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Sega Master System Disk System / Floppy Disk Drive / FDD
Post Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:39 pm
Last edited by Bock on Sun May 22, 2016 10:33 am; edited 2 times in total
I have this picture lying around since years... already posted but let's post it again.

I'm not sure where this come from, but I think it was some CES. Did someone attended CES around the nineties?

*EDIT* May 2016, new pictures see
http://www.smspower.org/forums/6174-SegaMasterSystemDiskSystemFloppyDiskDriveFDD...
msdisc3.jpg (108 KB)
msdisc3.jpg

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Source and Japanese text
Post Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:43 pm
Quote
> I have this picture lying around since years... already posted but let's post it again.

>

> I'm not sure where this come from, but I think it was some CES. Did someone attended CES around the nineties?

The source is:
http://www.linkclub.or.jp/~nof-h/suka_sega/ippatu/msdisc/msdisc.html

It says, in Japanese:
"
ファミコン通信 NO.12 P.7

ファミコン通信のマスターシステム(米)紹介の記事から。 アメリカの見本市の写真とかいうのでCESか何かだと思う。 モックアップだろうけどメガドラの2インチディスクよりも形になってる様な感じがする。 大きさを見ると3.5インチかな? それにしてもセガのディスクはどれもこれも転けますな、これは何に使いたかったのかね?
"

Looks like a picture from Famitsu issue 12, page 7.

Automated translation says:

From the report of master system (U.S.) introduction of the Family Computer communication. the photograph of the trade fair in the United States -- since it says, I think that they are CES or something He has a feeling which has a form from the 2 inch disk of けど MEGADORA which will be a mock-up. When a size is seen, it is 3.5 inch kana. Even so, for this 転けますな also in this, each disk of Sega is whether to have wanted to use for what.
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Re: Source and Japanese text
Post Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:30 pm
Cool!

I've heard rumors about a planned Disc system, but I never saw any pics :)
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Re: Source and Japanese text
Post Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:51 pm
Would it use the mysterious expansion port?
 
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Re: Source and Japanese text
Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:38 am
Quote
> Would it use the mysterious expansion port?

Yes. What would it do is that the SMS BIOS would boot to the ROM embedded into the disk system, and this ROM would communicate with the disk system hardware to read floppy data to RAM and then execute it (it would need to contains RAM just as the SF-7000).

The problem I can think of is that a floppy disk based program wouldn't be able to interact easily with the cartridge, or either way. It's somewhat possible using code stored in the regular SMS RAM, but retail SMS BIOS boots in priority on the cartridge, so if you plugged a cartridge it would boot on it and ignore the disk system.

So either you would have to hotplug the cartridge after booting the disc system (which often crash the system), either the cartridge would contains program code to access/enable the disc system part.

Don't know if I'm clear...
All it comes to, I think, is the tiny mistake of booting cartridge in priority to whats in the expansion port.
(and it annoy me everytime I want to dump a Japanese/Korean cartridge!)
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Can't resist some translation practice...
Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:35 am
Quote
> It says, in Japanese:
> ファミコン通信 NO.12 P.7
>
> ファミコン通信のマスターシステム(米)紹介の記事から。 アメリカの見本市の写真とかいうのでCESか何かだと思う。 モックアップだろうけどメガドラの2インチディスクよりも形になってる様な感じがする。 大きさを見ると3.5インチかな? それにしてもセガのディスクはどれもこれも転けますな、これは何に使いたかったのかね?

--
Famicon Tsuushin (Family Computer News), vol. 12, pp. 7

Introduction of the Master System (U.S.) from Famicon Tsuushin. I think it's a picture from an American trade show like CES or something. It's probably just a mock-up, but it looks to be more shaped (?? -- possibly meaning larger) than the Megadrive's 2-inch disk. Looking at the size, I'd say 3.5-inches, maybe? Even so, all of Sega's disk systems flopped. I wonder what they wanted to use this one for?
--

That's roughly what it says.
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Re: Source and Japanese text
Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:40 am
My guess it was somthing to do to compete with the family computer (NES) disk system.
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Neat!
Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:24 am
That's really nice. First I've ever heard of it.
Maybe worth asking about it at Assembler? Some of the guys over there seem to be very in the know about unreleased Sega hardware...
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BIOS boot order
Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:42 am
Quote
> All it comes to, I think, is the tiny mistake of booting cartridge in priority to whats in the expansion port.
> (and it annoy me everytime I want to dump a Japanese/Korean cartridge!)

A possibility: if you have the disk system plugged in, you don't have a cartridge plugged in, so the disk system boots. If you want to play a cartridge game, you don't want to have to unplug the disk system, so the cartridge should get priority.

Under what circumstances were you thinking that the disk system should boot when a cartridge is inserted? The solution would, of course, be to have the disk system take priority and its BIOS detect a cartridge and run it if necessary.

