62

@user253751 and @WimC are correct, this fade is achieved by drawing a semi-transparent rectangle over the screen, but using a transparency mode where the rectangle's color is subtracted from the color of the background. The PS1 has four semi-transparency modes (search this for "Semi Transparency"). The one used here is mode 2 in which the result of ...


34

The transform applied to project geometry from 3d to the 2d coordinates necessary for drawing on a screen is called a perspective projection. It involves calculating 1/z and multiplying x and y by that. Filling a triangle involves visiting every pixel within it and deciding which colour to put there. To paint a texture that properly obeys perspective you'd ...


31

The SNES hardware doesn’t implement perspective, it implements affine transforms of the background layer. Affine transforms aren’t sufficient for perspective. Perspective is implemented by changing the affine transform at every scanline, to change the scale. This is what allows parallel lines to be transformed so that they aren’t parallel on-screen, thus ...


28

suppose it's possible that the PlayStation audio format does have the required instruments, and then they added the few repeated audio samples on top of that in the game engine There are no instruments "built into" the PlayStation. Games provide their own. The PlayStation sound chip is basically a 24-channel ADPCM playback with 512KB of sample ...


23

Per the developers of PSIO, the answer is no: Exactly why is [the internal modification] required? There are two signals that PSIO needs in order to function that are not present on the expansion port. These are the CS (Chip Select) and INT (Interrupt) lines from the CD controller. The job of the Switch Board is to basically forward them as well as connect ...


19

Just a disclaimer: Most of this is based on observation and assumptions from experience and should be taken with a grain of salt. From what I've seen with this glitch, the audio being played is actually just a very stretched out version of the chimes that play over the second logo which you see when a disc is loaded, rather than a separate sample. Judging ...


18

This effect happens when the luminosity curve of the image is adjusted like so: This is called gamma correction and is a fairly common feature of graphics processing software and GPUs. My research has not turned up anything to suggest that the PS1 supports this feature natively in hardware, although it can be emulated in software fairly easily.


18

You don’t need two buffers at 640x480 because television is interlaced — each field is only 640x240; if you can render at 60Hz then you can always draw the next field while the current is being output and therefore maintain proper even/odd sampling positions for a genuine interlaced signal. This is even a better solution than a 640x480 buffer because it ...


17

Probably because it was the only way to get 100% compatibility with the old software library, which was required while most PS2 titles weren't developed yet. No one wants to buy a machine without games, and no one wants to upgrade and lose the ability to play old games. Note how console makers have an "all or nothing" way of handling compatibility. ...


16

I'd be likely to endorse the verdict that Ken Kutaragi designed it alone. Kutaragi designed the SPC700, the sound processor used in the SNES. Like any other moderately advanced sound processor, it is part DSP — amongst other things, it contains the logic to pitch shift an audio sample, which pretty much means taking a 1d signal of m samples across and using ...


14

The following answer is only my personal point of view I don't believe that Sony created a C library that was slow on purpose. They created a C library so developers use high-level interface which respects the way to access the hardware, instead of documenting it in details. Respecting/checking the hardware usage domain and timings (and also using C) has an ...


13

There can't be a simple answer, as there are many ways to reach that effect depending on console/hardware used. Using some 'overlay' needs incredible computing power and is usually tied to rather high end 3D engines. A way simpler method is cycling/dampening the colours. Here each colour used is replaced by a dimmer variant. An effect that is already easy ...


11

The first generation of consoles use proprietary APIs; I can speak directly as to the PS1. In the PS1's case there's a vector coprocessor for performing 3d transformations and one is subsequently responsible for compiling and supplying list of triangles in direct screen coordinates for drawing. Usually calculated via the vector coprocessor, but it's up to ...


11

It's a PSF (Portable Sound Format, see Wikipedia) music file, the PlayStation equivalent of the Amiga's module (.mod) format, where sound samples and replay data sequences are stored inside one file, so tracked music instead of streamed music.


10

Firstly, on the "difficulty" of programming a teleport routine: Teleporting an NPC when it gets stuck is actually a relatively straight-forward task to achieve. Identifying when an NPC has gotten caught is simple: you can calculate the Euclidian distance between the NPC and the player, and if it exceeds some threshold X, then you conclude that the ...


