MSX is an Z80-based family of home computers which appeared in autumn 1983 as an attempt to establish a single standard in home computing similar to VHS in video.
They were popular in Asian (Korea, Japan) and South American (Brazil, Chile) countries as well as in Europe (Netherlands, France, Spain) and former Soviet Union, but they are virtually unknown in USA.
Although the MSX standard quietly died from year 1988, the world got to see MSX2, MSX2+ and TurboR extensions of it.
Although the MSX is a homecomputer it could easily be turned into a game-console when playing games on cartridge. Not all games apperared on cartridge, but the better games where only available on cartridge. (konami is perhaps the best example). I grew up with the MSX, so it's no wonder i remember the MSX as a great machine.
The MSX standard has been designed by a company called ASCII in Cooperation with Microsoft which provided a firmware version of its BASIC for the machine.
Because this BASIC version was an extended version of MicroSoft Basic, it was called "MicroSoft eXtended BASIC". This basic was very good, probably this was Microsoft best product ;-)
You could think this explains the name "MSX". But that's not true. MSX could mean anything, like Matsushita Sony X-machine. According to www.old-computers.com the only real abrevation is : Machines with Software eXchangeability.
There's in fact a real game-console based on the MSX concept : Colecovision. Many people don't know this, but Colecovision uses the same hardware as the MSX-1. In 1996 even a emulator was released called mission, which allowed msx-users to play Colecovision roms on there MSX-computer. This allows you to play LadyBug, which was never released for MSX!!
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