Sony HB-F1II
This page was last modified 16:58, 11 January 2023 by Mars2000you. Based on work by TheNestruo and Manuel and others.




The Sony HB-F1II computer is a cost reduced version of the HB-F1 to better compete against the Panasonic FS-A1, while also adding a REN-SHA-TURBO slider (autofire for both joystick and spacebar).

It was available only in black, and aimed at the Japanese market.

This machine includes a pause button that allows users to pause the system at will and a speed slider which can be used to slow down the system.

The reset button that was missing on the HB-F1 is back, on a new location compared to HB-F5 and all Sony MSX1 machines: to the right of the 1st cartridge slot instead to be to the right of the DEL or STOP key.

The cursors keys have a socket for a small 'stick joystick' - which mechanically operates the cursor keys - when not in use the joystick can be clipped in a special storage hole under the machine.

It is provided with the external power adapter AC-HB3.

Brand Sony
Model HB-F1II
Year 1987
Region Japan
Launch price ¥29,800
RAM 64kB in slot 3-3
VRAM 128kB
Media MSX cartridges
Video Yamaha V9938
Audio PSG
Chipset Yamaha S1985
Keyboard layout QWERTY/JIS
Extras reset button, pause button, speed controller, Ren-Sha Turbo (autofire), firmware (Personal Databank with extra applications)
Emulation ROMs dumped and emulated


The machine comes with a built-in Personal Databank with saving on cassette tape, the HBI-55 data cartridge or an external disk drive.

The firmware is launched automatically when you boot the machine. Bypassing it on startup requires the user to press the DEL key during boot until a Beep sound.

This software has 5 options: BASIC, Address, Schedule, Memo, Copy (limited when a HBI-55 cartridge is not present).

The 3rd option (5th when there's a disk drive) of the Copy menu leads to the Erase Data screen.

When there's a HBI-55 cartridge, it is possible in MSX-BASIC to save little programs on the data cartridge and to load / run them from this cartridge, with the instructions SAVE"CAT:" and LOAD"CAT:".

From MSX-BASIC, you can go to the Personal Databank with CALL HITBIT or _HITBIT.

By comparison with the HB-F5, the firmware has been improved with a better layout, animation at the top of the menu, removal of the weird 80 columns mode and addition of 3 extra applications under function keys:

  • F2 = Calculator
  • F3 = Clock
  • F4 = Calendar

Easter egg

When keeping the Y and P keys pressed during boot, you will get a scrolling list of the development team followed by a digitized voice saying "It's a Sony!". A video of it is available here.

The reference to "Yellow Panther" that was present in the corresponding ROM of the HB-F1 has been removed, but the firmware of both machines is exactly the same.

The font used in the easter egg covers the entire charset, despite the text only shows a few, and despite there is no CALL FONT(n) instruction (as in the MSX1 HB-11 firmware) to directly use it.

However, this font can be used in MSX-BASIC by setting the right values in the system variable CGPNT. Either slot 3-0, address 0x485C for the easter egg font, or slot 3-2, address 0x54DB for a serif font:

  • POKE &HF91F,&H83:POKE &HF920,&H5C:POKE &HF921,&H48
  • POKE &HF91F,&H8B:POKE &HF920,&HDB:POKE &HF921,&H54



Sony HB-F1II box
Sony HB-F1II
Sony HB-F1II
Sony HB-F1II manuals
Sony HB-F1II label
Aligned PCB Image Pair - Back
Sony HB-F1II PCB detail
FS-A1 & HB-F1II adapter
Sony HB-F1II underside
Sony HB-F1II
Sony HB-F1II back


Personal Databank

Main menu without HBI-55
Main menu with HBI-55
Main menu if FDD (no HBI-55)
Main menu with FDD + HBI-55
Copy (no HBI-55, no FDD)
Copy (with HBI-55 only))
Copy if FDD (no HBI-55)
Copy (with FDD + HBI-55)
Erase Data

Extra applications

Calculator (F2)
Clock (F3)
Calendar (F4)

Easter egg

Development team


The Sony HB-F1II is a MSX2 with 2 cartridge slots (one at the top, one at the back). The CPU is a Z80A from NEC (uPD780C-1). A MSX-Engine from Yamaha (S1985) is used.

The AC-HB3 power adapter specifications are the same as the Panasonic FS-AA51 adapter for the Panasonic FS-A1 and FS-A1mkII.

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 8000h~BFFFh Firmware 2 Firmware 3
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Firmware 1
Page 0000h~3FFFh Sub-ROM



As it is conceived, this computer is compatible with the addition of a disk drive. Contrary to what happens when you add a disk drive to the HB-55 and HB-75 MSX1 machines, the firmware menu is no longer skipped and some functions of the integrated software have been modified to take the disk drive into account. The insertion of the HBI-55 cartridge in a free slot does not disable the disk drive.

External links