Omega440 (also known as Omega320 prior to launch) is a hybrid video game console and personal computer created by Omega Logistics, an information technology-based company. It has different models since it was released, notably from 1996 until its discontinuation in 2005.
As part of the fifth and sixth generation of gaming, it competes with the PC-FX and the FM Towns line of computers, as well as popular game consoles. Despite the sales and the competition, the Omega440 is a successful weird game console, with superior performance and superior level of graphics. This console also lured away users who still use the Atari ST/the Amiga.
This console also bypassed European import taxes, similar to the way that PS2 did.
The initial model was initially sold at a similar price of the original PlayStation. However, its features are more superior for its time, such as higher-resolution graphics and better performance, as well as slightly increased internal memory. Its graphics accelerator is based on a FPGA chip created by Altera and the DSP chip from Texas Instruments. On the other hand, this model also supports high-resolution full motion video, plus it can also be a Macintosh clone. It also supports hard disks until 4GB.
A separate PowerPC upgrade card for 1994-1996 models has been released, it has the same performance as most PowerPC models for this system.
Up to 2000, the mid-1996 models replaced the older 68040 with a PowerPC 603e processor for improved performance, plus a Motorola 68060 processor for backward compatibility of older titles from 1994 until the early 1996. It also supports hard disks up to 32GB, as well as the internal memory was increased to 32MB/48MB/64MB/96MB/128MB.
In 1997, a major overhaul of the 1997 models includes a major difference, notably including a DVD drive and a graphics accelerator change (PowerVR), which also supports higher-resolution graphics and similar performance.
On 1999, a new model of Omega440 includes a USB drive, which also supports USB-based game controllers and USB-based peripherals as well.
On 2000, a new model of Omega440 was released. It's only a temporary model for one year, it features a new video accelerator (ATi Radeon DDR), WiFi support, new online service (WaveNET), plus support for faster internet speeds (both on Ethernet and WiFi) and a 68k emulator for software from 1994 until 1997 released on this platform.
On 2001, a major overhaul and a redesign has been initiated, this includes a powerful processor (PowerPC G4), 64-128MB internal memory, a faster video card (ATi Radeon 8500), plus operating system changes and everything else. It is also the final model line of this series.
- OHM440-9582-040-16 - Original model (w/ 16MB of internal memory and a dual Motorola 68040 processor on it)
- OHM440-3268-040-24 - Revised model (w/ 24MB of internal memory and same processor on it)
- OHM440-2975-040-32 - Second revised model (w/ 32MB of internal memory and same processor on it)
- OHM440-6425-603e-32 - First PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 32MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-6425-603e-32)
- OHM440-6425-603e-48 - Second PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 48MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-6425-603e-32)
- OHM440-6425-603e-64 - Third PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 64MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-6425-603e-32)
- OHM440-6425-603e-96 - Fourth PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 96MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-6425-603e-32)
- OHM440-8656-603e-32 - Fifth PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 32MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (uses a custom video accelerator by PowerVR) (also, the Zip disk drive were replaced with a DVD drive)
- OHM440-8656-603e-48 - Sixth PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 48MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-8656-603e-32)
- OHM440-8656-603e-64 - Seventh PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 64MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-8656-603e-32)
- OHM440-8656-603e-96 - Eighth PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 96MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-8656-603e-32)
- OHM440-8656-603e-128 - Ninth PowerPC 603e/68060 model (w/ 128MB of internal memory and a PowerPC 603e processor with a Motorola 68060 on it) (same as the OHM440-8656-603e-32)
- OHM440-5344-603e-64/128 - Tenth PowerPC 603e/68060 model, same specs, but includes USB ports, WiFi, and a new video card (ATi Radeon)
- OHM440-7744-7400-64/128 - First and final PowerPC 7400 model, includes WiFi, gigabit ethernet, USB 1.1/2.0 ports, and a newer video card (ATI Radeon 8500)
1994 to early-1996 models
- Processor: Motorola 68040 @ 40 MHz (44 MIPS)
- Internal memory: 16-32MB (4-8MB for the video chip)
- Hard drive storage capacity: Up to 4GB
- Graphics chip: 2x FPGA+1x DSP based 2D/3D graphic accelerator (supports texture filtering, lighting, 2D graphics processing, 3D acceleration, Flat/Gouraud shading, adjustable frame buffer, emulation of simultaneous backgrounds, higher resolution @ True Color, and other 3D accelerator features)
- Sound chip: 16-bit based (MIDI and ADPCM support)
- CD drive: 2x
- Zip disk drive
- Ethernet support
- OmegaNet support
Mid-1996/1997 to 2000 models
- Processor: PowerPC 603e/Motorola 68060
- Internal memory: 32MB (8MB for the video chip)/64-128MB (1997-2004 models only)
- Hard drive storage capacity: Up to 32GB
- Graphics chip: Custom (PowerVR-based)/ATI Radeon DDR
- Sound chip: 16-bit based (MIDI and ADPCM support) (mid-1996-1997 models only)/24-bit based (supports Dolby Digital and DTS)
- CD drive/DVD drive: 4x/2x (DVD is only on 1997-2004 models only)
- Zip disk drive (removed in 1997)
- Ethernet/WiFi support (WiFi is only on 2000-2004 models only)
- USB 1.0/2.0 support (1999-2004 models only)
- WaveNET Support (2000-2004 models only)
- Processor: PowerPC G4
- Internal memory: 64-128MB
- Hard drive storage capacity: Up to 64-128GB
- Graphics chip: ATI Radeon 8500
- Sound chip: 24-bit based (supports Dolby Digital and DTS)
- CD drive: 8x/16x (upgradable to 52x)
- DVD drive: 4x/8x (upgradable to 18x)
- Ethernet/WiFi support
- USB 1.1/2.0 support
- WaveNET Support (2000-2004 models only)
The operating system of Omega440 is similar to the CD-based add-ons/consoles of the fourth generation consoles, the X68000, the FM Towns/FM Towns Marty, and a few fifth-generation consoles. The OS is pre-installed on all Omega440 systems since 1994. The operating system used was a graphical OS called Omega Control System, written in Assembler language and C/C++.
