at 9:14 PM on Monday January 16, 2017

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Hey, guys! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it.

Remember the “Nintendo Playstation” prototype that was unearthed in late 2015? My friend einstein95 is preparing an article on the development process of this Super NES CD-ROM, from its birth to its cancellation, and I thought I’d help him out by translating some old Japanese magazine articles that have been archived around the web.

The article featured in this post was originally published in an unspecified volume of Family Computer Magazine. It was scanned and posted to a Japanese blog called Game Tsumitate Meijin in 2012.

There’s more to come, so I hope you enjoy!

New Chip-Equipped Cartridges

Cartridge Specs
• Main Memory
RAM – 8 Mbits
• Sub-Memory
RAM – 1 Mbit
(Battery Backup)
• System ROM
2 Mbits
• Co-Processor Included

• New 8 Mbit cartridges!

There are two aspects to the CD-ROM: an adapter that reads CDs (the CD drive), and a new type of cartridge. Data read from the CD is streamed to the cartridge, allowing it to function on the Super Famicom like a ROM cart. With an 8 Mbit storage capacity, ROM carts just can’t compete.

• Plus, battery backup!

In addition, the new cartridges come equipped with 1 Mbit of backup memory for games that utilize save data, like RPGs. That’s enough to store 16 files in Final Fantasy IV (initially released as Final Fantasy II in North America), or 4 files in SimCity.

• A co-processor? What’s that?

What’s more, the carts also feature a brand-new chip called the co-processor that boosts the Super Famicom’s processing capabilities. That means a variety of image processing potential: from giant, swiftly-moving bosses, to 3D displays that rival arcade machines, to the utilization of the CD-ROM’s capacity for animations that run at 20 frames per second, and beyond.

• So, it goes under the console?

A look at the adapter’s measurements reveals that it’s the same size as the Super Famicom itself. With that in mind, it appears that the console will sit on top of the adapter, as depicted in our artistic interpretation. Naturally, this means that you’ll insert CDs from the front.

You mean, it connects to the bottom of the system?

• Will it connect neatly?

You won’t use cables to connect the CD-ROM adapter to the Super Famicom. Instead, it appears that the systems will connect via extension ports at the bottom of the console. Unlike a disk drive, the RAM adapter will never get in the way. As long as you insert and remove cartridges like usual, you’ll be OK.

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2 Responses

  1. AguyinaRPG says:

    Welcome back Glitter! I just happened to check this site today, guess I’m in luck!

    I’ll be interested to see this upcoming article. There’s still a lot of gaps in the story that few of the people involved seem to even be aware of. I’ve been trying to narrow down people on the Philips side of the deal that might be able to assist in clearing up that side of the story.

    I do like he illustration with the cables. Such a concern with retro consoles!

  2. I didn’t think 20FPS was anything to crow about in the SNES era; is that bit about ‘animations’ maybe referring to FMV clips?

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