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A Thesis in Electrical Engineering

Hardware Investigation and Software Development for a SEGA Genesis Gaming System
A Thesis in
Electrical Engineering
Ryan Pearson


Location: SLC 224
Date: Wednesday, 4/22/2015
Time: 5:00 PM




The purpose of this thesis was to increase the knowledge of how video gaming systems and late 1980s computer systems generally operate. This was achieved in two ways: conducting a hardware investigation of a SEGA Genesis gaming system by way of emulation and analysis, and developing software to be emulated and executed on a SEGA Genesis gaming system. The hardware investigation aspect involved defining and constructing a subset of the SEGA Genesis system. The subset system was expected to execute a developed video game as well as an authentic SEGA Genesis video game. The subset system was physically built and tested, and was generally found to operate incorrectly and inconsistently with the expectations of the project. An analysis of the subset system was conducted to determine the causes for the problematic behavior. The software development aspect involved using a SEGA Genesis software emulator to simulate a developed video game, as well as simulate software to be executed on an authentic SEGA Genesis gaming system. The developed video game was written to demonstrate understanding of the SEGA Genesis software architecture, executed using a SEGA Genesis emulator, and was found to operate correctly and consistently with the expectations mentioned above. Other software developments were used to verify that certain programs could be successfully executed on an authentic SEGA Genesis gaming system; however, the developed video game as well as other software developments could not be executed.