Video gaming and computing has come a very long way from the good ol' 8-bit NES days. From the Atari 8-bit line of computers, to the Sega Genesis, a wide variety of powerful, innovative video game consoles and computers have been made in the past. Like any other computer, these consoles utilize various microprocessors.

For the systems/retro computers I own/am interested in, they have the following microprocessors

  • Atari 8-bit computers (Atari 130XE)

    • 8-bit MOS 6502

  • Sega consoles

    • Sega Genesis/Sega CD

        • Motorola 68000

          • 16-bit processor

          • Main/sub CPU

        • Zilog Z80

          • 8-bit processor

          • Sound CPU

          • Backwards compatibility mode (8-bit Sega Master System)

    • Sega 32x

      • Hitachi SH-2

        • 32-bit RISC processor

        • x2 SH-2 processors in a Master-Slave configuration

    • Sega Dreamcast

      • Hitachi SH-4

        • Successor to the Hitachi SH-2

        • 32-bit RISC processor

  • Nintendo consoles

  • Texas Instrument calculators

    • Ti 83/84 family of graphing calculators

      • Zilog Z80

Due to when these video game consoles and retro computers were released (mostly from the 1980s to the late 1990s), these retro platforms have little to no copy-protection nor BIOS security, making the ability to run unsigned code very easy. By utilizing re-writable software media, these consoles can easily be made to run code.

  • Flash cartridge

    • Cartridge-based systems

  • Floppy discs

    • For computer-based consoles

  • Burnt CD-Rs

    • For early CD-based systems

For decades, many young software and electronic engineers have reversed-engineered these simple systems in order to learn how they tick, from both a hardware and software engineering perspective. Not only have these young engineers written their own technical documents on these platforms, but also people online have archived official technical documents. Using all of this information, homebrew development is possible, as well as reverse engineering some of the games to make modifications

I currently work with the platforms and microprocessor architectures below in my hobby homebrew development.

Some of the retro platforms I work with

Sega Genesis CD32x

Ti-84+ SE

Sega Dreamcast

Nintendo 64

Nintendo Wii

Some of the corresponding
CPU architectures
I work with:

Zilog Z80

Motorola 68000

Hitachi SH-2

Hitachi SH-4

MIPS R4300i


Power G3)

(This page may be updated as I tinker around with other retro platforms)