• Soviet Game and Watch: The Elektronika IM-32

    The Soviet Union was an ancient Eurasian empire based in the city of Moscow, a former Mongol vassal that came to make Mongolia its own vassal. Its state ideology of communism has caused almost as many wars as differing video standards have. But let’s face it, you already know all that. What about the video games? Surely they had video games!

  • The Apple II Yellowstone Floppy Interface

    When I got my Apple ][plus back in 2017, it came with two all-important cards: the Microsoft 64kiB expansion card, and an Apple 5.25” Floppy Interface card. Since then, we’ve added some more: the Microsoft Z80 SoftCard and a Mockingboard sound card. And now I replace one of the original cards. The Apple’s floppy disk controller is a feat of engineering history: why would I replace it? Let’s find out!

  • A Last Gasp of 2D: The Cave CV1000

    Two-dimensional video game hardware is often considered a solved problem. Things like hardware sprites and tilemaps are basically gone; everything is done in software. Anything past that is done with 3d accelerators that work on entirely different principles. So let’s today take a look at a machine at the very end of the 2d period. And maybe also see why a straightforward platform still vexes emulator developers today. Bonus: A cool game!

  • Namco System 12: The Fastest Route to the Third Dimension

    The shift into the 3D era of gaming was one of the most important changeovers in console and arcade gaming: powerful CPUs meant dedicated 2D game hardware was rapidly made unnecessary, but at the same time, the market moved away from 2D entirely: a new era was afoot, the era of the 3D polygonal-based gaming. And one name stands out there: Sony PlayStation, the grey box that broke the Sega/Nintendo stranglehold on the market. And you might wonder: what was happening in arcades? Did the PlayStation make a splash there too?

  • Tennokoe, or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Save the Game

    Saving games– it’s easy to take that ability for granted today. But at one point, it was what separated console games and PC games. PCs had floppy and tape drives for storage; consoles often didn’t even have ROMs, let alone any form of storage. But as consoles moved away from the arcade world of quick game sessions and into larger adventures, saving games became a necessity. Most cartridge systems settled on battery-backed SRAM, but the PC Engine had to do things a little differently.

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