Newsletter #14

by MSX Resource Center on 18-12-2002, 00:50

Welcome to this new edition of the MSX Resource Center Newsletter, the 14th already! Like you’re used to, you can rest assured that this letter is packed-full with MSX news again. We made a selection of the most striking news of the wide variety of news we have been reporting since we sent Newsletter 13. Read on...

MSX Resource Center
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Achieving milestones seems to be a habit – as we have several to announce again! The most recent one dates a couple of weeks ago. To start off with that one, we’re proud to announce we’ve been visited for the 3,000,000th time! Our forums are more and more used, as we broke through the 50,000 forum posts barrier since August 5, this year. A lot of people decided to obtain the MSX T-Shirts. The shipping process didn’t go without the usual hitch, but we’re glad to claim that all went well after all.

http://www.msx.org/MSX-Resource-Center%3A-3-million-visitors.newspost3416.html
http://www.msx.org/MSX-Forum%3A-50%2C000-posts.newspost3165.html
http://www.msx.org/MSX-T-Shirts%3A-production-started.newspost3114.html

Maybe most important of all, shortly after we sent out the previous newsletter, MSX celebrated its 22nd anniversary. This resulted in a dedicated news post:

http://www.msx.org/MSX-22nd-anniversary.newspost3098.html

In the meantime, already more than 55,000 forum posts have been submitted. If you ever have an MSX related question or remark, or you want to post suggestions for software, games, or you need help for that one game you’re got stuck in, don’t hesitate to post that into our forums. Hundreds of active (ex-)MSX users are willing to help you out – give it a try if you haven’t done so already!

http://www.msx.org/msxforum.html

The multilingual part of the MSX Resource Center is growing steadily. Recently the Russian MRC was launched and more than 900 news post and 2 articles were translated at its launch! Although all multilingual sites do well at the moment, we’d still like to have more translators; helping hands are always more than welcome and besides that, we’d like to have a Japanese MRC sometime soon.

http://www.msx.org/Russian-MSX-Resource-Center-launched.newspost3413.html

Revival
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A lot to announce this time: ASCII opened up a webpage where the One Chip MSX could be preordered, soon after that, Bazix, the non-Japanese representative, did the same. Gradually, more and more One Chip MSX computers were sold – but in the end it wasn’t enough for ASCII to see their thumbs up. 5,000 One Chip MSX preorders, that was the base line – in the end about 3,500 orders were received. Sadly, ASCII pulled back from the frontline, canceling the preorders. Read the story for yourself, following the links below:

http://www.msx.org/One-Chip-MSX-available-outside-Japan.newspost3118.html
http://www.msx.org/2000-One-Chip-MSX-computers-sold.newspost3120.html
http://www.msx.org/2%2C500-One-Chip-MSX-computers-sold.newspost3152.html
http://www.msx.org/3%2C000-One-Chip-MSX-computers-sold.newspost3188.html
http://www.msx.org/ASCII-closes-One-Chip-MSX-pre-order.newspost3197.html
http://www.msx.org/Bazix-closes-One-Chip-MSX-preorders.newspost3199.html
http://www.msx.org/ASCII-decides-not-to-produce-One-Chip-MSX.newspost3208.html
http://www.msx.org/Bazix-cancels-OCM-pre-orders.newspost3230.html

Meanwhile, the One Chip MSX kept being demonstrated during fairs, and even on the Tokyo Gameshow! Besides that, Bazix revealed more information about the new MSX, as if a second plan was in effect. And it was. In October 2005, we heard that the One Chip MSX standard was improved – being MSX2-compatible now. It also gets a second chance, that is, if MSX Association would be able to find another hardware partner. No doubt we haven’t heard the last of it!

http://www.msx.org/One-Chip-MSX-on-Tokyo-Gameshow-First-report.newspost3281.html
http://www.msx.org/Bazix-reveals-more-info-on-One-Chip-MSX.newspost3290.html
http://www.msx.org/One-Chip-MSX-is-to-get-a-second-chance%21.newspost3354.html

Challenges
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Several challenges concerning the upcoming One Chip MSX were announced in the summer – for example, the One Chip MSX song competition and the ‘Give the One Chip MSX a name’-challenge. These were not the only challenges held in that period – MRC started its own new challenge, being the Oneliner Challenge. This challenge was immensely successful, as you can see at the number of entries submitted; no less than 36 one-liners have been sent in! Some contestants even took the effort of sending in multiple entries.

http://www.msx.org/Give-the-One-Chip-MSX-a-new-name-challenge.newspost3122.html
http://www.msx.org/One-Chip-MSX-song-competition.newspost3163.html
http://www.msx.org/MRC-Oneliner-Challenge%3A-closed.newspost3306.html

