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The Official Sharp X68000 Thread!


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Good initiative, but it is far from the first thread on the X68000. Below you have a few links to previous discussions held in the Classic Computing section. There may have been threads here in the Classic Gaming section too that I didn't look up.

 

Also before anyone compares it to e.g. an Amiga, remember that you could buy four Amiga 500 or two Amiga 2000 for the price of one Sharp X68000.

 

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It was over 20 years ago now but there was an early Windows emulator that run surprisingly well in the time for this computer.  I wish I could remember a bit more, but I know I went specifically after Konami stuff like its versions of Castlevania and Gradius and wow did they stand out as amazing.

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17 hours ago, carlsson said:

Good initiative, but it is far from the first thread on the X68000. Below you have a few links to previous discussions held in the Classic Computing section. There may have been threads here in the Classic Gaming section too that I didn't look up.

 

Also before anyone compares it to e.g. an Amiga, remember that you could buy four Amiga 500 or two Amiga 2000 for the price of one Sharp X68000.

 

I think it's cool anyways that somebody took the time to make a thread dedicated to the X68000. A cool little machine that never came outside of Japan that was light years ahead of every microcomputer out there in terms of power. IMO :)

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It depends on what you mean by lightyears. It was a specialised gaming computer with nothing to spare. I don't know how it price wise compared to an arcade cabinet. As a personal/office computer it was substandard compared with a PC, Mac, probably NEC PC-88/98 etc too. Basically it was for anyone into serious gaming with a big budget, not the typical teenager I'd imagine.

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5 hours ago, carlsson said:

It depends on what you mean by lightyears. It was a specialised gaming computer with nothing to spare. I don't know how it price wise compared to an arcade cabinet. As a personal/office computer it was substandard compared with a PC, Mac, probably NEC PC-88/98 etc too. Basically it was for anyone into serious gaming with a big budget, not the typical teenager I'd imagine.

Light years in terms of graphics and music (for its time). And yes, it was an expensive proposition even in Japan (it costed as much as a new car). I don't think the games were equally expensive back in the day (certainly not to the level of Neo Geo craziness) but the machine itself was very costly to buy.

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Did anyone manage to get the reprint of the X68000 version of Cotton that was supposed to release this year? I found it really interesting that someone would make more X68000 floppies, but apparently they did/are going to. It's way too late to get a copy now and I doubt that BEEP will do another run, but it would be cool to get a copy if possible.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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Damn I didn't see this until now because it wasn't in the Classic Computing section (mods please move). With that being said, the X68000 has been a dream of mine for a while. Prices are not only high, but even with the money they are pretty hard to find on eBay complete. One day soon hopefully.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah, I think this probably should be in the Classic Computing section as well. Oh, well.

 

Anyway, I went to Akiba not long ago and checked prices again. BEEP still has that X68030, but now it's on display running a game. I REALLY want an X68000, but they are so incredibly expensive and fragile that I can't justify it. BEEP also has what looks to be some sort of internal flash drive thingy that lets you play games on your X68000 from like an SD card. At least, that's what I think it is. There are a few versions of it, one for X68000, I think one for the Compact, and I think one for the X68030.

 

Here's a picture I took a while ago of the 100% functional X68000 that Super Potato uses to test the X68000 games that come in. It's not for sale. I'm guessing I'm probably the only person here who has actually seen a real X68000, and yes, it is absolutely beautiful.

 

Pic_0219_228.thumb.jpg.1fce283e41019d750f07cd2478931063.jpg

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57 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

I'm guessing I'm probably the only person here who has actually seen a real X68000

Actually I saw one at a retro gaming event in Norway a few years ago. They're rare to come by, but not completely unheard of outside of Japan.

 

663.jpg

 

(ok, that is a X68000 Pro, perhaps it doesn't count as being as cool as the original tower oriented X68000)

Edited by carlsson
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1 minute ago, carlsson said:

Actually I saw one at a retro gaming event in Norway a few years ago. They're rare to come by, but not completely unheard of outside of Japan.

Yeah, you can find them here and there outside Japan, but they are quite rare even here, mostly because they break down extremely easily and the parts, from what I hear, are getting quite difficult to find. The PSU especially likes to fail, and that's obviously a huge problem.

 

I wonder how many X68000s are left. It's an absolutely beautiful computer with an incredible library of games, some of which have still never gotten rereleased (the original version of Thunder Force II is an obvious example), so it's sad that the last of the X68000s are getting increasingly difficult to find. Still, I think you're more likely to find an X68000 than an FM Towns. Never seen one of those, but I did find a Marty several months ago for 75000 yen. I might go to Akiba on Sunday, so I'll be sure to stop by BEEP to check out their X68000 selection and go to Surugaya to see if they still have that FM Towns Marty.

