SMPS (Sample Music Playback System) is the official name of the sound driver used by Sega Japan for their Sega Genesis and Mega Drive video games. It can be seen as the origination of GEMS used by Sega's American division, though most would say SMPS is far superior. Around 200 games for the Genesis use the SMPS sound driver. To complicate things, many third-party developers would receive and modify the driver for their own needs.
To compose music, the composers would write in an editor on an PC-9801. Then, the music was assembled for playback on the Genesis.
There are a few different versions of SMPS; the first version was by Kazuhiko and used the Z80 processor of the Genesis. The second version was written by Tokuhiko Uwabo and used the 68000 processor of the Genesis. The third and final version was by Hiroshi Kubota, which used both processors, and was later upgraded by Yoshiaki Kashima.
Over 170 games use the SMPS driver, and even more use modified versions of the driver. Some games that use this driver were unlicensed.
While Sega never released the source code for SMPS, its data and documents were found and dumped by Frank Cifaldi and are available for download.
The following composers used SMPS:
- gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Mega_Drive/Genesis_Sound_Engine_List - List of games that use SMPS.
- segaretro.org/SMPS - SegaRetro.