okay - for those of you that have some knowledge of Sega's SYSTEM 16 A/B boards from ~1986 (just the basic single-cpu ones) and Capcom's CPS board from 1988, how do the two architectures compare?
we can look at the paper-specs and can see that on paper, the CPS is newer, and in some respects, more powerful.
SEGA SYSTEM 16 A/B
Main CPU: MC68000 10 MHz
Secondary CPU: Z80
Video Resolution: 320 x 224
Colors: 4096 on-screen out of 32,768 (?)
Sprites: 128 sprites (16x16 or 8x8 ?)
Background Layers: 2
Effects: hardware sprite zooming/scaling, translucent shadows
Main CPU: MC68000 - 10 MHz
Secondary CPU: Z80 - 4 MHz
Video Resolution: 384 x 224
Colors: 2048 on-screen out of 65,536
Sprites: 256 sprites (16x16 or 8x8?)
Background Layers: 3
Effects: ???? no zooming/scaling?
but how do these architectures compare in practice? I know that paper specs don't always reveal the realworld in-game capabilities. although some things are obvious.
the newer CPS board has higher resolution, a larger color pallete (although both are large enough) seemingly more sprites on screen, and one more background layer than System 16.
the older System 16 board seems to have a few advantages over the CPS - more colors on screen at once, dispite a smaller pallete, and hardware zooming/scaling.
I'm sure that the differences in the color capabilities between the two are actually very small if non existant. the CPS could probably use upto 4096 colors if programmed to, like System 16 has. and System 16's color pallete of 32768 probably isnt really much worse than CPS's 65536 color pallete.
where things get interesting is in sprites (128 vs 256) parallax background layers ( 2 vs 3) and effects like scaling (some vs none?)
also, I wanted to throw this out there. what if CPS games like Forgotten Worlds, Ghouls N Ghosts, Strider, Final Fight, Street Fighter 2, etc were converted/ported "down" to the System 16 board? we've seen how CPS conversions turned out on the Megadrive/Genesis, which is conciderably less powerful than System 16, not to mention the much smaller rom sizes. now if we 'upgrade' from the newer Megadrive/Genesis (1988) to the older System16 (~1986) in hardware and give System16 conversions/ports of CPS games the same rom size as the CPS versions, how would things turn out? I'd imagine pretty close to the CPS versions in most cases. they'd be slightly lower resolution. but I am sure the System 16 could be programmed to do an additional parallex background layer (like Genesis/MD often was) for games like Street Fighter 2 that seems to use CPS's 3 layers quiet well.
overall there is probably a larger difference between MD/Genesis and CPS or System16, than there is between System16 and CPS, agree?