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Old 07-04-2010, 11:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

You may very well remember an old issue of GamePro that featured a 2-page article that completely debunked SEGA's talk of 'blast processing' on the Genesis. Back in the day, SEGA pushed blast processing as the reason why Sonic was so fast, and that the SNES didn't have blast processing.

Well, the article above puts all that talk to bed, and explains why blast processing isn't real, and how the SNES could handle anything that the Genesis could. The most interesting part about this article? It's actually a two-page advertisement, and not a magazine feature! I think it's obvious that the Big N was behind this feature, but I'd love to know how much they paid for it!

Page scans can be found here:
GoNintendo - Blast (processing) from the past - Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Nice link. I remember that ad. I think I still have it in an old EGM or something. Those were the days when it was always Colors, Speed, Mode 7m, or whatever.

I guess the brand wars never end, just the brands themselves change. You have to tip the hat to Nintendo though, as they are the only brand from the old days still producing consoles.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnebagel View Post
I guess the brand wars never end, just the brands themselves change. You have to tip the hat to Nintendo though, as they are the only brand from the old days still producing consoles.
I never realized that. I guess the next oldest brand still producing consoles would be Sony, and that wasn't around until 1996 or so.
That's almost a ten year gap in age.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Yup, I remember that ad, I still read my old mags on the can so I should come across it at some point. I remember being quite confused when I read "advertisement" on the pages.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevencassidy13 View Post
Yup, I remember that ad, I still read my old mags on the can so I should come across it at some point. I remember being quite confused when I read "advertisement" on the pages.
Yep. I am so bummed about the mags, though. I only have a few left because everything else (including all the old Nintendo Power magazines) I had was destroyed in a flood several years back.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

I was thinking of making a topic where I was going to scan in ridiculous predictions and stuff that the writers made. Stuff like:
"Hi Tom, thanks for writing, to answer your question, we will definitely see Final Fantasy 7 going to the Saturn, so start saving your dimes!"
And other interesting things that time has told to be incorrect. I still have all mine they are mostly back home at my mom's place but i got about 50 or so issues here with me.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Great link, Tenser.
I remember that advertising campaign, especially the annoying commercials.
I suppose that we can't blame them for playing on the {then} general lack of electronics knowledge and jargon.
One of my teachers told me that when they opened a repair shop in the '80's their customers didn't know what 'audio' and 'video' meant.
We've come a long way since then.

Still, it was sort of deceptive of Sega to use that wording in their ads, in my opinion, especially the well - known
Sega does what Ninten - don't.

Here's another one talking about how fast their games are, and how they finally caught up to SNES in the color department:
http://www.eidolons-inn.net/segabase/G-32XPromoAd2.jpg

Last edited by RU Joe; 07-04-2010 at 07:38 PM.. Reason: AD
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

True Joe. It's like when CD systems first started to hit the market, the companies who didn't have them yet would talk about how slow CD games would be. Looking back, it's hilarious how much emphasis was put on processor speed and number of colors. Now no one cares because everyone is roughly in the same boat.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Those ads are pretty technical..........I wonder how many kids knew what "signal to noise" ratio was =P.
I bet they based that comparison from the second model of Genesis, which had a redesigned sound circuit as compared to the first, which actually muddied up the sound output quite a bit. The original Genesis audio is pretty clear, while the SNES actually has a lot of buzz in it's audio output.

I still think the SNES CPU is pretty slow, look at the lagfest shooting games that came out for it (Gradius III, Super R-Type), while Genesis shooters (ThunderForce, Gunstar Heroes) hardly ever lag.

Although, the SNES did surpass the Genny in the end, around 1993/1994ish, it was clear that the SNES was superior.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Seahawk:
Quote:
Genny
Ah, but she was a good old girl, she really was.

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Old 07-04-2010, 08:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeGrotowski View Post
Ah, but she was a good old girl, she really was.
There's nothing wrong with it, it's a good system. It's impressive how it held it's own against superior technology for so long.

Thanks to aggressive marketing both systems were misrepresented a lot and those misconceptions about them have not gone away.
Genesis has the faster CPU, this makes it better for games with a lot of action happening on the screen, everyone probably knows good examples of these.
SNES has better colors and audio, this makes it better for slower experiences like RPGs, again examples of these are pretty obvious.

In the end programmers managed to get over both systems' deficiencies, to allow for some truly awesome games on both consoles.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Seahawk:
Quote:
lagfest shooting games that came out for it (Gradius III, Super R-Type), while Genesis shooters (ThunderForce, Gunstar Heroes) hardly ever lag.
I have Super R - Type, and you're right when you say that the game lags when there's a lot of enemies/ background motion on the screen.
But that doesn't stop it from being a great game.

I like the Genesis, but unfortunately never owned one and only occasionally rented it to play some different games.
What I remember about it is that the games are indeed fast, with very little lag {I do remember some in Sonic on a bonus level, and also in Road Rash} just as you say.

Apples and oranges, really.

But yeah, they have to embellish the virtues of their consoles if they want to sell them, even if it involves announcing add - ons and games that never got made
{SNES Catapult, Starfox 2} or by using technical jargon like Sega did.