Development
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MSX development is like a huge vehicle that never stops rolling. What do you think about –amongst others- a Professional Adventure Writer for MSX? Or handy tools for conducting development, like Z80ASM, a Linux-based Z80 cross assembler? Also, a new PSG tracker has been developed by Karoshi Corp., called ‘Caruso’.

http://www.msx.org/Professional-Adventure-Writer-%28PAW%29-for-MSX.newspost3338.html
http://www.msx.org/Z80ASM-1.2.newspost3142.html
http://www.msx.org/Karoshis-Caruso-Manic-Monday.newspost3400.html

MRC admin and active user Sonic_aka_T released ViewMSX0.03 in October. This great tool allows for viewing various kinds of MSX graphics on your Windows PC. Give it a try!

http://www.msx.org/ViewMSX-0.03.newspost3361.html

Emulation
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The rise of the handhelds was a fact that could not be neglected during the past few months. As a result, several new MSX emulators were conjured in: fMSXDS, an emulator for the Nintendo DS handheld, fMSX for PSP and several new releases of fMSX/S60; if you have a Symbian Series 60 based cell phone, the latter is the one you should get your hands on.

http://www.msx.org/fmsxDS-0.05.newspost3452.html
http://www.msx.org/fMSX-for-PSP-0.62bplus.newspost3205.html
http://www.msx.org/fMSXS60-1.09c.newspost3248.html

Besides handhelds, desktop emulation is alive like never before. RuMSX, openMSX and BlueMSX have this thing in common: they all got updated during the past months. Also MESS, the Multiple Emulator Super System, couldn’t stay behind – resulting in several new releases. But as the latter isn’t an MSX-only emulator, not much has been improved to the MSX part, sadly. Vampier has recently begun work on Slingshot, a Catapult-like application to start openMSX with. It features several nice options, we expect it to be officially released soon!

http://www.msx.org/RuMSX-0.33.newspost3410.html
http://www.msx.org/openMSX-0.5.2.newspost3077.html
http://www.msx.org/blueMSX-2.4.newspost3282.html
http://www.msx.org/MESS-0.100.newspost3273.html
http://www.msx.org/Slingshot-early-beta-preview.newspost3428.html

Fairs & Meetings
----------------

In this period MSX Club Groningen, a fairly new club, organized their first meeting and the dates for next year were also announced. The annual MSX fair in Bussum, the Netherlands turned out to be a huge success, be sure to not miss out on the photo shoot of that fair! Other fairs held throughout the period are MSXRio’05 in Brazil, which was held on September 10th and 11th, the most recent one was held in Barcelona, Spain, on December 3rd. You should check the photo shoot and video footage of that fair!

http://www.msx.org/MSX-Club-Groningen-announce-meetings-for-2006.newspost3144.html
http://www.msx.org/MSX-fair-Bussum-2005.newspost3127.html
http://www.msx.org/photogallery79.html
http://www.msx.org/MSXRio-2005-September-10-and-11.newspost3164.html
http://www.msx.org/28th-Barcelona-MSX-user-meeting-announced.newspost3351.html
http://www.msx.org/28th-Barcelona-MSX-user-meeting-photo-shoot-and-video.newspost3432.html

The next big fair announced is Nijmegen 2006, in the Netherlands, on January 14th, for which you can already sign up as registrant. Several stand holders have already registered a booth.

http://www.msx.org/MSX-fair-Nijmegen-reminder.newspost3445.html

Games & Demos
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Games and demos are one important, maybe even the most important aspect of the reason for MSX-addiction. Again, many games and demos have been announced and released during the past period.
Daniel Vik, the main developer of BlueMSX, released an impressive 512kB-demo called Waves.

http://www.msx.org/Waves-1.1.newspost3112.html

Also, the highly succesful MSXdev’05 game competition has come to an end. Thanks to this competition, no less than 21 brand new MSX1 games were released this year. You can find an overview of all releases by clicking on the link below:

http://www.msx.org/MSXdev05%3A-closed.newspost3462.html

From Spain comes the great Dahku, a BubbleBobble meets Usas meets Frantic clone, of which a promo version has been released in the meantime.

http://www.msx.org/Dahku-released.newspost3383.html

Marco Rossin released E3D Revolution early in June ’05. Now he has improved his impressive 3D vector graphics engine for MSX. If you’re a proud MSX turboR-owner, consider downloading this masterpiece of software!

