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comparing and contrasting documentation

 

Given the material covered in Module 3 (Hardware) and Module 4 (Software), your personal experience, and our good friend reliable sources, provide a well-formatted MS Word document (with citations) that provides a framework for comparing two different computing solutions for both hardware and software issues. [Hint: Such a document would most likely include an introduction paragraph, a table comparing individual characteristics, and a conclusion paragraph.]

For example, you might want to compare an iPhone X with an iPhone 7, or an iPhone X with a Galaxy 7, or a PS4 with an XBox, or an Apple Air with a Razer Blade Stealth.

Considerations might include:

  • # of (or importance of) exclusive software products available for that system
  • backwards compatibility for "old" materials from previous systems
  • cost of the system
  • compatibility of the system with supporting services (such as the cell phone network, gaming community, or preferred app store) 
  • availability of support for the system
  • disk space
  • type of external media supported
  • Graphics Card capabilities
  • Processor speed
  • Peripherals support

...Or any other considerations you consider important. A minimum of 2 hardware and 2 software factors must be included.

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C O N S O L E W A R S : ‘ 9 0 S E D I T I O N

On September 9, 1995, gaming in the United States was forever altered by the introduction of the Sony PlayStation to the market, which had previously been dominated by Nintendo and Sega products. [1] Released between the other two primary fifth generation consoles—the Sega Saturn having been previously released in May of that year [2] and the Nintendo 64 being released a full year later [3]—it ultimately replaced Sega as the primary Nintendo competitor in the US (the subsequent Sega Dreamcast only being available for three years before the company stopped manufacturing consoles). [4]

During the 1990s, PCs were prohibitively expensive for gaming with a limited selection of game titles, so consoles were the product of choice for gamers of all age-groups and income brackets. [5]How would a parent select which console to get their child for the holidays in December 1996—Nintendo 64 or Sega Saturn, with their well-known brands, or the lesser known Sony? A few key criteria helped guide decision making, and ultimately lead to the final call.

TABLE 1. Comparison Chart of Fifth Generation Consoles [6]

Sony PlayStation Nintendo 64 Sega Saturn

Peripherals

Media CD-ROM Game Pak CD-ROM

Storage Memory Cards Controller Pak Internal

Controller DualShock Vibration Three-legged design Traditional form factor

Network Connectivity

PlayStation Link SharkWire (3rd party) Sega NetLink

Hardware

Memory 2 MB RAM 1 MB VRAM

8 MB RDRAM 16 Mbit RAM 12 Mbit VRAM

CPU 33.8688 MHz 93.75 MHz 2 x 28.6 MHz

Sound 16-bit 16-bit 32-bit Software

Major Exclusive Franchise

Final Fantasy Mario Dragon Force

Game Library 7,918 Games 388 Games 1,019 Games Other Considerations

Console Price $299 $199 $399

Cost-conscious parents would of course select the Nintendo 64—tried, proven technology, beloved by all, with well-known software franchises and clear and evident hardware superiority to the newcomer Sony in both Memory and CPU specifications. Many consumers, however, would be leery of the new Nintendo controller’s design, and its proprietary storage and media system. The Saturn had been out for longer, and the CD-ROM was emerging as a dominant media form; the convenience of being able to play CDs on the system, with sound capabilities exceeding those of

both the Sony and the Nintendo product, made the difference. Sega also had an established history of producing high-quality games, most of them for the arcade, and was a major household brand.

History, of course, shows that the PlayStation, with its innovative (yet familiar) controller design, network linking, and inferior hardware performance won the console war [6], leaving many parents dutifully making their decision on the above chart wonder how, and why. The conclusion cannot be summarized by metrics, or methods, but rather by marketing experts and the court of public opinion. Personally, I would have upgraded from a Nintendo Entertainment System, to the SNES, to the PlayStation, for the simple reason that I enjoyed the Final Fantasy franchise, and Final Fantasy VII had been announced for release on the PlayStation in January of 1997. [7] However, had I been advising a parent, I would have strongly recommended the Sega Saturn, with its superior sound, intuitive controller, and well-respected library of constantly developed games.

WORKS CITED

[1] Wikipedia, "PlayStation (console)," 01 August 2018. [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Saturn. [Accessed 01 August 2018].

[2] Wikipedia, "Sega Saturn," 30 July 2018. [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Saturn. [Accessed 01 August 2018].

[3] Wikipedia, "Nintendo 64," 27 July 2018. [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_64. [Accessed 01 August 2018].

[4] K. Stuart, "Sega Saturn: how one decision destroyed PlayStation's greatest rival," 14 May 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/14/sega-saturn- how-one-decision-destroyed-playstations-greatest-rival. [Accessed 01 August 2018].

