VB Hardware Discussion

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User Info: secret_kumite

4 years ago#1
Just how powerful is the virtual boy really?

I used to think it was quite powerful, for the time. I mean, look at the specs:

NEC V810 (Part Number uPD70732)
▪ 32-Bit RISC Processor at
20 MHz (18 MIPS) Clock Speed
▪ 1 MB of DRAM and 512 of KB P-SRAM
▪ 1 KB Cache

While this might not sounds like much, and it didn't have much in the way of co-processors, look at the SNES specs in comparison:

•CPU: 16-bit Custom 65C816 at 3.58 MHz
•RAM: 128 Kb
Picture Processing Unit (PPU) - 16-bit (generates all of the graphics)
Video RAM for PPU - 64 Kilobytes (temp. storage for the PPU) •Max Sprites: 128, 32 per scanline
•Sound Channels: 8 ADPCM
•Sound Memory: 64 Kb

Sure, the VB would probably not be a PS1 killer (even though the ps1 had a 32bit processor@33mhz), but, it would sure be enough to surpass say, the original Gameboy or the game gear, right? Or the Atari lynx.

Personally I thought it was a powerful 32bit console, that was sadly unexploited due to rushed games and laziness. Well, now I learned something different (see my next post)

User Info: secret_kumite

4 years ago#2
Turns out that some coders tried to develop homebrew VB games, such as fzero (based on the GBA fzero) :http://www.screwattack.com/news/7-new-virtual-boy-games

The game could be not completed, because.... of the virtual boy's hardware limitations! More specifically its weak "affine graphics capability".

The same happened with a Mario kart remake (this is a SNES game!) for the VB,

So apparently, the VB could not handle a GBA (32bit, 16mhz, no co-processors) game with no 3D elements, nor could it handle a SNES game that used mode 7...

So was it actually Gameboy weak? How could this be?

User Info: aerosmith5

4 years ago#3
Specs are not everything. The VB was not exactly easy to program for and there was no impetus to learn the true capabilities because sales were so low.

It would have done much better if they had taken the extra time to figure out how to add full color without the retail price going through the roof.
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