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Sega System 16

From Sega Retro

System16a motherboard.jpg
Fast facts on Sega System 16
Manufacturer: Sega
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade World 1985  ?



The Sega System 16 is an arcade board released by Sega in 1985 as a 16-bit successor to the Sega System 1. Throughout its lifespan, there would be around forty games released on this hardware, making it one of Sega's most successful hardware designs. It was produced in three variants, the Pre-System 16, System 16A and System 16B, though the only differences between the three are clock speeds.

The System 16 is the home to many of Sega's most successful franchises, including Shinobi, Fantasy Zone, Altered Beast and Golden Axe. It popularised the use of the Motorola 68000 CPI and Zilog Z80 combo, something which was copied for Capcom's successful CPS-1 and CPS-2 boards (among other arcade systems of the day), as well as most notably, the Sega Mega Drive.

In order to prevent piracy, as well as illegal bootleg games, many System 16 boards used an encryption system. A Hitachi FD1094 chip, containing the main CPU as well as the decryption key, was used in place of a regular CPU.

Though Pre-System 16, System 16A and System 16B are the three most recognised variants of the hardware, there is technically a fourth, dubbed "System 16C" which was used by the 2008 release of Fantasy Zone II DX: The Tears of Opa-Opa. Fantasy Zone II DX arrived almost a decade and a half after the System 16 hardware was discontinued, however its real arcade release means that System 16C specifications may belong to the Sega System 16 series. Fantasy Zone II DX needs more RAM than any of the other System 16 boards can offer, but the game adhered to other restrictions of the hardware.

Technical Specifications

  • Main CPU: Motorola 68000 @ 10 MHz
  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz (5 MHz in System 16B)
  • Sound Chip: Yamaha YM2151 @ 4 MHz (+ NEC uPD7751 ADPCM decoder in System 16B)
  • Display Resolution: 320 x 224
  • Colors: 4096
  • Graphical Capabilities: 128 onscreen sprites, 2 tile layers, 1 text layer, 1 sprite layer, sprite scaling.

Gallery

Pre-System 16

Sega System 16A

Sega System 16B

List of Games

Pre-System 16

System 16A

System 16B

System 16C


Sega Arcade Boards
Originating in Arcades
76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
Blockade G80 Gigas System 18 Model 2 Hikaru Aurora
VIC Dual Zaxxon System 2 System 32 Model 3 NAOMI 2
VCO Object System 1 System 24 NAOMI
System 16 H1
Hang-On Model 1
OutRun
X Board
Y Board
Based on Consumer Hardware
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SG-1000 System E System C Triforce Europa-R RingEdge 2
Mega-Tech System Sega Titan Video Atomiswave RingEdge
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