Sega LaserDisc hardware

From Sega Retro

LaserVideoDiscPlayer.jpg VIP9500SG.jpg
Sega LaserDisc hardware
Manufacturer: Sega
Release Date RRP Code
¥? ?
$? ?
£? ?

Sega Laserdisc hardware is an arcade system produced by Sega and released in 1983. In addition to having a PCB and ROMs, the games made use of Laserdiscs for full-motion video. Additional graphics and an HUD could be placed on top of the video sequences.

It first debuted with Astron Belt at Amusement Machine Show 1982 (September) and AMOA 1982 (November). GP World and Time Traveler, two other Sega-produced Laserdisc games, run on slightly different hardware specifications from what is listed below. Another game, Albegas/Cybernaut (1983), is known to exist, but not much information is known about it.


It was the first system dedicated to producing laserdisc video games. The first game to use it was Astron Belt (1983) and the last to use it was the holographic game Time Traveler (1991).

It used one of four laserdisc players, either a Pioneer LD-V1000 or LD-V1001, or a Hitachi VIP-9500SG or VIP-9550. Two different versions of the laser disc itself were also pressed, a single-sided version by Pioneer and a double-sided version by Sega. However, both discs have the same information and may be used in any of the four players.

The hardware combines laserdisc footage with a real-time 2D computer graphics plane. The real-time graphics plane was overlaid by imitating a matting technique. As the CRT monitor scans horizontally across the screen, it is fed information from the laserdisc up until the point where it is fed information from the computer graphics system, after which information coming from the laserdisc stops, creating a black mask into which a sprite is inserted. It uses a collision detection system where both the laserdisc and sprite planes can interact with each other. Each frame of the laserdisc footage is coded with a hit detection spot stored in ROM memory. The Zilog Z80 CPU microprocessor reads the number of the laserdisc frame, and checks the laserdisc hit spots with the shots fired by the player, and if the coordinates correspond, it instructs the laserdisc player to display an explosion sequence. For sections where the player must navigate between walls, the walls in the laserdisc footage are also coded and use collision detection.[1]

Technical specifications

  • Main: 2 KB
  • Video: 6.5 KB (2 KB objects, 2 KB disc, 512 bytes color, 2 KB characters)

Laserdisc player

Real-Time 2D graphics overlay

  • Refresh rate: 59.94 Hz
  • Tile size: 8×8 pixels
  • Tilemap size: 32×32 (1024) tiles, 256×256 pixels
  • Colors per tile: 2
  • Sprite sizes: 8×8 to 256×8 pixels
  • Sprites on screen: 32 sprites per scanline, 256 sprite pixels/texels per scanline

List of games

Photo gallery

Physical scans

LaserVideoDiscPlayer VIP9500SG Sega Manual.pdf


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
Fonz Galaxian Zaxxon Appoooh X Board Model 2 Hikaru Atomiswave
Blockade G80 Hang-On / Space Harrier Model 1 H1 Model 3 NAOMI 2
VIC Dual System 1 System 24 NAOMI
VCO Object LaserDisc System SP
System 2 System 18
System 16
OutRun System 32
Y Board
Based on Consumer Hardware
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 09 10 11 12 13 14 15
SG-1000 System E System C Triforce Europa-R RingEdge 2
Mega-Tech System Sega Titan Video Chihiro Nu
Mega Play Lindbergh
Hardware Series / Generations
1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Electro-mechanical systems Sega System series Sega NAOMI series
Discrete logic systems Super Scaler series Post-NAOMI systems
Pre-System boards Sega Model series