Sony HB-701
This page was last modified 20:41, 23 May 2021 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Rderooy and Gdx.




The Sony HB-701 is the first HitBit Computer that can be equiped with a built-in floppy disk drive (see HBD-100). This machine was aimed at the Japanese market and available in black on front and pale gray.

The only difference between the HB-701 and the HB-701FD is the drive, which is build in the HB-701FD. Front and back of both machines are exactly the same, with only a little difference on the left front, corresponding to the location of the drive.

The machine has a separate keyboard without numeric keypad.

Brand Sony
Model HB-701
Year 1984-11
Region Japan
Launch price ¥99,800
RAM 64kB
Media MSX cartridges, 1DD floppy disks (optional)
Video Texas Instruments TMS9928ANL
Audio PSG (YM2149F)
Chipset none (separate IC's)
Keyboard layout QWERTY/JP50on
Extras reset button, superimposer, volume control, brightness adjuster for superimposing, remote sensor, firmware HitBit Art
Emulation ROM dump needed. See this thread for details


After booting, you can

  • press F1 when "MSX" is displayed in pink to go to BASIC
  • select "HITBIT ART" and press F1 to launch the built-in firmware HitBit Art, a graphic and title editor.

The firmware menu presents 7 options in Sony advertisements (final product is different):

  • Design (F2 for dynamic part - F1 to back for static part)
  • Telop
  • Sprite
  • Story
  • Action
  • File


  • The Sprite and Action options can only be used with the HB-701FD or HBD-100 floppy disk.
  • When the HB-701 is extended with the HBD-100 drive, it will work like the HB-701FD (the ROM version of HitBit Art becomes useless, you can use only the improved version, provided on floppy disk)



Sony HB-701 and HB-701FD front
Sony HB-701 and HB-701FD back
Sony HB-701 detail of front
Sony HB-701 keyboard
Sony HB-701 manuals and HB-701FD floppy disk


Note: Pictures taken from Sony advertisement. The final firmware is different.

HitBit Art menu
HitBit Art - Design (F1 - static)
HitBit Art - Design (F2 - dynamic)
HitBit Art - Telop
HitBit Art - Sprite
HitBit Art - Story
HitBit Art - Action


The HB-701 is a MSX1 with a Z80A from Sharp (LH0080A) or NEC (uPD780C-1).

This computer has integrated capabilities for superimposing. A wireless joystick (JS-75) can be used via the remote sensor.

Unit size: 355 (w) x 325 (l) x 79 (h) mm


  • RF output
  • RGB output (not SCART)
  • Stereo analog sound & Composite video output
  • Stereo analog sound & Composite video input
  • 2 x RCA connectors for S video signal control
  • Data Recorder connector
  • Centronics compatible Parallel port for a printer
  • 2 general connectors (Joysticks, Mouse, Paddle controlers, etc)
  • 2 cartridge slots
  • Power socket for the monitor
  • Power plug for main power supply (JIS C 8303 class, AC 100V +/-10% 50/60Hz)

External links