MSX

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MSX was a standardized range of Z80 based 8 bit computers developed by Microsoft and various (mostly) japanese producers to exploit... Microsoft Softwares.

MSX stands for "Machines with Software eXchangeability".

4 generations of MSX were produced, each with it's own system specs upgrades and retro compatible with past specifications.

It was a serious technical concurrent to the Amstrad CPC range, later specifications being closer to 16bit computers than other 8bit systems. Yet a lot of similarities and differences between the 2 systems.

Despite having the colour attributes logic (MSX1 mostly, the other through retro compatibility), it wasn't as bad as on the Speccy.

  • the MSX1 attributes are 8x1 pixels instead of 8x8 pixels (Speccy or even C64).
  • the machine includes proper 1bpp Hardware Sprites, which enable to have no attribute clashes compared to software sprites.
  • The machine has a proper VRAM, sort of proper graphical card as comparable to IBM PC.


As a Z80 based computer, many European Sofware developers did those awful scrappy Speccy Ports, which Japanese couldn't understand

"why do they have so sclappy glaphics ?")

Later MSX standards (MSX2, MSX2+ and turboR) included a large panel of extra video modes without the colours clashes.

But it wasn't until the MSX2+ that the MSX could do proper smooth Scrollings, the Video card having trouble to do smooth software Scrolling, MSX2+ and later specs got a proper smooth Hardware Scrolling implemented.


The MSX was perhaps to Japan what the CPC was to France (keeping to the proportions of course). Or what the ZX Speccy was to England or eastern Europe (Speccy clones mostly...)

A "serious" computer mostly used as home computer for gaming purpose by kids.


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