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Casio PV-1000


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I've been interested in the Casio PV-1000 for years now, ever since I saw a picture of it on Old-Computers.com There's so little information on it, and most sources seem to parrot either English Wikipedia or Marriot Guy. Today I decided to look up its graphic chip. Found this: https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PV-1000


Now, it's just the Japanese version of Wikipedia, but it did have some interesting info. It said the graphics/sound chip was made by NEC, a fact no one else mentioned. Also said it had 3kb of RAM and 16KB of VRAM, which contradicts other sources. Seemed to say the PV-1000 and 2000 were discontinued so Casio could focus on MSX based machines. (Don't take my word for it; this is just my understanding of Google's slightly mangled translation.)


Anyone know any other sources? Neither version of Wikipedia has a good collection of cites I could use to research anything.

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There was a thread here earlier this year, though it doesn't reveal anything further: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/264516-casio-pv-computers/


The fact that MESS/MAME emulates it and there is a driver in the source code suggests that some reverse engineering has been done. The palette of just 8 colours probably disqualifies it as being VDP based,


This page mentions 2K + 1K RAM.



This page has an image of the back side of the motherboard:



This seems to be the front of the motherboard:




The 4016C-2 should be a RAM chip, 2048 x 8 bit for a total of 2 kilobytes. The D780C-1 obviously is NEC's version of the Z80 CPU. The small 74 series chips have other functions.


That leaves the custom chip on the back to provide video, audio and possibly internal VRAM whether it is 1K or 16K. I am also getting the idea that the PV-1000 console and PV-2000 computer have the same specs?


I'm curious about the controllers. I recognize similar mini-DINs from the Sord/CGL M5 series. However the functionality with Start and Select on the controller can't be compatible with the M5 series, just a coincidence several Japanese firms would be using mini-DINs at the same time.


Edit: Also this link where it says the PV-1000 and PV-2000 are not compatible, only the joysticks. Perhaps they have the same hardware, just not take the same cartridges?


Edited by carlsson
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If JP Wikipedia's correct (and I understand it correctly) the PV-2000 had different audio and video chips. https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PV-2000


Via Google Translate:


Simultaneously released with game machine PV-1000 without PC function. The impression of the screen is similar and the CPU is the same as Z80 compatibility, but PV-2000 adopted NEC 's image chip and sound source chip and has no sprite function, PV-2000 is common in game machines of the time Was adopted TMS9918 and SN76489 had a sprite function. Game software of the same title was sometimes released to both PV-1000 and PV-2000, but PV-1000 and PV-2000 are separate platforms and not compatible with each other.

Same setup as the MSX and ColecoVision, correct?

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Yes, the TMS9918 and SN76489 are Texas Instruments' chipset found in Colecovision, Sord M5, VTech Creativision and a number of other systems. The MSX standard uses the GI AY-3-8910 series sound chip (Intellivision, Vectrex etc) instead of the SN one.


The reason why I wondered if the 1000 and 2000 share the same hardware is that the tweets I related to seem to mention both systems at the same time, but it could be just one more case of confusion.


In any case, it seems the PV-1000 doesn't have the same colour clash limitation of two colours per 8x8 cell as many other systems have? I know 6845 based computers etc like the BBC Micro doesn't have them, so it is not a first but a bit unusual if that is the case.

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Most sources say they were released at the same time, yes.


Found this last week:

The reason why I wondered if the 1000 and 2000 share the same hardware is that the tweets I related to seem to mention both systems at the same time, but it could be just one more case of confusion.


It's a half-hour compilation of Japanese gaming commercials from the 80's. About half way through there's a commercial for the PV-2000 with a brief clip of the PV-1000 at the end. This leads me to believe Casio made the PV-1000 as a cheaper gaming-only alternative to their computer. Using the same processor might make games easier to port; using a single chip to control sound and graphics might've been a cost reduction measure. But all this is just a bunch of assumptions. I can't understand what the announcer's saying; I don't even know if those clips are part of the same commercial!

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Well, the Z80 was used in so many consoles and computers at the time that it more or less was the standard choice, at least for Japanese manufacturers (*). Some of the code can be transplanted, but if the memory maps, input methods not to mention the A/V output is different, porting would still involve quite a bit of work.


(*) Sometimes the history is presented as Nintendo entered virgin lands when they had Ricoh implement a 6502 (minus the rarely used decimal mode, probably to avoid patent issues with MOS) to use in the Famicom, and had to invent their own development tool chains as everyone else to that pont were using Z80. That history writing is omitting the fact that both the PET and VIC-1001, not to mention Apple ][ series already existed on the Japanese market, but of course all of those were imported rather than Japanese designs. Actually Satoru Iwata and the rest of the early HAL Labs started with PET and VIC development, but perhaps they didn't have tool chains per se, and nothing Nintendo would license to use anyway.

