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Useful Notes / Sharp X68000

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The Sharp X68000 was a Japanese personal computer produced between 1987 and 1993. Commonly known as the X68k, it came in a striking double-tower case and was a highly advanced machine for its time.

Unlike its main competitor, the PC-98, the X68000 was designed to be as much of a gaming machine as a business machine; the original model came bundled with Gradius.

The X68000 was a 16-Bit (later 32-bit with the 68030 CPU) home video game systems, rivaling even the arcade-quality Neo Geo console (later X68000 models helped out in the graphics department and added an eight-channel PCM chip into the mix, yet the latter was mainly an add-on). Capcom made it the prototype and the basis for its SDK unit for its CP System (CPS) arcade board, and many of the X68000's releases were Arcade Perfect Ports. In fact, former Capcom composer/sound programmer Hiroaki Kondo is credited as "X68K" in the games he worked on.

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Specifications:

Processor

  • CPU: Hitachi HD68HC000 running at 10 MHz.
    • XVI models: Motorola 68000 running at 16 MHz.
    • X68030: Motorola 68030 running at 25 MHz.
    • Can be overclocked to 100 MHz, depending on the model.

Memory:

  • 1 to 4 MB of main RAM (many later games used 2 MB, most games did not use more than 4 MB, can go up to 12 out of 16 MB, as the rest is used for video).
  • Video RAM: 512 KB of text, 512 KB of graphics, 32 KB of sprites (Can go up to 4 MB shared).
  • 16 KB of static RAM.

Sprites:

  • Sprites are 16×16 pixels, with 16 colors per sprite (later models can go up to 256×256, with no color limit).
  • Up to 128 sprites on screen, 16 sprites per line (later models can go up to 1024 spites, with no per line limit).

Display:

  • Various resolutions; 1024×1024 pixels maximum.
  • 256 colors on screen, 65536 total (got rid of the onscreen color limit by the second model in 1988 (the X68000 ACE and the X68000 ACE-HD, its hard drive-bearing counterpart)).
  • Advertisement:
  • Hardware scrolling
  • Priority control
  • Super-impose

Audio:

  • FM Synth: Yamaha YM2151, paired with YM3012 DAC
    • Up to 8 notes
    • 8 channels
    • Stereo sound
    • Noise generator
  • ADPCM: Okidata MSM6258
    • 1 channel
    • 4 bits
    • Mono sound
    • Can be extended to 8 channels and updated to run in stereo as well.

Disk Drives:

  • 5¼-inch floppy disk with soft eject (3½-inch on special "Compact" models)
  • Optional internal hard disk, 20 to 80 MB

Games that appeared on the X68000:

Original titles and Multi-Platform games that started here:

Ports:


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