Sony HB-55
This page was last modified 19:40, 22 January 2021 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Rderooy and Gdx.




This machine was aimed at the Japanese market - see HB-55 series for the technical details

Official price: ¥54,800


The firmware is launched automatically when you boot the machine. Due to some limitations of the original firmware, there have been two revisions of this machine:

  • in the first revision with a 8kB firmware ROM, if you select any of the options in the firmware menu while the HBI-55 cartridge is not present, you get a message requesting to power off and insert this cartridge. This is because the firmware only supports saving of data to this S-RAM cartridge.

The menu includes only 4 options; Address, Schedule, Memo and BASIC. Also the graphic aspect of the firmware menu and applications was not very attractive.

  • in the second revision with a 16kB firmware ROM, these problems have been fixed, by allowing the firmware applications to save to tape in addition to saving to the HBI-55 cartridge.

This version has been localised for the European market (see HB-55P). Its menu has 5 options: Address, Schedule, Memo, Transfer (replaced by Copy when a HBI-55 cartridge is present) and BASIC.

It is also possible with the second revision of the firmware to save small BASIC programs on the data cartridge and to load / run them from this cartridge, with the commands SAVE"CAT:" and LOAD"CAT:". But as the RAM of the HB-55 is very limited, you need to add a 64kB RAM extension like the HBM-64 in another slot to get the additional option BASIC + DATA CARTRIDGE.



Sony HB-55 (red)
Sony HB-55 (red) back
Sony HB-55 (red) right side
Sony HB-55 (gray)
Sony HB-55 (gray) back
Sony HB-55 (gray) right side
Sony HB-55 box
Sony HB-55 box, computer (gray), cables, manuals, HBI-55 cartridge
Sony HB-55 computer (red), cables, manuals, HBI-55 cartridge
Sony HB-55 label

Firmware version 1

Sony Personal Databank HB-55 first version
Sony Personal Databank HB-55 - message when HBI-55 cartridge not present