For 2001-2004 models of Omega440, a special 68k emulator is used, similar to the way that Macintosh used, the 68k emulator also passthroughs the hardware as well (which also includes 3D games as well). However, if an older (pre-PowerPC version) Omega440 includes a PowerPC card on it, it will run games and softwares that were designed for PowerPC models of Omega440.
|Date of relase||Version||m68k||PPC (603e)||PPC (603+ATI Radeon DDR)||PPC (G4)||Notes|
|January 10, 1995||1.1||Bugfixes, added multiple languages|
|April 11, 1995||1.3||Added support for Cinepak video and Indeo video|
|July 12, 1995||1.5||Minor upgrades and new features|
|October 13, 1995||1.7||Revamped user interface|
|January 14, 1996||2.0||Improved stability, introduced multitasking and added visualizers|
|March 15, 1996||2.1||Last version for 1994-1996 (Motorola 68040) models without the upgrade card|
|June 16, 1996||2.2||Only when the PowerPC upgrade card is inserted in the system||Yes||No||First version for PowerPC models, also added support for MPEG-1 video playback|
|September 17, 1996||2.3||Improved performance for PowerPC models|
|December 18, 1996||2.4||Added support for MP3 playback|
|March 19, 1997||2.5||First version to support 64-128MB of internal memory, plus up to 32GB of HDD storage|
|June 20, 1997||3.0||First version to support DVD/MPEG-2 playback and Dolby Digital and DTS audio|
|September 21, 1997||3.1||Fixed a bug for Wipeout XL/2097|
|December 22, 1997||3.2||Removed several bugs for older games being played on PowerPC systems|
|March 23, 1998||3.3|
|June 24, 1998||3.4||Added support for Sorenson Video|
|September 25, 1998||3.5||Added support for HDCD playback and DVD-Audio playback|
|December 26, 1998||3.6||New start-up screen|
|March 27, 1999||3.7||Web browser can now be accessed without opening the OmegaNet service|
|June 28, 1999||3.8||Improved MMU and FPU support|
|September 29, 1999||3.9||Added USB support|
|December 31, 1999||4.0||Added Y2K bug fix, new features and revamped appearance|
|January 5, 2000||4.1||Minor improvements|
|April 6, 2000||4.2||Improved 3D accelerator support|
|July 4, 2000||4.3||Yes||No||Added WiFi support|
|October 5, 2000||4.4||Increased Ethernet speed|
|January 6, 2001||4.5||Increased WiFi speed, plus support FAT16 and FAT32 disks|
|April 7, 2001||5.0||Yes||First multi-system update, includes versions for:
|July 8, 2001||5.1||Minor/major bug fixes|
|October 9, 2001||5.2|
|January 10, 2002||5.3|
|April 11, 2002||5.4|
|July 12, 2002||5.5||Significant improvements over the past versions|
|October 13, 2002||5.5+|
|January 14, 2003||6.0||New applications and new system components|
|April 15, 2003||6.1||Significant improvements over the past versions|
|July 16, 2003||6.2|
|October 16, 2003||6.3||First version to support MPEG-4 playback|
|January 17, 2004||6.4||System improvements|
|April 18, 2004||6.5/7.0||Final version|
The Omega440 includes a typical video game controller that has an analog stick, a directional pad, typical action buttons, trigger buttons, plus a sliding keyboard inside the controller. Most software that were released for this system also supports keyboard/mouse inputs.
Alongside with that, keyboard and mouse can be added on their respective PS/2 ports (for 1994-1999 models) and USB ports (for 2000-2004 models).
On the other hand, light guns are also supported for the respective controller ports.
Later around June 1996, Omega Logistics announced an PowerPC upgrade card for older models, similar to the Macintosh and the Amigas. Features are:
- Ability to run PowerPC software and games
- Increased performance and stability
- Ability to run new versions of Omega Control System, also Linux
- Ability to run intensive applications
- Ability to display at maximum monitor resolution
- Ability to have newer features
- Ability to run DVD software, movies and games (requires a disc drive upgrade)
All of the PowerPC upgrade cards are based on the same PowerPC model.
In 2000, those who still have their upgrade cards, but doesn't have WiFi, should optionally buy a USB WiFi stick.
During the release of the Omega440, video game critics praised this console for its superior performance similar to the Ultra 64. Electronic Gaming Monthly called this console "More advanced" than the Ultra 64, due to the superior quality of graphics and sound. PC World called this console an hybrid personal computer similar to FM Towns.
This console has gone off-the-charts by most reviewers, due to its advanced specs and superior performance than the Ultra 64 and the PlayStation. A critic in Japan called this console "Modernized Famicom", due to the same purpose as the Family Computer.
Unlike the 64DD, this console predates the 64DD, but it was proven as a success.
This console also lures away users who still uses the Macintosh, Amiga or the Atari ST/Falcon.
The console also beats the console wars of the 5th generation.
Notable games for this system
|Year of release||Title of game||Average rating||Format|