What made you want MSX instead of C64?

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By erikd

Master (255)

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27-09-2006, 22:01

When MSX and MSX2 came out, they mostly had to compete with the C64, which was (especially compared to MSX1) a lot more attractive in many ways (more users, more software, better sound, somewhat better graphics).
So what made you want an MSX instead?

The reasons that attracted me towards MSX2 (I never owned an MSX1) instead of C64 were something like this:
* It was new, more memory, more colours, higher resolutions, slightly faster CPU, more reliable higher capacity diskettes... So much new stuff to play around with Smile
* Choice: you could pick the MSX machine you liked best.
* I already knew some Z80 assembly from my previous computer (A ZX81).
* I guess I liked the japanese feel of the better games, which the C64 versions (of the games which were even available for it) never seemed to get quite right. There were notable exceptions of course, like Green Beret and Commando. But the fact that MSX was so heavily supported in japan gave the japanese games a somewhat 'mysterious' quality. The games seemed different and special. Later I got the more powerful ST, but none of the games on that had same special feel to it (although it did have some fantastic games).
* The sound add-ons like the Music Module + Keyboard were very attractive to me (I was quite interested in computer music).
* It wasn't a commodore, and I was the kind of guy that wanted to be different Tongue

Things I was a bit disappointed with:
* The PSG sounds absolutely horrendous, especially compared to the fantastic SID
* Graphics performance seemed a bit lacking, sprite limitations, no horizontal scrolling...
* The number of good MSX2 games was seriously lacking (especially the 1st 2 years), so I ended up playing mostly MSX1 games.
* Non-japanese games were mostly bland looking spectrum ports on MSX1 but slower.

So what about you guys?

(Maybe this discussion was done here many times already, I'm sorry if that's the case)

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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9883)

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27-09-2006, 22:07

we used to have a C64 first.. dark memories tho, I only remember playing pitstop and pole position Tongue .. actually I hardly remember anything at all, except having to wait for eons on loading a game. Then MSX came, with a diskdrive.. and loading games or whatever stuff was FAST!

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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27-09-2006, 22:20

My first MSX (first computer really) was a Yamaha CX5M (I did a lot of music back then) so it doesn't really compare with C64. All my friends except one (he had a Spectrum) had C64. So I didn't know anyone that had an MSX which was a bit boring. All my friends had cool games for C64 and I had to buy games or write my own (I made quite a few Manic Miner clones Wink )

Then when time came to get a better computer the choice was quite easy. I got an Atari ST. The Atari ST was way better than MSX2 for the stuff I was doing. It had the best MIDI sequencers at the time and Amiga and MSX2 didn't come even close. I kept my MSX though and continued programming it (I still have it). But having an Atari ST was almost as having an MSX. 90% of my friends had Amiga. I didn't even hear of anyone having an MSX2.

By Patsie

Master (252)

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27-09-2006, 22:34

The only guy I knew with a C64 was an arse, and my older nephew (who was cool) had an VG8020. So I had to have one of those instead of a C64 Smile
I liked MSX better than C64 because of the good basic. It was way easier to make a simple program, instead of poke'ing your brains out ;P
I didn't buy an MSX because I liked japanese games/graphics better, but got to like the games/graphics because I had an MSX. The eastern feel to the games was something new and different. Also I liked to be different as well and didn't care what kind of computer all the others had or told me what I should get.

By Edwin

Paragon (1182)

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27-09-2006, 23:00

My dad actually bought me an msx1 because I was occupying his pc too much. MSX was a logical choice because it had similar basic. Plus, the c64 keyboard sucked Wink

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5952)

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27-09-2006, 23:10

I have never been interested by C64 because at this time (the eighties), it was the jungle's law in the world of computers. Every company was releasing uncompatible versions of BASIC, so I was very enthousiast when the MSX standard was created and that the first machines were available on Europe.

My first MSX was a Sony HB-P75P, I liked his built-in database but I hated to use tapes with slow loading/saving, errors, noise ... So my next MSX had to be more powerful, with 2 diskdrives and even more ... That's why I've choosen a top-level MSX2 : the Philips NMS-8280 !!! with his digitize and superimpose features. A very nice computer, very handful (2 drives !) and a very extended MSX-BASIC !!!!

When I was comparing BASIC listings for different computers, I've always seen MSX as the best choice and C64 as the worst choice. Also on graphical side, MSX2 is really better than C64. Only Amiga can be compared with MSX2 and higher. On musical side, MSX-MUSIC should have been added inside the MSX2, but that's another story ....

By erikd

Master (255)

erikd's picture

27-09-2006, 23:47

Then when time came to get a better computer the choice was quite easy. I got an Atari ST. The Atari ST was way better than MSX2 for the stuff I was doing. It had the best MIDI sequencers at the time and Amiga and MSX2 didn't come even close. I kept my MSX though and continued programming it (I still have it). But having an Atari ST was almost as having an MSX. 90% of my friends had Amiga. I didn't even hear of anyone having an MSX2.

