Subscribe via RSS


I've recently been playing the original A-Train on an MSX emulator and wanted to know more about the MSX world. I quickly fell in love with the Sony line of MSX products and vowed to track one down in Japan. I was successful on my most recent trip!

The hunt for retro gaming goods started in Recycle Shops in Kyushu, but there were no MSXs to be found. I actually stumbled across a Famicom Disk System for 5000yen, but stupidly passed on the offer! Once in Osaka, Den Den Town was going to be the best bet and it didn't disappoint. I'd known there was a Super Potato on the main road down the far end near Shinsekai, but upon arriving we found the sign still there but the building vacant.

Retro TV Game Revival

Fortunately, across the road, next to Burger King, was Retro TV Game Revival. Here I was to meet my first pile of MSX consoles.

There were even Sony HIT BITs! But they started at AUD$400. I noted that they had the consoles that I was looking for, and vowed to return as a last resort. The asking price was a little too high, regardless of the fully-working status.

Super Potato

If you haven't heard of this store, then you're missing out. Super Potato has stores all over Japan and is famous for selling second hand (and vintage) gaming products. Thanks to mobile international data sims, we tracked down the shop. It had moved to the following location...

Once inside, a Sony Hit Bit HB-F1XD was quickly found for the handsome sum of AUD$180. This was purchased on the spot, along with the classic 1942.


It had a sticker on it declaring that the floppy drive didn't work. Another point to note was that, on checkout, the clerk handed over a laminated A4 page that declared that this machine would not function on LCD TVs. I didn't feel like explaining that it would indeed work, but just ... not ... retro-esque. It is good of them to avoid disappointment though. They could easily get customers coming back who just expected 30-year-old tech to work fine.

From here, I didn't have anything to plug this in to whilst in Japan. No places I stayed at had TVs, let alone CRTs!

Welcome to Australia, MSX-2

I purchased extra luggage. I didn't want Jetstar raping me at the check-in counter ... I'd worked out the math that extra luggage (purchase online, prior to check-in!) was still cheaper than posting this bad boy, and the Famicom (just a regular Famicom, from another retro store), that were obesifying my suitcase.

In the end, all made it back to Oz safely and everything was quickly checked for in-transit damage. Safe!


DSC09339 DSC09340 DSC09343

DSC09348 DSC09347 DSC09353

DSC09350 DSC09351 DSC09354

Thanks to the creepy Japanese Massage Chair that I previously acquired, I had a nicely capable step-down transformer ready to go for this MSX. Of course, in the heat of the moment I accidently plugged the MSX straight in to 240v! It made a lovely humming noise; the transformer was trying to deal with cycles/current that it just wasn't meant to. I quickly corrected this mistake and all powered up perfectly well. It even worked on my crappy AUD$10 Samsung LCD TV!

I'll post again shortly on how to use this thing, the best way to hook it up to an LCD TV and flash cartridges.

Filed under: Retro Leave a comment
Comments (3) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Wondering how you managed to plug this into an aus power socket as the standard japanese plug is like the usa plug and won’t go directly in!
    Anyway, I just acquired one of these too. Amazingly my FDD is working properly, thanks to it being a direct drive – no belt used. Wonder what was wrong with your one?
    I would like to replace all the caps on mine though, so it doesn’t get any leaks on the motherboard.

    • Anthony,

      I actually used a Japanese-to-Australian power adapter to plug the 110v MSX straight into the Aussie wall plug. This was a REALLY BAD THING TO DO, but luckily the unit survived. I was too used to other electrical items from Japan that happily accept 110v or 240v.

      As for the floppy drive… I’ve had the new bands in the box for a long time and haven’t replaced them! I’ve played lots of games on original or flash cartridges and haven’t needed the disk drive yet.

      I really should get on to that. It’ll also let me check my caps, which is a great preventative measure. Thanks for reminding me :)


  2. Could either of you give me pointers on where to obtain one of these from Australia at a reasonable price? As I’m not planning a trip to Japan for some time.

Leave a comment