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IntelliXpander module


opcode
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  1. 1. What design would work best for the IntelliXpander?

    • Make it to match the original Intellivision design
      58
    • Make it to match the Intellivision II design
      28


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Detailed Intellivision III specs here. http://papaintellivision.com/docIntv3.php

Can you save some money with a USB power supply and skipping the Intellivision altogether. The Intellivision III was never planned as an add-on.

 

I like the idea of a Keyboard Component emulator plug-in to the Intellivision. It could run Jack Lalanne, Spelling Challenge, and Super Football. The four track tape drive would be emulated on an SD card. You'd have to find a copy of the Keyboard Component Exec.

the doc is still very high level. Here is what is provided:

 

- 8x8 or 16x8 tiles, 4 colors per tile

- 8 or 16 pixels wide sprites. 3 colors per sprite

- 8 sprites per scanline (96 sprites on screen?)

- 320x192 resolution

- 16 colors on screen

 

No info on total number of tiles or sprites (vram size).

Sounds very NESish overall to me.

 

Question is, is this sort of video capabilities desirable?

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The background is made up of 20 tiles by 24 rows or 480 tiles. It also mentions 40x24 alphanumerics. It mentions multiple colour palettes of 16 programmable colors with 4096 possible colour variations. Each tile can use a different palette. And similar to the NES the grom/gram is moved to the cartridge, saving system RAM. The specs mention 4 K x 16-bit ram default configuration.

 

There are 8 sprites per scanline (192 scanlines). Unlike the original Intellivision, those sprites can be reused so you can have lots and lots of sprites that don't flicker, maximum eight per scanline. Sprites are 2 colour for 16 pixel wide and 4 colour for 8 pixel wide.

 

Edit: And backward compatible with original Intellivision cartridges.

Edited by mr_me
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I get that point, but, the thing is that the InTV III sounds like a half step between consoles than a real system, from the released specs, it's an Intellivision with more RAM, two sound chips, and Intellivoice and an ECS module built in. It's the same CPU inside.

 

It's like how the Videopac + is merely an improved Videopac, so much that both systems are lumped together for convenience. So in that way, I don't see the issue in making the Intelli III an add-on. At least for "today".

 

Edit : didn't see the page, seems ilike it was more than that. Ooops. :D

 

IMO, if you want the Xpander to be the Intellivisoin II, and that it was what Mattel had planned, go for it. Maybe taking it to more tech savy people and see what was realistic and what was more of the "pipe dream" category for the planned year of release.

 

The Intellivision III we discussing is the unreleased Intv III by Mattel, not the Intv System III, which is basically Intv I with the power LED.
Problem is, we don't have very detailed specs on the Intv III, so we have to guesstimate and do something that makes sense for the time period.

Truth is, I try not to decide things in a comitê because from my experience you never can't get everybody to agree, you start losing focus, etc.
On the other hand it is good to get some feedback. For example, how about A/V outputs in the module? Problem is, you won't be able to use those for regular Intv games.
And how about extra controllers inputs?

Same thing on a forum, really :D

 

A/V output would be good, but if I had to choose, I'd prefer controllers input that would allow to plug the keyboard from the ECS module and/or extra controllers.

 

Because I strongly believe that if the Xpander is acting as an Intellivoice+ECS module emulator, you'll get the interest from people that both want to see Intellivision III games, but also from people that want to see more Intellivoice and ECS module games and can't afford to own both (especially the ECS.)

But, that's just my opinion, not a fact or a more widespread opinion I would have heard somewhere.

Edited by CatPix
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If it is too powerful and too NES then it stops being an Intellivision.

 

The III specs are what I think most of us would like as well including the RAM, extra sound and 2 extra controller ports from the ECS.

 

I'm more concerned that I will be able to leverage all that I have learned and more importantly will I be able to leverage all the productivity I get from IntyBASIC and the workflows I have developed around it.

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And we no longer have a consensus. :)

 

Perhaps we should put together a pros and cons list. But the thing about discussing specs is that it is too abstract for many to grasp. A practical demo is always a better approach. Never underestimate the power of seeing and hearing.

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True. The thing is, it is a Intelli III or it's not.

It would be odd to do an Intelli III... but not quite because "It's not an intellivision" Well that's the idea? Mattel had planned it. True, as a separate console.

But today technology allow us to make it true, in a smaller package, that people might be able to use just as "improved" Intellivision.

Just because the Xpander will allow high res doesn't mean you HAVE to use it. The Intellivision III was to be backward compatible with the Intellivision. That mean you can use the extra RAM, but not the extra sprites and resolution.

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Basically it will be an Intellivision III console that plugs into the original Intellivision console, but the cost and R&D will be reduced since you are using some hardware and "stuff" from the original console that you won't need to redo if you make it a real standalone console.

