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59 votes
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Why did Nintendo name its console the "Famicom"?

But why was it given an English name in Japan Foreign Branding is a common marketing strategy to give a product a more distinguished name. Think 'Häagen-Dazs', a fantasy name with some Nordic 'flair' ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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42 votes
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What is the purpose of mirrored memory regions in NES's CPU memory map?

It is not intentionally mirrored, it is just a side effect of making the address decoding hardware for RAM as simple and cheap as possible with a single common 74LS139 chip used for the task, when an ...
Justme's user avatar
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22 votes

Why did Nintendo name its console the "Famicom"?

There are several interviews with Masayuki Uemura (the creator of the familiy computer) online that contain a section about the name “family computer”. Many publications seem to be copied from each ...
WimC's user avatar
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14 votes

Why was the original Legend of Zelda initially released on floppies?

Are you aware that the Zelda disk was was also gold coloured? (Though admittedly not so shiny as the NES cart.) Zelda was originally released on floppy not due to the high cost of making cartridges ...
cjs's user avatar
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14 votes

What is the purpose of mirrored memory regions in NES's CPU memory map?

My question is, what is the purpose of this mirroring? There is no purpose. It's simply the way the address range is decoded. The decoder looks only at the top 3 bits to decide which internal device (...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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13 votes

Was the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 ever released in Europe?

It was most likely a pirate cart. I don't know about Finland but here in Sweden they weren't uncommon, you could often find them at fairs and similar places where traveling salespeople put up shop. ...
JoelW's user avatar
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11 votes
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Does the NES handle unlisted processor instructions differently from the Famicom?

To my knowledge, the NES and the Famicom had the exact same CPU (a Ricoh 2A03). So, it's unlikely there were any differences in behavior between the two with regards to undocumented opcodes. As the ...
tofro's user avatar
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11 votes

What tape format did the Nintendo Famicom Data Recorder use?

Springing from the link provided by hippietrail to the Nes Dev wiki, the data recorder doesn't use any particular format — it provides only a 1-bit DAC under programmatic control, much like many 8-bit ...
9 votes
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What tape format did the Nintendo Famicom Data Recorder use?

I didn't foresee when asking that I was asking about the file format used for saving and loading from Family BASIC. Unlike other home computers such as the ZX Spectrum, the BASIC is in a cartridge ROM ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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7 votes

What prompted Nintendo to use SRAM rather than DRAM for the PPU memory on the Famicom?

The PPU used in the NES/Famicom is designed with a 16K address space, which was expected to be filled with an 8K ROM chip on a cartridge and a SRAM That's not what the NES wiki states: $0000-1FFF is ...
dirkt's user avatar
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6 votes

What prompted Nintendo to use SRAM rather than DRAM for the PPU memory on the Famicom?

Was the cost of a 2Kx8 RAM, plus an address latch, plus all the cartridge pins needed to expose the video bus, less than the cost of eight 16Kx1 or two 16Kx4 DRAM chips? The DRAM would have been ...
qwerty keyboard's user avatar
6 votes

NES/Famicom CPU address range allowable for cartridges

What is the lowest available to the cartridge CPU address, i.e. how much down to zero the cartridge space may span, whether it would be PRG-ROM, PRG-RAM or cartridge registers? Well, everything up to ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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5 votes
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Do the cartridges lose your saved games without batteries?

So I was wondering what happen if battery run out. Do you lose your save games? In an unplugged/stored cardridge yes. After all, they are RAM based. Now, if it's still pluged and powered, then ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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5 votes

"Genesis Lock-On Technology" to change the language of a Famicom game

I'll assume you only want to modify small parts of the game, rather than the entire game. (If you wanted to modify the entire game, you'd just make a new cartridge holding the entire image.) Your ...
knol's user avatar
  • 306
4 votes

What is the purpose of mirrored memory regions in NES's CPU memory map?

Educated guess here... $07ff is 0000 0111 1111 1111 in binary. So all addresses in that 2k are represented in the 11 least significant bits (bit 0 through bit 10). Mirror #8 runs from $1800 thru $1fff....
Marc Bernier's user avatar
4 votes
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Why did Nintendo commission Sony to create a disk reader if the Famicom already had one?

The two disk systems' technology were completely different. The Famicom's disk system used a magnetic-storage floppy disk, which (according to Wikipedia) had a total capacity of 112 kilobytes (56kB ...
Kaz's user avatar
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4 votes

Do the cartridges lose your saved games without batteries?

Many cart-based games used battery-backed SRAM for storing saved game state. The RAM was usually powered by a lithium coin cell that could keep the RAM contents powered for a number of years. Once the ...
fdmillion's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes

NES/Famicom CPU address range allowable for cartridges

The cartridge can map anything anywhere, however there's restrictions if it overlaps existing hardware in the console. Write-only registers could be mapped in a way that overlaps RAM in $0000-$1fff ...
Bregalad's user avatar
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3 votes

What prompted Nintendo to use SRAM rather than DRAM for the PPU memory on the Famicom?

The TMS9918 derivative which was used in the NES/Famicom (the Ricoh 2C02) simply didn't have the RAS/CAS pins to use DRAM. Note that the TMS9918 and the Ricoh 2C02 are not pin-compatible! The 2C02 had ...
Klaws's user avatar
  • 521
1 vote

What prompted Nintendo to use SRAM rather than DRAM for the PPU memory on the Famicom?

DRAM would have needed refresh circuitry and address multiplexing. And as Nintendo needed an 8-bit bus and DRAMs of the time were 1-bit parts they would have needed 8 parts instead of 1 with costs in ...
Exophase's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote

Why did Nintendo name its console the "Famicom"?

Japanese, as with most other human languages, has a lot of loanwords from foreign languages, such as パン (pan) from the Portugese pão, (in turn from Latin panum) meaning bread, and コンテスト (contesuto) ...
cjs's user avatar
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