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    Default Atari VCS/2600 - different TIA chip versions

    I've found that Atari used least 5 different version of the TIA:

    TIAs that show 2 sprites *
    TIAs that show 3 sprites *
    TIAs that have an issue with Wall Ball
    TIAS that have an issue with Ebivision's Pac-Man and Pesco.
    TIAs that have an issue with Kool-Aid Man, and Thunderground (Anteater is still unreleased, but should exhibit same issues as Kool-Aid Man and Thunderground).

    * The "2 or 3 sprites" notes refer to a test program written by Bradfort Mott that was posted on Stellalist:

    The program shows either 2 or 3 sprites, depending on what TIA is used. This denotes a slight difference between the 2 most common TIA versions, although neither is a clear indication of any known incompatibility issues with any games.

    There might also be a 6th variation that has issues with a few NTSC JRs, most PAL JRs, and all PAL 7800s that reveals a problem with PAL Centipede, and the 1987 re-release of Millipede. And then there's all the 3rd-party systems and adapters, of which I've done no testing on yet, so there's no telling what issues are waiting to be discovered there. I tried to interest a few VCS programmers to design a test program that would identify which version TIA they had in their systems. I figured, all they would have to do is create a display that uses all of the code tricks that are triggering the known issues. So you'd pop in the cart and immediately be able to tell which version TIA was in the system (ex: 3 of the 5 graphics displays are good, so it's TIA #3). I even contacted a few people who were working on mapping the TIA, but people either didn't respond or showed no interest. So for now the only other option is to try carts that are known to have issues with some TIAs with various systems. Once the list is more complete, the information could be incorporated into an emulator like Stella, as well as help homebrew programmers to make sure any tricks they use would be compatible across every variation.

    Here is the DP FAQ:
    Last edited by stonic; 07-15-2011 at 08:06 AM.

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