Maxim
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:16 pm
This so cool, too bad the SMS bombed on Japan and this kind of stuff never were released...



PD

Quote
> I have this picture lying around since years... already posted but let's post it again.

>

> I'm not sure where this come from, but I think it was some CES. Did someone attended CES around the nineties?
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:55 pm
Quote
> This so cool, too bad the SMS bombed on Japan and this kind of stuff never were released...

All I've heard suggests it was announced in the US, perhaps in an attempt to get some attention - but most were almost certainly announced before they were developed, and would only be developed if there was enough interest.

There are a few other things in that ancient "Master System FAQ" that never made it:

Sega of America announced a "Graphics Board" (a drawing pad, with images appearing on your television screen) and a 3.5" disk drive with the SMS' introduction, but neither accessory was released.

Sounds like the Terebi Oekaki, and the disk system pictured.

Tonka announced a few peripherals in their '88 "Let the Games Begin" catalog.

Does anyone have a copy of this? Scans would be nice :)

Maxim
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:33 pm
Quote
> All I've heard suggests it was announced in the US, perhaps in an attempt to get some attention - but most were almost certainly announced before they were developed, and would only be developed if there was enough interest.

I didn't knew that, very interesting. The same happened with the Mega Drive. On the US press-release SEGA announced the Telemodem too.

Quote
> Does anyone have a copy of this? Scans would be nice :)

That Lucky Dime Caper Limited Edition is sweet :)


PD
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:41 am
Quote
> I didn't knew that, very interesting. The same happened with the Mega Drive. On the US press-release SEGA announced the Telemodem too.


I don`t know if you do, but here in Brazil Tec Toy actually released a modem for Mega Drive. A friend of mine got one. Don`t know if he still have it.
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:05 pm

Yes I know, I have it :)
BTW, TecToy released 3 versions of that modem: Mega Net, Mega Net 2 and BradescoNet.


PD

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>
> I don`t know if you do, but here in Brazil Tec Toy actually released a modem for Mega Drive. A friend of mine got one. Don`t know if he still have it.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:09 am
Quote
> I have this picture lying around since years... already posted but let's post it again.

>

> I'm not sure where this come from, but I think it was some CES. Did someone attended CES around the nineties?

Clint Dyer would most likely know the most about this SMS Disk System. I *think* I last saw him on the Digital Press boards about a year ago...could be wrong. I won some SMS auctions from him years ago, but have not had any contact with him for awhile. Nice guy.
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 9:05 pm
If anyone can get there hands on that Disk System, I would gladly buy it off them for NZ$500, NZ$600 if it has a box and manual. Also I have NX$30 for any info that leads me to getting it. Get in touch with me at windos_matrix@msn.com

Thanks,
Windos
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:44 pm
LoL

I guess if someone here could put his hands on this thing, he would be glad to throw a couple of thousands euros in it (well, I would certainly)

500 NZ bucks. LoL
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:33 pm
$500NZD with exchange rates that what, like $30usd?

lol
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:24 am
Emuaust wrote
$500NZD with exchange rates that what, like $30usd?

lol


Haha :-P
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:22 am
I'll offer NZ$501 ;)
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:26 am
According to the retro gamer article its under lock and key somewhere, so $30 new zealand for info - uh no.

If it had been released surely it would have won the award for biggest console.
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:22 am
That Retro Gamer article was full of inaccuracies - it claimed that the Disk System pic was "covertly taken on a camera phone" by an anonymous contributor, but it's the exact same pic that's in the first post of this thread.

I asked the guy who wrote the article for any more details, but he ignored my request...
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:08 pm
It would be worth more than $30, more like $3000. I wouldn't be surprised if it was an empty box like the Sega Neptune.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:25 pm
anagrama wrote
That Retro Gamer article was full of inaccuracies - it claimed that the Disk System pic was "covertly taken on a camera phone" by an anonymous contributor, but it's the exact same pic that's in the first post of this thread.

I asked the guy who wrote the article for any more details, but he ignored my request...


Retro Gamer is always full of inaccuracies and it doesnt like 'forumites' as it likes to call them, many issues have negative comments about forums, which is odd as they have there own forum (which has some of the most pointless threads ever concived by man). That said, I do actually like the magazine and am a subscriber :)

It doesnt suprise me you didnt get an answer back anagrama, they probly get hundreds of emails every week pointing out there mistakes. I guess its difficult producing a magazine spanning every 'retro' format. Still the caption with this photo sounds more like they just made it up, doesnt give you much confiidance in some of the writers.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:32 pm
heres the thing i posted anyway..

http://shinobiman.proboards15.com/index.cgi?board=accessories&action=display&thread=1169890222&page=1

Stan mentions that his Sega contact who he interviewd knew info about it, not sure he's said anything else about that.

edit*

from stans interview with John Sauer:

Quote
Stan:
Did you ever get to work with the proposed Graphics Board or Disk Drive that were slated for release? I would assume they fit in this category. I believe the board was tested here based on a prototype or model from Japan. Know anything about this?