They're still great consoles that both have an awesome library of games, so you can't go wrong.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Out of This World is a good example of the speed difference. Play both to a spot where there is a lot of moving objects - example the falling rocks in the cavern - and the SNES will slow down to about 80% speed. The genesis plays fast and steady and responsive the whole way through. The SNES is even slower when you are just walking across a blank screen. SNES also reduced the difficulty a little bit.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kong View Post
Out of This World is a good example of the speed difference. Play both to a spot where there is a lot of moving objects - example the falling rocks in the cavern - and the SNES will slow down to about 80% speed. The genesis plays fast and steady and responsive the whole way through. The SNES is even slower when you are just walking across a blank screen. SNES also reduced the difficulty a little bit.
I've seen the differences in Genesis over SNES. IE Lion King on SNES is harder and has lower jumping than the Genesis Counter part. SNES runs 98-100% for SNES while Genesis runs at a steady 100. IMO though the sound is better in the Genesis same with the gfx. Which is saying something since I grew up with the SNES version.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

The sound preference between the two systems is a matter of personal taste....

The Genesis sound chip, the YM2612, is an FM synthesis based sound chip with 6 sound channels. Also included is the SN76489, by Texas Instruments, from the Sega Master System, adding 3 square waves (beep noise) and 1 white noise (static). Both can be controlled by the Motoroal 68000 main CPU or by the Z80 CPU also included on the board. I'd guess that most programmers put the Z80 on sound duty. The Z80 has 8kB of RAM dedicated for sound samples/code. This setup is similar to how most arcade hardware was designed at the time.
On the Genesis stereo sound is availabe only from the front headphone port on the first model Genesis, then from the AV port on the second model Genesis. However the second model Genesis has lower quality sound due to a redesigned sound circuit.


The SNES sound chip is a custom chip, the SPC700 CPU, designed by Sony (ironic), attached to a digital signal processor (DSP) which produces the actual sound. The DSP produces a 16-bit PCM waveform, supports 8 sound channels. The SPC700 has 64kB of RAM for sound data/code. It also supports stereo and more notably an echo filter. Stereo sound is availabe on the back of all models of SNES. The SNES (mine at least) has some high frequency noise added on to the sound output, I don't know if this is from age, bad cables, or if the circuit was redesigned in later models. Mine is a 1st gen SNES.

Sounds are usually "softer" on the SNES, however since SPC700 can handle much more complex sounds than the simpler YM2612. However you might prefer the more "arcade-y" sharp sounds of FM synthesis.
Again, this comes down to personal choice.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

I've always thought the Snes looked and sounded better overall. Genesis is cool and I like plenty of games for it but something about it seemed less polished.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

The Genesis is the older system, so it's based off of older technology. And as Tenser's link said, it's made from mostly stock typical components, a Motorola 68000, a Z80, and the YM2612. The only thing really custom about it is GFX chip, which is an upgrade to the Master System GFX unit.

Pretty much everything in the SNES is custom made for it.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

I grew up on both a Genesis and SNES, and I always noticed the SNES was graphically and
musically more capable than it's SEGA conterpart. Strider would have been an awesome port.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Quote:
Originally Posted by samejamesbond View Post
I grew up on both a Genesis and SNES, and I always noticed the SNES was graphically and
musically more capable than it's SEGA conterpart. Strider would have been an awesome port.
That's because it is =P.

There are tons of perks to programming on the SNES, GFX wise you have real transparency, sprite and background rotation, better colors. music wise you have a much more capable sound unit.
On the downside you must be able to do all of this with a much slower CPU.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Slower CPU?
Maybe Blast Processing isn't so far fetched...
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahawk View Post
There are tons of perks to programming on the SNES, GFX wise you have real transparency, sprite and background rotation, better color.
Mode 7 stuff too. I don't understand it too well, but it made F-Zero the masterpiece it was.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Mode 7 is sprite and background rotation.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Mode 7 was a breakthrough in graphical design with sprite rotations.
F-Zero showed it off, epically.

The SNES in general had better titles too.
My first Castlevania was Bloodlines, and I'm willing to admit Super Castlevania IV is superior.

Edit: Tenser beat me to it.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

I know Mode 7 was rotation, I just thought it was different from general sprite rotation.

SNES did have a better overall lineup.
Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV - VI (called II and III in US, no V at all). Super Mario World, Star Fox, Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and Soul Blazer come to mind right away.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Smashing the 'blast processing' buzz-term via advertisement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenser View Post
Mode 7 is sprite and background rotation.
Mode 7 is only background rotation. Sprite rotation can be done anytime. You don't see it much because this usually involves adjusting a (rotating) hit box each frame, and this takes a heavy CPU load to accomplish. You don't see this in the majority of SNES titles.

*EDIT*
I should be more clear, Mode 7 is not just background rotation. It is applying matrix equations to the background, allowing the project to be altered, so that you can apply 2D transformations on it, rotation, scaling, shearing, etc.

Last edited by Seahawk; 07-05-2010 at 11:38 PM..
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