HardlyUnique wrote:So, forget 15-bit color. Now, I'm proposing 12-bit color. That's still more color depth than the Sega Genesis and it still allows for even color channel lengths. Plus, you could pack two direct colors into three bytes with minimal effort.
12-bit color can produce some pretty nice results. Even in CLUT-based modes where you only get a smaller subset of the total color palette, it's nice to have a wide variety to choose from.
If this thing ends up being able to do 320x200 with 12-bit color output, I'd be tempted to make a video mode to support a 4 bit-per-pixel frame buffer in the style of the Apple IIGS's 320x200 mode. (16 palettes of 16 colors each, drawn from a 12-bit colorspace, with the color palette selected on a per-line basis. Maybe even support the wacky and rarely-used fill mode feature.) It's certainly not the world's most useful video mode, but for nostalgia reasons alone I'd be tempted to do it.
HardlyUnique wrote:What you gain with more colors is obvious - everything in the future can use more vibrant colors and you don't have a very powerful chip crippled by 8-bit color (that consoles 50 times slower had already moved past). As a bonus, having even color-channel length is something that should make game programmers happy .
Yeah, if at all possible I'd want to see the hardware support more than 8 bit color, even if many video modes only used 8-bit color due to memory constraints. PC games of the 90s looked great with VGA's 256-entry palette with 18 bit (6 bits each for r/g/b) colors.
I think VGA's 18 bit color is overkill. 12 bit output would be a great improvement over the uzebox, without using too many I/O pins.