Commodore 64 vs MSX

by Latok on 19-11-2003, 11:57
Topic: MSX Related
Languages:

Somewhere in the 80s of the 20th century, an enjoyable fight emerged between the users of two 8bit computers, Commodore 64 and MSX. That fight lasts until present day. Many of us remember having arguments with other schoolmates about which computer is better and why. The Federation Against Commodore (FAC) was a very popular MSX group and with their software like FAC Soundtracker, they lifted the achievements of MSX to a higher level. That, in fact, for their software, they got a lot of inspiration from the Commodore scene, is of course easy to forgive and forget.

VORC has published a very interesting interview with Michael Tomczyk, a former assistent of the president of Commodore International. VORC is Japanese orientated, so the interview focusses on the question if the Japanese computerscene would have been different if the Commodore 64 would have succeeded in their country.

MSX had its most success in Japan and was never really succesful in the USA and UK. For the Commodore 64, we can say the opposite. In the interview VORC asks Michael Tomczyk about his first impression of the MSX computer. He admits he was quite scared at first, with 12 companies creating a computersystem with one standard, but... Ah well, please read it yourself, it's definitely worth it!

Relevant link: VORC Interview with Michael Tomczyk

Comments (17)

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

19-11-2003, 12:07

Right now I really do wonder about the size of the Commodore 64 community (especially compared to the MSX community. I think the MSX community can surely be the one to say having the last laugh now. Wink

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

19-11-2003, 12:19

I would not be too sure about that one. Although I wasn't able to find an all-in-community site with a lot of recent news (like the MRC) C64 still gets a lot of attention, especially in the underground demoscene. Furthermore, Tulip has bought the Commodore brand and is planning to release a C64 emulator. (See: this newspost). Also (online)magazines like slashdot, tweakers.net etc. tend to report earlier about C64 than about MSX.

However, looking at websites I think the current C64 is more about warez and less about (new) development(s) than MSX. So, you won't hear me complaining ;)

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

19-11-2003, 12:22

I don't think a Commodore 64 Revival will have much of a success when the community only contains warez anyway...

So the last laugh can be ours. Wink

By cax

Prophet (3722)

cax's picture

19-11-2003, 18:35

All I can say after reading this interview is that it's not we who chose which computer to use 15 years ago, but rather lack of choice. MSX was the best in comparison to all russian systems of the past - BK-0010, UKNC, DVK, AGAT, MIKROSHA, etc., but if I had chance to see other alternatives, like those in USA, maybe I was choosing something else.

In the end, rules of marketing is the factor which finally makes you choose your lovely platform. I am sure that the deal between Ministry of Education in USSR and Yamaha (thats why Yamaha MSX can be found in about any school or university across USSR), was the result of Yamaha's attempt to raise the whole generation of MSX lovers that will continue to use it through the whole life.

By Argon

Paragon (1085)

Argon's picture

20-11-2003, 09:12

I don't really get it...
Blocky graphics on the MSX ??? But not on the Commodore ???????

As much as I remember the MSX always had better graphics, no ?
This guy pisses me off.

Commodore sux and is made for sissies Tongue

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

20-11-2003, 09:27

HOWTO: make music with the commodore 64?

Cause: where's the PLAY statement?

Solution: poke the c64's butt to make it scream.

Better solution: get yourself an MSX!

By Sander

Ambassador (1845)

Sander's picture

20-11-2003, 10:17

I think that guy never really looked at any MSX that was turned on.

By Ivan

Ascended (9115)

Ivan's picture

20-11-2003, 10:25

I think the same.

By Ivan

Ascended (9115)

Ivan's picture

20-11-2003, 10:28

By the way, maybe in The Netherlands the comments of which computer was better were between MSX and C64 but here is Spain they were, mainly, between MSX and Spectrum (due to Spectrum conversions).

By AuroraMSX

Paragon (1901)

AuroraMSX's picture

20-11-2003, 10:52

Argon wrote:

> As much as I remember the MSX always had better graphics, no ?

