MSX prototype

MSX prototype

by Jorito on 18-06-2012, 13:14
Topic: Hardware
Tags: ASCII, prototype

In the past we have ocasionally seen pictures appear from ASCII's MSX2 prototypes and prototypes of MSX2+ computers. We also saw a prototype of an MSX1 with an external Z80.

What we didn't see yet was a more extensive collection of images of these prototypes. That changed when the Digibarn computer museum in California, USA, received a prototype MSX machine.The prototype comes without a case, looks a lot like a hobby project and is built on top of a wooden plate.

Luc Sala, the previous owner of the prototype, was known in Holland as the publisher of the MSX-info magazine. When he donated the prototype to Digibarn, he wrote:


I got it from Kay Nishi himself, on one of my visits to Tokyo, it's an actual development model from Kay's group. I had a magazine called msx-info in those days, might still have some copies. Philips and sony were then heavy into this msx (microsoft extended basic) untill Bill and Kay got into a fight about respect or something and Philips f-ed up the CD-i connection with Microsoft.

According to our forums these pictures are from a Yamaha MSX2 computer. More information and pictures can be found on the Digibarn site.

Relevant link: MSX Game System Prototype (May 198?)

Comments (16)

By Huey

Prophet (2676)

Huey's picture

18-06-2012, 16:03

Wow! It took almost 5 years to make it from forum post to news post. Cool Cool

Fun fact: The DigiBarn is Closed for Remodeling in 2010 but seems it never reopened Wink

By Gradius2

Hero (626)

Gradius2's picture

18-06-2012, 16:06

So much dust! Why they didn't cleaned the poor thing??!?!!? Crying

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1771)

Jorito's picture

18-06-2012, 16:36

Not every user is active on the forum, and it would be a shame if they would miss tidbits such as these. I can see this happening more, as long as the info is interesting enough Smile

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

18-06-2012, 16:40

Added to that, in order to reduce the delay between something popping up in our forum (or somewhere else) and the fully fledged newspost on our frontpage, feel free to submit some news every now and then Smile

By hap

Paragon (2039)

hap's picture

18-06-2012, 19:09

Reading between the lines, you guys are basically blaming Manuel for it. Shocked!

By The_Engineer

Master (177)

The_Engineer's picture

18-06-2012, 21:33

When you look at the pictures (and the thread in the forum) this is clearly an MSX2 prototype.
Too bad there is no picture showing the V9938.

By kuuno

Master (231)

kuuno's picture

18-06-2012, 21:51

Perhaps a nice idea for the wiki? MSX prototypes, specs and perhaps rom dumps (if its possible).

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1771)

Jorito's picture

18-06-2012, 22:17

Definitely a good idea for the wiki! If you think you have any good info on it, feel free to create a page on this topic. Personally I'd like to see all prototypes with info and pictures on a single page!

By cax

Prophet (3736)

cax's picture

18-06-2012, 23:25

I always knew Yamaha YIS503 is the way MSX was meant to be !

By msxholder

Champion (393)

msxholder's picture

18-06-2012, 23:36

What MSX computer is a prototype What kind of interface is a prototype how many should be made
to call it a Prototype. When philips borrowed an interface from sony,spectravideo or toshiba
rebuild it or modified it is it then A Prototype ?

By cklayman

Champion (297)

cklayman's picture

21-06-2012, 01:21

cax wrote:

I always knew Yamaha YIS503 is the way MSX was meant to be !

I wonder if this really is a prototype. The keyboard looks identical to the keyboard of YIS503. I would think Yamaha would improve on the prototype's keyboard when they started mass producing YIS503.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

08-01-2015, 04:22

These aren't prototypes, but the MSX-ISV developer kits. You see them all around the place in older MSX Magazines.

By Manuel

Ascended (18240)

Manuel's picture

08-01-2015, 08:46

Heheh, 'prototype' seems to be a figment of the imagination of the author of this news post Smile Luc Sala speaks about 'development model'. You could think he means a prototype, but he indeed can also just have meant a 'developer kit'. Smile So, I guess you're right, Javi Smile

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

08-01-2015, 09:40

There are a bunch of these in older MSX Magazine, when they go interview software companies. Looks like they loved to show their development hardware:

A cool red development/prototype machine (MSX Magazine, November 1985):

Developing Laydock at T&E Soft (MSX Magazine, April 1986):

Other software companies also in the April 1986 issue of MSX Magazine:

Edit: changed the HUGE PNG images to smaller JPGs.

By Grauw

Ascended (10156)

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08-01-2015, 18:52

Nice finds Smile.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

09-01-2015, 01:48

Thanks. Those old magazines are full of little jewels like this. There's also a big report about that event celebrating one million MSX computers sold, when Nishi put a 30m-tall dinosaur in the middle of Shinjuku. :-)

Edit: 30m long, 18m tall