The Gamma32 (also stylized as the GAMMA/32 in Europe and outside the United States) is a 32-bit, CD-based video game home console. Released in 1993, it is the first ever video game console manufactured by Omega Logistics, with 50 million units sold worldwide. It was discontinued on October 16, 2004.
The Gamma/32 is a hybrid 4th/5th generation video game console, it uses CD-ROM rather than cartridges.
The Gamma/32 also predates the original PlayStation and also the first ever 5th generation video game console, it has almost all of the features from the 4th and 5th generations of gaming consoles, such as full-motion video, full polygonal and texture-mapped graphics and high-resolution graphics.
In February 4th, 1993, Omega Logistics was founded by Jefferson Smith. Located near Sayreville, New Jersey, they are specialized in distributing and manufacturing computer accessories.
On July 8th, 1993, Omega Logistics announced a video game console, named the Gamma32, the first ever video game console to be made by Omega.
The Gamma32 was released on October 8th, 1993 in the United States and Canada, October 11th in most European countries, October 12th in Australia, and October 13th in Southeast Asia and Japan.
Hardware and technical specifications
- Motorola 68040 @ 33Mhz
- 32-bit TMS320C51 at 50MHz
Delta graphics chip
- Operating performance: 40 MIPS
- Polygons per second (rendered in hardware):
- 360,000 with texture mapping, lighting and Gouraud shading
- 720,000 with texture mapping
- 1,440,000 with flat shading
- 6,000,000 vertices/2,000,000 triangles peak theoretical
- Handles display of graphics, control of framebuffer, and drawing of polygons and textures
- Handles 2D graphics processing, in a similar manner to the 3D engine
- Pixel Fillrate: 280 Mpix/sec
- 2-4/8 MB VRAM (later models contained SGRAM) for framebuffer
- 512KB/1MB texture cache (132MB/sec memory bus bandwidth, 32-Bit wide)
- 512 bytes FIFO buffer
- Adjustable frame buffer (1024×512)
- Emulation of simultaneous backgrounds (to simulate parallax scrolling)
- Mask Bit
- Texture Window
- Alpha Blending (4 per-texel Alpha Blending Modes)
- Framebuffer Effects
- Transparency Effects
- Render to Texture
- Offscreen Rendering
- Multipass Rendering
- Flat or Gouraud shading and texture mapping
- No line restriction
- Colored light sourcing
- Progressive: 256×224 to 640×480 pixels
- Interlaced: 448×256 to 720×480 pixels
- Maximum color depth of 16,777,216 colors (24-bit true color)
- 65,536 to 16,777,216 (720x480) colors on screen
- Unlimited color lookup tables
- 64 levels of transparency
- All calculations are performed to 24 bit accuracy
- Texture mapping color mode:
- Mode 4 - 4 bit CLUT (16 Colors)
- Mode 8 - 8 bit CLUT (256 Colors)
- Mode 15 - 15 bit direct (32768 Colors)
- Mode 24 - 24 bit (16,777,216 Colors)
- Sprite engine
- 1024×512 framebuffer, 16×16 and 32×32 sprite sizes, bitmap objects
- Up to 6,000 sprites on screen (at 16×16 sprite size), scaling and rotation
- 256x256 maximum sprite size
- Special Sprite Effects:
- Scaling up/down
- Vertical and horizontal line scroll
- Supports ADPCM sources with up to 48 channels
- Sampling rate of up to 44.1 kHz
- 2MB RAM
- PCM audio source
- Digital effects include:
- Pitch Modulation
- Digital Reverb
- Load up to 2MB of sampled waveforms
- Supports MIDI Instruments
I/O and system connectivity
- CD-ROM drive
- (660MB maximum storage capacity, double speed CD-ROM drive)
- 2×, with a maximum data throughput of 300 kB/s(Double speed), 150 KB/sec. (Normal)
- XA Mode 2 compliant
- Audio CD play
- CD-DA (CD-Digital Audio)
- 256 kB buffer
- Two control pads via connectors
- Expandable with multitap connector
- Backup Flash RAM support
- 4-8MB Backup RAM
- OS support for File Save, Retrieve and Remove
- Video and audio connectivity
- Support for RCA Composite and S-Video, as well as VGA
- Serial and parallel ports
- Serial I/O
- Parallel I/O
The controller is similar to most fourth generation controllers and the 3DO, however, it only has three action buttons and it doesn't have an analog stick. Later revisions include an improved controller with 4 buttons, plus an analog stick.
Peripherals released for the Gamma/32 include a light gun (known as the Gamma Blaster), the Delta Action Controller, and Gamma Mouse and Keyboard.
Known cheat devices that are available for this system are Datel's Action Replay, GameShark, Xploder, and Code Breaker.
See also: List of Gamma32 video games
Similar to the unreleased Nintendo Superdisc, the SEGA CD, the 3DO FZ-10, the PlayStation and the SEGA Saturn, it begins with a simple startup screen and later it proceeds to the menu screen. If a disc is inserted, the game will either boot or it will play tracks from an audio CD. There are two selections, "Backup RAM" for save data and "Options" for configuring the console.
On later revisions, a music visualizer is included.
Software that were released for this system are in compact disc format. All of the games that are released for this system are region locked, this includes:
- R1 (United States, Canada, South America, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines)
- R2 (Europe and Oceania)
- R3 (Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan)
Region-locking can be circumvented by using a third-party modchip.
Much like Sony's Net Yaroze, Omega Logistics released a development kit for hobbyists and universities in 1998. This is known as the Gamma Development Kit. The development kit costs $451 and it almost includes all of the development tools and it includes a guidebook for making games and software.
Similar to Net Yaroze, the Gamma Development Kit has RAM limitations and therefore, selling games that are developed with the Gamma Development Kit requires a license, all of the games that were developed using the Gamma Development Kit can be burn onto CD or transfer it to backup RAM via serial cable. The development software are available for Windows and Mac OS (similar to 3DO/Panasonic M2's Toybox development system).
- G-3293 - Released in 1993. The original model.
- G-3293P - Released on December 16, 1993, a slight revision of the first model, which includes 12MB of system memory, 6MB of backup RAM and S-Video output.
- G-3295 - Released in 1995, second revision, added RGB port (European models only), 8MB backup RAM and 16MB of system memory. It also includes a music visualizer as well as MPEG support.
- GDK-3298 - A development model, used in the Gamma Development Kit. Includes serial ports, plus runs a debug version of the BIOS.