List of Sega arcade system boards

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Sega Titan-Video (ST-V) arcade system board

Sega is a video game developer, publisher, and hardware development company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with multiple offices around the world. The company's involvement in the arcade game industry began as a Japan based distributor of coin-operated machines, including pinball games and jukeboxes.[1][2][3] Sega imported second-hand machines that required frequent maintenance. This necessitated the construction of replacement guns, flippers and other parts for the machines. According to former Sega director Akira Nagai, this is what led to the company into developing their own games.[4] Sega released Pong-Tron, its first video-based game, in 1973.[5] The company prospered from the arcade game boom of the late 1970s, with revenues climbing to over US$100 million by 1979.[6] Nagai has stated that Hang-On and Out Run helped to pull the arcade game market out of the 1983 downturn and created new genres of video games.[4]

In terms of arcades, Sega is the world's most prolific arcade game producer, having developed more than 500 games, 70 franchises, and 20 arcade system boards since 1981. It has been recognized by Guinness World Records for this achievement.[7] The following list comprises the various arcade system boards developed and used by Sega in their arcade games.

Arcade system boards[edit]

Arcade board Notes Notable games and release years
Dual[8][9]
  • Capable of both black-and-white and color display[10]
  • Capable of packaging two games in the same arcade cabinet[10]
G80[11][12]
VCO Object
Laserdisc
System 1 / System 2
  • System 1 released in July 1983[32]
  • Not designed with console ports in mind, but some titles were ported to the Master System[33]
  • System 2's graphics unit served as the basis for the Master System's graphics chip[34]
Super Scaler
  • Initially known as "Sega Hang-On hardware"; was developed for Hang-On[39]
  • Refinement of VCO Object hardware[39]
  • Featured two Motorola 68000 processors.[39]
  • 16-bit hardware[40]
  • First board in the Super Scaler series
System E
  • Stripped-down version of Master System hardware[39]
System 16 / System 18
OutRun
  • Based on the System 16[54]
  • Second generation Super Scaler board; able to use sprite scaling to simulate 3D using Super Scaler technology[54][55]
  • Designed because Yu Suzuki was unable to make Out Run on existing technology at the time[56]
X Board
System 24
  • Displayed in 496 x 384 resolution, larger than the 320 x 224 to which Sega designers were accustomed at the time[61]
  • Limited character RAM[61]
  • Early games loaded onto a floppy disk and could be switched[61]
Y Board
  • Fourth board in the Super Scaler series, and successor to the X Board[47]
  • Added an extra CPU and memory, as well as upgraded video hardware compared to the X Board[47]
  • Capable of performing real-time sprite rotation[47]
Mega-Tech / Mega Play
  • Modified version of Mega Drive/Genesis hardware, designed to play multiple games[64]
  • Mega-Tech capable of playing up to eight games[64]
  • Mega Play capable of playing up to four games[64]
  • Distributed in the United States by Belam[65]
System C
  • Also known as System 14[66]
  • Based on Mega Drive/Genesis hardware[66]
System 32
  • Final board in the Super Scaler series[68]
  • Sega's first 32-bit system, and final major sprite-based board[68]
  • Utilizes NEC V60 processor[69]
  • Research and development began in 1988[70]
Model 1
  • Sega's first video game system designed for 3D polygon graphics, developed internally at Sega between 1990 and 1991.[77][78]
  • Utilizes the same NEC V60 processor as in the System 32[69]
  • Contains a custom graphics unit, the CG Board, that can display 180,000 polygons per second[69] and 6,500 polygons per frame[79]
  • Capable of displaying 60 frames per second[75]
  • Board had a high cost during development[80]
  • Original concept was initially conceived around 1988,[81] and Sega began staff hiring for new system in 1989[82]
Model 2
Sega Titan-Video (ST-V)
Model 3
  • Developed in collaboration with Lockheed Martin[102]
  • First unveiled at the 1996 AOU (Amusement Machine Operators' Union) show[103]
  • Upon release, was the most powerful arcade system board in existence[104]
  • Released in multiple "steps" with improving specifications[105]
  • Model 2 and 3 sold more than 200,000 arcade systems combined by 2000.[106]
NAOMI
Hikaru
NAOMI 2
Triforce
  • Co-developed by Namco, Sega, and Nintendo[130]
  • Based on GameCube architecture.[130] Supported GameCube memory cards.[131]
  • The idea for Triforce came from Namco and Sega. They saw potential in the GameCube architecture for a cost-effective and port-friendly arcade machine. Nintendo agreed to cooperate in building the Triforce board, but had little interest in developing arcade games of their own.[132]
Chihiro
SystemSP
Lindbergh
Europa-R
  • Runs at 60 frames per second and 720p video resolution[140]
RingEdge / RingWide / RingEdge 2
Nu
ALLS

Additional arcade hardware[edit]

Sega has developed and released additional arcade games that use technology other than their dedicated arcade system boards. The first arcade game manufactured by Sega was Periscope, an electromechanical game. This was followed by Missile in 1969.[147] Subsequent video-based games such as Pong-Tron (1973), Fonz (1976), and Monaco GP (1979) used discrete logic boards without a CPU microprocessor.[148] Frogger (1981) utilized a system powered by two Z80 CPU microprocessors.[149] Some titles, such as Zaxxon (1982) were developed externally from Sega, a practice that was not uncommon at the time.[150]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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