Making video in the long run, help and suggestions welcome

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5386)

JohnHassink's picture

29-04-2018, 22:51

Hi guys. As some of you might know, I have a little YouTube channel:
Which mainly focuses on MSX chiptunes, but sometimes I also show some gameplay, endings and stuff.
I was planning for a long time to make a video called "5 Most Common Misconceptions About MSX", addressing the load of crap that is (amazingly) still being peddled about our beloved system, and hoping to help to end the stream of misinformation.
(one would almost think that search engines do not exist)
For instance, this forum topic deals with such a misleading video.
Today I bumped unto this video and couldn't help commenting.
If you think I'm exaggerating - This time I'm actually not, and I've encountered the following 5 points really, really, often.

So, I'll share with you my (beta) concept of the video I want to make.
Feel free to copy/paste/rewrite/etc. the text that I'll dump underneath.


5 Most Common Misconceptions about MSX


5 - MSX is a gaming console

The MSX platform adhered to the standards of what is and was what was called a "home computer".
In the '80s, there was a distinction between "Personal Computers" and "Home Computers".
Your average "PC" was for office and business use, while home computers where cheaper and intended for household use - to keep track of your payments through spreadsheets, type letters and play the occasional game.


4 - MSX was Japan-only

Outside of Japan, MSX machines were manufactured and sold by companies such as

Philips (Dutch)
Al Alamiah (Arabic)
Goldstar (South Korean)
Samsung (South Korean)
Daewoo (South Korean)
Gradiente (Brazilian)

Not even to mention the worldwide userbase.

Countries where MSX was sold:
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Kuwait, Italy, Iraq, The Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, the Soviet Union, the UK, the United States (even if only the CX5M), Qatar and Yemen

(at this point, I want to show a nice world map with an MSX icon in every country where it was preset)


3 - MSX was from Konami (yes, this is really said a lot)

In the days when Konami was still relevant and on top of the game, they were one of the biggest supporters of the standard, but not at any point in time did Konami design, manufacture or sell MSX machines.
Hardware-wise, the only contribution they did, while not to be ignored, was the SCC soundchip.


2 - MSX is hard to use

MSX is not any harder to use than your average iPhone or MP3 player.
Unless you have lepra or ebola and as such experience physical trouble inserting a piece of plastic into another piece of plastic, or you have such severe ADD that you are unable to use simple software frontends, like double-clicking on the game that you want to play.


1 - MSX can't handle scrolling

The MSX standard actually encompasses four official generations:
The MSX, MSX2, MSX2+ and MSX Turbo R

Meaning, that statement is practically the same as saying "Nintendo can't handle 3D graphics", "PC games only use one channel of sound" or "Playstation can't handle the Fox Engine".

(at this point here, I want to make a nice video collage of MSX games of every generation that actually are scrolling very nice)


Login or register to post comments

By DarkSchneider

Paladin (792)

DarkSchneider's picture

30-04-2018, 08:47

You don't know how many times y repeated that, the MSX IS NOT A GAMING CONSOLE WITH AN ATTACHED KEYBOARD!
And I think the main responsible is the misleading about what the cartridge slots are. They are designed to be EXPANSION SLOTS, not "insert games slots"! They where pretty handy as alternative to the other storage device on that age, the tape, but that is only one of their usages due to its versatility, but not precisely the main one.

Hard to use? oO
With the most direct way to load software, the best BASIC... I used the MSX system by myself, and learnt programming, with less than 10 years old! I think is the most intuitive system ever made, with a single BASIC book included (that also includes how to load/save tape, or inserting cartridges), you can do everything concerning home usage.

About scrolling, true for MSX1, as the system was made really as full computer, mainly based on characters, allowing to mix some graphics (SC1 or SC2), and with OSD capability (sprites).
But the MSX2 was released soon. and is full capable for scrolling, the most capable one indeed. But making games by screens is easier, and having the bitmap modes at hand, then result was most games are made by that way, so unfortunately was taken like the natural way of MSX2 to make games. So when we see some games with smooth scroll is something strange, and shouldn't.

By Grauw

Enlighted (8015)

Grauw's picture

30-04-2018, 10:02

I would not only mention in which countries MSX was sold, but also where it was popular Smile. Just because people lived in countries where MSX wasn’t, like the UK or US, doesn’t mean they can apply their own unfamiliarity to the rest of Europe and the world. I think I’ve seen some pretty decent numbers about units sold in Europe sometime in the past. Also worth mentioning that in several countries MSX was used in schools (Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, etc.).

About the scrolling, the MSX2 scrolling support is at least as good as that of the C64. The C64 has 7 pixels of adjust in the X and Y directions, and relies on name table updates for the course scroling. Where MSX2 scrolling has 256 pixels in the y-direction and 16 pixels of adjust in the x-direction. So all those horizontally scrolling screen 4 games, it’s exactly how it’s done on the C64.

In the bitmap modes horizontal scrolling is not really viable though (note, not saying impossible) because of the bandwidth it requires which puts a heavy strain on the game code and design, and developers often chose the better graphics capabilities of the bitmap modes over the speed and easy scrolling capability of the pattern mode.