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70 votes

What causes that "organic fade to black" effect in classic video games?

@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 ...
scurest's user avatar
  • 791
43 votes
Accepted

Why did Nintendo 64 (1996) memory cards require a battery inside them to retain data whereas the PlayStation (1994) ones did not?

Most likely different acrchitecture comes from idea how memory cards will/should be used and what are the available interfaces to access them. The PS memory cards do have flash memory, but the bus to ...
Justme's user avatar
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38 votes
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Why do 3D models on the PlayStation 1 “wobble” so much?

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 ...
Tommy's user avatar
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34 votes
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How did SNES render more accurate perspective than PS1?

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 ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
34 votes

Were CD-ROM-based games able to "hide" audio tracks inside the "data track"?

The various CD specifications dictate how specific types of tracks can be laid out on disc, but they don’t say that all audio must come from an audio CD track. There are other considerations however, ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
32 votes

Was "One-Winged Angel" an actual CD track, or generated by the PlayStation's sound chip with a few samples (SFX) added on top?

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 ...
hobbs's user avatar
  • 5,092
26 votes
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First time seeing this odd little PCB inside a Playstation 2; What is it for?

This is the v4 PnP Key, an early solderless modchip that was used in combination with a swap disc to play import or backup games. There was also the v5/v6/v7 version that could be hooked to newer PS2 ...
olliebulle's user avatar
23 votes

Would it be technically possible to make a "Satiator" for the PlayStation?

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 ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 37.5k
23 votes

Why did old consoles have special RAM dedicated for a specific task?

It's not limited to just consoles. Average PC in similar era than PS1 made the same distinction with several specialized memory areas for same reason. For example in a PC the CPU has memory it can use ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 34.3k
22 votes
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Why did the PlayStation 2 implement backward compatibility that way?

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 ...
Jean-François Fabre's user avatar
22 votes

Why did old consoles have special RAM dedicated for a specific task?

The most peculiar example of RAM dedicated to a single task was the Spanish version of the Amstrad CPC464, the CPC 472. This machine an extra 64kx1 DRAM chip which was not connected to anything. Its ...
Bruce Abbott's user avatar
  • 6,703
22 votes

When did wear leveling in flash storage come up?

It's a long-standing and well understood design principle. The very first EEPROM I designed into a system in about 1989 had wear levelling implemented in the software. It was a simple conclusion that ...
TonyM's user avatar
  • 4,496
22 votes

First time seeing this odd little PCB inside a Playstation 2; What is it for?

That seems to be a modded PS2. The "12C508A" is a PIC often used in modchip boards for both PS2 and PSX. Sadly I can only find info about that specific modchip from other people asking about ...
kouta-kun's user avatar
  • 318
21 votes

How much PlayStation 1 hardware in the PS2?

Calling it an emulation might be selling it under value. There is way more upward compatibility included than just software. Essentially the PS2 contains a full PS1 subsystem sans the GPU. It might be ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 227k
19 votes
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What happens when PS1's "Fearful Harmony" is triggered?

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 ...
TheAdmiester's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Did any PS1 games use 640x480?

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 ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 37.5k
17 votes
Accepted

Where did Sony's 3D graphics hardware in the PS1 originate?

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 ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 37.5k
17 votes

What causes that "organic fade to black" effect in classic video games?

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 ...
user's user avatar
  • 15.3k
17 votes

Were CD-ROM-based games able to "hide" audio tracks inside the "data track"?

You can't direct a CD player to play audio directly from a data track, because the formats are different. You can read CD-quality audio from the data track and play it through the speakers, but that ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,090
16 votes

When did wear leveling in flash storage come up?

It was certainly a known practice in 1993 when I designed a filesystem for EdenOs that had an optional wear-levelling layer for flash-based storage (battery-backed RAM on PCMCIA was the favourite ...
Frog's user avatar
  • 1,385
15 votes

Why did Sony allegedly not want developers to take advantage of the full power of their PlayStation?

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 ...
Jean-François Fabre's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

How much memory did the PlayStation development kit have?

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 ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
14 votes

Did any games use the "Super Scaler" technique past Slip Stream?

Well arguably every game on the Sega Saturn is exactly that, they just worked a lot harder to hide it. The Nintendo 64 had clean, mathmatically correct 3D polygons with a complete Z-buffer. Granted ...
David's user avatar
  • 2,535
13 votes

What causes that "organic fade to black" effect in classic video games?

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 227k
13 votes

Was "One-Winged Angel" an actual CD track, or generated by the PlayStation's sound chip with a few samples (SFX) added on top?

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, ...
Lorenzo's user avatar
  • 131
13 votes
Accepted

Manual of Resident Evil 4 Greatest Hits version for PS2 is too large for the case

That looks like it might be the French Canadian version of the manual, maybe? If it is that could explain it. For thicker manuals where both versions wouldn't fit inside the case the French version ...
mnem's user avatar
  • 4,555
12 votes

Why does my PlayStation RGB video cable cause the picture to be all orange-y unless pressure is applied?

The fact that another cable type works fine doesn't rule out damage to the PlayStation itself. The relevant signal lines are only used for RGB output, so testing with a composite (non-RGB) cable ...
ssokolow's user avatar
  • 7,105
11 votes
Accepted

Do 3d consoles run OpenGL?

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 ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 37.5k
10 votes

Why does the GUI for the built-in PlayStation CD player look so weird in the latest AVGN episode?

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 ...
knol's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes

Why do NPC party members often "get stuck" when following the player?

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 ...
Kaz's user avatar
  • 8,176

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