Sega System 1 was a type of arcade hardware used in various Sega arcade machines from 1983 until 1987. For most of its run it coexisted with Sega System 2 (1985 - 1988) and as a result had many similar features (the only major difference being that System 2 had two separate circuit boards instead of one). In its four year span it was used in some 20 different arcade games including Choplifter, Flicky, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, and Wonder Boy.
The Sega System 16 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1985. Over its lifespan, roughly forty games were released on this hardware, making it one of Sega's most successful arcade platforms. It was produced in two variants, the System 16A and System 16B. Some games released using this hardware include: Shinobi, Golden Axe, Altered Beast and Dynamite Dux.
In order to prevent piracy, as well as illegal bootleg games, many System 16 boards used an encryption system. A Hitachi FD1094 chip, containing the main CPU as well as the decryption key, was used in place of a regular CPU.
The System 16's pairing of a Motorola 68000 CPU and a Zilog Z80 coprocessor would prove to be a popular and durable arcade hardware configuration well into the 1990s. Capcom's CPS-1 and CPS-2 boards were built on a similar foundation, as was SNK's Neo Geo hardware. Sega would later use the 68000/Z80 combination to power its Genesis/Mega Drive home console.
The Sega X Board is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1987. It was noteworthy for its sprite manipulation capabilities, which allowed it to create high quality pseudo-3D visuals. This trend would continue with the Y Board and the System 32, before the Model 1 made true 3D arcade games more financially affordable.
The Sega System 18 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1989. System 18 had a very short run of games but most boards on this hardware were JAMMA standard. Most of these games also have the "suicide battery" as associated with Sega's System 16 hardware.
The Sega System 24 was an arcade system board released by Sega in 1988. It was produced for coin-operated video arcade machines until 1996. Some games released using this hardware include: Bonanza Bros., Hot Rod, and Gain Ground.
The System 24 used two Motorola 68000 processors at 10 MHz. One was for booting, while the other was used by the game. The board holds 1360KB of RAM and 256KB of ROM. It was the first Sega arcade system that required a medium resolution arcade monitor. The color palette was 4352 selectable from 32,768. The system could support up to 2048 sprites on-screen at once.
Sound was driven by a YM2151 at 4 MHz; it was capable of delivering 8 channels of FM sound in addition to a DAC used for sound effects and speech synthesis. Early System 24s loaded their program from floppy disks. Later, some games such as Bonanza Bros. used CD-ROMs or hardware ROM boards to store games. No matter which storage device was used, a special security chip was required for each game an operator wanted to play.
The Sega Mega-Tech was an arcade system developed by Sega Europe in 1989. It is based on Mega Drive/Genesis hardware, and more or less identical. Its operation ability is similar to Nintendo's PlayChoice-10, where the credits bought give the use a playable time period rather than lives (usually 1 minute per credit), and can switch between games during playtime.
A few things were omitted, such as the expansion hardware allowing for Sega CD or Sega 32X as these were not developed at this point, so would not likely be offered as an arcade expansion. The PCB for the Mega-Tech also includes the ability to display to a second monitor, which contains a list of the games installed in the machine and also displays instructions for controlling the game, 1 or 2 player information, and a short synopsis of each game. The second monitor also displays the time left for playing.
Since the machine was basically a Mega Drive with timer control for arcade operations, porting games to the Mega-Tech was an easy task and so many games were released, most of them popular titles such as Streets Of Rage, Revenge Of Shinobi, Golden Axe, Sonic The Hedgehog and many more. The ability was also added for the machine to play Sega Master System titles, though fewer Master System titles were ported than Mega Drive titles. Some include the original Shinobi, Outrun and After Burner.
The Sega Mega-Tech system was soon replaced by its successor, the Mega-Play, a JAMMA based system. This system utilized only 4 carts instead of 8. This version also utilizes traditional arcade operations, in which credits bought are used to buy lives instead.
Sega's System C-2 is a Jamma PCB used in arcade games. This hardware is based closely on the Sega Genesis hardware, the main CPU, the sound processor and the graphics processor being the same. The CPU clock speed is slightly faster (10 MHz instead of 8 MHz), there is no Z80, and the sound chip is driven by the CPU. The DAC is also replaced by a UPD7759, the same as the System 16 hardware. 17 known games were created for the System C-2 hardware.
System 32 was an arcade platform released by Sega in 1991. It was the first 32-bit arcade system. It succeeded Sega System 24 with a 32-bit RISC processor at 16 MHz. Notable titles included Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder, Rad Mobile, Outrunners, and SegaSonic the Hedgehog.
There was also another version of this hardware, called System Multi 32. This was similar to the original, but had dual monitors for each game.
The Sega Model 1 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1992. During development of the system, Sega went to General Electric Aerospace (which would become part of Martin Marietta, later Lockheed Martin) for assistance in creating the 3D hardware. The first game for the system, Virtua Racing was designed to test the viability of the platform and was never intended to be released commercially, but it was such a success internally that Sega did so anyway.