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If you don't care so much about look & fit (or at least can live without the even harder to find X68000 specific hard drive), it appears you can adapt a modern ATX power supply with a 74xx04 inverter and a 4.7K resistor. Perhaps not what collectors paying premium money as an investment are looking for, but if you get it to play games it could work.

https://nfggames.com/nfg/x68repair/

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1 minute ago, carlsson said:

If you don't care so much about look & fit (or at least can live without the even harder to find X68000 specific hard drive), it appears you can adapt a modern ATX power supply with a 74xx04 inverter and a 4.7K resistor. Perhaps not what collectors paying premium money as an investment are looking for, but if you get it to play games it could work.

https://nfggames.com/nfg/x68repair/

Hey, this is interesting! I suppose that's one way to get a PSU for the X68000. I wonder if there's a solution for the HDD, though. I'd have to do some more research, and I doubt those ancient HDDs will last for much longer if they are used, but maybe there's a solution for it.

 

At this point I'd like an X68000 that works properly and plays games if I had the money to buy one. As much as I wish I did have that cash, I don't, unfortunately. It's a lot of money to spend on a very fragile and rare computer that also has fragile and rare games.

 

I've been thinking of trying X68000 emulation, and I think that's most likely how the X68000 will be preserved unless that MiSTer core gets completed to the point where it can even do the various external audio stuff as well. My MiSTer doesn't work so I haven't been following the development of that core, but hopefully it turns out to be excellent because the X68000 deserves it. Speaking of those external sound things, at least some those are quite expensive as well, or at least they were the last time I checked.

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The page above says that "the X68k used a custom power connector for HDs which you'd probably never find this far into the future" but at the same time illustrates a three pin connector on the surface very much alike the FDD connector. I suppose those are not regular minature Molex connectors or even with the same pin spacing. Then the question is which data interface the HDD would use, but if there are SD card solutions already, you might not need the HDD much anyway.

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1 minute ago, carlsson said:

if there are SD card solutions already, you might not need the HDD much anyway.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking, too, since there are apparently internal drives for it of some kind. I'm not sure exactly what I saw the other day was an internal flash drive since I didn't take the time to mentally translate very much of what I was reading, but I'll be sure to check it out next time I stop by BEEP. My company is closed on Wednesdays, but unfortunately BEEP is closed on Wednesdays as well, so even though I am curious to learn more about it, it will have to wait until Sunday, I think.

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It makes me wonder what type of connectors and pinouts the various NEC PC series use, not to mention Fujitsu's models including the mentioned FM Towns which as far as I understand is based on 386 with CD-ROM instead of hard drive - very ahead of its time for being from 1989 but at the same time very behind its time if you would want to install office applications and store own documents on something else than floppy disks. I suppose some word processors, spreadsheets etc could run from CD-ROM entirely but then again NEC probably had that market cornered so Fujitsu tried something different.

 

Again both the X68000 and FM Towns are to me very high end gaming computers with supposedly limited use for other purposes. Obviously there was a market in Japan for this, but not so much elsewhere in the world.

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The local judo/Brazilian jujutsu dojo I used to train at had an unused X68000 with monitor and everything on a desk in the upstairs office area.  I was tempted many times to ask how much he wanted for it, but knew I wouldn't really have room for it even if I could get it at a good price!

 

I know a lot of the guys there would crash upstairs after we all went out drinking til the wee hours of the morning (I lived just down the street so could always get home safely!), and I wonder if they ever hooked that thing up for some drunken gaming lol.

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14 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

I'm guessing I'm probably the only person here who has actually seen a real X68000, and yes, it is absolutely beautiful.

 

"Yes", it's a beautiful machine, and "No" you're not the only person here that has seen one. Some of us actually own them (an XVI in my case).

 

They're not even *that* fragile really, AFAIK ... except that but you've *got* to replace the PSU before it fries the motherboard.

 

And that's not even new tech ... Japanese fans have been selling boards on Yahoo Japan to allow you to use a micro-ATX PSU for years, and there are even better internal options available these days.

 

Also, a re-cap may be needed, just like *every* other computer/console of the similar time period.

 

The SCSI-to-SD solution that's available for the X68000 even the early SASI models, plus everything else that uses SCSI, has been around for years, too.

 

It's just that *this* isn't the forum where you're going to meet a lot of X68000 owners, or hear about X68000 fixes or new hardware.

Edited by elmer
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16 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

I'm guessing I'm probably the only person here who has actually seen a real X68000, and yes, it is absolutely beautiful.

I saw the x68000 and FM Towns Marty in Japan, in the 90's. I also bought one, and developed a game for it about 15 years ago.

 

I've considered getting another one, but the repair horror stories have me reconsidering that decision.

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