MSX Association and Europe

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By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

10-02-2003, 20:25

Just a few facts to make you think if Japan/Nishi really left us

- the name MSXPLAYer was based on suggestions from the MSX Community. Most suggestions came from the European MSX community, most of them are printed in the Magazine
- MSX Association have tried to contact dutch and brazilian hardware developers many times before in the early stages of the revival. No one believed in the revival, or at least not in it approach, no one cooperated.
- Nishi gave a long lecture for free in Tilburg 2001. Normally he charges about 25.000 euro's per hour (half hour???). Go to the articles section and read the report there. He sincerely apologized for dropping MSX, and clearly explained it were the companies producing MSX-es that had far too high expectations of the sales-rates (every TV a computer) at the time.
- Japanese gaming companies still wanted to release games in Europe, even translated versions. No dutch distributor wanted to burn their hands on a market roamed by piracy however. An example of Microcabin is somewhere else in this forum
- We're in the early stages of this project. I think there are very few companies who let projects like this to be followed this early this closely. We're talking inside information here.
- Like Grauw pointed out. Releasing a product world wide is never a good idea. If you have a new product, you start with a small market that is most likely to embrace your product. For MSX, that is Japan. Japan is only a few years off the market there. Outside of Japan, there were decade(s) and generations without any official MSX whatsoever.
- Releasing a magazine costs a rediculous ammount of money. Distribution is a pain in the ass. You'll only sell the magazine when it is in all the small shops. I had a talk about this with someone in the publication business. There are about 2000 selling points for computer-related magazines in the Netherlands alone. There are only little people who would like to buy a magazine that is not in their mother tongue. If you think you'll sell 2000 magazines, every selling point will receive excactly one magazine. If it's sold, it's sold out. If it isn't sold, it goes back to the distributor again. He can't do anything with it no more, because then it already is an old magazine. Think of how many selling points there would be if you want to sell magazines all over Europe and Brazil. I think it can hardly be profitable. Yet Smile
- Nishi didn't forbid you to create software for MSX. The possibility of creating new software (and even hardware) quite easily is one of the things MSX is all about. The MSX Association only summed up some quite understandable guidelines for the use of the MSX logo.

By Grauw

Ascended (9666)

Grauw's picture

10-02-2003, 20:43

Nothing like a hard-enough post to discover the number of users here!!!!
First of all, I should say that calling Dr. Nishi "a traitor" was a kind of joke or what-so-ever, but the main idea is the same: we are not in Japan, we cannot decide, we cannot benefit the project with our own ideas.

I agree with the problem about Micro$oft MSX-BASIC copyright, but what is really annoying is the feeling that we have been left apart. MSX Magazine has been a really huge success, but at least I expected that the english page were updated more often.
And it is nothing "personal". What can we do? Any ideas? Would not it be better just to join european/brazilian efforts and select a new standard for us? We have really high-qualified hardware developers and it can be done if we accept only one standard, our own standard, without counting with japanesse people.

I wrote about this on this forum before, you can read the message by following this link:
www.msx.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB_14&file=index&action=viewtopic&topic=598

Basically my point of view is that I really don't see the 'current MSX scene' reaching a consensus of any kind. The very difference in our opinion demonstrates this. It would definately be good if European/Brazilian efforts joined (I said that years ago already but nothing ever happened, I doubt it will in the future), although I don't understand the omission of the Japanese all of a sudden, I have nothing against them and ESE made some great projects!

Actually, I personally know more about Japanese, Dutch and Spanish hardware projects than Brazilian. I think new MSX designs like CIEL3++ are cool, and I am definately interested in it, but if I take this very same example, it keeps getting postponed, the specs keep changing and the information is in Portuguese only. As an end result we (European people) are keeping horribly disinformed and have no clue how it is progressing and whether there will ever be something released, or whether it's just vapourware. There is no better attitude from Brazil towards Europe than from Japan as far as that is concerned, and just like I show a little pessimism towards CIEL3++ I have also shown pessimism against ASCII's plans. However they have shown to put serious effort in it, and I now also know quite a lot about what's going on (not in the least thanks to msx.org!! thanks guys!). So I can only conclude that I actually am *better* informed about what's going on in Japan! Important and well-informed, close to the project people from Japan (Mr. Nishi himself and Yokoi from ESE) took the effort to visit us and explain their plans to us. I don't feel abandoned or something at all!

