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Platform - MSX2.png
Released: 1985-??-??
Discontinued: 1995-??-??
Developer: Microsoft
Type: Hardware

The MSX2 is an upgrade to Microsoft's hardware standard known as MSX. The MSX line focused on assembling off-the-shelf hardware into compliant computers allowing any manufacturer to enter the home-computer market. Despite being devised by an American company, the MSX family 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, though it was not as popular as the original and several of the companies who created MSX computers did not continue on with the MSX2.

Most software that ran on the MSX would function just fine on the MSX2, but only some software designed for the MSX2 would work on the MSX.

While the MSX2 technically is a hardware and software platform type, games were almost entirely boot-loaders and did not rely on the system's default operating system, so it is categorized as a hardware platform.



Because any manufacturer who wanted to submit to the MSX2 guidelines could build compliant MSX2 hardware, several companies did so including, Canon, Daewoo, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo, Sony, Victor, Yamaha, and a couple others.

Music and Sound

The MSX standard used many off-the-self components, and the audio hardware was no different. Microsoft went with Yamaha's YM2149, a slightly modified AY-3-8910 which was the most widely used audio chip of the day. Both the YM2149 and the AY-3-8910 are often identified as the PSG to distinguish them from future MSX audio hardware.

Yamaha Corporation created FM sound sources for their music computer like the SFG-05 (using the YM2164). The chip also contained a stereo DAC channel.