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[News] X68000: Amiga-clone?ANN.lu
Posted on 01-Feb-2000 16:07 GMT by Christian Kemp7 comments
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Julian Cassin writes: I was looking around the net and I came across a reference to an Amiga clone computer made in Japan called an X68000. I searched on Altavista to see what I could find, and the following links which are interesting came up - it appears to be 'very' Amiga-like from the descriptions with a very Amiga-like OS - have a look at the following links...
retroplay.com/Mecenate/X68000/start.html
web.onyxnet.co.uk/John.Stringer-Oxford.onyxnet.co.uk/x68_sys.htm
www.computingmuseum.com/museum/x6816c.htm
While this seems to be entirely independent from the Amiga, it is still surprising how often the name "Amiga" is mentioned on the X68000 pages. Does anybody have any further details or screenshots of what the X68000 is/was?
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Comment 1Jofre Furtado31-Jan-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 2Mike Clarke31-Jan-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 3Anonymous31-Jan-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 4Dante Mendes De Patta01-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 5Malibann01-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 6Coz01-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
X68000: Amiga-clone? : Comment 7 of 7ANN.lu
Posted by Hidehiko Ogata on 02-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
My goodness, the world is shrinking indeed! 8)
I've never had the pleasure of owning one, but as a witness of history,
I assure you X68000 was definitely not an Amiga clone, let alone an
"Amiga wannabe" :). It was the evolution model of its 8bit ancestor
Sharp X1, which actually predated Amiga by good margin. I don't know
why there are so many Amiga references in its articles; I guess that's
synonymous with the term "colorful 68K computer" for some people.
The X68000 series, affectionately called "X68" (pronounced "peke roku
hachi"), was a truly unique beast indeed, by Sharp Electronics. Its
selection of CPU alone stood out from the rest in Japan; other giants
like NEC, Fujitsu etc. all went for 80x86 variants in the migration to
16/32bit CPUs.
X68's features like colorful graphics, multiple screen modes, powerful
sprites, FM/PCM sound were unheard-of in the Japanese "serious micro"
market; other run-of-the-mill micros used to sacrifice these "toy"
features for the sake of high-resolution (something like 640*400*3bp
and above) - perhaps I think to display intricate kanji characters.
IIRC, X68 (or was it X1?) even had TV-tuner and genlock built-in, and
was officially(!) dubbed "Paso-com Tele-vi" (Japanese short for
personal computer TV :). Yet AFAIK the integration never went past
that "video overlay" stage i.e. no Video Toaster. I have no idea why.
As noted many times already, faithful arcade conversions were the
crown jewel of X68. But IMO they were fighting a losing battle; the
Japanese home-videogame market has never been the same since the '83
debut of, or certainly since the '85 proliferation of, Nintendo
FamiCom (Japanese NES) - which offered nearly as good games at one-
tenth of the price, or even less. The "odd" choice of CPU must have
hurt the development as well, but that's just my guess. Of course
other micros, burdened with large amount of VRAM with little hardware
assistance, never stood the chance.
Nevertheless, X68 seemed to have attracted small yet respectable core
of dedicated users, as inspired pieces always do. In that sense, I'd
say it's a distant cousin of Amiga, maybe :). And X68's echo did
reach Amiga: Thexder, a shoot'em-up conversion by Sierra, originated
from Sharp X1 IIRC.
That's about it for my memory dump... hope it helps ;).
(The above is entirely from my fading memory, so X68 users are quite
welcome to correct any errors/omissions (which no doubt I must have
made plenty!) If English is not your forte, I'll gladly help you with
translation.)
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