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Glossary of Terms

The following are descriptions of terms and topics that are referenced throughout this site.


Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory.

See "Game ROM"

Game Board

In this site, "Game Board" refers to the removable circuit board that contains the game information. Also referred to as "Game PCB" or "Game Card".

Example: Baseball Game Board

Game ROM

Playchoice game information is stored in circuit chips called ROMs (Read Only Memory). There are two types of ROMs used on Playchoice game cards: EPROMs and Mask ROMs. To tell which type of chip your game board uses, know that EPROMs have a small round window on the top of the chip (usually covered by a sticker) that allows it to be erased. Mask ROMs do not.

Example: Super Mario Bros 2 ROMs

Why is this important? Certain Playchoice game ROMs can be swapped among compatible boards. (See also: Customizing Playchoice Game Boards). However, game boards that use Mask ROMs can NOT be interchanged with those that use EPROMs. What's more, Nintendo produced two versions of several playchoice games: one version with Mask ROMs and one version with EPROMs. (See also: Mask ROM Board List) Although the games play the same on both versions, the Mask ROM board is less desirable because it does not accept other games.

It is possible, however, to convert the Mask ROM version of a game to an EPROM version by creating new ROM chips and resoldering certain points on the game board.

See also: Game Board Conversion and Repair

Light Gun

The Light Gun is the equivalent to the NES Zapper. It is used on shooting games like Duck Hunt and Hogan's Alley.

Please be aware that there are two types of light guns that are similar in appearance: Playchoice light guns and Nintendo VS. System light guns. Playchoice light guns are made of black or orange plastic and have four wires connected to two plugs.They can be used with single and dual monitor Playchoice systems. Nintendo VS. System light guns are made of metal and coated in black rubber with six wires connected to two plugs. Oftentimes the guns may look similar in appearance, so when in doubt, check the wires.

See also: System Comparison Chart.

Main PCB See "Motherboard"
Mask ROM See "Game ROM"

In this site, "Mother Board" refers to the large main circuit board that the smaller game boards plug into. There are two types of motherboards for the Playchoice-10: single monitor and dual monitor. Single monitor PCBs are easily identifiable because they have two sets of edge connectors, where dual monitor PCBs have only one. In its place is a small on-board plug that connects to the control panel wiring harness.

See also: System Comparison Chart.

PCB Printed Circuit Board.

Vertical Scroll

There are two types of game scrolling: horizontal (like in Super Mario Bros) and vertical (like in 1942). Note: This doesn't refer to the monitor orientation (as all Playchoice machines have horizontal monitors), just the movement on the game screen. This horizontal or vertical setting is hard coded on the Playchoice game PCB. There is a small dot of solder on the Contra and Track and Field PCB that, by default, is set to "H". Since Q*bert is a vertical scrolling game, the Track and Field PCB will need to be modified so the solder dot is set on "V". This is really quite simple and inexpensive to do with the right tools. If you don't make this change, the game will still work, although with some pixel artifacting during game play.

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