MSX -  Philips NMS 8220
msx_nms8220

Introduction

The NMS 8220 was Philips first MSX2 computer. It has 64K System RAM and 128K Video RAM, totalling the 192K RAM that is printed on the case of the machine. It has no disk-drive, but an external diskdrive could be connected, or programs and data could be loaded from and saved to cassette tape.

The MSX2 Standard

The MSX2 Standard was introduced as successor to the MSX standard. The biggest improvement on the standard were the video capabilities of the system. Where the MSX-1 was quite capable with 16 colors and hardware sprites, it had some limitations. The graphics mode was pattern based, which meant that pixels were grouped by the 8, and each 8 pixels could only have one foreground and one background color. For games and pictures this meant that there was a color spill effect, colors bleeding over in unwanted areas.

The MSX2 introduced a new Video Display Processor, the V9938. This chip had the capacity to display 256 color simultanously, or have graphics modes with 16 colors out of a 512 color palette. It had true bitmapped graphics, that offered multiple in-memory pages for double buffering or vertical scrolling. The sprite system now supported multi-color sprites, and up to 8 sprites per scan-line. The Video RAM was defined to be at least 64KByte, but most systems came with 128KByte which was the maximum the V9938 supported.

The V9938 made it possible to create some great games. The most famous is the very first version of Konami's excellent game Metal Gear.

MSX I/O Ports

The follwing sections details the Standard MSX I/O ports that are available on every MSX.

    MSX Cassette Pin Layout

  • The MSX Standard calls for all MSX computers to have a standard data-cassette port. This port transports the audio-in/out signals to and from the datarecorder and the computer has a relay-switch on board to turn the recorder on and off.

  • MSX Cartridge Connector

  • The MSX Cartridge system uses a 50-pin flat-edge connector to connect to the systems expansion bus. The cartridge slot maps into one of the main- or sub-slots.

  • MSX Joystick Connector

By Philips CPU Zilog Z80A @3.58MHz Memory 64K RAM, 128K VRAM Sound 3 voice channels + white noise Sprites 16 color, 16x16, 8/scanline, 64 total Display 512x212 16 of 512 RGB, 256x212 256 colors Display Chip Yamaha V9938 VDP Sound Chip General Instruments AY-3-8910 Programmable Sound Generator CPU Class Z80 Developed by Philips
Related Systems
 
MSX 1
 
MSX 2
this
Philips NMS  8220
 
MSX 2+
 
MSX Turbo-R
Books & Publications
Books related to the MSX Standard of microcomputers
Magazines & Serials
MSX Computer Club Magazine - MSX Blad van MSX Club Belgie/Nederland
MCM
MSX Computer Magazine - Maandblad voor MSX-Gebruikers
MSX Magazine from Brazil, later included Amiga as well
MSX Fan, Japanese MSX Magazine
Magazine voor MSX gebruiker en programmeur
Het Nederlandstalige computerblad voor MSX-Bezitters
MSX Magazine, Japanese MSX Magazine
MSX Micro Magazine, Brazilian MSX magazine
MSX Mozaïk was a user group magazine started by Dirk Scheper. The magazine first appeared as a single page in the MSX-Info magazine of January 1985.
MSX World, spanish MSX Magazine
World Wide Web Links
MSX Resource Center dedicated to MSX. It has an extensive archive of MSX news, an active MSX forum, lots of information in their MSX wiki and a large section of free MSX software.
MSXVR is a computer that is hardware and software compatible with MSX computers, implemented in FPGA.
Computer fandom website for MSX