Errors and misconceptions relating to the Satellaview are common in the modern era due in great part to the lack of reliable information on the system. The reasons for the shortage of reliable information include the fact that the system was a Japan-only release, the fact that researchers encounter difficulties translating, and the fact that the system hasn't seen support for over a decade. For these reasons as well as various others, host of rumors and misconceptions have crept into the popular understanding since June 2000. These errors can often be found in otherwise reliable publications, however they are believed to be incorrect based on present understanding.

General errors relating to the Satellaview[edit | edit source]

A few of the most common misconceptions:

  • MISCONCEPTION: "BS" stands for "Bandai Satellaview." - The truth of the matter is that "BS" stands for "Broadcasting Satellite."[1] The origin of this misconception is obscure and has provoked several theories including:
      1. - Fan confusion regarding a relation between the Satellaview and the Sufami Turbo.[2][3]
      2. - Fan extrapolation from the fact that Yamauchi had labelled the GameBoy as "X"[2][3]
      3. - Fan confusion originating at IGN.
      4. - Fan confusion between Bandai's Playdia (code-named BA-X in pre-production) and the Satellaview due to Pladia's use of the "BS-" prefix for unreleased games' serial numbers.
  • MISCONCEPTION: "BS" stands for "Broadcast Satellaview." - This is closer to the truth than the above misconception, however the truth of the matter is that "BS" stands for "Broadcasting Satellite."[1] See above.
  • MISCONCEPTION: "BS-X" is a shorthand code for the Satellaview. - Although this is true within fan circles that use the terms interchangably,[3] it is inaccurate and bears little relation to the use of the term during the lifetime of the Satellaview. The truth of the matter is that "BS" stands for "Broadcasting Satellite" and "X" is and anonymity variable standing for nothing.[2][3] The term "BS-X" is the title of the Satellaview's interface cartridge the subtitle of which translates in English to "The story of the town without a name."[2][3]
  • MISCONCEPTION: The Satellaview allowed for online multiplayer games. - During the lifetime of the Satellaview, the concept of netplay could not be realized in the same manner that it is today. Games were downloaded from a central server and scores were generated for the players, however these scores had to be sent to St.GIGA or Nintendo in order for players to compete in competitions. Scores were not transmitted from players to Nintendo/St.GIGA via the Satellite and in no instance could players see each other interacting on-screen at the same time. The degree of communal play that emerged from the system had to do with Nintendo's efforts to foster a community spirit via radio and externally to the Satellaview.[2][3]
  • MISCONCEPTION: The Satellaview broadcast only games. - The truth of the matter is that Satellaview broadcasts included but were not limited to Games, game data, radio shows, downloadable magazines, books, and other things.[2][3]
  • MISCONCEPTION: All Satellaview games bore a "BS" prefix. - Although the "BS" prefix was used for many titles and even the majority of SoundLink titles, not all games bore this prefix.[4][5]
  • MISCONCEPTION: The Satellaview did poorly and/or has been considered a failure by Nintendo. - The Satellaview ran for over 5 years and in March 1997 had more than 100,000 subscribers. There is no evidence to date that supports the notion that the system was considered a failure. The origin of this misconception is speculated to originate in an overemphasis placed by modern gamers on the negative aspects of the system reported in places like the Japanese Wikipedia article on the topic.
  • MISCONCEPTION: The term "Live Voice" was used to describe SoundLink broadcasts. - The earliest use of SoundLink was identified as "Onsei Rendou" (音声連動), however this short-lived term was dropped in 1996 and replaced by the term "SoundLink" (サウンドリンク). The origin of the unofficial term "Live Voice" appears to be a mistranslation of the Japanese expression "Digital Onsei Data" (デジタル音声・データ) which appears on a popular japanese graphic summarizing Satellaview connectivity. An early English translation of this term came up with the incorrectly translated expression, "Live Voice, digital data." SoundLink titles were broadcast only at certain pre-defined times throughout the day however it is extremely unlikely that they were broadcast live. Rather it is more likely that they were pre-recorded.
  • MISCONCEPTION: Satellaview broadcasts were only available between 4PM and 7PM. - Most of the evidence points to the fact that the Satellaview's broadcast schedule varied several times throughout the lifetime of the Satellaview. At its shortest, the Satellaview service is known to have been broadcast only during the 10-hour block between 1PM and 11PM. At its longest the service ran from 11AM to 2AM the following day. The origin of this misconception probably lies in fan mis-reading of pre-release promotional materials that intended to hype the SoundLink capacities of the Satellaview. SoundLink services were only available between 4PM and 7PM during the first year, however they became more variable after March 1996.
  • MISCONCEPTION: The Satellaview is a modem. - The Satellaview acted as a passive receiver of information broadcast to it via the St.GIGA satellite. The Satellaview did not function as a modem as they are understood today. There has been some fan speculation that The Satellaview's 38-pin EXT Port may have been intended to allow a modem to be fitted to the system. Other speculation regarding this port include allowing the Satellaview's storage capacity to be increased with a mini-hard drive. This theory may be based on confusion over casemods that have been designed to run Windows XP through a SFC-Satellaview setup.[6][7]
  • MISCONCEPTION: The BS-X mascot was the same as the Satellaview mascot and/or the BS-X avatar. - There is much confusion regarding the term "mascot" in connection to the Satellaview. In general, the BS-X interface cartridge had a playable avatar that could be named by the player in-game. The Satellaview had two mascots, Parabô and Satebô. Other Satellaview-related mascots also existed such as Satellaview Tsushin's Sabi the Flying Squirrel.