[5] T. Payton, "Game Consoles Vs. personal Computers: Design, Purpose, AND Marketability Differences," October 2012. [Online]. Available: https://www.cs.uaf.edu/2012/fall/cs441/students/tp_consoles.pdf. [Accessed 1 August 2018].

[6] Wikipedia, "Fifth generation of video game consoles," 10 July 2018. [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_generation_of_video_game_consoles#Comparison[21]. [Accessed 1 August 2018].

[7] Wikipedia, "Final Fantasy," 1 August 2018. [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_VII. [Accessed 1 August 2018].

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C O N S O L E W A R S : ‘ 9 0 S E D I T I O N

The big decision in console gaming in the mid 1990s was between the Sega Saturn, the PlayStation, and the Nintendo 64.

TABLE 1. Comparison Chart of Fifth Generation Consoles [1]

Name Sega Saturn PlayStation Nintendo 64

Developer Sega Sony Nintendo

Console

Launch price (USD)

US$399.99 (equivalent to $642 in 2017)

US$299.99 (equivalent to $482 in 2017)[22]

US$199.99 (equivalent to $312 in 2017)

Release date

 JP: November 22, 1994  NA: May 11, 1995  EU: July 8, 1995

 JP: December 3, 1994  NA: September 9, 1995  EU: September 29, 1995  AU: November 15, 1995

 JP: June 23, 1996  NA: September 29, 1996  EU: March 1, 1997  AU: March 1, 1997

Media

 CD-ROM

 Cartridge (limited, Japan only)

CD-ROM

 Cartridge

 Proprietary magnetic disk (via 64DD)

Best- selling game

Virtua Fighter 2, 1.7 million in Japan[26]

Gran Turismo, 10.85 million shipped (as of April 30, 2008)[27][28]

Super Mario 64, 11.62 million (as of May 21, 2003)[29][30]

CPU  2× Hitachi SH-

2 7604 (32-bit RISC) @ 28.63 MHz(56 MI

 LSI LR333x0 (R3000A com patible 32-bit RISC) @

NEC VR4300 (64-bit RISC) @ 93.75 MHz (125 MIPS)[36]

PS[32])

 Hitachi SH-1 (32-bit RISC) @ 20 MHz (12.5 MIPS)[33]

 Motorola 68EC000 (16/32-bit CISC) @ 11.3 MHz[34](1.9775 MIPS[31])

 SCU (32-bit Saturn Control Unit)[35]

33.8688 MHz (30 MIPS)

 System Control Coprocessor (Inside CPU)

GPU

 Sega VDP1 (32-bit Video Display Processor) @ 28.63 MHz (sprites, textures, polygons)[37]

 Sega VDP2 (32-bit Video Display Processor) @ 28.63 MHz (backgrounds, scrolli ng)[38]

 SCU DSP (Inside SCU (32-bit Saturn Control Unit)[35]

 Sony GPU[39]

 Vector math unit (in main CPU) @ 66 MIPS

Reality Co- Processor (64-bit MIPS R4000 based, 128-bit vector register processor) @ 62.5 MHz

Sound chip(s)

 Yamaha YMF292 SCSP[40]

 Yamaha FH1 DSP (Inside Yamaha YMF292 SCSP[40]24-bit, 128- step,[35] 4 parallel ins tructions)

Sony SPU (Sound Processing Unit)

Reality Signal Processor (DSP)

Memory

4.5 MB RAM

 2 MB SDRAM

 1.5 MB VRAM (512 KB sprite/textur e cache, 512 KB frame buffers, 512 KB backgrounds)

 1 MB DRAM (512 K B sound, 512 KB CD-ROM sub- system buffer data cache)

3587 KB RAM

 2 MB DRAM

 1026 KB VRAM (1 MB frame buffer, 2 KB texture cache, 64 bytes FIFO buffer)

 512 KB sound RAM

 1 KB non- associative SRAM data cache

4 MB RDRAM (8 MB with Expansion Pak)

Video

 Resolution: 320×224 to 720×240 (progressive), 320×448 to 720×576 (interlac ed)[45]

 Colors: 172,800 (720×240) on screen, out of 16,777,216 (24-bit) palette

 Polygons: 90,000/sec (textured, lighting, G ouraud shading)[46] to 500,000/sec (flat shading)[47]

 Sprites/textures: 16,384/frame (32 bytes each, 512 KB memory), scaling, rotation, distortion, texture mapping[37]

 Backgrounds: 7[45] (3- 6 tilemap planes, 1- 4 bitmap planes), parallax scrolling, scaling, rotation[38]

 Resolution: 256×224 to 640×240 (progressive), 256×448 to 640×480 (interlaced)

