Press release: 1996-08-05: Sega to develop arcade-quality games for PCs using PowerVR architecture; software leader endorses new 3-D technology used on Compaq systems

From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 5, 1996--NEC Electronics Inc. Monday announced that Sega Entertainment Inc. and NEC have approved a letter of intent with the goal of reaching a definitive agreement to distribute arcade-quality games for the personal computer.

The new games will come from Sega's library of software titles and will be designed for the Compaq Presario Series 8000 (details announced by Compaq on July 15, 1996) and other personal computers using PowerVR 3-D graphics architecture.

"Sega develops some of the most popular titles in computer entertainment," said Robin Seaver, director of strategic business development -- multimedia, NEC Electronics. "Sega's adoption of the PowerVR technology assures players will have some of the most exciting game titles available featuring the ultimate 3-D graphics experience in systems equipped with the PowerVR architecture."

"Sega Entertainment has the heritage, content and technical expertise to lead the 3-D polygon-based arcade and fast-action gaming categories on PCs with a broad range of performance levels," said Shinobu Toyoda, president and CEO of Sega Entertainment. "This relationship will allow us to push the limits in creating richer, faster, more detailed PC games that deliver immersive interactive entertainment experiences."

According to Sega, all titles will be available in multiple languages, including English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese.

"To get users excited about PC-based games you need compelling content and a graphics engine capable of running such a game," said Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Associates, one of the leading analysts covering the graphics market. "Sega certainly knows the game side, and the PowerVR technology is an engine capable of running such games. We see this, combined with the Compaq design win, as an important endorsement for the PowerVR architecture."

"Sega's titles for the PowerVR architecture bring true arcade-quality gaming to the PC platform, and by virtue of PowerVR's cost/performance benefits, we believe it is the first time that such titles can be delivered with a system cost in line with mainstream console systems," added Seaver.

The PowerVR Architecture

The PowerVR architecture allows content developers to create a single game for a variety of system platforms, minimizing development cost and speeding time-to-market. Developed jointly by NEC and VideoLogic, it takes a revolutionary approach to 3-D graphics systems design. Typically, 3-D controllers require three memory systems: Z-buffer, texture and frame-buffer memory.

NEC and VideoLogic have dramatically reduced memory bandwidth requirements by replacing the Z-buffer memory and associated bandwidth with on-chip hidden surface removal. This means that bandwith is not limited by memory subsystems as with competitive 3-D solutions.

The PowerVR architecture offers a performance level of up to 1.2 million textured and shaded polygons per second, based on 10 Giga operations per second processing speed delivering 3-D rendered scenes at 640 by 480 resolution at 30 frames-per-second (fps) and 16.7 million colors (true color) with every pixel mip mapped, textured, fogged, lit and shaded.

By keeping the memory bandwidth requirements for the Z-buffering/hidden surface removal and translucency functions on the chip means that bandwidth is not limited by the memory subsystems as with competitive 3-D solutions. This becomes especially important as screen resolutions go beyond 640 by 480 and frame rates go beyond 30 Hz.

Content Developers and Add-in Board Manufacturers Pick the PowerVR Technology

In addition to Sega, a wide range of content developers and add-in board manufacturers have announced and/or pledged their support for the PowerVR architecture. On May 9, 1996, Compaq Computer Corp. announced it had chosen the PowerVR technology as the 3-D technology of choice for its fall line-up of Presarios. Additionally, VideoLogic introduced its OEM version of a 3-D accelerator card based on the PowerVR technology in May.

In November 1995, Namco Limited, the leading arcade game manufacturer, announced it will be porting games such as Rave Racer, Air Combat 22 and Tekken to the PowerVR architecture.

Other companies announcing their support for the PowerVR architecture include: Activision, Looking Glass Technologies Inc., Mindscape Bordeaux, Mindscape International, Psygnosis Ltd., Gremlin Interactive Limited and Virtuality KK. Additionally, NEC Home Electronics, Japan, has indicated it will be announcing add-in graphics boards for PCs later this year.

