if MSX2 had been the MSX SYSTEM ?

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By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5382)

NYYRIKKI's picture

30-07-2004, 11:15

There was one company that sold Sony MSX2 computers in Finland (Sorry, I don't remember the name) They were not anyway ment for individuals and were sold only to companys.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

30-07-2004, 13:09

A lot of people seem to only look at the chips used in MSX generations.
The fact of the matter is, the MSX standard is much more than that!
In MSX2 a lot of things changed under the hood: memory mapper, switchable I/O, real-time clock, light-pen (barely used and I'd rather see it removed from the BIOS, but still Tongue)
Same counts for MSX2+, which didn't 'just' upgrade the VDP either.

By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

MäSäXi's picture

30-07-2004, 13:20


I think if MSX2 had been the MSX SYSTEM, we'd be stuck with a non-growing system, just like Commodore 64. You can't call an Amiga 500 its successor because it lacks the 100% downward compatibility with the C64.

I guess that´s because A500 was not made by Commodore itself, but Amiga, as you can guess from Amiga´s name. Amiga was desperate enough, because no-one wanted to buy their computer... and at last, commodore bought their comp.

By idrougge

Resident (44)

idrougge's picture

30-07-2004, 16:59

Actually, Commodore and Atari were fighting it out over the Amiga, but Commodore paid more.
As for being a successor, the Amiga is really the successor of the Atari 8-bit line (same designer, many similar features). Bacwards compatibility is not at all necessary for being a successor to anything. The SuperNES is the true successor to the NES, despite 0% backwards compatibility.

By flyguille

Prophet (3029)

flyguille's picture

30-07-2004, 17:18

sometimes to do really bigs improvements is necessary to lose the compatibility.

by example, if we need to do big improvements in the msx engine.. it would be DELETE the slotting core and to access to the different SLOT/SUBSLOTS expansors by means of diferent mapped pages, and converting the current 8 bit mapper to 16 bits, where the 4 most significant bits can be used as Chip selectors of the SLOT/SUBSLOT. In that way all the slotting process are reduced to 4 CPU instructions.

just

LD A,(SLOT+SUBSLOT)
OUT (F9),A
LD a,01
out (fD),a

by example!!!..

it can be a big improvement in order to reduce the bottle neck. And a direct access of the VRAM by means specials page numbers!!!
...

Indeed if we do that, maybe the compatibility MSX are not loose, because anyway we can rewrite the bios services routines...

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

30-07-2004, 17:58

Back in the 80s the ideas behind standardization, open documentation and backwards compatibility made a lot of sense. To me, these factors are still quite important although I don't mind if backwards compatability is reached through emulation/FPGA, in order to reduce the amount of legacy limitations for future systems.

By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

MäSäXi's picture

31-07-2004, 20:02

Actually, Commodore and Atari were fighting it out over the Amiga, but Commodore paid more.

oh.. that´s different story compared to that which I read before I got any touch with internet...

By Wibbly

Resident (40)

Wibbly's picture

18-08-2004, 23:45

The Amiga story is a long and complicated one, and I'm not about to go into that here.
Much as I enjoyed my beloved MSX, I must admit, that I envied friends with C64, if nothing else for it's sound. I really was a lover of shoot 'em ups, and the C64 could do scrolling SMOOTHLY. Not one single MSX shooter could do that. I thoroughly enjoyed Nemesis 2, but it took some time to get over the way it scrolled (looked like it was jumping 16 pixels at a go or something).

I have to agree, that if MSX2 was the original MSX, I think it would have had a bigger impact. With the likes of Matsushita, Sony and Mitsubishi producing machines, I'm sure they could have made a cheap enough production for it. There is no way in hell, that a company like Matsushita is going to go bankrupt on a single product if it went awry. Matsushita especially, is probably bigger and generating more revenue than just about all the other Japanese companies put together.

However, it didn't happen that way, and MSX was indeed outdated, even back in 1983. My Dad bought me my first computer in 1985, the Canon MSX V-20. It was on sale in Comet for 50 pounds. That was less than any other machine was available at the time, and I think he couldn't resist the bargain. I was pleased, I never had my own computer, and compared to the C64, BBC's and Speccy's all my friends had, it looked like a much more serious piece of kit. The reality, if nothing else due to lazy conversions (at least on tape based games) was that the MSX gave me nothing better than Spectrum 48k Graphics with superior sound (although inferior to C64). Also, even the speccy had a few good shoot 'em ups that scrolled well. I think that was always my biggest disappointment with MSX.

Further adding to my disappointment, was the lack of good arcade conversions. Everyone on their Spectrums and C64s were playing Outrun, and Renegade, and I was stuck with Mastertronic's F1 simulator (awful) and International Karate (which was actually ok). I found it REALLY hard to get games for the machine too, and it usually involved either a special trip somewhere, or budget games at the local sweet shop.

As for whoever said MSX2 was superior to Amiga A500, I love the MSX systems, I can't help it, first computer etc. But there is no way on this earth that the MSX2 was superior to the A500. I can't think of ONE single MSX2 game that even came close to the kind of graphics the Amiga could achieve. And the Amiga's sound without requiring extra cartridges was again superior. I would defend the MSX system every time I hear someone trash it, but even the Turbo R has no games that can compare to A500. And A500 came out around the same time as MSX2.
In 1987 I REALLY wanted an MSX2, but I got the Atari 520STFM summer pack in 88 instead. The only thing I really missed about MSX, was the basic, and the fact it was contained in Rom. I hated Atari basic. The games however, blew anything MSX/MSX2 based away. I was playing Super Sprint, Rampage and all manner of other arcade conversions on my ST, and I really can't imagine any MSX/MSX2 system providing me with those kinds of graphics, and sheer availabilty of games.

However, for reasons I can't figure out, I still have much respect for the old MSX's. I love what it was trying to acheive. If MSX2 had been available more readily, and games weren't so hard to find, maybe I'd never got the ST, instead going Amiga as I did in 1990. I use WinUAE also (Amiga emulator), but I can honestly say, I've never ever even thought of emulating my old Atari ST (of which I have 3 stored alongside my MSX machines and A500 and A1200) I did at least make my MSX the object of envy amongst friends when I got Road Fighter, and Penguin Adventure, and Hyper Sports on the MSX was the best version IMHO. In fact, without Konami, I don't think I'd have enjoyed my MSX anything like as much as I did.

By flyguille

Prophet (3029)

flyguille's picture

19-08-2004, 00:02

i think that if the MSX starts with MSX2 (with memory mapper), the slotting system will not exists..... because it is a big bottle neck.

By IC

Hero (557)

IC's picture

19-08-2004, 00:37

Í find these discussion heard cauz I don't know the facts. But ok, here goes my fision on this topic:

If MSX2 whould have been released in 1983. I think the PC would get a kick in their but cauz
PC's at that time were like monochrome AT's or XT's.
I think C64 would have a real tough nutt to crack cauz the C64 cannot be compared with the
abilities of the MSX2 (imho). I can't really say what whould become of the atari systems, cauz they
had a nice soundengine (ps: please don't start flaming me about this, cauz I well know that the
moonsound is the best soundchip everWink)

Another shift that could take place is that game companies whould be more interested in coding
for MSX2 then all the other systems, because it is easy to code, and with good results!
So I think the games industry could change also.

If it was worldwide spread, MSX2 could have it's influences in robotica and other automation projects
like database wharehouses.

In short: If MSX2 was the first MSX system, we could have facing a whole different world

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