10

Because the PS1 has a very small amount of RAM, and sophisticated games, especially those on linear tracks like Crash Bandicoot, would load new data from the disc continually as the player traversed the level, replacing the data in RAM that was already there. When the player dies and reappears at an earlier location, the level would have to be reloaded from ...


9

The initial versions of the CPU and GPU above were over 200 mm², which is quite large. Conjecture: making them initially a single chip would have resulted in substantially diminished yield. Being already at the upper end what can be done A Pentium III (Coppermine) of that time had about 10M transistors and ~100 mm², so a die with more than 200 mm² was most ...


8

What "prevents" it is the same thing that prevents graphics cards on modern PCs from running independently: there's simply no benefit to adding what would be needed to make them independent computers, and doing so what compromise the job that they're designed for. The Cell Broadband Engine consists of one or more Power PC cores (Power Processor Elements or ...


8

Sony claims that it sold 102.4 million PlayStations. The best reported number I can find is that a total of 962 million games were sold. So that's an average of about 9.4 games per machine sold, with the best selling single title being Gran Turismo at 10.85 million (i.e. 10.6% as many copies sold as systems). I couldn't find any further breakdown on that — e....


8

Different BIOS versions have different built-in user interfaces for managing the memory card and playing audio CDs. There doesn't seem to be any consistency in dates or regions to indicate one style was newer or older, looking at Wikipedia's list of PS1 variations. From The Cutting Room Floor's page on the PlayStation: System Menu Differences and ...


8

There was a relationship between Sony and Nintendo starting in 1988 and into the early 1990s as someone in Sony was looking to get into the video game business after seeing how successful the Famicom was. Agreements were made with Nintendo to produce a CD-ROM technology add-on and work was started. Prototypes were demonstrated in the early 90s which were ...


8

There's a pretty nifty article linked from the Wikipedia article on the Emotion Engine that discusses the details in the "Emotion Is the Difference" section on page 2: But much of the EE’s compute power will go toward an even loftier goal: behavioral synthesis, or, as SCE calls it, emotion synthesis. This technology gives game programmers the ability ...


8

I bet you have a dirty lens or faulty optical drive. Try cleaning the diode with a Q-Tip and a electronic lens cleaning solution. It's also possible that the entire drive is broken or dirty. Does the PS1 read any other discs like audio CDs? It might need an entire spindle hub or optical drive replacement. Maybe some of the tips in this iFixit ...


7

The data here is a bit unclear what the mentioned measurement of 'hits' is about and where the percentage of 5 or 50 comes from. The whole setup doesn't give much information. Lets try to see what it could mean in relation to real world numbers. CD-Drives are usually not rated in 'hits' but MTBF hours, like most machinery, often amplified by duty ...


7

For the PlayStation 1, development was done on a development kit which fit inside a PC; this included two ISA cards, and had 8 MiB of RAM for the PlayStation CPU. Pre-production testing was done on debugging consoles, which were closer to the production hardware, and only had 2 MiB of RAM. SN Systems (which designed the development kit) also produced a ...


7

Those companies did implement their own graphics APIs that were very light weight and didn't have too much complex functionality. This was done because their libraries could be tailored to the strengths or weaknesses of their system. They also had very unique architectures that took different approaches to producing 3D graphics. Later on, consoles and PC ...


6

The CPU core is only one of eight parts of the chip. It has two vector units, an image processor, DMA controller and various other components. Together they form the Emotion Engine, which I recall at the time being marketed as bringing procedural generation technology to games to make them more realistic and varied.


6

I found two neat pictures that show the pin order on the AV out port and the AV cable. From the left in the bottom picture, pin 2 is the right audio channel and pin 4 is the left channel. Source


5

what exactly stops them being fully autonomous? Nothing - except for the way any tight coupled multicore CPU starts up. After reset only the primary core starts executing code, while the rest is kept in a hold state, until prepared and released by the primary core. Further any control about the configuration can (usually) only be exerted by the primary core....


5

For PC VGA, which definitely has just 256 colours on screen that are picked from the 16 million available via a look up table, such fades are definitely done by changing just the palette definition every 0.1 seconds or something like that. If you do it naively, you just substract a fixed value from each R, G, B component on each frame. The consequence is ...


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