the number of the MSX computer produced

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By litwr

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13-06-2020, 12:03

Grauw wrote:

Sega SG-1000, Master System and Game Gear all use the Z80.
Game Boy CPU is also Z80-based although with a modified (and not fully compatible) instruction set.

mars2000you wrote:

Also the ColecoVision Smile

Thank you. I didn't know about them. It gives us plus 25 million units sold. However, Game Boy uses not the Z80, it is rather the enchanced 8080.

enribar wrote:
litwr wrote:

So let's estimate the number of the Z80 computers sold:
1) MSX - less than 10 millions;
2) Amstrad CPC and PCW - more than 11 millions;
4) ZX Spectrum with clones - less than 10 millions;

Excuse me but... something does not compute, to me... ;-)

These numbers are taken from Wikipedia and previous answers about the number of the MSX computers.

enribar wrote:
Quote:

I don't know any game console based on the Z80.

Korean Zemmix consoles, for example.

I know very little about those consoles. Are they really numerous?

enribar wrote:
Quote:

So we have roughly about 45 millions of the Z80 systems sold. This number looks much less than a number for the 6502 systems where only NES has about 62 millions. Any corrections?

Many corrections are needed on these estimates, I think Nishi

Agreed, new information gives a number close to 90 millions.

Pentarou wrote:
litwr wrote:

3) Tandy TRS-80 - about 10 millions (it is just my guess based on some indirect information);

??? what info?

It is an estimate. Maybe this number was greater but I am almost sure it is less than 20 millions. I remember that Tandy claimed in the early 80s that they sold the TRS-80 five times more than the Apple II.

Pentarou wrote:
litwr wrote:

5) various CP/M computers - less than 3 millions (it is also just my guess);

C128 had 5+ millions by itself

I is hardly to call C128 a CP/M computer. People bought it rather as the upgraded C64. The z80 in the C128 is rather a secondary and rare used poor supported feature. Its effective speed was only about 1.7 Mhz - a shame for a computer of 1985.

Pentarou wrote:
litwr wrote:

6) various other the Z80 computers - less than 2 millions (a guess).

PC88, PC6xxx, Sharp MZ, Sharp X1... Probably a bit more than 2 millions.

Excuse me, I know little about computers of Japan. So you are rather right. It can be more than 10 millions.

Pentarou wrote:

Megadrive (z80 for audio and SMS) had ~30 millions.

What an interesting game console! But the z80 is used there rather as a controller.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6014)

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13-06-2020, 12:28

By gdx

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13-06-2020, 13:01

litwr wrote:

Game Boy uses not the Z80, it is rather the enchanced 8080.

http://fms.komkon.org/GameBoy/Tech/
Z80 is a 8080 enchanced. Main differences are behaviour of one or two flags, some extra opcodes of the Z80 and the used technology to improve the frequency.

GameBoy CPU seems indeed closer to the 8080 than to the Z80.
http://gameboy.mongenel.com/dmg/opcodes.html
It doesn't have the IX at IY registers.

By dmr

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13-06-2020, 13:10

History rewtitten here on the spot. While you'te at it, please also solve Quantum Theory, because "my guess" is you're not far off.

Have fun ;-)

By gdx

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13-06-2020, 13:15

By Cooljerk

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16-06-2020, 09:24

litwr wrote:

What an interesting game console! But the z80 is used there rather as a controller.

The function of the Z80 in the megadrive is a bit more like a controller than a processor in utility, due to the limitations of bus access down to very critical access slots. but it is indeed a full processor in practice, you branch binary execution through a RAM port on the Z80 to get it to run small processes that act like sound drivers.

Saying the Megadrive is a z80 based machine is a pretty big stretch though. It technically has a z80 that is programmable, but the architecture of the system is such that everything runs through the 68000's memory space. You can't access the VRAM memory ports from Z80 RAM, for example. Everything is done through the 68000 primarily. Upon booting the machine, the primary execution vector for binaries always begins in 68000 memory space, for example.