Errors relating to specific games[edit | edit source]

  • MISCONCEPTION: BS Zelda Remix is a fifth member of the Zelda series that was broadcast via Satellaview. - Although remix titles are known to have been broadcast via the Satellaview in some cases, the ROM entitled "BS Zelda Remix" is generally believed to have been the result of a Japanese ROM-collection group having come across a partially patched version of BS Zelda no Densetsu dai 3 wa (i.e. Week 3). This version had been patched by English-speaking ROM hackers and the Japanese group assumed that it was an altogether new ROM. This error has been held up as an example in fan circles to highlight the importance of international communication in the field of Satellaview research.[4][5]
  • MISCONCEPTION: The last BS Zelda title is properly translated as "BS Zelda no Densetsu: Kodai no Sekiban." - This statement is actually less a misconception as it is a partial and misleading but accurate statement. The original japanese title of the game, 「BSゼルダの伝説 古代の石盤」, is a "composita" expression consisting of both Japanese (kana) and two or more traditionally Chinese characters (kanji). The existence of the kanji means that the term is generally given a Chinese pronunciation (on'yomi). The Chinese pronunciation for 「古代の石盤」 is "Kodai no Sekiban." This general rule, however, has numerous exceptions and 「古代の石盤」 appears to be one of them. From audio/visual clips recovered by fans depicting original gameplay, it is clear that the game's name was given the Japanese pronunciation (kun'yomi) at least for the audio portions of the game. For this reason, the general consensus has been to romanize the game assuming that the kun'yomi version is a proper exception. Thus, it is probably most accurate to call the game "BS Zelda no Densetsu: Inishie no Sekiban." The meanings of the two titles are identical as "Kodai" and "Inishie" are close synonyms.[4][5]
  • MISCONCEPTION: An updated version of Zelda no Densetsu 2: Link no Bōken was released for the Satellaview. - The origin of this rumor comes from an old photograph depicting a Super Famicom tech demo using a mocked-up version of Link no Bōken. Although this photograph appears to reveal that Nintendo had at one time toyed with the idea of re-releasing The Legend of Zelda 2 for the Super Famicom, there is no evidence whatsoever that this title was released for the Satellaview.[8][9]
  • MISCONCEPTION: A game called BS Tantei Club Saihousou was broadcast to the Satellaview. - Although a game called BS Tantei Club: Yuki ni Kieta Kako was broadcast for the Satellaview, a game with the subtitle "Saihousou" was not.[4][5] The origin of this misconception appears to come from the mistranslations of English-speaking fans. Possible explanations for the original meaning of the word "Saihousou" include a misspelling of the word "Saishuushou" meaning "final chapter" (最終章 - Saishuushou) [5] or an improper romanization of the Japanese word for Satellite broadcasting (衛星放送 - Eiseihousou). Others have suggested that "Saihousou" means "re-broadcast" (再放送 - Saihousou).[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 KiddoCabbusses. Explaining; The meaning of “BS” in Japan.. Satellablog. 28 November 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 KiddoCabbusses. Sifting through the "BS"; Kiddo searches into rumors. (Part 1?). Satellablog. 5 May 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 KiddoCabbusses. Sifting through the "BS"; Kiddo searches into rumors. (Part 1?). Satellablog. 5 May 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 KiddoCabbusses. On the proper naming of certain game titles.. Satellablog. 18 March 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 KiddoCabbusses. On the proper naming of certain game titles.. Satellablog. 18 March 2009.
  6. KiddoCabbusses. The obligatory April Fool's Gag.. Satellablog. 31 March 2009.
  7. KiddoCabbusses. The obligatory April Fool’s Gag.. Satellablog. 31 March 2009.
  8. KiddoCabbusses. Comment: Another rumor is shut down.. Satellablog. 9 July 2008.
  9. KiddoCabbusses. Comment: Another rumor is shut down.. Satellablog. 9 July 2008.
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