Edited by carlsson
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Article I've come across before, about adding an AV cable to the PV-1000. Has a discussion about the system's audio/video chip, and info on max cart size.



More info on max cart size. Mostly beyond me. :(


Still little/no real info on it's history, which is what I wanted. :(

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Quite interesting audio capacities: three voices of square wave, with an abysmal 6-bit resolution and no volume register. Ok for sound effects I suppose but as noted on the other forum, less than 2.5 octaves of detuned music notes. I thought the VIC-20 with its 7-bit resolution and one octave shift between each register was bad enough (or the POKEY when configured with four 8-bit voices) but this one seems like a new contender in the market of sound generation capable of more than one voice at a time.


Combined with 8 colours, no hardware sprites if I understand correctly, perhaps other graphical limitations and released a few months after Famicom and SG-1000, no wonder it didn't last long despite Casio being a big name and they got a few high profile licenses from Konami etc. I seem to recall that not even Nintendo and Sega were instant successes and it took until 1984 and a hardware revision before the Famicom was flying. But kudos to Casio for trying something of their own.

Edited by carlsson
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Interesting. Wonder why Nintendo chose a 6502.

As Carlsson said, if Nintendo had PET and/or Apple II/TRS-80 to work with, they choose what they were the most comfortable with.

But also, it's most thay likely they choose the 6502 because Ricoh accepted to sell them that CPU for almost half the price.

Technical reasons might be at play too :

one difference between the 6502 and the Z80 is that the Z80 can adress RAM directly (up to 64ko) where the 6502 need an external chip.

This is the reason why cheaper computer favored the Z80, and also why portable/embedded systems used the Z80 as well : one chip less save space, cost, etc.

For Nintendo, given how they planned to use extra chips and RAM from the cartridge port, this might have been an advantage as the RAM chip could adress cart RAM first?


Ultimately, the decision might just have been cost.

When Nintendo designed the Game Boy, they choose the Z80, probably because it was more space efficient in a portable machine and it was cheaper than the 6502 at this point...

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The Wikipedia page writes:

A test model was constructed in October 1982 to verify the functionality of the hardware, after which work began on programming tools. Because 65xx CPUs had not been manufactured or sold in Japan up to that time, no cross-development software was available and it had to be produced from scratch.

I suppose the stress should be on "not been manufactured" as e.g. there was a Toshiba (?) Hitachi (2) computer in one of the Japanese I/O magazines some of us browsed earlier (1) that was sold with add-on 6502 and Z80 boards. Indeed it may not have been second sourced to any Japanese manufacturer prior to the core being second sourced (as claimed by Wikipedia) to Ricoh, though I don't see the relevance between whether there is a domestic hardware manufacturer and the availability of software tools to use the imported hardware.


(1) This thread, though it has little or no relevance to the PV-1000 topic: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/254563-80s-computing-in-japan

(2) Direct link: https://archive.org/stream/IO198102/IO_198102#page/n41/mode/2up

Edited by carlsson
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Nintendo seems to have shifted CPU architecture for each system, probably selecting what is most cost effective at the time rather than a desire to easily achieve portability or backwards compatibility.


Famicom/NES: Ricoh 2A03/2A07, based on the MOS 6502

Game Boy and Game Boy Color: Sharp LR35902, based on a combination of Intel 8080 and Zilog Z80

Super Famicom/SNES: Ricoh 5A22, based on the WDC 65C816

Virtual Boy: NEC V810, 32-bit RISC

Nintendo 64: NEC VR4300, 64-bit based on MIPS R4300

Game Boy Advance: ARM7TDMI + Z80


Anyway, I found a reference to both the PV-1000 and PV-2000 in this issue of Amusement Life #12. I'm not sure if that is December 1983 or another month, but around the time. Later issues may have references to the Casio too, I didn't bother trying to search through them very closely.



Edited by carlsson
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OCR'd and Translated. First part's the PV-1000, 2nd's the 2000, 3rd's the watch. Didn't OCR the Robot toy.