http://www.msx.org/E3D-Evolution-0.91.newspost3392.html

Hardware
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Shortly after sending out the previous newsletter, we heard interesting news from Japan: Tsujikawa updated his website with new information on the ESE MSX System 2 – a hardware project closely related to the One Chip MSX. Later on it was followed up by ESE MSX System 3, which included several improvements.

http://www.msx.org/ESE-MSX-System-2-Status-update.newspost3086.html
http://www.msx.org/ESE-MSX-System-3.newspost3233.html

Everyone who thought the Japanese ASCII MSX Game Readers were sold out; it’s true. But from the Netherlands a great substitute was released: the Sunrise MSX Game Reader. On top of that, an English version of the official MSX emulator, MSXPLAYer, was released within the package. The Game Readers have been available since the International MSX Fair in Bussum, October 1st.

http://www.msx.org/Sunrise-starts-sale-of-MSX-Game-Readers-on-Bussum.newspost3308.html

The Brazilian MSX developer Ademir Carchano has returned to the MSX scene: as a result, his 512k MegaRAM and small-sized slotexpanders are available again.

http://www.msx.org/MegaRAM-and-Ademirs-Slotexpander-back-on-sale.newspost3414.html

Another great new MSX expansion is DUMAS. Released by MATRA, this cartridge expansion practically holds everything the average MSX user needs: 512kB RAM in a memory mapper, integrated USB support (USBorne), a custom sound chip (which is to be used in next-gen games) and, best of all, ObsoNET. Can you recall the new Ethernet standard for MSX, back then released by Nestor Soriano? It’s in this one as well!

http://www.msx.org/Project-Dumas-announced-at-BCN-Party.newspost3381.html

If you think overclocking was only meant for wintel brick users – reconsider. Read how Marcel Delorme made his very own MSX overclock by disconnecting the WAIT pin from the MSX-ENGINE! Never tried before, this upgrade even achieves a speed increase of 10%!

http://www.msx.org/MSX-Overclocking-Disconnect-WAIT-pin.newspost3397.html

Music
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On EnschedeFM, people could listen to the radio show of MRC-regular poke -1,170. He’s a radio deejay for that broadcasting company and frequently plays MSX chiptunes there. During his Airwaves show #10 and #12 he aired MSX-music again. Imagine: what would it be like to hear maybe your own made song on air?

http://www.msx.org/poke-1%2C170s-Airwaves-10.newspost3139.html
http://www.msx.org/Pokes-Airwaves-12.newspost3385.html

For MSX soundtrack enthusiasts, a new audio CD was released by Famitsu.com – it contains several soundtracks of Falcom MSX titles, such as the Ys saga, Sorcerian and Xanadu.

http://www.msx.org/Falcom-Soundtrack-CDs-released.newspost3313.html

This period is packed-full of MSX arrangements and MSX-inspired music. Their numbers are vast – you’d be reading this newsletter until tomorrow morning if we were to list them all here. So read here for some great examples:

http://www.msx.org/Thunder-Force-V-Legendary-wings-by-Hackurl-and-Daria.newspost3110.html
http://www.msx.org/3-game-BGM-covers-by-Chabinn.newspost3132.html
http://www.msx.org/Twilight-of-Neo-Kobe-city-by-MAD.newspost3162.html
http://www.msx.org/Gradius-4%2C-stage-1-by-Hackurl.newspost3193.html

Revolutionary – that’s the only word which comes to mind when we heard that our ever beloved AY-3-8910 (or compatible) PSG chip was able to play six channels – instead of the known three. Intricate timing tables are used, but nevertheless Arturo Ragozini sent us Apology MSX, which is a 6-channel PSG player; a small tune was released too, as to demonstrate what could be achieved using this feature!

http://www.msx.org/Apology-MSX-Update.newspost3455.html

Photo shoots
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Fairs and meetings are a cool place to be. Too bad not everyone is able to be there at a specific time. Which is exactly why we introduced our photo shoots section. Several meetings have been filed during the past few months. Some examples below:

http://www.msx.org/MCWF-June-2005-photo-shoot.newspost3083.html
http://www.msx.org/MSX-BSB-2004-photoshoot.newspost3126.html
http://www.msx.org/MSXRio-2005-photo-shoot.newspost3268.html
http://www.msx.org/28th-Barcelona-MSX-user-meeting-photo-shoot-and-video.newspost3432.html

For the nostalgic feeling, we put photo shoots online from the Almelo, Rijnstreek and Zandvoort meetings in 1991(!!).

http://www.msx.org/1991-photoshoots-of-Almelo%2C-Rijnstreek-and-Zandvoort.newspost3156.html

