Comparing MSX-1 to other 8-bit computers

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Por MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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16-12-2008, 10:40

This is just a little try to get some sensible and nice talk about our beloved MSX-1. As people are mostly blaming MSX-1.

We all know that we can´t show more than 4 sprites per row and there´s no hardware scroll etc....

But I just wanted to get some nice talk about it, just wanted to get us comparing MSX-1 to other 8-bit computers (or 8-bit consoles).

I know, best of them have better graphics and better sound etc... but, it doesn´t mean, that those computers are "better" in everything.

I just wanted that we all could see good points in our MSX-1 when comparing them to other 8-bit computers. Smile And I don´t mean this should be "MSX-1 is better than other computers" topic. Tongue Thought that would be nice topic too. Wink

Like, Atari 600(XL) and 800(XL) have 256 colours and can make pictures which are impossible in Screen 2.

But, when comparing Atari´s sprites (players and missiles), do you REALLY envy those missiles, which are TWO (!!) pixels wide?!?! I know that missiles can be taller than screen height, allowing nice "scrolling" effect, but still... Wink

Of course players and missiles can be hidden behind background and can be zoomed 2x and 4x, but still I like our much sharper 16x16 sprites, Ataris 8x8 sprites look like magnified MSX 8x8 sprites. Tongue That´s not a bad thing, I don´t blame ataris for that, just wanted to have a topic to make people see, that every computer has it´s own best points! Smile Ataris can do "better" graphics for the cost of resolution. I really love those "blocky graphics". Smile MSX-1 can do other nice things. Smile

I could continue and make this list very accurate, but I let you others think and speak now. Smile

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Por AuroraMSX

Paragon (1901)

Imagen del AuroraMSX

16-12-2008, 11:07

So, let's start by comparing MSX-1 to MSX-2, MSX-2+ and MSX-turboR Tongue Nah...

The only other 8-bit that I've owned and used for quite some time was the Timex Sinclair 1000 -- a clone of the Sinclair ZX81. And compared to that, the MSX-1 is way ahead. THe ZX-81 originally had 1 KB (1) of RAM, only a black & white 32x24 character screen mode. Graphics? As far as I can rememebr, the 'graphics mode' was emulated on the character screen using a number of blocky characters. Yes a whopping 64x48 pixels! (Like SCREEN 3 in black & white only Cool) Nonetheless, with a 16k memory expansion (which in my case unfortunately was a bit buggy in hardware and needed some voltage regulating transistor replaced very couple of months) one could create quite funny programs with it. Oh, and I learned Z80 asm on it, without assembler! LOL!

Compared to that, the MSX-1 really is 8-bit heaven. But, at that time, the MSX-1 was also about 8 times more expensive...

Por MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

Imagen del MäSäXi

16-12-2008, 11:18

Yeah, I know MSX2, MSX2+ and Turbo R are 8-bits too, but I think that we have made enough comparing within MSX family already. Wink

Por konamiman

Paladin (1021)

Imagen del konamiman

16-12-2008, 12:56

Let's settle this using the scientific method:

MSX is the best 8-bit computer ever, anyone doubting it will burn in hell forever.

See? It was pretty easy. Tongue

Por pitpan

Prophet (3131)

Imagen del pitpan

16-12-2008, 14:58

Well. It depends. If Philips was able to sell its Philips VG8020 computer as an MSX with 80 KB RAM (64K RAM+16K VRAM), they could also argue that it was a 30-bit computer (16-bit for the Z80 addressing of 64K and 14-bit for the TMS9918 addressing of 16K). So, in this sense, the MSX is even today the best 30-bit home computer LOL!

Por alexworp3

Expert (126)

Imagen del alexworp3

16-12-2008, 18:43

for me the msx-family is the best 8bit homecomputer ever built, and not because i used to own one but alsa because the rest.

Offcource the c****d***64 had beter demographics and yes the atari 8-bit family was better in producing sound and could use 256 colors in a single screen, but what they both and for any other matter lacked was user friendly design and compatibility. and most of it the wide range of software and extensions and more stuff. MSX was really on 8-bit level top of the bill. Not even the nes and the sega master system could (although newer technology)outperform an msxSanta

Por dhau

Paragon (1557)

Imagen del dhau

17-12-2008, 01:13

Not to sound blasphemous or anything, but I think ZX Spectrum 48 and 128 technology was way more practical, with uber-cheap approach to components, direct videoram access and huge mass appeal. It was like an economy Opel or Renault, and MSX was more like Mersedes Betz C-series or BMW 5 Smile

Por Sdw

Resident (50)

Imagen del Sdw

17-12-2008, 11:22

Now I'll probably get kicked of this site (Tongue), but to me, the C-64 hardware is the best among the 8-bitters of the pre-1985 or so generation (MSX1, Atari 4/800, ZX Spectrum).

The C64 has a lot of nice benefits:
Direct access to video memory, 8 multicolor sprites per line, hardware scrolling etc.

Por wolf_

Ambassador_ (9762)

Imagen del wolf_

17-12-2008, 11:47

Now I'll probably get kicked of this site

Nah, it'll only be a note in your dossier, which is visible to crew only.. Santa

Por SLotman

Paragon (1205)

Imagen del SLotman

17-12-2008, 12:08

Let's see... I'll compare with the systems we had at that time in Brazil, can't compare it with CPC/C64 which were rare here:

MSX x Spectrum:

MSX has better graphics, which demands more memory, Spectrum has worse graphics, but uses less memory for them, and it's faster; on the other side, MSX has sprites, and spectrum doesn't... it's a tie Smile

MSX x SMS:
Both released on the same time (here in Brazil at least), the SMS has a far superior video chip than MSX. Taken aside the fact that MSX is a computer (and can do other stuff than just gaming), SMS wins... but strangely MSX games are far better than most SMS games Wink

MSX x NES: well, NES was released much later, so no comparison!

On a side note, it would be nice if instead of screen 3, we had on MSX a video mode like the low res one in the C64... then MSX would be unstoppable BA-team

Por Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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17-12-2008, 12:13

MSX x NES: very relevant IMHO. Both were popular computers during the eighties. NES was originally released in July 1983; when were the first MSX1s sold? Were the periods between deciding the technical specifications and releasing to market longer for MSX1 perhaps? I don't think you can say NES came much later.

Comparison with both C64 and NES shows that, as you say, a low-res but higher-colour mode would have been good, but also decent scrolling support. Both C64 and NES outperform MSX1 (and to a certain extent also 2) in that area.

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