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一像が実現され、画面 一はリアルそのもの。
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もちろ人テレピこ ゲームはワンタッ王 で切換え可能だ。 ジョイスティック は、アクンョンゲー ムがバッチリコント ロールできる操縦拝 タイブ(2本まで接 続可能?14800円

ゲームカートリッジはもちろん、 自分でゲームを作って楽しめto パソコンゲームク
買ったその日からゲーム作り ーができる「ゲーム自作読本」付き。 :カーソルを動かすだけで簡単 一に登場人物を作れるアニメーシ ョン機能ゃ、絵を描くように背 景画が思いのままに作れるビク ーチャー機熊マンン語を使わずに 一動きの連いゲームも作れる高速 ーゲームBAs-cなどの機能を 一内蔵し、ゲーム作りを通してコン )ビュータを楽しもうというもの。 一ROMカートリッジを交換して、 ースーバーコブラ、ブーヤン、スキ ーーコマンド、口ックンローブ、フ ーロントラインなどのゲーム(各4 一800円)がたんのうできる。 回ァニメーンョン機能
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一旗の問を通過すると加連され ーていくので、他のスキーヤーを 」うまくよける一瞬の判断力が要 一求されるのだ。 ーレベルは3段階、滑走ミスや ーゲーム終了時には効果音もあり 一楽しさをそスている。 一・月差約巧秒以内ノ時、分、秒、 一AM・PM/分単位でできる 『アラーム機能付4900円

5 color fee lamp, 224 X-92 Guts only for game which can enjoy game full of reality with dot
One image is realized, the screen one is real itself.
One game center which is popular in one game center such as digg dog, Boo Yang, Warbu & Wave, Tutankham, and the original game R 1 oM cartridge is prepared (from 3800 yen) a One force is 8 colors, one unit is one Crisp high-quality painted color
Of course, people Telepito game can be switched by King Wang Ta. The joystick is a battle control type control type that can be controlled by Akyon games (Up to two connectable? 14800 yen

Mountain L ~
P> · tu000 pleasure
Not to mention game cartridges, you can make your own games and enjoy to PC games
"Game self-made reading book" with game creation from that day bought. : An animation function that makes it easy to make characters by simply moving the cursor, a vocoder that can create a background scene as desired to draw a picture Besides using a bear manga one game of succession A built-in high speed - game BAs - c and other functions built in, making it possible to enjoy the computer through the game making. One ROM cartridge can be exchanged, and games (4 to 800 yen each) such as Suzbacobo, Boo Yang, Ski Command, Sukunrobe, and Furontorain can be played. Piananmen feature
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Ran this through Google translate. Appears to be a discussion about the PV-1000. Fairly standard intro about its history, followed by comments, and instructions for repairing a broken cartridge. In case the website goes down I'll try to copy the repair info to here:


<Fragile cartridge>

A movable cover is attached to the underside of the cassette so that dust does not enter.
However, this cartridge, very,
This cover is easy to break structure.

If the cover breaks, one of the springs pops out, there is a risk of short-circuiting when inserting the cartridge,
I have to remove the spring.

In order to remove the spring, it is necessary to disassemble the cartridge, and at that time it may break the claw for fitting the cartridge. ,
As soon as the cartridge starts to be half open, you need attention.
(Adjustment with adhesive is OK.)

<Repair of Cartridge>

Let's fix the cartridge in which the insertion port is damaged.

1) While applying force from the left and right, open the cassette while paying attention to breakage of the claw of the cassette.
Be careful as momentum causes the top label to be damaged (burned).
※ To prevent breakage of the top label, keep it half open.

2) Eject the ROM. In this case, let's remember which one was the front. If the soiling is severe, clean it at once.

3) Take out plastic or protective plastic (plastic) for protecting spring and cartridge bottom surface.
Remove all and OK.
Although the base of the spring is bonded,
Pull it out.

Remove it when rust occurs.

4) Arrange the ROM again. Attention to the front and back.

5) Fit the cassette.
By applying force uniformly,
Pay attention to breakage of the top label.

With this, one case settles down.
However, at self-responsibility ... Ne.













There is a link to another site, but it leads to a 404 error. Here it is at Archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20061225034644/http://www1.interq.or.jp/~t-takeda/pv1000/index.html


Appears to be an emulator. Here's the text from the page; since it's gone I don't mind copying all of it. Hope no one else does:


"ePV-1000" - CASIO PV-1000 emulator for Win32 "ePV-1000" is CASIO PV-1000 Emulator for Win32.
It is tested on Windows XP Professional SP2.
It may work on Windows NT4.0/2000/9x but not tested.

