Thursday April 24 , 2014
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The MSX Portal

Welcome to the most comprehensive and well organized free collection of software, tools, information, projects, historical documents, interviews, articles and much more about the MSX Computer System.

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Welcome to our MSX Portal

It doesn't seem to have been so long ago when the MSX standard was first introduced. It was in early 80's when Mr. Kazuhiko Nishi -  a Microsoft Japan executive at that time - has conceived the MSX standard in an attempt to create a single industry standard for the emerging home based computer market.

In 1983 the MSX computer reached the stores shelves, and Sony was one of the first companies to launch a MSX machine. The first MSX from Sony was the HB-10 (also known as Hit-Bit outside Japan). Sony executives were so confident about the MSX standard that they released its first version in different color flavors (black, red and gray).The HB-10 was the entry-level machine from the Sony MSX range, based on the minimum features described in the MSX 1 specifications: 32/64 KB RAM, two cartridge slots, 70 keys, etc. Despite of the fact that the HB-10 was an entry level machine, the success in sales opened the doors for Sony to invest and release other MSX models with extra capabilities/features, such as HB-11, HB-20, HB-55, HB-55, HB-75, HB-101, HB-201 and HB-501, which were all released yet in 1983. Sony enthusiasm over the MSX standard somehow contributed for other manufacturers to pursue the MSX sales success, stablishing the standard massive presence in the asiatic and european markets in less than a year after its first release.

However, the MSX success was not totally unexpected. The MSX standard was conceptually based on the already existing and solid Spectravideo SV-318, but with many advances and redesigned features. One of the greatest improvements was that all MSX computers were factory empowered with the powerful Microsoft Extended Basic (MSX Basic v1.0) built-in ROM, and pre-loaded with a Microsoft BIOS that was also compatible with CP/M calls. On top of that, yet in 1984, Microsoft announced the release of the MSX Disk Operational System - the MSX DOS version 1 - which was very similar to the early versions of the MS-DOS for PC, but also capable of natively run CP/M application whose were compiled for the Z80 code.

MSX_SONY_HB10
The HitBit HB-10 was one of the first 
MSX machines to reach the market in Japan, in 1983.
The "D" means german version (QWERTZ-Keyboard)
It is accurate to say that the MSX was nothing less than revolutionary, and that is why almost every Japanese and Korean computer companies adopted the standard and launch their own MSX computers.

In response to the success of the MSX standard amongst the manufacturers, several software companies invested in develop or convert their existing programs for MSX. A very specific interest was noticed in the game industry, as companies with solid reputation decided to join the MSX family and release their games for the standard. Companies such as Sega, Konami, Taito, ASCII, and many others have even released titles specifically designed for MSX.

This frenzy around the MSX last for many years, and the standard had three major releases during its trajectory: the MSX 2.0, the MSX 2.0+, and the MSX Turbo-R. The MSX standard was contemplated by hundreds (maybe thousands) of specific hardware, devices and products, adding uncountable new important features and innovations to the MSX standard. Unfortunately, despite all technological innovations added to the MSX Turbo-R, many claim that it came too late to save the MSX standard. It was in 1995 when Panasonic (the last manufacturer of MSX machines and the only one that has launched a MSX Turbo-R) has decided to terminate its MSX production line to concentrate in the new game console to be known as 3DO.

 Nevertheless, despite its discontinuation, the MSX standard was never abandoned by its followers. Even nowadays, after almost 20 years have passed, the MSX still connects communities of users and followers all over the world. And with the advent of the Internet, many MSX lovers found the perfect channel for exchange information and to keep the MSX standard alive.

For many years passionate users have collected, organized, recovered and rebuilt everything in regards to the MSX culture. Some have gone beyond and developed new software and hardware for MSX, and even entire computers based on the standard, with innovative ideas and up-to-dated technologies added to it.

During all this year’s many "emulators" have raised, and people who was too young or not even born during the MSX Golden Era had their chance to try and fall in love with the standard. The MSX has proven more than once that doesn't matter how old its technology is, the MSX magic is catchy and ageless.

Nowadays the MSX community is still strong, well organized and respected. It is not by surprise that the MSX creator himself has returned to the MSX scene after more than 10 years of its discontinuation.

Regardless of anything that anyone can say, the MSX standard is elegant enough to stay alive for this long. And that is what this portal is all about. One of the MSX-ALL Team goals is to provide information, motivation and assistance to everyone who loves the MSX. We want to interact and get connected with everyone and everything related to MSX. We want to collect, organized, compile and promote everything we can about MSX, and everyone is invited to enjoy and help whenever they can. This portal has been created for us all, the MSX enthusiasts.

We hope you enjoy this site. Please, feel free to create an account and help us with all the portal contents if you can. The MSX-ALL Internet Portal is, and will always be, free and available.

Thank you for participating and long life to our beloved MSX!

Julio Marchi
MSX-ALL Team Coordinator

 
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