ASCII MSX Game Reader
This page was last modified 22:27, 9 February 2020 by Rderooy. Based on work by Mars2000you and Gdx.



The MSX Game Reader was developed by ASCII and released in 2004 in Japan. It is a MSX Cartridge to USB adapter, and is meant to be used with the MSX-PLAYer emulator.

It comes with a CD-ROM with the MSX-PLAYer emulator and 32-bit Windows 2000/XP drivers. Depending on the cartridge inserted the emulator will either emulate an MSX1 or TurboR. This was probably done as the color palette of the MSX1 is slightly different to that of later MSX models. Note that the support in blueMSX is different, allowing to run the MSX machine and/or generation that you prefer.

The ASCII version has a Japanese language MSX-PLAYer version.

Sunrise was able to get distribution rights for Europe, and shipped their own version of the MSX Game Reader in 2005, with an English language version of the MSX-PLAYer emulator.

The version of the MSX-PLAYer emulator provided with this adapter is bridled, as it works only when the presence of a cartridge in the slot is detected. Some new cartridges are not detected due to some of their components. For access to MSX-BASIC, you need to insert a non-executable cartridge in the slot of the MSX Game Reader.

The adapter is supported only by blueMSX and the MSX-PLAYer emulator and you need to use 32-bits Windows XP. Neither the MSX-PLAYer emulator or the Windows drivers have had any updates. It is not possible to use the adapter with more recent Windows versions, especially on 64-bit systems. More recently the communication has been reverse engineered, and an opensource driver has been written (linked at the bottom).


ASCII version

ASCII MSX Game Reader
ASCII MSX Game Reader - back
ASCII MSX Game Reader - bottom
ASCII MSX Game Reader - overview
ASCII MSX Game Reader - PCB

Sunrise version

Sunrise MSX Game Reader
Sunrise MSX Game Reader - back
Sunrise MSX Game Reader - board
Sunrise MSX Game Reader - board bottom

Dip switch settings

Switch Description
1 Selects MSX slot 1 or 2
2 ID select
3 ID select
4 Enable programming