Sony HB-11
This page was last modified 19:02, 10 August 2023 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Acet and others.
Sony HB-11 blue




The Sony HB-11 is the last MSX1 computer released by Sony, aimed at the Japanese market. It is called "HitBit U" (U for University?) and is dedicated to students.

The case color is available in red or deep blue. The power supply is buit-in.

The design is intermediate between the HB-201 and the HB-10, as only the pause button and the carrying handle have been removed.

A retractable stick is build in the middle of the cursor keys, which can be used as joystick. As on the HB-501, the back of the case has a location to store the stick during transport.

The HB-11 is one of the rare MSX1 computers having a Kanji-ROM Level 1 (JIS1). It is even mentioned on the box.

Brand Sony
Model HB-11
Year 1986-02-21
Region Japan
Launch price ¥48,000
RAM 64kB (in slot 3-2)
Media Cartridges
Video Texas Instruments TMS9118NL
Audio PSG (YM2149 integrated in MSX-Engine)
Chipset Yamaha S3527
Keyboard layout QWERTY/JP50on
Extras reset button, built-in joystick, Kanji-ROM level 1, SonyFont BASIC, firmware: Word Land Sentence II (Japanese Word Processor) + English-Japanese Dictionary + extra BASIC instruction - tape with examples
Emulation ROMs dumped and emulated


The firmware is launched automatically when you boot the machine.

The Personal Databank of many Sony MSX1 computers has been replaced by a firmware with 2 applications and a global menu with 3 options:

  • English-Japanese Dictionary created by the Stratford Computer Center Corporation

After choice of a printer, you access the main screen on which you can input English words. If the entered word is not found in the dictionary, a list with all words starting with the first letter will be displayed.

By pressing ESC on the main screen, you can go back to the menu.

From MSX-BASIC, you can

  • start this firmware with CALL HITBIT or _HITBIT
  • use 7 alternative fonts in SCREEN 1 with the extra BASIC instruction CALL FONT or _FONT

Easter egg

If the P key is held during boot, an easter egg is started (using one of the alternative MSX-BASIC fonts) with the list of the development team.

The S key can be used to mute the sounds of the firmware boot animation.

The firmware also contains a hidden text: "A Yellow Panther Production MCMLXXXV", what seems to indicate that it was made by the same coding team as the firmware of the HB-F1 and HB-F1II MSX2 computers.


A tape "Patsy Duck's Card" is provided in addition to this firmware, it contains 50 examples of templates.



Sony HB-11 red
Sony HB-11 box
Sony HB-11 box back
Sony HB-11 box and content
Sony HB-11 blue
Sony HB-11 stick slot
Sony HB-11 manuals + tape
Sony HB-11 PCB
Sony HB-11 PCB (underside)
Sony HB-11 tape
Sony HB-11 red back
Sony HB-11 label
Sony HB-11 blue back



Sony HB-11 firmware menu

English-Japanese Dictionary

Printer selection
Word not found
List of words
Word example
Dictionary end screen

Japanese Word Processor

MSX1 menu
Word Land Sentence II on MSX1

Easter egg

Development team
End of Easter egg


The HB-11 is a MSX1 with a Z80A from NEC (DA780C-1), an MSX-Engine from Yamaha (S3527) and two cartridge slots at the top of the computer.

Slot Map

Slot 0 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3-0 Slot 3-1 Slot 3-2 Slot 3-3
Page C000h~FFFFh Cartridge
Slot 1
Slot 2
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Firmware EJDIC3
Page 0000h~3FFFh
  • The firmware is a 96kB ROM in the 128kB chip used by Sony for the Main-ROM and the firmware. It can be divided in 3 parts of 32kB, according the used slots:
    • slot 3-0
      • page 1: menu, SonyFont BASIC, _FONT(1) data and the EN-JP dictionary code
      • page 2: the EN-JP dictionary data 1 from 'About' to 'Imitate'
    • slot 3-1
      • page 1: the EN-JP dictionary data 3 from 'Terrible' to 'Zoo' and _FONT(2 to 6) data
      • page 2: the EN-JP dictionary data 2 from 'Important' to 'Tenth'
    • slot 3-3: the Japanese Word Processor (without the 41 42 signature at the beginning, that is present on the cartridge version)