This software is under GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.


ePV-1000 謎WIPページ 一応、恒例の謎日記です。

Enri's Home PAGE


PC上で動作するオシロスコープ ADC-100を購入しました。


















"ePV - 1000" - CASIO PV - 1000 emulator for Win 32
"ePV - 1000" is CASIO PV - 1000 Emulator for Win32.
It is tested on Windows XP Professional SP2.
It may work on Windows NT 4.0 / 2000 / 9x but not tested.

This software is under GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.


Windows 9x / NT 4.0 / 2000 / XP (Dec 6, 2006) tested on Windows 2000 / XP Professional
HPC 2000 (coming soon ...)
Common Source Code Project

ePV-1000 mystery WIP page
It is an annual mystery diary.

Enri's Home PAGE
As for the analysis, we are indebted to Mr. Enri.

We implemented the reimplementation in accordance with the common source code project.
Moreover, timing adjustment etc. are carried out based on the investigation that was done in the summer.

I purchased an oscilloscope ADC - 100 that runs on a PC.
I am investigating the timing relationship that was pending with my return home to my parents house.

Let's break the main body.

When you remove the cover, the whole board is shielded with sheet metal.

The board is exposed when the metal plate of the shield is removed.
Jumper covered, the insertion of parts is also appropriate, slightly difficult to manufacture quality.

The custom chip is surface mounted on the back of the board.

Red is BUSREQ, Blue is INT.
During the vertical display period, the bus is basically occupied by VDP.
INT occurs 16 times during the vertical blanking interval.

Further expansion of BUSREQ.
1/3 of each line is the horizontal retrace period, during which the CPU is driven.

The mystery around the screen was solved.
Pattern not transferred to RAM or VDP was displayed, and I was twisting my head.
In fact, it seems that VDP directly referenced the ROM on the cartridge when outputting the screen.
Nonetheless, it does not mean that ROMs are separated by programs and patterns like FC, leading to separate buses.
It is mysterious how the bus mastership right in the screen output is unified.

Super cobra and Puyan will not react even if you press the start on the title screen.
If you reset while pressing the start button, the game starts.
Next time we have to investigate around here.

Tarpin is now working somehow, so I will temporarily release it for Enri.

Looking at this alone, it seems that it can be implemented fairly.

Other software is still like this.
Super cobra on the top, Puyang at the bottom, what is it.

I started work from yesterday.
Sucking out the cassette, it is currently analyzing rave reviews around VRAM.

Tarpin's title screen and game screen?
I feel that something like that is reflected.

The corresponding real screen is here.

Is it like this when forcibly generating a screen according to the real machine?
Although it makes me feel confused as to other screens.

Translation via Google.


The Page had an update in 2007:


February 11, 2007

I tried fiddling the behavior of $ fc.
I do not understand it well yet, but Excite Mahjong is supposed to work at first.

I coped with the problem that the space panic screen was disturbed.
I'm forced to display it by patch.




I'm including both English and Japanese text in case someone can do a better job than Google.

Edited by pacman000
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If the weird graphic bugs you mention are the black boxes around moving sprites, it's certainly normal.

Early graphic chps, especially hte ones designed for computer, don't deal well with transparency. Even powerful beast liek the MSX series required serious attetion to programming to get transparent sprites and for lesser items you would often see a black box around.

Looks like a fun little system,a bit as if someone had put a "generic 8 bits micro" in a console shell.

I mean the color count, resolution and even sounds make it looks like something you'd see on a Thomson MO5/TO7 :

Or early MSX1 games :

(on some of those you will see the lck of transparency of some sprites too)

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Thanks CatPix. Wondered if the glitches weren't caused by a lack of transparency. Looks sloppy today, but if it was common I can't blame Casio.


I also wonder if some of the games tried to use background tiles for everything. Some games seem really jerky.


Anyone know how they got 8 colors? I can understand two colors (1-bit per pixel; two possible colors; off or on,) four colors (2-bits per pixel; four possible combinations; four colors,) 16 colors (4-bits per pixel, 16 combinations; 16 colors.) I can even understand 9 colors (3-bits per pixel; 9 combinations; 9 colors.) But I can't find a way to get 8 colors. Could it have been like the Astrocade? 4-colors in two sections for 8 colors on the screen? Is there another way to get 8 colors?

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Someone made a version of BASIC for Z80 based systems. They even made a version for the PV-1000.


Also has versions for the ColecoVision, Astrocade, etc. Complete list here: http://www.boriel.com/wiki/en/index.php/ZX_BASIC:Other_architectures


Someone already mentioned the Astrocade version another forum, perhaps the programming forum, but I couldn't find the thread again. Too many other threads about BASIC. It should be easier to find here. :)

Edited by pacman000
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