John:
I remember seeing the disk drive. The SMS was approaching the end of its life and the investment required to launch a product like the disk drive would not have made enough return to warrant the efforts, so it was passed upon.


which is basically what Maxim said on page one of this thread.
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Post Posted: Fri May 20, 2016 3:11 pm
Last edited by Bock on Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:46 am; edited 1 time in total
There was a panel "GAME ON" tonight in Tokyo featuring some Sega people including hardware engineers, and they showed this slide.

http://p.upa.jp/m/7235
【マスターシステムFDD(開発中資料】 (GORRY)
会社の了解なしに勝手に初公開だと…w

I don't know yet if there is a recording of it. A few of my friends were at the friend including one who was in the panel so I will ask what they said about it.

Here's the page for the event:
http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/event/1604141719849.html

*EDIT* Famitsu report
http://www.famitsu.com/news/201606/03107324.html
20160520204755.jpg (647.45 KB)
20160520204755.jpg
Ci5b36uUoAEdYjk.jpg (110.51 KB)
Ci5b36uUoAEdYjk.jpg

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Post Posted: Fri May 20, 2016 4:03 pm
Wow!

The SMS has the same font as the prototype M404.

The actual "FLOPPY DISC UNIT" looks to have the same form factor as the lower half of a standard SMS, with the addition of the floppy disk slot.

The top of the unit has four legs where there are the equivalent slots on the bottom of the SMS. You would remove the expansion port cover, place the SMS on top of the Floppy Disc Unit, then clip the SMS back a centimetre or two to secore it in the slots, and connect the expansion port. Edit: There are also two ridges where there are the equivalent grooves on the SMS.

The Floppy Disc Unit doesn't have a connector for the expansion port, so either just an empty mock-up, or there was an additional connector in the back of the prototype.
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Post Posted: Fri May 20, 2016 7:08 pm
If a floppy disk upgrade for the Master System had launched in pirate Europe in the early 90's..... Just wow! Oh, how I used to envy my home computer friends' easy access to new games all the time.
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Post Posted: Fri May 20, 2016 7:49 pm
That looks so sleek compared to the lowres photo we had before. That would've been an awesome peripheral to have.
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2016 8:45 am
It's great to see a new picture of it! The lack of anything to connect to the SMS expansion port suggests that it's just a shell, but maybe it was a ribbon cable or detachable piece. I always imagined it being a similar connection method to the model 1 Mega-CD though.
If it is a shell, I expect any functional prototypes were not so easy on the eye.
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2016 2:46 pm
Has a working prototype ever been found?
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:22 pm
I dont think any working prototypes were ever publicly shown. I guess it would have been based on the SF-7000, with the extra connectivity (printer, serial ports) removed. It's really just some RAM, an IPL ROM and a disk controller.

The usefulness of the FDS suggests we probably didn't miss out on much, though. The disks would have been expensive, error prone and maybe hard to copy - and the load times would suck.
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2016 8:24 pm
It is a great technical page you have put together on this topic over here, Maxim: http://www.smspower.org/Development/SF-7000IPL. I googled "IPL rom" etc. from your answer above, got to the SF-7000IPL page, read it, and now the thought of an SMS disk drive seems a little less of a miracle/mystery to me.
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Post Posted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:02 am
hang-on wrote
If a floppy disk upgrade for the Master System had launched in pirate Europe in the early 90's..... Just wow! Oh, how I used to envy my home computer friends' easy access to new games all the time.


That's probably one of the first reasons to cancel it, if Sega were to look at why the Famicom Disk System flopped before deciding the fate of their own drive.
And reason #3 being that carts had mostly eclipsed capabilities of disks within a couple years (limited RAM causing developers to need more loading time to load content, or reduce the amount of content to reduce loading times)
(reason #2 was probably licensing-related stuff so it's not relevant)
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:46 am
Added Famitsu report for the event
http://www.famitsu.com/news/201606/03107324.html
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:05 pm
This is a very cool thing to see. Thanks everyone for sharing.

It's very retro looking but at the same time is still looks really good; even though it is a lot of plastic just to add on a floppy drive.
I think it looks sleeker than a Genesis with the SEGA-CD add-on!

I do wish it was produced. But I agree with the comments here the floppy disk is not reliable. I have the blue Mega Disk and even though most of my games on floppy work some have died. I have never yet come across a SMS cart that did not work and I've had only one Genesis cart die on me (Elemental Master).
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