 Colors: 153,600 (640×240) on screen, out of 16,777,216 (24-bit) palette

 Polygons: 90,000/sec (textured, lighting, Gouraud shading)[46] to 360,000/sec[48] (flat shading)

 Sprites/textures: 4,000/frame[49] (bitmap objects[39]), scaling, rotation, texture mapping

 Background: 1 bitmap plane

 Resolution: 320×240 to 720×288 (progressive), 320×480 to 720×576 (interlaced)

 Colors: 207,360 (720×288) on screen, out of 16,777,216 (24-bit) palette

 Polygons: 150,000/sec (textured, lighting, Gouraud shading) to 600,000/sec (flat shading), anti-aliasing, Z- buffering

 Sprites/textures: Scaling, rotation, texture mapping, mipmapping, te xture filtering, bilinear filtering, trilinear filtering[50]

 Background: 1 bitmap plane

Audio

Stereo audio, with:[40]

 32 sound channels on SCSP

 FM synthesis on all 32 SCSP channels

 16-bit PCM audio with 44.1 kHz sampling rate on all 32 SCSP channels

 1 streaming CD-DA channel (16-bit PCM, 44.1 kHz)

Stereo audio, with:

 24 ADPCM channels on SPU

 16-bit audio and 44.1 kHz sampling rate on all 24 ADPCM channels

 1 streaming CD-DA channel (16-bit PCM, 44.1 kHz)

Stereo audio, with:

 Variable number of channels (up to 100 if all system resources are devoted to audio)

 Capable of playing back different types of audio (including PCM, MP3, MIDI and trac ker music)

 16-bit audio and 44.1 kHz sampling rate on all channels

Accessori es (retail)

 Arcade Stick

 Saturn digital gamepad

 PlayStation Multitap (up to 8 players)

 Fishing reel controllers (Bass

 Controller Pak

 Memory Expansion Pak

 Rumble Pak

 3D controller

 Light guns

 Multitap (up to 12 players)

 Keyboard

 Sega NetLink (online mod em and keyboard)

 Mouse

 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy disk drive

 DirectLink (LAN)

 Memory card

 MPEG cards

 RAM expansion cartridges

Landing and Reel Fishing)

 Dual Analog Controller

 DualShock

 GunCon

 Jogcon

 Konami Justifier

 NeGcon

 PocketStation (Japan o nly)

 PlayStation Mouse

 Analog Joystick

 Dance pad

 LCD screen (for PSone systems only)

 Memory card

 Link Cable

 Fishing Reel

 Transfer Pak

 Nintendo 64DD (Japan only)

 Microphone

 TiltPak

Online services

 NetLink 28.8k modem in North America (1996- present)

 SegaNet and 14.4k Modem in Japan (1996-2000)

None

 Unofficial SharkWire Online 14.4k modem in the U.S. (1999-2003)

 Randnet in Japan (for 64DD only) (1999- 2001)

These are all fantastic consoles. You would be happy with any of them.

WORKS CITED

[1] Wikipedia, "Fifth generation of video game consoles," 10 July 2018. [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_generation_of_video_game_consoles#Comparison[21]. [Accessed 1 August 2018].

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C O N S O L E W A R S : ‘ 9 0 S E D I T I O N

During the 1990s, PCs were prohibitively expensive for gaming with a limited selection of game titles, so consoles were the product of choice for gamers of all age-groups and income brackets. [1] How would a parent select which console to get their child for the holidays in December 1996—Nintendo 64 or Sega Saturn, with their well-known brands, or the lesser known Sony? A few key criteria helped guide decision making, and ultimately lead to the final call.

TABLE 1. Comparison Chart of Fifth Generation Consoles [2]

Sony PlayStation Nintendo 64 Sega Saturn

Memory 2 MB RAM 1 MB VRAM

8 MB RDRAM 16 Mbit RAM 12 Mbit VRAM

CPU 33.8688 MHz 93.75 MHz 2 x 28.6 MHz

Game Library 7,918 Games 388 Games 1,019 Games

Console Price $299 $199 $399

Cost-conscious parents should of course select the Nintendo 64—tried, proven technology, beloved by all, with more games, cheaper price, and clear and evident hardware superiority to the newcomer Sony.

WORKS CITED

[1] T. Payton, "Game Consoles Vs. personal Computers: Design, Purpose, AND Marketability Differences," October 2012. [Online]. Available: https://www.cs.uaf.edu/2012/fall/cs441/students/tp_consoles.pdf. [Accessed 1 August 2018].

[2] Wikipedia, "Fifth generation of video game consoles," 10 July 2018. [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_generation_of_video_game_consoles#Comparison[21]. [Accessed 1 August 2018].

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