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MSX

The MSX was an an early attempt to establish a single standard in home computing. It was designed by a company called ASCII in Co-operation with Microsoft who provided a firmware extended version of Microsoft BASIC. Popular in Asian, South America and some parts of Europe. It Could be exanded with many hardware devices which are common today such as color printers, hard-disk controllers, modems, sound cartridges, MIDI interfaces, video capturers, scanners, light-pens, pads, track-balls and RS232 interfaces. It also had good graphical capabilites and sound which made it an ideal games platform.

MSX 1 1983
Sony HB-10P MSX 1 Shown

The first versions of the msx was built by around 35 different companies including Sony, Sony, Panasonic, Sanyo, JVC (Victor), Spectravideo, Toshiba, Canon, Casio,Fujitsu, Hitachi, Pioneer, Mitsubishi, NEC, Philips, Oric and Radofin. Software came on disks, tapes, soft cards and cartridges.

MSX Standard 1
CPU

Zilog Z80A 3,579 MHz (8-bit)

OS

MicroSoft eXtended BASIC version 1.0

DISPLAY

256×192, 32 Sprites, 16kB Ram

SOUND

3 sound channels

MSX 2 1985
Sony HB-F1 MSX 2 Shown

At the time the MSX 2 had some of the best features for any Home-computer. With a new Video Display Processor the Yamaha V9938 and a resolution of 512x424 it had some great graphics and found use as both a games machine and a decent graphics station.

MSX Standard 2
CPU

Zilog Z80A 3,579 MHz (8-bit)

OS

MSX BASIC version 2.0 or 2.1

DISPLAY

512×212
Yamaha V9938
B backward compatible
64kB - 128kB

SOUND

3 sound channels

NOTES

Most MSX2 machines had built in disk drive

MSX 2+ 1988
MSX-2+ Panasonic A1-WX

After 1986, Microsoft stopped supporting the MSX standard. Interest in europe and other parts of the world was decreasing so the MSX2+ was never manufactured and sold outside Japan. Using all available MSX slots, you could have up to 48Mb RAM.

MSX Standard 2+
CPU

Zilog Z80A 3,579 MHz (8-bit)

OS

MSX BASIC version 3.0

DISPLAY

256x212

SOUND

Yamaha V9958
9 channel FM synthesizer (8-bit). Not defined in the standard.

MSX-2+ Panasonic A1-WX

The MSX Turbo R is the last official MSX version produced. Featured two CPUs the Z80(8 bits) and the R800 (16 bits). Several Models were released by Panasonic who then dumped the standard for another failed one the 3DO. Software developers deserted to Nintendo Famicom systems.

MSX Standard Turbo-R
CPU

Z80 8bit 3.58MHz & R800 16bit 14.38 MHz

OS

MSX-DOS2 internally on ROM.

DISPLAY

Yamaha V9958
256×212

SOUND

12 channels sound processor, an auxiliar sound processor.
Yamaha YM-2413 OPLL

NOTES

No tape recorder port

MSX Games

The MSX was quote a popular games machine with many games such as Metal Gear Solid 1 making there first appearnce on the machine. Games came on a variety of formats including tape, disk, carts and even laser disk.

MSX GunFright
Ultimate Play the Game

The classic Spectrum Western Gun slinger with pantomine hourses

Panasonic MSX Cart game Pairs. Box shown.