Related
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It’s not just MSX we use to report about. Much related news comes from remakes, media players which support MSX formats, fangames and also commercial games with an MSX related background.

kbMediaPlayer was updated in October. This media player supports several MSX formats – consider trying it out so you’re able to hear your all time favorites elsewhere!

http://www.msx.org/KbMedia-Player-2.42beta.newspost3312.html

As you all might know, should know, Konami started the Metal Gear saga on MSX. Nowadays the commercial game market is dominated by games as Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Acid. You’ll find several previews of e.g. Metal Gear Acid 2 on the net. Metal Gear Solid 4 was planned as well and trailers have been released. On top of that, the great brain behind the Metal Gear, Policenauts and Snatcher/SD Snatcher sagas, Hideo Kojima, put his own weblog online!

http://www.msx.org/Metal-Gear-Acid-2-preview.newspost3204.html
http://www.msx.org/Metal-Gear-Solid-4-Tokyo-Gameshow-2005-trailer.newspost3275.html
http://www.msx.org/Hideo-Kojima-Blogs-About-Life%2C-Metal-Gear-MSX.newspost3309.html

A game which has kept many, mainly Spanish MSX users enthusiastic – MRC regulars should all know it by now – is La Abadía del Crimen. Several remakes and previews have been announced and released.

http://www.msx.org/La-Abad%EDa-del-Crimen-for-mobile-phones.newspost3359.html
http://www.msx.org/El-enigma-de-la-Abad%EDa-trailer.newspost3363.html
http://www.msx.org/La-Abad%EDa-del-Crimen-for-mobile-phones-released-by-AMENA.newspost3423.html
http://www.msx.org/El-Enigma-de-la-Abad%EDa-preview.newspost3431.html

Remakes
-------

MSX games continue to prove their worth. At least, we took the freedom of deriving this from the amount of remakes planned and released during the past few months. How would you feel about a Goody remake? Or a Penguin Adventure remake? A Trailblazer remake perhaps? Afterburner enthusiasts have as well their chance to feel their addiction once again with the Afterburner remake called Master Burner. Last but not least, several interesting remakes from MSX games were released for the GBA, amongst which: 1942, Arkanoid, Lode Runner, Wonderboy, Tetris... and more!

http://www.msx.org/Goody-Remake-1.4.newspost3333.html
http://www.msx.org/Penguin-Adventure-remake.newspost3106.html
http://www.msx.org/oSwBallz-2%3A-Trailblazer-remake.newspost3151.html
http://www.msx.org/Master-Burner-Afterburner-remake.newspost3421.html
http://www.msx.org/Retro-remakes-for-Gameboy-Advance.newspost3228.html

Utilities
---------

A new version of BiFi's Palette Editor for MSX was released. This tool allows you to change the palette of your MSX2 computer before running MSX games that don't change the MSX palette (like all MSX1 games do), making those games look entirely different. Well worth a try!

http://www.msx.org/Palette-editor-1.2.newspost3454.html

Rapidly loading large data blocks from tape – a contradiction in terms, or so it seems. Cax’ MicroWAVer tool makes it possible nonetheless. Be sure to check out on his MicroWAVer 0.91!

http://www.msx.org/MicroWAVer-0.91.newspost3136.html

Near Dark released Runit, an adaptation of the ever popular START.COM – a tool to boot disk images from harddisk, ZIP or CompactFlash with. In fact it’s an improved version of the latter mentioned program, which allows for changing more settings and is able to start more games.

http://www.msx.org/Runit-1.03.newspost3367.html

Marcel Delorme released a new version of G9BVIEW – a tool to view G9B graphics files with. Several improvements have been put in since its release in the GFX9000 library. The GFX9000 library itself has been updated as well.

http://www.msx.org/G9BVIEW-0.41.newspost3358.html
http://www.msx.org/New-version-of-g9klib-released.newspost3450.html

Again, a lot has happened in the MSX scene in just a couple of months. More and more we get the feeling that MSX stays alive – because of enthusiastic MSX-minded people, posting news on our frontpage, forum topics in our ever active MSX Forums, sending in freeware downloads, adding links, ... just name it. We’d like to have YOU keep doing that! After all, also thanks to YOU the MSX community stays alive!

Of course you can keep track of our websites using the RSS feeds. Three different feeds are included on our websites, being:

The latest MSX news: http://www.msx.org/newsfeed.php
Forum discussions are on: http://www.msx.org/forumfeed.php
Follow reactions on news: http://www.msx.org/reactionsfeed.php

Greetings,

The MSX Resource Center Crew
http://www.msx.org/

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