The Sega Model 2 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1993. Like the Model 1, it was developed in cooperation with Martin Marietta, and was a further advancement of the earlier Model 1 system. The most noticeable improvement was texture mapping, which enabled polygons to be painted with bitmap images, as opposed to the limited monotone flat shading that Model 1 supported.
Despite its high pricetag, the Model 2 platform was very successful. It featured some of the highest grossing arcade games of all time: Daytona USA, Virtua Fighter 2, Cyber Troopers Virtual-On and The House of the Dead to name a few.
Model 2 has four different varieties, commonly referred to as Model 2, Model 2A-CRX, Model 2B-CRX and Model 2C-CRX. While Model 2 and 2A-CRX use a custom DSP with internal code for the geometrizer, 2B-CRX and 2C-CRX use well documented DSPs and upload the geometrizer code at startup to the DSP. This, combined with the fact that some games were available for both 2A-CRX and 2B-CRX, led to the reverse engineering of the Model 2 and Model 2A-CRX DSPs.
ST-V (Sega Titan Video game system) was an arcade system board released by Sega in 1995. Departing from their usual process of building custom arcade hardware, Sega's ST-V is essentially identical to the Sega Saturn home console system. The only difference is the media; ST-V used ROM-cartridges instead of CD-ROMs to store games. Being derived from the Saturn hardware, the ST-V was presumably named after the moon Titan, a satellite of Saturn.
The majority of ST-V titles were released in Japan only, but a notable exception was the port of Dynamite Deka, which became Die Hard Arcade. Games released for the ST-V includes the arcade version of Virtua Fighter Remix, Golden Axe: The Duel and Final Fight Revenge. The shared hardware between Saturn and ST-V allowed for very "pure" ports for the Saturn console.
The Sega Model 3 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1996. It was the final culmination of Sega's partnership with Lockheed Martin, using the company's Real3D division to design the graphical hardware. Upon release, the Model 3 was easily the most powerful arcade system board in existence, capable of over one million polygons per second. The hardware went through several "steppings," which increased the clock speed of the CPU, as well as minor changes to the board architecture.
A development of the Dreamcast home game console, the NAOMI and Dreamcast share the same hardware components: Hitachi SH-4 CPU, PowerVR Series 2 GPU (PVR2DC), and Yamaha AICA based sound system. NAOMI has twice as much system memory, twice as much video memory, and 4X as much sound memory. Multiple NAOMI boards can be 'stacked' together to improve graphics performance, or to support multiple-monitor output. A special game cabinet for the NAOMI, NAOMI Universal Cabinet, houses up to sixteen boards for this purpose.
The other key difference between NAOMI and Dreamcast lies in the game-media. The Dreamcast reads game data from GD-ROM optical disc, while the NAOMI arcade-board features 168 MB of solid-state ROMs or GD-ROMs using a custom Dimm board and GD-ROM drive. In operation, the Naomi GD-ROM is read only once at system powerup, transferring the disc's contents to the DIMM-Board RAM. Once the download is complete, the game executes out of RAM, thereby reducing mechanical wear on the GD-ROM drive.
Unlike Sega's previous arcade platforms (and most other arcade platforms in the industry), NAOMI is widely licensed for use by other game publishers. Games such as Mazan, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and Guilty Gear XX were all developed by third-party licensees of the NAOMI platform. An offshoot version of the NAOMI hardware is Atomiswave by Sammy Corporation.
After nine years of hardware production, and with new game titles coming in 2008 like Melty Blood: Actress Again and Akatsuki Blitzkampf AC, NAOMI is considered to be one of the longest running arcade platforms ever and is comparable in longevity with the Neo-Geo MVS.
An evolution of the NAOMI hardware with superior graphics capabilities, the Hikaru was used for a handful of deluxe dedicated-cabinet games, beginning with 1999's Brave Fire Fighters. Since it was comparatively expensive to produce, Sega soon abandoned the Hikaru in favor of continued NAOMI and NAOMI 2 development.
NAOMI 2's graphics-assembly contains two PowerVR CLX2 GPUs, a VideoLogic Elan chip for geometry transformation and lighting effects, and 2X the graphics memory for each CLX2 chip. (Each CLX2 has its own 32MB bank, as the CLX2s cannot share graphics RAM). Architecturally, the NAOMI 2 is similar enough to the original NAOMI that both can play NAOMI games without modification.
With the NAOMI 2, Sega brought back the GD-ROM drive. For both NAOMI and NAOMI 2, the GD-ROM setup was offered as an optional combination of daughterboard expansion known as the DIMM Board, and the GD-ROM drive itself. The DIMM board contained enough RAM to allow an entire game to be loaded into memory at start up, allowing the drive to shut down after the game has loaded. This heavily reduces load times during the game, and saves on drive wear and tear.