As for z80 based gaming devices, I'll say that the TI-83 line of calculators have been in constant use for like 30 years now, propped up by the USA education system. It's 2020, and they still require you to buy a TI-83 calculator despite kids having tablets in schools, haha. I definitely wasted so much time playing Tetris on my calculator instead of listening to my geometry teacher back in the day, though, lol. Those calculators must have seriously sold into the hundreds of millions of units by now, considering virtually every school child in the USA going back 3 decades were required by curriculum to have one. The best numbers I can find are from Texas Instruments themselves back in 2003, where they said they had sold about 25 million z80-equipped TI-83s in about 7 years going back to 1996. In those early days, the calculators were largely optional, it was with a bunch of big reforms to US education around 2004 with the introduction of the TI-83+ that they became mandatory for primary school math, so the majority of their sales would have come in the following 17 years, after their reported 25 million sales. So, like I said, my guess would be they sold probably over 100 million TI-83 calculators by now.

An aside about the TI-83, though, the most recent revision actually removed the ability to execute z80 assembler binaries which has upset a lot of people.

By litwr

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16-06-2020, 11:16

mars2000you wrote:

Check the Wiki for the Daewoo consoles:
They were very popular in Korea and even now, fans still create FGPA-based machines, inspired by some of these consoles.

Thank you very much. I am very impressed by the idea to use the MSX as a base for game consoles.

Cooljerk wrote:

As for z80 based gaming devices, I'll say that the TI-83 line of calculators have been in constant use for like 30 years now, propped up by the USA education system. It's 2020, and they still require you to buy a TI-83 calculator despite kids having tablets in schools, haha.

I can't believe this. Anyway thank you, I missed calculators at all. With them number of the Z80 based systems may be close to 200 million which can be greater than number of the 6502 based systems. However, I don't understand why did TI use the Z80 and not the ARM in the 90s? IMHO if they used the ARM or even 80C85 it would have consumed less power and worked longer with one charge.

By Pentarou

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16-06-2020, 11:27

Cooljerk wrote:

the architecture of the system is such that everything runs through the 68000's memory space. You can't access the VRAM memory ports from Z80 RAM

This is not correct, the Megadrive has a control signal in its cartridge port that makes it behave like a SMS, if I remember correctly when B30 is low the Z80 takes over the bus and the machine becomes a SMS/Mark3.
Sure, the Z80 can't control the 68000 peripherals, but it has its own.
During the console life, this 8 bit mode was exploited by disk copiers to bypass the TMSS protection, save on parts (just one 8 bit wide Eprom to run the copier) and offer some compatibility with the SFC (the pro fighter copiers worked on both MD/SFC) .

litwr wrote:

I is hardly to call C128 a CP/M computer. People bought it rather as the upgraded C64.

Yes, I think the same, but then one could object that the Amstrad PCW (probably CP/M best selling machine) was sold as a typewriter and not as a CP/M computer.

By Cooljerk

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16-06-2020, 11:32

litwr][quote=mars2000you wrote:

I can't believe this. Anyway thank you, I missed calculators at all. With them number of the Z80 based systems may be close to 200 million which can be greater than number of the 6502 based systems. However, I don't understand why did TI use the Z80 and not the ARM in the 90s? IMHO if they used the ARM or even 80C85 it would have consumed less power and worked longer with one charge.

My best guess would be that the TI-83 was frankensteined together from other TI calculator parts over the years. Everything about that line of calculators was engineered to be as cheap to produce as possible, with as little change as possible. In the 30 years it's been around, the only changes have been going from like 128 kb of RAM to 400 kb of RAM and changing the Z80 clockspeed from 6 mhz to 15 mhz lol. If it made little sense in 1996 to use a z80, it makes no sense to keep using them in 2020, but TI keeps it up! The sales margins on these things must be astronomical, they sell for like $120 here in the USA. It's a straight up racket. TI has a bunch of contracts with text book publishers in the US which make it so the text books tell you straight up to use the TI calculator for homework, which ensures classrooms can't move away from them, hence the requirement. So, you have to have the calculator to do the homework, and can't use an alternative because they provide TI-83 specific programs for certain projects, then jack up the price to over $100 for 60+ year old hardware. Hardware that was out of date 30 years ago when it was introduced, haha.

All that made for a pretty stable platform for games, though. There are thousands upon thousands of TI 83 games, some are really great. That's why people got so upset a few months ago when TI announced they were dropping support for z80 assembler binaries from their calculators -- they basically killed off a 30 year old software/homebrew market in one swoop.

By Grauw

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16-06-2020, 11:33

I also was an avid TI-83 user in the late 90s and early 00’s Smile. On my school it was introduced together with the "2e fase" school system. I even made a transfer program for MSX to cross-develop and transfer programs to the TI-83 with the MSX!

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