New to MSX : What was the most popular MSX2 machine in English speaking countries?

By Gonzo XIII

Supporter (3)

Gonzo XIII's picture

08-08-2022, 13:16

I'm a child of the 80s so grew up with Spectrum and C64. Unfortunately MSX really didn't make it in the Australian market, so I've only recently discovered them and love them! I bought 2 from Japan and a couple from Europe, but neither of the latter were from the UK, but rather Italy and Netherlands. Both of those came with some manuals but none of them in English which makes learning to use them quite difficult. (I'll be selling off the Japanese ones.)

So I am asking for some advice/history: What was the biggest selling MSX2 model in English speaking territories that would have come with English manuals? Or was MSX really a Japanese/Non-English marketed thing, only?

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By Pokun

Resident (53)

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08-08-2022, 18:09

Spectravideo perhaps? It's also the computer line that MSX derives from, so there are both pre-MSX and MSX-compliant Spectravideo models. It only comes in MSX1 flavors though, and you probably want at least MSX2.

All MSX computers should work mostly the same, so you really just need to get good documentation in English. The wiki have info of some things like MSX-BASIC, and there are the MSX Red Book among other things. There's also the official MSX Databook but I think it's Japanese only.
There are also tons of MSX books in English like Graham Bland's MSX Programming.

The most important thing to learn is some of the most common BASIC commands (to load/save from/to tapes and disks for example), and if you are familiar with ZX Spectrum and C64 BASIC that won't be very different from what you are used to.

What models are these 4 computers and why are going to sell the Japanese ones?

By sdsnatcher73

Prophet (3551)

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08-08-2022, 18:37

The UK did not see many MSX2 machines I think because MSX1 did not sell very well. On the European continent Philips and Sony were the only companies selling MSX2. Popular models were the Philips Philips VG8235, NMS8220, NMS8245 and NMS8250 and Sony HB-F9 and HB-F700. The Philips machines are more abundantly available at least here in the Netherlands.

Apart from some localization (keyboard, power input, video output) they are really not that different from the Japanese MSX2 machines. They did mostly come with more memory than their Japanese brothers. BASIC language is identical as well as commands in MSX-DOS.

By CX5Mer

Champion (327)

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09-08-2022, 16:10

I don't think that MSX2 was ever officially released in the UK or the USA. I think the USA only had Spectravideo and Yamaha MSX1 computers. What was available in Ireland was generally distributed from companies for the UK and Ireland. I think that Canada mainly had what was available in the USA, instead of computer systems with different voltages and video systems, which were the same as the USA. I can only guess that the Philips MSX2 computers, or even their VG8235 MSX2, were the most popular MSX2 computers in the UK, because the Netherlands isn't far from the UK and both of them used slightly different PAL systems (the sound and video on the same frequency in the UK, but the audio on a seperate frequency in the Netherlands) and slightly different but compatible voltages. Years later, I bought a Philips VG8235 myself in the UK, but from ebay.nl