Development Software Support

The PowerVR-based solutions from NEC and its partners support both polygon and surface constructed 3-D models and are fully compatible with Microsoft Direct3D and Apple's RAVE software interfaces. In addition, the PowerVR technology has its own 3-D graphics library called PowerVR SGL, a powerful high-level API developed by VideoLogic and NEC.

Who to Contact

For development kits, including reference boards, reference designs, Microsoft Direct3D libraries, on-line documentation, sample applications, model converters, pricing and availability information for NEC's 3-D graphics processors, please contact NEC's Technical Support Hotline at 800/366-9782.

About Sega Entertainment

Sega Entertainment Inc., a new joint venture between Sega of America, the arm of Tokyo-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega video game systems and video games in the Americas, and SOFTBANK Holdings Inc. whose parent company, SOFTBANK Corp., is one of the world's largest distributors of computer software, peripherals and systems, as well as Japan's largest publisher of computer-related magazines and books.

Sega Entertainment is responsible for creating, marketing and distributing PC-based entertainment which utilizes Sega's arcade and console-based games and characters. The company has headquarters in Redwood City, Calif.

About Compaq

Compaq Computer Corp. is the world's largest supplier of personal computers, offering desktop PCs, portable PCs, servers and options. The company reported 1995 worldwide sales of $14.8 billion. Compaq products are sold and supported in more than 100 countries through Compaq marketing partners and sold directly to customers through Compaq Direct Plus at 800/888-5858.

Compaq provides 24-hour customer support and can be reached through the Compaq forums on America Online, CompuServe, Internet (, and Prodigy, or by calling 800/OK-COMPAQ. Product information and reseller locations can be obtained by calling 800/345-1518.

About NEC

NEC Electronics Inc., with headquarters in Mountain View, designs, manufactures and markets an extensive line of electronic products including ASICs, microprocessors, microcontrollers, 3-D graphics processors, digital signal processors (DSPs), memories and components including flat-panel displays. In 1995, the company ranked fourth in semiconductor sales in the United States (a).

The company operates a 676,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Roseville, Calif. NEC Electronics is an affiliate of NEC Corp. (NIPNY), a $41 billion international manufacturer of computer, communications and semiconductor products.

About VideoLogic

VideoLogic Ltd. was founded in 1985 and has its headquarters in the United Kingdom. The company is a prominent international supplier of PC multimedia products with distribution in more than 50 countries through computer retail and mass merchandising channels, value-added resellers, OEMs and directly by calling VideoLogic at 800/578-5644.

The company maintains 24-hour customer support and can be reached through the Internet (, CompuServe (GO VIDEOLOGIC) and the Microsoft Network (Go To VideoLogic). VideoLogic, which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (FOOTSY:VDL), develops highly integrated, advanced multimedia semiconductors and software and has development agreements with Compaq, IBM and NEC. It operates a European office in Frankfurt, Germany, and has its U.S. corporate headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. -0- NOTE: PowerVR is a trademark of VideoLogic. NEC, PCX1, Image Synthesis Processor and Texture Shading Processor are trademarks or registered trademarks of NEC Corp. Compaq is a registered trademark of Compaq Computer Corp. Microsoft, Windows 95, RealityLab and Direct3D are trademarks of Microsoft Corp. Rave Racer, Air Combat 22 and Tekken are trademarks of Namco Limited. -0- (a) According to Dataquest

CONTACT: NEC Electronics Inc., Mountain View

Jim Lucas, 415/965-6620

[email protected] (e-mail)


Cohn & Wolfe (for NEC Electronics Inc.)

Lisa Stein, 310/226-3021

[email protected] (e-mail)


Sega Entertainment Inc.

Dan Stevens, 415/802-3996

[email protected] (e-mail)


NEC Electronics Literature Hotline

800/366-9782 (phone)

800/729-9288 (fax)


On-line information
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