Unreleased Super Nintendo CD “Nintendo PlayStation” Boot ROM Discovered

SNES-CD-Boot-ROM-DiscoveredSince the first arrival of news on the unreleased Super Nintendo CD collaboration with Sony, we've closely watched the hidden past between the two companies unfold. With more than enough to be talking about, the last thing we ever expected to be reporting on was the SNES CD’s boot ROM landing at our headquarters.

Having tackled the subject from a very neutral standpoint, and awaited concrete evidence before screaming ‘hoax’ we never once thought we'd be handling software from this failed project ourselves. Early this morning, however, we were greeted with an anonymous email containing a screenshot of the ‘SuperDisc’ BIOS screen and a link to download a file named SDBR_v0.95.sfc.

Curious, we quickly downloaded the file and jumped to the nearest Super Nintendo emulator we could find and began testing. To our amazement an identical image to that seen in photographs of the prototype’s reveal in Hong Kong began animating on the screen. Whether or not this was an elaborate home brew creation made to trick ourselves and the community remained to be proved - but we kept digging.

Following this we opened the ROM up in a hex editor. Although not expecting to find much, there was some descriptive content - namely a reference from a developer who worked on the project at Sony: Tomomi Abe.

nintendo-sony-superdisc-boot-rom-hex

Further following this line of investigation, we were able to find a patent (US5285275 A) which clearly indicates that this developer was indeed working on a Sony CD peripheral for an existing game platform. The patent doesn't mention the Super Nintendo, but it seems to be the obvious candidate. So not only does the ROM seem legit, it also helped uncover a patent connected to the mysterious SuperDisc previously unknown. Futher helping its fight for being the real deal, we're pleased to report that the boot ROM works on the original hardware through an Everdrive flash cartridge (as shown above), but not the more powerful SD2SNES.

While we investigate further and attempt to uncover the truth, and potentially the identity of our source (who will remain anonymous), there is hope for others wanting to take a look. Several key figures in the emulation community have apparently also been sent the ROM and begun distributing it. Keep your eyes peeled for the ROM's leak, but at the same time we'll hold our hands up and admit that we have been duped before with a certain Michael Jackson Mega CD hoax. Nevertheless this is retro gaming history in the making!


Last Updated ( 01 March 2016 )  

Cauterize

Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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Comments 

(Link to this comment) TreeMunky 2016-03-09 09:57
Awesome stuff. Used an advance search of the US Patent database, brought up 12 associated patents with this one :) Search results goo.gl/Pf2HeZ
7,302,006Compression of images and image sequences through adaptive partitioning
6,970,642Method and electronic device for decoding compressed image data and auxiliary recording device
6,584,520Method for dynamically generating a file allocation table base upon files storage information on a CD-ROM for retrieving compressed files directly from the CD-ROM
6,373,890Video compression and playback process
6,069,635Method of producing image data and associated recording medium
5,949,409Image processing in which the image is divided into image areas with specific color lookup tables for enhanced color resolution
(Link to this comment) TreeMunky 2016-03-09 09:58
5,933,148Method and apparatus for mapping texture
5,793,376Method of producing image data, image data processing apparatus, and recording medium
5,757,376Method of producing image data and associated recording medium
5,708,637Method and apparatus for enhanced writing and reading data
5,625,759Real-time video and animation playback process
5,428,617Data transmission system for portable terminal device
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