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Old 02-01-08, 12:25 AM   #1
AirRaid
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Default 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

In early-to-mid 1997, SEGA has two next generation consoles in development.
The Sega of America designed 'Black Belt' using a derivative of the upcoming
3Dfx Voodoo2 or Banshee graphics technology.

The other console, designed by Sega of Japan using a derivative of the upcoming
PowerVR Highlander (PowerVR2) technology.

article from Next Generation August 1997






The decision was made known in July 1997.
Of course we all know Sega chose PowerVR over 3Dfx.

That means Sega did not go ahead with Black Belt.
They went with the Dural system using PowerVR2 instead.



Dural got the official codename of 'Katana' later in 1997
and then the consumer name of Dreamcast in 1998.
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Old 02-01-08, 01:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

Gamegear was great.
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Old 02-01-08, 01:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

There were actually some Black Belts made, some even made it to the arcades in very early renditions of San Francisco Rush.
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Old 02-01-08, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

That and Daytona USA were some of the best racing games, along with the original NFS on PC.
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Old 02-01-08, 04:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

Quote:
Originally Posted by mezkal
There were actually some Black Belts made, some even made it to the arcades in very early renditions of San Francisco Rush.
SF Rush and Black Belt had nothing to do with each other, except for that they both used 3Dfx for graphics. The similarities end there.

Obviously there had to have been some Black Belt prototypes made, but I'm not aware of that having anything to do with San Francisco Rush. It makes no sense. SF Rush was out in 1996, well before the 3Dfx chip for Black Belt was made.

SF Rush ran on Atari's 'Flagstaff' hardware that had a MIPS R5000 CPU, 8 MB system RAM, first-generation 3Dfx graphics: one PixelFX unit, two TexelFX units instead of one, total of 10 MB graphics RAM (2 MB RAM for PixelFX, 4MB RAM for each TexelFX).

http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=781
http://www.thedodgegarage.com/3dfx/q3d_arcade.htm

SF Rush did not use a Voodoo2 or Banshee derivative which Black Belt was using.

Black Belt's CPU choice was PowerPC 603e or Hitachi SH-4 CPU.
http://web.archive.org/web/199706051.../050297b.chtml


SF Rush and Black Belt really have no connection.
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Old 02-01-08, 04:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

Wow I remember this like yesterday
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Old 02-01-08, 10:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

3dFX ...now THAT was a fantastic piece of kit. How I do miss the first Voodoo cards.
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Old 02-01-08, 10:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

WTF is up with the recent obsession with 3DFX, they were a decent graphics card company who couldn't adapt so they went under.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

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Originally Posted by |MaguS|
WTF is up with the recent obsession with 3DFX, they were a decent graphics card company who couldn't adapt so they went under.
It's not a recent obsession, it's always been there.

They were the ones who made the breakthrough into higher res gaming.
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Old 02-01-08, 12:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

Quote:
Originally Posted by |MaguS|
WTF is up with the recent obsession with 3DFX, they were a decent graphics card company who couldn't adapt so they went under.
At the time they were the only graphics card company to come up with a decent solution where performance wasn't sacrificed for visual detail or vice versa.
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Old 02-01-08, 03:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

Quote:
Originally Posted by |MaguS|
WTF is up with the recent obsession with 3DFX, they were a decent graphics card company who couldn't adapt so they went under.
10 year nostalgia cycles...

and yes I remember the pre-release stuff of "Sega's new console" very well. I was a saturn owner fighting a tide of PSone owners in high school at the time. When the DC came out, I blew them all away. It was awesome.

the PowerVR was probably the right choice, the DC was a damn nice little system capeable of really quite good and impressive stuff, I think it was at least equal to the PS2 despite being more "humble".

I would have loved to have seen it given a proper run, in a sense it was the first Xbox. Since SEGA helped out a lot with the XBOX design, and microsoft had windows CE on the Dreamcast... as well as the DCs network functionality.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1997: SEGA has to choose between PowerVR and 3Dfx for its next console

SEGA looked through the entire 3D graphics industry to find a solution to Saturn's lack of true 3D performance. Sega not only had to consider PlayStation and Nintendo 64 but Sony's and Nintendo's next systems as well.


SEGA ruled out going with Lockheed Martin's Real3D technology that powered SEGA's arcade machines.Sega had already dumped Nvidia's NV2 and 3DO/Matsu*****a's M2 as possibilities in 1995-1996.

Of those 3 (Nvidia NV2, Lockheed Real3D, Matsu*****a/3DO M2) Lockheed's technology was by far the best. The Real3D-100 was not only better than NV2 and 3DO M2, it was better than Voodoo1 and PowerVR PCX1/2 that were came out a year later. R3D-100 would've allowed more than decent ports of Sega's MODEL 3 arcade games which used two Real3D-Pro/1000s. Check this article on Sega giving Lockheed the nod to make to make the graphics side of Saturn 2:


It's a real shame this didn't happen.

By late 1996/early 1997, instead, Sega was choosing between the two most popular PC 3D accelerator companies of the time: 3Dfx with Voodoo Graphics and Videologic with PowerVR.

Sega would not be using the then-current first-generation Voodoo Graphics or first-gen PowerVR1 PCX1 or PCX2.

For the new console Sega was looking at the 2nd-gen / next-generation Banshee and Voodoo2 from 3Dfx and PowerVR Highlander / PowerVR2 from Videologic. If 3Dfx had won the Sega contract, the Black Belt system would've gone forward into full development and into production as a SEGA console DIFFERENT than Dreamcast.

However, SEGA decided to go with the Katana system with PowerVR2 instead.

Katana was fully developed and went into production as Dreamcast.

Before Sega got to that decision though, there was a lot of excitement on both sides of the fence, would it be 3Dfx or PowerVR and why not Lockheed Martin. Here are many of the web-based articles published by Next Generation Online.



First report on Black Belt using PowerVR (they didnt realize this was actually Katana)


Black Belt's PowerVR would use an unknown number of ISP and TSP units


Large amount of RAM for Black Belt - finally it's mentioned that 3Dfx is in the running for the graphics


Black Belt's specs are in flux - 3Dfx is said to be the new frontrunner choice for graphics. Lockheed Martin is not being considered.


Sega withholds announcing Black Belt - 3Dfx is in as the graphics provider


Even with so much infomation coming out, Sega refuses to comment on Black Belt


more

3Dfx Confirms Black Belt and Banshee

In a report to the SEC, 3Dfx confirms its role in the development of Sega's next console as well as the existence of its Banshee chipset.
April 19, 1997

http://web.archive.org/web/199706051...041997aa.chtml

http://web.archive.org/web/199706051.../042397b.chtml
Developers Debate Black Belt

http://web.archive.org/web/199706051.../042497b.chtml
High Voltage on Black Belt

High Voltage's vice-president of development, Scott Corley talks about operating system restrictions and potential system power for Black Belt.
April 24, 1997



http://web.archive.org/web/199706051.../042997b.chtml
Black Belt from a Lockheed Perspective


http://web.archive.org/web/199706051.../050297b.chtml
Black Belt CPU Comparison
There are currently two processors being considered for the CPU of Black Belt. Next Generation


http://web.archive.org/web/199706051...s/052997.chtml
Black Belt Recap



http://groups.google.com/group/alt.g...e=source&hl=en
3Dfx Loses Sega Contract

July 23, 1997
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