Hardware X Mega Man

I just downloaded the newest free anniversary Mega Man game from Capcom, Street Fighter X Mega Man. It's a cross-over between two excellent Capcom franchises, and I have been excited to try it. However, I was disappointed to find out that the game was unplayably slow on my 2008 MacBook Pro. OK, I realize that my machine is a bit old, but I was still a bit confounded. Let me explain why.

The Newest Mega Man Game

Street Fighter X Mega Man is a relatively small executable at 35.9 MB.

Its README file lists the following system requirements:

CPU    : Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz and up
Memory : 1 GB RAM
Video  : NVIDIA GeForce 6600 and up
VRAM   : 256MB and up

Not unreasonable requirements for a 2012 game, but something about it is striking me as a bit weird.

This game is extremely similar in graphics to the original 1987 Mega Man for Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), although it was developed using modern development tools, and probably not with a focus on low system requirements. But the difference in requirements is staggering.

The Oldest Mega Man Game

The requirements for the original Mega Man are somewhat more modest.

The Mega Man NES ROM is 128 KB.

The NES ran the game with a pretty smooth frame rate on this hardware:

CPU    : 1.8 MHz MOS 6502
Memory : 2 KB RAM
Video  : Ricoh 2C02 PPU (Picture Processing Unit)
VRAM   : 2 KB

So, to compare the 1987 hardware requirements to the 2012 ones:

CPU          :    1117 x faster
game size    :    2804 x larger
Video Memory :  128000 x more
Memory       : 5000000 x more

Computers need to be a thousand times faster and half a million times larger to run what superficially appear to be very similar pieces of software. Interesting.

I just wish I could play Street Fighter X Mega Man on my MacBook.