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AtariHero

Games in 320 resolution

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This isn't a scientifically verified list so feel free to correct it if wrong. Just from observation or reading about it elsewhere.

 

Official Games running in 320 resolution mode (or using it in some form such text/UI/status):

 

Dark Chambers?

Desert Falcon ?

Food Fight (text)

Meltdown

One-On-One

Planet Smashers

Pole Position II (just text?)

Sentinel

Touchdown Football (just text?)

Tower Toppler (text & water?)

 

Homebrews:

 

Berzerk / Frenzy

Dungeon Explorer

Frogger

Moon Cresta

Pac-Man 320

 

Anything else or errors?

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They are talking about the screen resolutions the 7800 is capable of displaying. It has multiple modes centered around two numbers known as 160 and 320.  The larger the number the more pixels (dots) that can be displayed on the screen at once.  Technically, the 7800's 320 mode is almost like PC VGA mode (320x240) in resolution.  The difference between them is that the 7800 can only produce 25 colors on the screen at the same time (8 palettes with 3 colors each is 24 colors plus one background color gives 25) while VGA has 256 colors.  

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To add to that, the 7800 is a graphics powerhouse and easily the easiest of all 8-bit consoles from the same era to develop graphics for.  A single sprite can be assigned to any one of 8 palettes, each with 3 different colors that can be set by the developer.  The 7800 does not care which colors are picked as long as it is within the range of colors it can produce.  With that information it is easy to have the 7800 produce multi-colored sprite and the colors can be changed on the fly as needed.  Asteroids' title screen showcases this well with its color cycling title.

 

From a graphical perspective, the 7800 could easily outperform the NES.  Any game on the NES could have looked just as good, or better, on the 7800.  And those flickering graphics on the NES would not have happened as often on the 7800 since it could technically handle over 100 sprites without breaking a sweat.  The only downside would have been in the sound department.  Since TIA was the system's main sound processor developers were usually stuck with two sound channels.  The 7800 could handle audio from a different source on cartridge (POKEY in A8/5200 consoles) but that was costly as each cartridge would need the POKEY processors in them and only two games are known to have used it.  Ballblazer being one of them.  In theory, however, using a POKEY chip gave four more sound channels which should have given the 7800 a total of 6 sound channels (4 on POKEY, 2 on TIA).  Compare that to the NES having on 4 sound channels (3 sine wave and 1 noise) the 7800 was the system that should have been able to beat the NES in overall performance.  It's a shame that it didn't happen that way but that's history.  

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