Nintendo VS. System

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The Nintendo VS. System (Japanese: 任天堂VS.システム, Hepburn: Nintendō Bāsasu Shisutemu), officially sold simply as the VS. System (VS.システム, Bāsasu Shisutemu),[1] was a coin-operated video game platform designed for two-player competitive play using the VS. UniSystem or VS. DualSystem, arcade system boards based on the Nintendo Entertainment System.[2] Many of these stand-up or sit-down arcade machines had two screens and controls joined at an angle. These games were ported to arcade hardware from existing home video games for the Family Computer and Nintendo Entertainment System;[2] thus, they could be sold cheaply to arcades in the late 1980s. The hardware was introduced in 1984, and ended in 1990.

Hardware[edit]

A VS. Dr. Mario arcade machine

The VS. System was designed primarily as a kit to retrofit Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Popeye, and Mario Bros. machines; as such, they require the same special monitor that these coin-ops use. These monitors use inverse voltage levels for their video signals as compared to most arcade monitors. Commercially available converters allow one to use any standard open frame monitor with the game.

Almost all the games on the VS. System run on identical hardware powered by a Ricoh 2A03 Central processing unit, the same found in the Nintendo Entertainment System but with the notable exception of special PPUs, or video chips designed for this circuit boards (RP2C04-0001, RP2C04-0002, RP2C04-0003, RP2C04-0004, RC2C03B, RC2C03C, RC2C05-01, RC2C05-03, RC2C05-04 and RP2C03B);[3] Each chip contains a different palette that arrange the colors in different configurations chosen apparently at random. Most boards can be switched to a new game simply by swapping the program ROMs, though the appropriate PPU must also be used; if not, the game will appear with incorrect colors.[4] Several of the later VS. games employ further measures of protection by using special PPUs which swap pairs of I/O registers and/or return special data from normally unimplemented regions of memory. Attempts to run these games in other VS. Systems will result in the game failing to even start.

Some dedicated VS. double cabinets were produced which look like two games butted together at an angle. A single motherboard powered both games on those models.

The VS. Table, a steel sit down cabinet for the VS. DualSystem, nicknamed the "red tent" due to its upper portion's resemblance to a pup tent, allow play for up to four players simultaneously. This cabinet uses the same motherboard as the double cabinet referred to above.

Due the fact that these arcades where based on the same CPU used in the Nintendo Entertainment System, they can be ported to this system by modifying the console, adding extra memory banks, DIP switches among other things.[5]

Version differences[edit]

Some games are different from their Famicom/NES versions. For example, VS. Super Mario Bros. is considerably more difficult than Super Mario Bros.; some of the levels were reused in Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Family Computer Disk System.[6] The graphics are also different from their Famicom/NES counterparts; for example, VS. Duck Hunt has more details and animation sequences than its console counterpart.

Games[edit]

The following is a list of all known Nintendo VS. System games, however, it is believed more exist in the form of prototypes, unreleased and released only for a short period of time for market testing.[7][8] And contrary to common belief, VS 10-Yard Fight, VS Gong Fight (Ring Fighter) and VS. Hot Smash does not belong to the VS. System since said games run in different hardware, powered by a Zilog Z80 CPU, are not PCB interchangeable and in the case of VS 10-Yard Fight and VS Gong Fight, they both lacks the point in the VS. acronym. The Same goes for VS Block Breaker which runs with a different PCB with a Hitachi SH-2 CPU. The launch titles for the hardware were Vs. Mahjong and Vs. Tennis in or about February 1984.

Nintendo[edit]

Some release date information were compiled from these flyers.[9][10] [11] [12] [13] [14][15]

  • VS. Balloon Fight (Japan only: October 3, 1984)
  • VS. Baseball (Japan: March 1984; North America: July 1984)
  • VS. Clu Clu Land (Japan only: December 5, 1984)
  • VS. Dr. Mario
  • VS. Duck Hunt (North America: May 1985)
  • VS. Excitebike (Japan: December 5, 1984; North America: February 1985)
  • VS. Football (unreleased)
  • VS. Gumshoe
  • VS. Head to Head Baseball (unreleased)
  • VS. Helifighter (unreleased)
  • VS. Hogan's Alley (North America: May 1985)
  • VS. Ice Climber (Japan: February 1, 1985; North America: March 1985)
  • VS. Mach Rider (North America: November 1985)
  • VS. Mahjong (Japan only: February 1984)
  • VS. Motocross (unreleased)
  • VS. Nintendo 500 (unreleased)
  • VS. Pinball (Japan: July 26, 1984; North America: October 1984)
  • VS. Slalom (Developed by Rare Ltd.)
  • VS. Soccer (North America: November 1985)
  • VS. Stroke and Match Golf (released in "Men's" and "Lady's" versions) (Japan: July 26, 1984/Both versions North America: October 1984/Men's version; December 1984/Lady's version)
  • VS. Super Mario Bros.
  • VS. Tennis (Japan: February 1984; North America: March 1984)
  • VS. Urban Champion
  • VS. Volleyball
  • VS. Wrecking Crew (Japan only: July 26, 1984)

Namco[edit]

Jaleco[edit]

Tecmo[edit]

Konami[edit]

Capcom[edit]

Sunsoft[edit]

Hudson Soft[edit]

Tengen[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]