Future of MSX

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By Ivan

Ascended (9305)

Ivan's picture

04-04-2009, 20:05

I'm lost guys. And I can't believe it: we have (had?) available a great machine called 1chipMSX that it is not going to be distributed outside Japan! Once again! Same story as MSX2+ and MSX Turbo-R? And I would like to know what is/was the role of this companies/organizations in the so-called "Project 1chipMSX":

  • ESE Artists' Factory - Designers of the 1chipMSX PCB (and well known in the MSX community for their great MSX hardware)
  • MSX Association - Not sure who they are/were, but they appear on the screen when you boot your 1chipMSX...
  • D4 Enterprise - They are/were in charge of 1chipMSX distribution
  • Same Time Electronics - Chinese company who actually produced the machine
  • MSX Licensing Corporation - Owners of the MSX trademark (nobody can sell anything with the MSX logo without their permission?)
  • Bazix - The Dutch company that tried to distribute the 1chipMSX outside Japan (impossible due to the non RoHS compliance of each and every 1chipMSX produced)
  • ASCII - They published 3 special MSX MAGAZINEs time ago

1chipMSX, a success? a failure?
Will ever be produced (again) a new 1chipMSX computer (equal or better)?

I need some light!

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By cax

Prophet (3738)

cax's picture

04-04-2009, 20:16

ESE Artists' Factory are the only real heroes here, IMHO.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6845)

ARTRAG's picture

04-04-2009, 20:58

There is plenty of old used msx1 on the market at very low price (say 20€)
Until the sole SW we develop is for msx1, why bothering about new HW that costs 15 times more and will never fully exploited ?
No SW <=> No user <=> No HW
Read the equivalences in any order you like

PS
I could be wrong, but, aren't you the same guy how blames any change in the msxdev competition ?

By dhau

Paragon (1570)

dhau's picture

04-04-2009, 21:45

rklok imported and re-sold a significant number of ESE MSX System 3 units, so RoHS argument is mute. Bazix plan failed for other reasons. From what I understand, they wanted someone else to take all the financial risks, yet make a significant profit on resale. It was the same people who created Woomb, which was supposed to be Project EGG for westerners, but didn't pay any royalties to game rights owners, and eventually lost any legal ground to continue their business.

By Sama

Ambassador (2068)

Sama's picture

04-04-2009, 21:59

Ok, let me try to give some answers:

- ESE Artists' Factory: You're completely right on this one.

- MSX Association: This was a foundation-like organization who had a (blanc, I think, but I'm not sure) proxy to do as they saw fit with the MSX copyrights and trademarks. To them, it was important that the MSX hobbyists could continue their hobby without any restrictions caused by copyright or trademark issues. They controlled the copyrights and trademarks for commercial purposes, which became relevant in the MSX revival (and retro revival in general). Chairman of MSX Association was Kazuhiko Nishi; general manager was Hidekatsu Yokoi. MSX Association has been the force behind many, if not most, MSX revival related projects. In 2007 and the beginning of 2008, apparently a struggle for power took place inside MSX Association, which made Nishi leave and establish MSX Licensing Corporation, shifting the proxy from MSX Association and MSX Licensing Corporation. In the beginning of 2008, Shunpeita Shiozawa was dispatched to Europa as a representative of MSX Association. The main result of this was the MSX fair in Den Dolder (and also some other places in the world? I can't remember clearly) and the ESE3 1chipMSX-like machines. In june 2008, MSX Association apparently came to its end (probably because the organization had become powerless and lost the struggle for power they initiated before - at least they seem to have lost a lawsuit of which the exact details I don't know either).

- D4 Enterprise: They are/were indeed the distributors of the 1chipMSX. Their main business lies in retrogaming in general. They are also the company behind Project EGG and they played a key role in the MSX Revival as well. The company president is Naoto Suzuki, a former Bothtec employee. D4 Enterprise is mainly responsible for keeping the MSX Revival going at the moment. They control a large amount of copyrights and licenses of Japanese MSX games.

- Same Time Electronics: Never heard of them, but if you say they're the Chinese factory that produced the 1chipMSX, I instantly believe you.