 

Is that the gist of what this is turning into?

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Again, we have many options, from subtle improvements to all new improved graphics and sound. With the intv, some of the subtle stuff has already been done trough expanded cartridges (although at a higher cost per game). With the module I don't need to keep adding extra stuff to each game. Furthermore with the IntelliXpander I want to go after more advanced games, not the usual circa1982 8KB fare.

 

EDIT: To elaborate a little more, with the SGM I was mostly after arcade ports from the golden era (1980-1983). That isn't the case here. The Intv was never much am home arcade system like the ColecoVision. I like it for its more complex and more involving (for the time) library. So that is what I want to do, games requiring exploration, strategy and that last longer than the usual 15 minutes arcade fare.

 

By the usual 5 years console cycle, the Intv was due an update around 1984/85. So something akin a NES isn't unrealistic or too much imho.

 

Nothing has being decided. The current design has no video updates, but it was suggested by the hardware team, and some people here seem to like the idea, that we could add it. I am doing the middle man here, so let's keep talking and see if we can reach a middle ground.

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This discussion could go on for ever, with reasons for and not for or certain limits of the Xpander . It may be better off for you to just choose what the Xpander will do and be done with it. I'm sure most people will be happy with what ever is decided by you and your team. Thanks again for taking this project on...I m just happy that another add on will be available for the intellivision that will make an already great console even better...

 

Thanks and Cheers

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you might also have to consider that you have two different groups with different questions:

Buyers and Developers. You might want to start a private thread with nanochess, me and some of the other programmers so that some technical questions can be dealt with without exposing details to the unmentionables.

 

And we no longer have a consensus. :)

Perhaps we should put together a pros and cons list. But the thing about discussing specs is that it is too abstract for many to grasp. A practical demo is always a better approach. Never underestimate the power of seeing and hearing.

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Is this the right definition ?.. lol just curious who these people are you are referring to as unmentionable .. :)

 

 

un·men·tion·a·ble

 

 

/ˌənˈmen(t)SH(ə)nəb(ə)l/

 

 

noun

humorous

 

plural noun: unmentionables

 

 

 

 

a person or thing that is too shocking or embarrassing to be mentioned by name.

"wearing nothing but fig leaves over their unmentionables"

 

 

 

•underwear.

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You guys do what you gotta do, but I have only owned an Intellivision 2 for 34 years after giving up on my Intellivision 1 and the worn out broken controllers!

 

I received replacement controllers for the Inty 2 back in the day from Mattel Inc. and purchased more off Ebay. The Flashback controllers are even better, way more responsive.

 

As long as this plugs into my Inty 2 I don't care what color it is as long as it still plays the games. :)

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Is this the right definition ?.. lol just curious who these people are you are referring to as unmentionable .. :)

 

 

un·men·tion·a·ble

 

 

/ˌənˈmen(t)SH(ə)nəb(ə)l/

 

 

noun

humorous

 

plural noun: unmentionables

 

 

 

 

a person or thing that is too shocking or embarrassing to be mentioned by name.

"wearing nothing but fig leaves over their unmentionables"

 

 

 

•underwear.

If I told you, then they will have been mentioned ;)

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It would be good to know what is feasible too.

Feasible to include a second sound chip? I guess. the CP1610-2 mentionned in the document? Either that or a second CP1610 like in the original Intellivision, maybe with a faster clock?

Feasible to include the Intellivoice?

I guess, even without the extra video chip, adding those elements from the Intellivision III would boost the console greatly. And It's always possible, when you program something, to NOT use all the capacities of the system.

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This can lead to a next generation of intellivision gamers. ;)

Hopefully so, but we need an open mind. :)

Btw, something I have been discussing with Grazi is if we should have a packin game or if would be better to keep all games in their own boxes. We are going with our deluxe packaging btw, same we used for Gradius SGM. For Intv fans it has the advantage of being a gatefold box you are already acostumated with.

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Hey Opcode, Everyone likes a packin game. Though they are not typically the best game for a system.

Intellivision's packin games included full box etc.

 

I just had a crazy idea, Intellivision does not have a lot of racing games. But I do like the few available.

 

Would it be possible to add a port allowing the CV driving module to work? With your history in the CV world and now moving into the Intellivision world.

It could be the DoubleVision port. Maybe the Super Action Controllers could be supported?

 

I would like to see some original racing games. Or this one...

 

I pretty much think any game I can play on MAME, is how I play it. Though I am waiting for SGM DK.

And I like the Intellivision versions of Bump n Jump and Burgertime as much or more than the arcade versions.

 

Of course if it was 1980-1986, I would have loved any well done port of arcade games, but we are so spoiled these days.

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