Electric Software Astron SoftCard Adaptor
This page was last modified 17:19, 3 April 2022 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Rderooy.

Contents

Description

The Electric Software Astron SoftCard Adaptor is an MSX Cartridge to SoftCard Adapter.

The SoftCard is roughly the size of a credit card, but thicker. The SoftCard is effectively a ROM cartridge in a smaller form factor. To customers it was advertised as being more practical then regular cartridges as it required less physical space to store them and more practical then tape.

The purpose of the SoftCard was to provide a lower cost solution then cartridge based software, while still providing the same ease of use and protection against piracy compared to tape or disk distributed software. The customer only needed a single SoftCard Adapter.

SoftCards were offered only in selected regions, mainly the UK but some games were also offered in Spain by SERMA.

The SoftCard was also advertised by Reis-Ware Computer-Produkte GmbH, a small German software house, for both the MSX and C64, but no SoftCard products from Reis-Ware are actually known to exist.

In Japan, the BeeCard by Hudson was a similar approach. The Astron SoftCard is however not compatible with the Hudson BeeCard. The Hudson BeeCard has a single row of 32 connectors, while the Astron SoftCard has two rows with a total of 38 connectors.

Relatively few games have been released on cards, and the medium vanished rather quickly. Most SoftCard distributed software was also available on other formats like cartridge or tape.

Gallery

Electric Software Astron SoftCard with Game
Astron SoftCard ad from MSX Magazine 1985-09
Electric Software Astron SoftCard
Unreleased Konami Pippols and Hyper Rally for SoftCard
Electric Software Ad for the SoftCard
Reis-Ware Ad for the SoftCard

SoftCard software

Product Region Year Title
Electric Software 5302 UK 1984 Shark Hunter
Electric Software 5304 UK 1984 Backgammon
Electric Software 5305 UK 1985 Le Mans 2
Electric Software 5306/1 UK 1984 The Wreck
Electric Software 5307 UK 1985 Barnstormer
Electric Software 5310 UK 1984 Sweet Acorn
Electric Software 5311 UK 1984 Chack'n Pop
Electric Software 5312 UK 1984 ChoroQ
Electric Software 5313 UK 1984 Xyxolog
Electric Software DB014 UK 1986 Front Line
Electric Software DD150 UK 1986 Graphics Editor
Electric Software ???? UK 1986 (*) Unknown title:
CAD with digitizing for MSX2
SERMA 5509 ES  ? Quiniela Fútbolistica 1X2
SERMA 6202 ES 1984 Backgammon
SERMA 6203 ES 1984 La Bellota (Sweet Acorn)
SERMA ? ES  ? Lotería Primitiva
SERMA ? ES  ? Quiniela Hipica


(*) Shown at fairs - ?unreleased

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