CP System III

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The CP System III (CPシステムIII shīpī shisutemu surī?) or CPS-3 is an arcade system board that was first used by Capcom in 1996 with the arcade game Red Earth. It was the second successor to the CP System arcade hardware, following the CP System II. It would be the last proprietary system board Capcom would produce before moving on to the Dreamcast-based Naomi platform.


The CP System III became the final arcade system board to be ever designed by Capcom. It features a security mechanism; games are supplied on a CD, which contains the encrypted game contents, and a security cartridge containing the game BIOS and the SH-2 CPU[1] with integrated decryption logic, with the per-game key stored in battery-backed SRAM. When the CP System III board is first powered on, the contents of the CD are loaded into a bank of SIMMs on the motherboard, where it is executed. The program code is then decrypted at run time via the security cartridge. The security cartridge is sensitive to any sort of tampering, which will result in the decryption key being erased and the cartridge being rendered useless. Games become unplayable when the battery inside the security cartridge dies. The lone exception is Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, which uses a default set of decryption keys that are written to dead cartridges on boot.[1]

In June 2007, the encryption method was reverse-engineered by Andreas Naive,[2] making emulation possible.[1]


  • Main CPU: Hitachi HD6417099 (SH-2) at 25 MHz
  • Storage:
  • Sound chip: 16-channel 8-bit sample player, stereo
  • Maximum color palette: 16 million shades[3]
  • Maximum number of colors on screen: 32,768 (15-bit colour, 555 RGB)
    • Palette size: 131,072 pens
    • Colors per tile (backgrounds / sprites): 64 (6 bits per pixel) or 256 (8 bits per pixel), selectable
    • Colors per tile (text overlay): 16 (4 bits per pixel)
  • Maximum number of objects: 1024, with hardware scaling
  • Scroll faces: 4 regular + 1 text overlay 'score screen' layer
  • Scroll features: Horizontal & vertical scrolling, linescroll, linezoom
  • Framebuffer zooming
  • Color blending effects
  • Hardware RLE decompression of 6 bpp and 8 bpp graphics through DMA
  • Resolution, pixels: 384×224 (standard mode) / 496×224 (widescreen mode)
  • Known games on this hardware: 6

List of games[edit]

All six games are developed by Capcom and are all head-to-head fighting games.

Release date English title Japanese title
1996-11-21 Red Earth Warzard
1997-02-04 Street Fighter III: New Generation Street Fighter III
1997-09-30 Street Fighter III 2nd Impact: Giant Attack Street Fighter III 2nd Impact
(ストリートファイターIII 2nd Impact)
1998-12-02 JoJo's Venture JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken
1999-05-12 Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future Street Fighter III 3rd Strike
(ストリートファイターIII 3rd Strike)
1999-09-13 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken Mirai e no Isan
(ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 未来への遺産)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]