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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?
X68000: Amiga-clone? : Comment 1 of 7ANN.lu
Posted by Jofre Furtado on 31-Jan-2000 23:00 GMT
It is an Amiga clone (in a way)... If it runs like the AtariST, which was an early clone of the Amiga when it was first created, then I suppose you could call it that; however, it seems like a clunky version of the machine that IWIN just released (x86 based) that had BeOS I think, Linux, Windows, IwinOS, and Amiga compatibility. I saw them on their website. I believe the link is either http://www.iwin-corp.com or http://www.iwin.com
The Preferred name that I give it is "the Amiga wannabe"- not really worth looking at as a computer, but it is interesting to know, thanks.
X68000: Amiga-clone? : Comment 2 of 7ANN.lu
Posted by Mike Clarke on 31-Jan-2000 23:00 GMT
The X68000 is not really very Amiga like at all, I'm afraid.
It was quite impressive though. We had one at Psygnosis. Me and Tim Wright salvaged a load of stuff from Psygnosis's warehouse that was getting thrown out. The X68000 was on of them. Tim took it, but I don't know if he's still got it.
It had loads of ports on it. SCSI, video in, stuff like that.
One of the artists always used to take it home to play Super Hang-On which was perfect to the arcade. I think we only had that an another game for it. It never got used for anything. I think Psygnosis were evaluating it along with the FM Towns about 6 years ago. Psygnosis chose the Towns to do Microcosm on (because Fujitsu paid loads of money).
X68000: Amiga-clone? : Comment 3 of 7ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 31-Jan-2000 23:00 GMT
Gem'X Level Codes:
Level J: X68000
Level P: FMTOWNS
X68000: Amiga-clone? : Comment 4 of 7ANN.lu
Posted by Dante Mendes De Patta on 01-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
I saw one of thse X68000 machines two months ago, in a MSX users meeting (MSX is another japanese platform)
The X68000 is really impressive, I'm an Amiga-lover but I must say that the basic X68000 machine is much better than an A500,
at least for games; the arcade conversions are perfect (unlike the crap Amiga ports).
I saw some games, like R-Type (perfect arcade conversion, much better than Amiga version), and Sega games (Afterburner).
Shame that the X68000 is so rare, they said there is only one of those in my country (Brazil).
X68000: Amiga-clone? : Comment 5 of 7ANN.lu
Posted by Malibann on 01-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
16MHz, 512x512x16Bit or 1024x1024x4Bit graphics
great !
Now I could understand why m68 NetBSD has so much japanese support !
X68000: Amiga-clone? : Comment 6 of 7ANN.lu
Posted by Coz on 01-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Amiga clone? Nahhhh... The specs are very different once you get past the 68K cpu.
Look at the graphic resolution specs especially and there was no mention of multi-tasking.
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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