History of video games/Platforms/Casio Loopy

History edit

Development edit

The Casio headquarters in Tokyo in 2006.

The Loopy followed the ill-fated PV-1000 as Casio's second major attempt to enter the home video game console market.

While in development, the Loopy was not initially intended to appeal to a specific demographic, with the progression to be a female oriented console being somewhat a matter of happenstance.[1]

Launch edit

The Casio Loopy was released in Japan in October 1995 at a cost of cost 25,000 yen, and was marketed to women.[2] First year production was expected to be 200,000 units,[2] though little is known of actual production or sales numbers.

Legacy edit

Software development ended in November 1996, the final software released in 1997, and console production ended in December 1998.[2]

Though the Loopy was not a big success, it was a much greater success than Casio's previous console, the PV-1000. However the main legacy of the Loopy is more concerned with its reception rather than with its performance on the market. Not only was the Casio Loopy was among the most atypical consoles of the fifth generation, it is one of a select few consoles marketed to appeal to women as a specific demographic. A similar tactic of appealing to non-traditional gamers by forgoing the latest technology, and focusing on a fun and appealing hardware differentiator would later find much greater success with other consoles, such as the Nintendo Wii.[1]

Contentious discussion of the Loopy at the intersection of gaming and feminism emerged during and after the 2010's, with some finding the marketing of the Loopy as quite patronizing,[3] and others hailing the console as a subversion of common narratives of gaming in the 1990's.[1]

Technology edit

The Casio Loopy Power Supply. Made in Taiwan, this power supply takes 100V 50/60Hz 50VA AC in, and outputs 24V 1.0 A DC power to the console. The inner pole is labeled positive, the outer barrel is labeled negative.

In general, technology in the Casio Loopy was selected to be similar to the Super Famicom, then a market leader.[2] This made the Loopy competitive with fourth generation consoles, but underpowered compared to other fifth generation consoles. As a result, Casio compensated for this by relying heavily on leveraging features of the console not found on competing devices.

The Casio Loopy is powered by a 32 bit RISC SH-1 CPU[2][4][5] clocked at 16MHz. The front of the box proudly advertises 32-bit RISC CPU,[4] suggesting that Casio thought that marketing the Loopy as an advanced 32-bit system was a key marketing point. The Loopy has 512 kilobytes of system RAM and 192 kilobytes of video RAM[6], and supports up to 4 megabytes of game cartridge ROM. Most games used only 2 megabytes of ROM, with some larger titles using 3 megabytes. Games also support battery-backed RAM for save data.

The console outputs graphics in 15-bit color with a maximum palette of 256 colors on screen. The graphics output is handled in part by a Sony CXA1645M RGB encoder chip.[7] The Loopy outputs 4 channel 12 bit PCM audio.[2][5]

This type of controller connector is used by both the controller, and the mouse. Only one can be used at a time since there is only one port.

The Loopy has a built in color thermal printer, with setting dial to adjust contrast.[8][9] While the printer may seem like a strange choice, the ability to print custom art on stickers (Called "Seals" in the context of the Loopy[10]) proved to be a fun and creative tool for play beyond video games.[1] Output from the printer is 180 DPI resolution and is generally considered to be of good quality,[1] and while a few game consoles of the 1990's would see optional printers released, none would match the quality of the colorful prints of the Loopy.

The Loopy was about one foot long, four inches high, and weighed 3.5 pounds.[1] The console is powered by a 24 volt external power supply.[4]

Optional hardware edit

Casio Loopy with Magical Shop add on installed.

The Magical Shop is an add on for the Loopy that allows for screen capture from video streams.[8] The Magical Shop add on cost 14,800 yen,[2] a significant cost at the time.