So, a bit of self-reflection might be nice here. And realism aswell, so far there've been no signs of any attempt of cooperation between for example Ademir and Padial, and I doubt there will ever be. I suspect their views on certain important aspects are too different to match. However we are getting actual results from Japan, and there are definately steps taken for cooperation as (Rob Hiep? Peter Burkhard? from) Sunrise pointed out.

All the problems that you mentioned (copyright issues, little and divided MSX market in different countries) will continue for ANYTHING done by the MSX Association. They really want to earn money and that reason is strong enough to get us out of all this. We are not here for the money, just for the fun. We can do different things and I think that better and bigger things because we are not constrained by that "LET'S-MAKE-MONEY" philosophy. It is just an idea, I do not want to argue with anyone, I am just writting down what I think about the MSX Association.

A hobbyist 'new msx' would be nice, however I think some form of commercial base is much better. Developments will go faster, the MSX community might grow again, and there are some practical aspects too like, a commercial effort with a large userbase can mass-produce which will make things cheaper, has access to more resources and better documentation, and (a very practical matter Ademir for example runs in to) can create decent casings to put the new boards in.

I personally don't mind the commercial attitude at all, after all we live in a capitalist world and MSX has always been commercial in the past when it was still 'alive'. I don't like it better now than I did back then. The good things about commercial is that it makes a lot of things easier, large investments, acquiring components, manufacturing, well I named them already before ^_^. The bad thing of it is that it requires a market. If the market is not there, it will not work out. However if that happens we would care ofcourse, but not be utterly destroyed by it, because we still have our hobbyist attitude and just continue on our own again.

There's definately 'bad' kinds of commercialism like for example Microsoft's, with their monopolist and controlling and money-making attitudes, however ASCII is the 'good kind' of commercial firm I think. They intend to make things cheap, and are all in favour of things like open standards, etc. And their actions so far have shown they *do* care about the user's input!

We cannot blame them, but we are left out of (their) MSX Revival Project.

I have no decisive power in it, no, that's for sure. But as I wrote in the other message elsewhere in the forum, it would be in my opinion impossible to form a general consensus among the MSX community. Therefore, the community as a whole could not possible be given decisive power. Aside from that, it would also slow down the progress of the revival, and I actually fear for 'affairs', developers who are involved but don't agree on some point breaking cooperation with ASCII, and spreading bad rumours, or worse. It has happened before, and I can see it happen again, ordinary mud-fights. It won't do any good at all. The Japanese have already expressed a certain distrust towards groups of people because of the attitudes they have experienced (remember the alarming mail from Ikeda to the mailinglist? Apparantly he had gotten a couple of (almost-)hatemail and with accusations of him being a liar and all. The Anti-MSX Revival thing didn't do any good either), and from that I can understand they fear the same.

They attempted to form cooperation deals in the past, however then they bumped into disbelief, and now we are pushing them away ourselves with our negative opinions. If I were them I wouldn't want to cooperate with people saying such negative things about me either, sometimes even -in my eyes at the least- untrue. Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to shut up ;p, but these are the facts, this is how MSX-Association and all respond, and I can't entirely blame them. They have to deal with a lot of pessimism and negative input.

~Grauw

By Grauw

Ascended (9666)

Grauw's picture

10-02-2003, 21:32

By the way, I would like to congratulate myself with my 100th post on the MSX forum, and Bart aswell for the same reason, and I would also like to congratulate myself with surpassing Bart, and my 21st birthday ^_^. Yay.

Damn disappointment I'm still nothing more than an 'msx lover' ^_^.

~Grauw

oh, and ps., I am also the proud owner of an offical ASCII MSX Magazine, and hence also of a copy of the MSX-Player including a number of games. It is a pretty good emulator, I can tell you that.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

11-02-2003, 15:15

To quote some of the original text:
So, I will continue using software produced more than 10 years ago without paying ANYTHING,
Hey, piracy is always free. What strange statement is this...


and I will continue coding for the MSX platform without indicating that "all my work and happiness belongs to MSX Association".

