SN Systems

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SN Systems (Spiny Norman Systems[2]) is a British electronics engineering and video game development hardware company.


SN Systems was founded in 1990, in Bristol, by Andy Beveridge[1] (former Realtime Games Software programmer[3][2]) and Martin Day[1] a.k.a. Spiny Norman[2], a nickname he choose, inspired by the gigantic imaginary hedgehog of the same name, from the Piranha Brothers sketch of the British sketch comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus created by the comedy group Monty Python.

They started their career as video game developers in 1988[1][4], in a British company known as The Assembly Line[2] (TAL) and were involved in writing games for the Commodore 64, Atari ST and Amiga computers. SN Systems founders were disappointed[2] at the development tools available at the time, so Martin Day[3][2] in conjunction[5][6][7] with Ian Oliver of Realtime Games Software and Andy Craven of Vektor Grafix (two of the UK’s leading computer games companies, both headquartered in the city of Leeds, in England, United Kingdom) developed a fast and more powerful system, the SNasm (stands for Spiny Norman's Assembler[8], initially made for Atari ST and Amiga) which was licensed[4] to Ian Oliver's Cross Products (as SNasm required some modification for use with the Mega Drive, such as the addition of interface hardware and support for the Zilog Z80 processor, Oliver hand-made the RAM board himself, adding these features and creating a new product, the SNASM68K, while developing M1 Abrams Battle Tank).

In 1993 the company launched, in a joint with Psygnosis, the PSY-Q Development System line of products for various platforms, including the Sega Mega Drive, Sega 32X, Sega Mega-CD, Sega Saturn, Super NES and PlayStation. This second generation product included C source level stepping and breakpointing and was even faster than the original SNasm. SN Systems was acquired by Sony in 2005[9], to provide tools for the PlayStation 3, and future consoles but his association with the PlayStation line of consoles can be traced back to 1993 when Psygnosis, at the time publishing SN Systems tools, was acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.

Development hardware/tools produced

Promotional material

External links