No. Mind you, the man was looking at MSX1 machines. And if you compare
MSX1 graphics with the C=64, the Commie definitely has an edge!
IIRC, the C=64 has multi-colored sprites, a hi-res graphics screen
without the dreaded SCREEN2 color-spill, higher resolution (320x240?).
All the stuff you'll only find in MSX2 and up.

Also, the C=64's sound chip has more features than the PSG.
OTOH, MSX has a better/faster processor and better memory management,
and a much friendlier BASIC.

By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

Maggoo's picture

20-11-2003, 11:23

For having dealt with C64 in the past, beleive me those color contrainsts also exist on the C64. Indeed in 320*200 you only have access to 2 or 4 colors at the same time. 16 colors are obtained in 160*200. It has special modes where you can obtain higher resolution with more colors (named FLI/VFLI I think), but it'd basically done by switching quickly images, a bit like the interlaced modes on the MSX. As a result, you can't really use those modes to do anything else than display static graphics, and it flickers A LOT.

I like the SID sound chip of the C64, it has a very specific sound. However I think you underestimate the possibilities of the AY of the MSX, it's pretty decent and can make good music but it never really was used well on the MSX (people prefered to quickly switch toFM).

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

20-11-2003, 12:31

From what I remember when I worked with C64, the darn thing is a pain in the @ss to develop for. Apart from that, laughing at your competitos seems very unprofessional to me. Besides, it still seems to get to him, as if C64 and MSX were still competing... strange behaviour for a businessman if you ask me.

By cax

Prophet (3722)

cax's picture

20-11-2003, 13:15

I think that reason for his laugh is the fact he was afraid that MSX will be a lot better than C64, but when he saw MSX1 and compared it with C64, he was so glad he can compete with MSX, so this made him very happy.

By the way, when MSX appeared, how many games or other software titles were able to show the REAL abilities of MSX ? If you remember first MSX games, they were far from perfection, and the way they used VDP abilities cannot impress anybody, am I right ?
This may explain his feelings.

By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

Maggoo's picture

20-11-2003, 13:40

yeah, the inital MSX games were pretty lame. It's strange because there were already decent games for the Colecovision by then and porting from one machine to the other would have been really easy.

Indeed the very first decent MSX games were almost identical copies of the coleco version (Antartic Adventure,Cabbage Patch Kid).

By Ivan

Ascended (9115)

Ivan's picture

20-11-2003, 13:45

Yes. Compare the first Konami MSX1 games (end of 1983) with the lastest ones (like the amazing King's Valley 2).

By AuroraMSX

Paragon (1901)

AuroraMSX's picture

20-11-2003, 17:03

Maggoo wrote:

> For having dealt with C64 in the past, beleive me those color contrainsts
> also exist on the C64.

Ok, it's been some time since I dealt with C64, and my memory was
apparently a bit flawed :-)

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

02-01-2004, 23:07

I think this is a Daft Chat
as it is all one sided

I grew up on Commodores .. MSX didnt really make it here
The only way if any you could compair commodore to MSX who had the MIGHT of JAPAN AND CO. behind it in the form of YAMAHA TOSHIBA PANASONIC HITACHI MITSUBSHI OLYPINC GOLDSTAR CASIO GRANIENTE SONY SEGA SHARP PHILLIPS

Also MicroSoft

the computer that is classed as the Founder of Moden PC with groups of companys supporting it .. were Commodore were on there own

As for Games, Graphics and Music .. ive seen stuff that i wouldnt expect of the old C64 .. the sort i would expect or a Amiga .. such things are down to the brilliants of the programer to understand the use the fullness of the computer .. some thing of todays PCs isnt use .. unless you class the stealing of RAM that!!!

MSX Grew to the Moden PC were the Commodore died and reborn in the Amiga and died again and Rebord yet again from FANS like your selfs