The Triforce is an arcade system board developed jointly by Namco, Sega, and Nintendo, with the first games appearing in 2002. The name "Triforce" is a reference to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series of games, and symbolized the three companies' involvement in the project. The system hardware is based on the Nintendo GameCube with several differences, like provisions for add-ons such as Sega's GD-ROM system and upgradeable RAM modules.
The Sega Chihiro system is a Sega arcade system board based on the architecture of the Xbox. The 733 MHz Intel Pentium III CPU and the Nvidia XChip graphics processor are common to both. Unlike the Xbox, Chihiro can support up to 512MB RAM through add-in memory modules. Chihiro games are distributed on Sega GD-ROM media, instead of standard DVD-ROM used by the Xbox.
Because the Chihiro and Xbox share the same hardware architecture, porting from the Chihiro is theoretically easier than porting from a different arcade platform. In practice, the much smaller memory-capacity of the Xbox (64MB), presents a formidable challenge for home-conversions of arcade titles which use Chihiro's larger memory configuration, however the Xbox release of OutRun 2 was able to retain the look and feel of the original 512 MB arcade version through the outstanding efforts of the programming team.
The Sega Lindbergh platform is a Linux-based embedded PC. Sega had originally planned to use the Microsoft's Xbox 360 as the basis for the arcade board, but instead opted for an architecture based on standard PC hardware. This decision was probably made because it is usually more cost effective to use a PC as a gaming platform than it is to use a console.
According to Sega-AM2 president Hiroshi Kataoka, porting Lindbergh titles (such as Virtua Fighter 5) to Sony's PlayStation 3 is generally easier than porting to Xbox 360, because the Lindbergh and PS3 use a GPU designed by the same company, Nvidia.
The Sega Lindbergh standard sit-down cabinet uses a 1360x768 WXGA LCD display.
Aside from the original Lindbergh system, Sega has developed a Lindbergh Red and Lindbergh Blue system. These have different specifications than the regular Lindbergh system. It can be assumed that the specifications are less powerful because the games running on Lindbergh Blue and Red have less detail and less intense visuals than the games running on the regular Lindbergh (Lindbergh Yellow).
The Lindbergh has been superseded by the Ring series (RingEdge and RingWide), so there will be no new games developed for this system. The last game to run on the Lindbergh system was Initial D Arcade Stage 5.
Sega has again chosen a PC-based design for this Arcade Board.
Sega Rally 3 is currently the only game running on this system.
The cost to produce this machine is very high, which is probably why Sega has abandoned this powerful system.
The Ring series of arcade machines are also based on PC architecture. Initially announced models include RingEdge and RingWide. The 2 pieces of hardware will have Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009 as their operating system. The reason Sega decided to use a Windows embedded system was so other third-party companies would find it easier to produce games for it. The first game for the Ring platform is Border Break, running on the RingEdge. Border Break does not take full advantage of the graphics card on the Ringedge, but introduces touch-screen functionality and a special controller system. It allows players to play next to each other in the same arcade or against other people in another arcade using Sega's ALL.NET feature. Also in Fall 2009 an image appeared around the web of what was apparently a leaked RingEdge BIOS and it appears the disc drive supports the now defunct HD DVD. On February 10, 2009, Sega approved a patent for two controller designs, one that looks similar to the Sega Saturn 3D pad with a added touch screen device and one that looks similar to the Mega Drive 6-button pad. Sega has recently stated that they plan to revive the arcade business with these machines .
Sega also approved a patent for USB Flash Memory cards and Hard drive on July 7, 2009.Although the Hard Drive and Controllers remain unexplained, Japanese Arcades have long had access to items such as floor mats and USB flash drives unlike their American counterparts(please scroll down when you reach the page on the link) .Because of these patents, rumors have been spreading that Sega is going to release a new home console based on Ring hardware in 2010 or 2011. Sega has yet to clarify exactly why the Hard Drive and Controller patents were issued, possibly because these rumors may be true.
The RingEdge is the main console of the Ring Series. It has better graphics and a larger storage than the RingWide. It also sports a better graphics card than the Lindbergh system, allowing for a higher performance graphically, all while costing less to produce. The use of an Intel Pentium Dual-Core (1.8Ghz per core) processor delivers better performance than Lindbergh's Pentium 4 (3.0Ghz) processor. A Solid State Drive also greatly reduces wear-and-tear due to lack of moving parts, and also has much higher transfer rates than a hard disc drive, leading to better performance and loading times.
The RingWide is more basic than the RingEdge, and only has 8GB (Compact Flash) of storage, while RingEdge has a 4 times larger storage (because of the use of the RAM Drive and SSD). The RingWide will be used to support games that are less graphics-intensive and that require less high-end specifications in order to cut down costs for those particular games. Sega also appears to be poised to be designing a streaming hybrid for use with household TVs similar to OnLive from the system's hardware as shows this patent that was issued by them on November 17, 2009.