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One of the biggest surprises at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show was Nintendo's announcement of some of the specifications for their upcoming Super Nintendo CD-ROM drive. Their press release stated that their unit would be in the stores as early as January 1993, and that it would sell for only about $200! Add in the fact that almost all of the specifications they published equalled or exceeded the ones for Sega's Mega CD-ROM, while the price was only about half of what Sega's unit was selling for at that time in Japan ($370).
After this announcement, Nintendo went back into seclusion and the editors started to pull together every possible detail available from all of it's World Net sources. This search, piloted by Mr. Michio Ohashi, Editor of The Super Famicom magazine in Japan, has turned up new information compiled from industry sources and analysts.

21 MHz. COPROCESSOR!

The most important new fact was additional information on the coprocessor that will be used to assist the main CPU. Sega's CPU runs at a healthy 7.16 Mhz and its Mega CD-ROM coprocessor clocks out at a speedy 12.5 Mhz. One of the problems of the Super Nintendo is the fact that its CPU runs at only 3.58 MHz. Sources are indicating that the coprocessor which will be in the S-NES CD-ROM System Cart will clock out at an unbelievable 21 MHz. This coprocessor (SCCP) was developed by Nintendo for their new CD-ROM system. Since this chip will aid in the calculation functions of the game program, usually the faster the chip, the more it can do.

FIRST LOOK AT SUPER NINTENDO CD-ROM SCHEMATIC
Most of the S-NES CD-ROM functions will be handled by the new coprocessor.
* Function unknown as of press time.



SEPARATE SYSTEM CARTRIDGE

The schematic at left shows another advantage the S-NES CD-ROM will have over the Mega CD-ROM. With the coprocessor, extra RAM and ROM packed in the removable system cart, should any future new technology require the system to be upgraded, all that the user will have to do is to buy a new system cart.

FIRST LOOK AT SUPER NINTENDO CD-ROM SCHEMATIC
The system cart will contain all of the 'brains' for the S-NES CD-ROM


NO SCREEN FLICKER

Some of the S-NES games have visible slowdown and screen flicker. Put too many characters on the screen and the slow CPU can't handle all of the processing and the action. Now with a super-fast coprocessor, analysts say that slowdown and flicker will no longer be a problem.

REALISTIC 3-D ANIMATION

In addition, the S-NES coprocessor has been specially designed to be able to recreate animation sequences. Because of the coprocessor's great speed, the S-NES CD-ROM will be able to display full-screen animations. Also, because of its speed, the coprocessor will be able to handle the tremendous number of calculations needed in fast moving 3-D polygon graphics (racing games) without bogging down (slowdown).

"AN INCREDIBLE MACHINE"

While it is still way to early to say whether Sega or Nintendo will win the CD-ROM race (the quality, quantity, price and availability of software will determine who wins), analysts who know the market have gone on record in saying that based on specs and price, the S-NES CD-ROM will be "...an incredible machine..."



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