At one point I had to upgrade my computer because I was going to the HKU to study 'Music Technology', and decided to go for ST for the same reasons.
The choice was between a Mac Plus, an ST or an Amiga. Well, the Mac didn't play games and I thought the monitor was way too small (although it had really great music software, even more and better than on the ST), the Amiga was great for games but for music it sucked (only saw what was supposedly the best sequencer but it sucked big time), the ST seemed to be the best of both worlds (for music first Steinberg TwentyFour and later Cubase, fantastic synth editors etc).

In school they mostly used Macs, but they also had a few ST's and even a Yamaha CX5M (which we only used to play Bosconian during lunch breaks Big smile)

But even when I had the ST, I sometimes still went back to my MSX2 for games Smile

EDIT: Oh and I almost forgot, I kept using the MSX for MIDI, but the other way around: I made a program which enabled me to use the MSX as a sampler and synth module via MIDI-in (complete with programmable velocity and program changes), using the ST as a sequencer.

Ah, the memories Smile

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

27-09-2006, 23:50

I think when comparing the commodore and MSX line of computers, one need to look at when they were released to the market (e.g. comparing C64 with MSX2 is unfair since C64 MSX2 is part of the amiga generation computers):

1982-1985 MSX1, C64
1985-1987 MSX2, Amiga
1988-1990 MSX 2+, Amiga 2000
1990-2005 MSX TR, Amiga 3000/4000
2006- OCM, ???

I guess price should be taken into account too. Not sure what the price difference was.

By erikd

Master (255)

erikd's picture

27-09-2006, 23:59

IIRC, the Amiga was about twice as expensive as the MSX2 when they came out, so Amiga (or ST) was simply not an option for me at the time, and MSX2 was only slightly more expensive than a C64 with disk drive or a C128.

By Xan0ri

Master (174)

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28-09-2006, 00:11

Oh shit, I just wrote for an hour and a half a reply to this post, and then the browser shut down and my text was gone. It was the longest post I have ever written anywhere...

So... I'll start again, but this time I'll make a shorter version of my post.

My older brother bought us a atari 800xl back in 1986 and we used it for a year or so. There wasn't much games available for it so we traded the atari for a SVI-728 MSX-1 computer. That was because my bros best friend had a SVI 728 too and lots of games for it & our neighbors had a SVI 738 X'press with some konami cartidges also.
My brother lost interested in gaming quickly, but I was already hooked into the great MSX software and I became friends with my brothers friend. He taught me some basic -programming and I was even more into MSX system. Eventually our neighbors kids lost interested in gaming and they gave me their Konami games for a loooong lasting loan. After playing games like penguin adventure, kings valley & circus charlie I was convinced that MSX was/is/and will always be the BEST homecomputer system. In my opinion, machines like the already famous C-64 & the C-128 were complete rubbish.
Only thing that I thought was better than my SVI-728, was the SVI-738 X'press, which i had used in our neighbours house. I was jealous of the cool & expensive X'press, because coudn't get one for my self (no money, no honey).
Few years passed, and in early nineties ('91-92) the support for MSX system practically died here in finland. I was very sad as there was no new games available and no one I knew had MSX anymore.
In the end I HAD TO give up MSX and I ...erhm... I bought C-64.
I used the C-64 for about year but the spark was gone.. Commodore just didn't gave me the vibes I had experienced with MSX.. Smile Eventually I gave up playing and lost interest in computers completely.
Something like 7 years passed, I "grew up", and after millennium I bought a PC for myself.
I was completely in the new generation.
..Until one day in 2k4 I downloaded some MSX emulator (blueMSX or openMSX??) for old times sake.
I found it very entertaining to play those old classics, and I started digging the internet for MSX related stuff. I was amazed how much there was software that I had never known about. And that there existed MSX software that was made in the late nineties and after millennium too!!
But the thing what amazed me the most was the fact that there still was (is) a huge community of MSX user /fans left in the world.
I silently observed these forums and communities for two years until in the january of this year I found a completely working Spectravideo SVI-738 X'press in finnish internet auction.
I bought the machine and there I was again.. Completely hooked. Smile
I started participating in these forums and now I have already modded my X'press to a MSX2+, bought a FS-A1 ST Turbo-R MSX from japan, obtained some original games, visited the finnish MSX info update party and made a bunch of new friends (Like NYYRIKKI, Stt & ccfg who are also known here in MRC).

As you can see, I have seen "the darkside" Tongue

I have proven myself that MSX was / is / AND WILL ALWAYS BE the _best_ homecomputer system!

...And that's why C-64 really is not an option for me.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9883)

wolf_'s picture

28-09-2006, 00:15

At one point I had to upgrade my computer because I was going to the HKU to study 'Music Technology', and decided to go for ST for the same reasons.
yipes! Tongue Must have been the very early MT years then..

* was there @ 1997-2001

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