The Namco System 22 is the successor to the Namco System 21 arcade system board. It debuted in 1992 with Sim Drive in Japan, followed by a worldwide debut in 1993 with Ridge Racer.
The System 22 was designed by Namco with assistance from graphics & simulation company Evans & Sutherland. While the System 21 hardware design had the main CPU provide a scene description to a bank of DSP chips which perform all necessary 3D calculations, much of the graphics in the System 22 is handled by the Evans & Sutherland 'TR3' (Texture Mapping, Real-Time, Real-Visual, Rendering System) GPU chipset.
It was the first arcade system board, and the first 3D gaming system, to feature texture mapping and Gouraud shading, and it could handle transparency effects, and depth cueing, as well as anti-aliasing.
According to Namco America, the twin seat Ridge Racer arcade unit sold to distribution for $11,995 in 1993, equivalent to $19,583 in 2014. In Europe, the Ridge Racer Full Scale deluxe unit cost £150,000 for arcade operators upon release, equivalent to £260,312 or $411,895 in 2014.
A variant of the system, called the Super System 22, was released in 1995. The hardware was largely similar to the System 22, but with a higher polygon rate and more special effects possible. Both were contemporaneous with rival Sega's Model 1 and Model 2 arcade boards.
Both the System 22 and Super System 22 can render significantly better graphics, more polygons with sharper texture-mapping, running in higher resolution and at a higher frame rate (60 FPS), compared to the graphical capabilities of the original Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 video game systems, but much less than what the Dreamcast can produce.
System 22 Specifications
- Board composition: Motherboard, CPU board, DSP board, MROM board, Flash ROM board, Video board
- Main CPU: Motorola 68020 @ 24.576 MHz
- Fixed-point arithmetic: 32-bit instructions @ 7.6 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second)
- Floating-point performance: 0.19 MFLOPS (Million Floating-point Operations Per Second)
- + Custom Namco chips
- 2D GPU: Namco Custom Video chipset (C300, C304, C305 Palette, C335)
- Display resolution: 640x480 pixels, 59.9042 Hz refresh rate, progressive scan
- Color depth: 16,777,216 colors (24-bit true color)
- 2D layers: Sprite layer with zooming, tilemap layer, character text layer
- 3D GPU: Evans & Sutherland TR3 (Texture Mapping, Real-Time, Real-Visual, Rendering System)
- Performance: 400 MFLOPS
- 3D capabilities: Texture mapping, Gouraud shading, translucency effects, depth-cueing, fog effects, tiled rendering, T&L (transform, clipping, lighting), Z-buffering, anti-aliasing, translucency effects, high-resolution textures
- 3D DSP: 2× Texas Instruments TMS32025 @ 49.152 MHz (exact number of DSPs may vary)
- Fixed-point arithmetic: 16-bit & 32-bit instructions @ 49.152 MIPS (24.576 MIPS per DSP, 0.5 MIPS per MHz)
- Floating-point arithmetic: 16-bit & 32-bit operations @ 504,103 FLOPS (252,051.5 FLOPS per DSP, 5128 FLOPS per MHz)
- Note: Exact number of DSP processors may vary
- Geometric performance: More than 240,000 quad polygons per second (with texture mapping and Gouraud shading) (higher with Super System 22)
- Sound CPU:
- System 22: 2× Namco C74 (16-bit Mitsubishi M37702) @ 16.4 MHz
- Super System 22: Mitsubishi M37710 @ 16.4 MHz
- Sound chip: Namco C352 @ 16.4 MHz
- Capabilities: 32 channels, 42 kHz sampling rate, 8-bit linear PCM, 8-bit muLaw PCM
- Audio output: Stereo (standard), 4-channel Bose surround (deluxe)
Super System 22 Specifications
The Namco Super System 22, released in 1995, includes the following upgrades:
- 3D capabilities: More special effects
- Geometric performance: More than 240,000 quad polygons per second (with texture mapping and Gouraud shading)
- 2D sprite layer: Zooming & rotation
- Sound CPU: Mitsubishi M37710 (16-bit MCU) @ 16.384 MHz