From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Platform - MSX.png
Released: 1983-06-27
Discontinued: 1995-??-??
Developer: Microsoft
Type: Hardware

MSX is not a specific line of computers, but rather an industry standard of hardware and software for home computers. The standard was championed by Microsoft to create a product that was easy to adopt by both manufacturers and consumers. Most of the hardware was off-the-shelf products at the time making the standard very profitable for those companies whose hardware was chosen in the standard. Despite being devised by an American company, the MSX was never popular in the USA, but saw widespread use in Asia and South America.

With the success of the MSX, Microsoft introduced the MSX2 in 1985, the MSX2+ in 1988, and the MSX TurboR in 1990, but with each new release, interest in the standard decreased, and the plan for the MSX3 was never realized. Each release was mostly backward compatible with software from the previous architecture.

While the MSX technically is a hardware and software platform type, games were almost entirely boot-loaders and did not rely on the the system's default operating system, so it is categorized as a hardware platform.



Because any manufacturer who wanted to submit to the MSX guidelines could build compliant MSX hardware, and a wide variety of companies did so including, Canon, Casio, Fujitsu, Daewoo, GoldStar, Hitachi, JVC, Kyocera, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, Spectravideo, Toshiba, Yamaha, and several others.

Music and Sound

The MSX standard used many off-the-self components, and the audio hardware was no different. Microsoft went with General Instrument's AY-3-8910 which was the most widely used audio chip of the day. This chip is often identified as the PSG to distinguish it from future MSX audio hardware.

As with several other platforms from this era, MSX computers could accept additional audio inputs from cartridges. This meant developers were able to include chips that would expand the system's audio capabilities, such as a second AY-3-8910, an FM synthesis chip, or custom chips such as the Konami SCC.