Another strange statement. All you have to do is say "MSX is a trademark of MSX Association"! Before you had to say the same but replace 'MSX Association' with 'Microsoft' and later 'ASCII Corporation'.
Saying that does not give MSX Assoc. any rights to your product. It's your product! And if you were meaning another joke, it's a very bad one ^^;

Why is it that now some commercial company comes along, some people think they are attacked by the devil itself? Question

By Latok

msx guru (3815)

Latok's picture

11-02-2003, 15:19

I'm wondering that myself, GuyveR800. People are reacting in suprising ways.....

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

14-02-2003, 01:13

Well, we were the lucky country. Nishi visited the Netherlands. He did not visit Spain, nor Brazil, nor....

By Sander

Ambassador (1863)

Sander's picture

14-02-2003, 11:52

Yeah wrub it in Snout. A well, who knows Nishi will come again if the new MSX chip is a fact, to promote it.

I would like to see a gigant dinosaur floating above Amsterdam Central Station, that's one thing for sure! Wink

(If you don't know what I'm talking about, search on google on Nishi and the history of MSX)

By Grauw

Ascended (9666)

Grauw's picture

15-02-2003, 01:38

Heh, btw, is it me or do I see small references to the 'low transparancy' of Brazilian (or other foreign) projects in other recent messages in this forum aswell now? No one responded to my message yet (hello there Brazilian people! ;p), but I guess it made somewhat of an impact, at least to other Dutch people ghehehe.

Well, if anything, things can only change for the better, imho. Although one should take care not to alienate the different MSX communities by being too negative about things, constructive criticism is good, but too much criticism, even if it is constructive, isn't. International contacts should be intensified, not become worse, and there goes a little effort into that. The MSX Resource Center, as imho *the* major international source of msx-related information and news, has a large rôle to play in that.

~Grauw

By msxhans

Expert (77)

msxhans's picture

16-02-2003, 10:00


Well, if anything, things can only change for the better, imho. Although one should take care not to alienate the different MSX communities by being too negative about things, constructive criticism is good, but too much criticism, even if it is constructive, isn't. International contacts should be intensified, not become worse, and there goes a little effort into that. The MSX Resource Center, as imho *the* major international source of msx-related information and news, has a large rôle to play in that.

Well,after all the messages here with strong words about the Brazilian Anti MSX Revival and now the approach to the Flash products I think Grauw is right about this. From my private contacts with Brasil and Spain MSX users i see a not so positive view of the dutch MSX community lately and a tendency to 'ignore' the dutch. We often speak about and acknowledge a cultural difference between the rest of the world and Japan. Note that there is also a difference between the way we tend to approach each other in the Netherlands (and we are a not so polite country, i personally hate that) and in the South of Europe and South America. Some messages here (and moderating has helped lately!) are considered personal insults in other countries and do not start a discussion but end it.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

16-02-2003, 11:02

From my private contacts with Brasil and Spain MSX users i see a not so positive view of the dutch MSX community lately and a tendency to 'ignore' the dutch. We often speak about and acknowledge a cultural difference between the rest of the world and Japan. Note that there is also a difference between the way we tend to approach each other in the Netherlands (and we are a not so polite country, i personally hate that) and in the South of Europe and South America. Some messages here (and moderating has helped lately!) are considered personal insults in other countries and do not start a discussion but end it.
It's good you point out those cultural differences, it explains a lot...
However, it would be very unfortunate if the Brasilian and Spanish community move away from us Dutch just because of that!

Communication between different cultures should be based on understanding, both ways. So the Dutch could try to use a little more politeness, but the others could try not to see insults where we don't intend them.

And isn't it convenient to just ignore the rest of the world?! Wow, no more having to write english! :/ Is it unwillingness or what... I don't know!

Concerning international relations the dutch have, since the discovery of foreign MSX scenes via the internet, made an effort to make everything as international as possible. The what some consider 'dutch' MSX Mailinglist is actually an international one where english is spoken. The same counts for IRC channels and more importantly, our websites! (Like msx.org!)
Although understandable, you can't blame us for saying "Why don't they?"...

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