Sega LaserDisc hardware

From Sega Retro

LaserVideoDiscPlayer.jpg VIP9500SG.jpg
Fast facts on Sega LaserDisc hardware
Manufacturer: Sega
Main processor: Zilog Z80
Release Date RRP Code
1983-05 ¥?  ?
1983-11 $?  ?
1983-07 £?  ?

Sega Laserdisc hardware is an arcade system produced by Sega in 1983. In addition to having a PCB and ROMs, the games made use of Laserdiscs for full-motion video. Additional graphics and an HUD could be placed on top of the video sequences.

GP World and Time Traveler, two other Sega-produced Laserdisc games, run on slightly different hardware specifications from what is listed below. Another game, Albegas/Cybernaut (1983), is known to exist, but not much information is known about it.


It was the first system dedicated to producing laserdisc video games. The first game to use it was Astron Belt (1983) and the last to use it was the holographic game Time Traveler (1991).

It used one of four laserdisc players, either a Pioneer LD-V1000 or LD-V1001, or a Hitachi VIP-9500SG or VIP-9550. Two different versions of the laser disc itself were also pressed, a single-sided version by Pioneer and a double-sided version by Sega. However, both discs have the same information and may be used in any of the four players.

The hardware combines laserdisc footage with a real-time 2D computer graphics plane. The real-time graphics plane was overlaid by imitating a matting technique. As the CRT monitor scans horizontally across the screen, it is fed information from the laserdisc up until the point where it is fed information from the computer graphics system, after which information coming from the laserdisc stops, creating a black mask into which a sprite is inserted. It uses a collision detection system where both the laserdisc and sprite planes can interact with each other. Each frame of the laserdisc footage is coded with a hit detection spot stored in ROM memory. The Zilog Z80 CPU microprocessor reads the number of the laserdisc frame, and checks the laserdisc hit spots with the shots fired by the player, and if the coordinates correspond, it instructs the laserdisc player to display an explosion sequence. For sections where the player must navigate between walls, the walls in the laserdisc footage are also coded and use collision detection.[1]

Technical specifications

Laserdisc player

Real-Time 2D graphics overlay

List of games

Photo gallery

Physical scans

LaserVideoDiscPlayer VIP9500SG Sega Manual.pdf


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