- MSX Licensing Corporation: Now plays the same role as MSX Association in the past. As far as I know, little has changed, only that other people do the same thing under a different name. Also, MSX Licensing Corporation is not a foundation, but a company. I don't recall exactly how it was again, but I think it's a daughter of another company of Nishi. If I remember correctly, four (important) people are behind MSX Licensing Corporation.

- Bazix: That would be the small company snout, Bart and I erected already in 2004, in order to get everything Japanese MSX Revival related over the Japanese borders. We succeeded in launching WOOMB, the 'western Project EGG'. It took at least two years of preparation before WOOMB could be launched. We succeeded in getting 'Project EGG' over the Japanese borders, but due to the MSXA/MSXLC/D4 Enterprise dispute, our situation became unclear. We had a license from MSX Association to use the MSX copyrights and trademarks, but MSX Association has never made clear to what extent we could use this license, very much limiting our movement space. We did get some specific instructions, e.g. for the MSX GameReader, the MSX T-shirts and of course WOOMB. Apart from that, we acted as MSX Association's representatives outside Japan, mainly because nobody at MSX Association (except Nishi) could speak English. It also never has been very clear as to what we could and couldn't do, making us quite powerless representatives. After the situation became unclear, we believed that the license lost its power as well and we had to quit WOOMB. Which was a loss because we had put so much effort in it to make it work, but unfortunately, it didn't become very popular. We didn't have the power (or money) to promote it adequately to non MSX users and MSX users hardly bought the games, mainly because they couldn't be played on a real MSX. That's also why we didn't relaunch WOOMB after the issues were solved; instead, we cooperated in creating Project EGG English, which has been launched in February this year. We also have put very, very much effort in making the 1chipMSX available to non-Japanese, but initiatlly the RoHS was a problem. The partner we had to talk to about this was MSX Association and there were many talks (I visited Japan quite a couple of times), but nothing that was promised actually was done. Many times, mails we sent were not replied, so we couldn't inform anyone about anything in the mean time as well. In that mean time, the MSX scene had become somewhat violent, especially to the three of us. In fact, I tend to blame myself for not having succeeded in importing the 1chipMSX because of a severe lack of motivation. - and I was/am the only one to do the talks. Too many things that made me wonder why I should put all this effort in this. Yet, we kept trying, until Shiozawa visited us as the new MSX Association representative. This was the end of our cooperation.

- ASCII: A publishing company that publishes many computer magazines in Japan. Former company president is Kazuhiko Nishi. That's probably why they joined the MSX Revival by publishing the three MSX Magazines.

I hope this clears things up a little?

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1407)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

04-04-2009, 22:22

well
about time some light was shed on this whole deal

By hap

Paragon (2040)

hap's picture

04-04-2009, 22:37

*mumbles something that sounds like "MSXLC is the holding company of MSXA"*

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

04-04-2009, 22:42

Mr. Shiozawa visited the netherlands between march and june very often in order to talk to several people.
Sunrise has indeed spoken with him also- and I have to say very constructive and open what I didnot thougt it was possible.
We made a proposal to distribute the one chip msx. Everything seems to go right , but in Den Dolder I learned that it was not possible.
The anwer I got- I quote- , Rob no sorry, politics. Whatever that means.
As regards the Gamereader we respected fully the copyrights by paying for it according the agreement with Bazix

So, I think it is a failure and most unwise of MSX A to donot trust the respect for copyrights ,especially in the netherlands.

However, due to all kind of developments done in Europe-meaning ours,padial and several others I believe it is still possible to make a MSX cheaper and better suited for the european market even with copyrights as long as trust between people can re-established

@Rikusu
One thing , do you want to tell why you didnot distributed, since you could say well I have 300 orders come on with it
I mean it could have been a way to set some pressure

By hap

Paragon (2040)

hap's picture

04-04-2009, 22:47

Rob no sorry, politics. Whatever that means.that means a lot Smile

By Ivan

Ascended (9305)

Ivan's picture

04-04-2009, 22:51

Rob no sorry, politics. Whatever that means.that means a lot SmileThat doesn't mean anything.

By hap

Paragon (2040)

hap's picture

04-04-2009, 22:54

Let me clarify, it means that some of these people (and/or the group they work for) care too much about politics and too little about business. Or too much about business, and thus creating a less open environment.

Meh. oO

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