The Loopy two button mouse used a trackball mechanism.[8]

Games / Software edit

Eleven titles were released for the system.[11]

1995 edit

  • Dream Change: Kokin-chan's Fashion Party[12]
  • Anime Land - Character and scene creation software.[13]
  • Magical Shop[14] - Video capture to image manipulator to sticker software.[11]
  • PC Collection - Suite containing 10 creative, supernatural, or productivity applications supporting the mouse.[15]
  • Lupiton no Wonder Palette - Art application. [16]
  • Wanwan Aijou Monogatari - Game featuring a dog[17] named Peach.[11] Worked on by Kenji Terada.[18]
  • HARIHARI Seal Paradise - Sticker printing game.[19]
  • Nigaoe Artist - Caricature art application[20][21]

1996 edit

  • Loopy Town no Oheya ga Hoshii! - Life simulation game with room decoration, jobs, and a pet.[22] The game was worked on by Kenji Terada, a writer on the first three Final Fantasy games.[23]
  • Little Romance[24] - Dating simulator.[11]

1997 edit

  • Chakurakun no Omajinai Paradise[25] - Charm and spell making program.[11]

Gallery edit

Console edit

Controller edit

Tape Mechanism edit

Internals edit

Variants edit

Preservation edit

As of October 2020 an incomplete skeleton Loopy driver exists for MAME.[6]

References edit

  1. a b c d e f Milligan, Caleb Andrew; Bohunicky, Kyle (14 July 2020). "Girly Game History on Paper". ROMchip. 2 (1). Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  2. a b c d e f g Packwood, Lewis (15 July 2018). "In the Loopy: the story of Casio's crazy 90s console" (in en). Eurogamer. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-15-in-the-loopy-the-story-of-casios-crazy-90s-console. Retrieved 22 October 2020. 
  3. "Casio Loopy SV-100". Retro Treasures. 6 October 2016. https://retro-treasures.blogspot.com/2016/10/casio-loopy-sv-100.html. 
  4. a b c "Casio Loopy 101: 32-bit Japanese Console for Girls". RetroGaming with Racketboy. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  5. a b Blanchard, Jonn (29 December 2017). "Casio Loopy". Re-enthused: world of retro. https://re-enthused.com/information/casio-loopy/. Retrieved 22 October 2020. 
  6. a b "mamedev/mame". GitHub. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  7. "The motherboard for the Casio Loopy". 2 June 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  8. a b c Ashens (Apr 8, 2017). "Casio Loopy Review". Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNWGVtwTkiM. Retrieved 22 October 2020. 
  9. "7 Japanese Game Consoles That Never Made it to America" (in en). PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/news/7-japanese-game-consoles-that-never-made-it-to-america. Retrieved 22 October 2020. 
  10. "Loopy by Casio – The Video Game Kraken". Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  11. a b c d e OatBob (November 17th, 2007). "Classic Gaming: Girly Console Review: Casio Loopy - My Seal Computer SV-1000 - What about channel 4?". www.rfgeneration.com. https://www.rfgeneration.com/news/classic-gaming/System-Overview-Casio-Loopy-My-Seal-Computer-362.php. Retrieved 22 October 2020. 
  12. "video game: Casio Loopy Dream Change: Kokin-chan's Fashion Party - Japanese Edition - Casio Computer Co., Ltd". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  13. "Anime Land (あにめらんど) - Software - Game - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  14. "FEMICOM Magical Shop". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  15. "PC Collection (パソコン・コレクション) - Software - Game - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  16. "FEMICOM Lupiton no Wonder Palette". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  17. "FEMICOM Wanwan Aijou Monogatari". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  18. "Wan Wan Aijō Monogatari (1995) Casio Loopy credits". MobyGames. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  19. "FEMICOM HARIHARI Seal Paradise". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  20. "FEMICOM Nigaoe Artist". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  21. "Casio Loopy - Nigaoe Artist / 似顔絵アーティスト Intro Movie". Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  22. "FEMICOM Loopy Town no Oheya ga Hoshii!". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  23. "Kenji Terada, writer for early Final Fantasy games, worked on a little-known Animal Crossing-like game in the 1990s". www.femicom.org. http://www.femicom.org/research/kenji-terada-writer-for-early-final-fantasy-games/. Retrieved 22 October 2020. 
  24. "FEMICOM Little Romance". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  25. "FEMICOM Chakurakun no Omajinai Paradise". www.femicom.org. Retrieved 22 October 2020.