What (in your opinion) the reason of...

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By PingPong

Prophet (3460)

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08-04-2012, 17:56

the relatively low success of msx worldwide?
(teoretically a 'consortiumn' of brands like yamaha, philips, sony, toshiba...... etc, could destroy the competitors, instead.....)
tech specs? (gfx, sound, cpu power)
wrong marketing?
was too late for 8 bits?

(multiple reasons allowed, in order of relevance)

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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9776)

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08-04-2012, 18:17

  • The standard being too small. Sure, MSX has almost maximum expandability features, but content producers need their audience to have a guaranteed minimum of hardware.
  • The VDP.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6281)

ARTRAG's picture

08-04-2012, 18:33

At that time the HW was already outdate when the standard was agreed
Manufacturer were aiming only to low production costs
none seriously invested in evolvoing the HW specs
Who did some research spent it in proprietary products

By sjoerd

Hero (593)

sjoerd's picture

08-04-2012, 18:41

The minimum standard was too low. And in America the marketing was not optimal.

MSX should have had 64KB RAM minimum and all in the same slot. MSX software not working on any MSX machine did a lot of damage. And of course, smooth scrolling.

MSX2 should have had a faster CPU, disk drive, and scrolling. Or at least a nametable system for all graphics screens. And SCC for sound - a lot cheaper than FM chips, I guess.

MSX2+ should not exist.

Turbo R should have had a gfx9000 and a v9958 for gfx.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6281)

ARTRAG's picture

08-04-2012, 19:08

Agree
msx2 has a too low processor wrt its new bitmap modes
the vdp was too slow as blitter and missing any other feature to help the cpu in moving graphic
sprites themselves were missing patterns for colors and thus too heavvy for advanced games

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

RetroTechie's picture

08-04-2012, 19:48

As a home computer, just one of many in a market already crowded with C64, ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-bit, BBC etc. Software compatibility issues due to complex memory layout didn't help... Crazy
As a business machine: underpowered, lacking storage options, and no company focusing on business software.

MSX2 could have made a big jump but didn't. Same CPU, just floppy drive but even that wasn't standard. Whatever market there was to grab between 'pure' home computers & business PC, was grabbed by Amiga, Atari ST, 16-bit game consoles and (later) 'multimedia PC'.

To be popular today, each MSX generation should have made a big jump in CPU speed (8 -> 16 -> 32 bit), graphics performance & storage options. But didn't -> too little, too late. The tech world moves fast, keep up or die... Hannibal

By PingPong

Prophet (3460)

PingPong's picture

08-04-2012, 22:30

wolf_ wrote:
  • The standard being too small. Sure, MSX has almost maximum expandability features, but content producers need their audience to have a guaranteed minimum of hardware.
  • The VDP.

@wolf: while is clear that a specification of only 8KB RAM was for the era, already small, can you explain better your position about VDP weakness? What was missing in your opinion?

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9776)

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08-04-2012, 22:53

Mainly talking MSX2 here:

  • speed (can't update a whole bitmap screen per int), more often than not, the Z80 is just wasting time, waiting for the VDP
  • limited sprites (no true bitmaps, always on top of the gfx, limited amount on screen)
  • no full-width horizontal scrolling, and in addition: a border mask like on a 2+ would've been nice..

By PingPong

Prophet (3460)

PingPong's picture

08-04-2012, 23:03

wolf_ wrote:

Mainly talking MSX2 here:

  • speed (can't update a whole bitmap screen per int), more often than not, the Z80 is just wasting time, waiting for the VDP
  • limited sprites (no true bitmaps, always on top of the gfx, limited amount on screen)
  • no full-width horizontal scrolling, and in addition: a border mask like on a 2+ would've been nice..

But, let me point out, that , with the exception of smooth scroll support, the other features required an amount of power, memory bandwith unusual for those beast. The requirement to be compatible with TMS sprite system limited also a lot.
About the z80 wasting time it's not clear what you are meaning. as a MSX2 owner i can confirm you that the vdp is able to stay up to a full bunch of OUTI even in active area. So the main bottleneck is in this situation the CPU.

By PingPong

Prophet (3460)

PingPong's picture

08-04-2012, 23:11

@all: my question was more referring mainly the first gen of msx machines because successive generations have lower chances to change the situations. basically, successive generations can do little to correct previous generation limits because of the already existing installed 'base'

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6281)

ARTRAG's picture

08-04-2012, 23:53

If sprites would have had patterns for colors (say 128 patterns + EC bit) compatibility with msx1 would have only improved and the cpu load for animations would have greatly reduced

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