Sony HB-F1XV
This page was last modified 18:46, 2 February 2023 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Rderooy and others.




The HB-F1XV is the final MSX manufactured and marketed by Sony. It was aimed at the Japanese market.

The hardware PAUSE button, the Speed-Controller (slow-motion) and the REN-SHA-TURBO (autofire for both joysticks and spacebar) are nice features for playing games.

Brand Sony
Model HB-F1XV
Year 1989-10-21
Region Japan
Launch price ¥69,800
RAM 64kB in slot 3-0 + 16kB SRAM
VRAM 128kB
Media MSX cartridges, 720kB 3.5" floppy disks
Video Yamaha V9958
Audio PSG (YM2149 integrated in MSX-Engine), MSX-MUSIC (YM2413)
Chipset Yamaha S1985
Keyboard layout QWERTY/JIS + numeric keypad
Extras 720kB 3,5" floppy disk drive, reset button, pause button, speed controller, Ren-Sha Turbo (autofire), Kanji-ROM level 1 & 2, Kanji BASIC, MSX-MUSIC BASIC, MSX-JE, software on disks: F1 Synth, Halos + programming tools including SonyVoice BASIC, Japanese Word Processor + MSX-DOS 1, (only with a few exemplars) Story disk
Emulation ROMs dumped and emulated


MSX-JE with 16kB SRAM is built-in, the third provided floppy disk containing a Japanese Word Processor uses it.


Three or four floppy disks were provided with this computer:

Note: It is recommended to press the CTRL key while booting the computer if you want to use the second disk, it will help you to avoid memory issues with some of its applications.

F1 Synth

It is actually Synth Saurus 2.0 with support for keyboard and joystick in addition to the original mouse support, but without the conversion of the music into a BASIC file.

Files created by this tool: .FMS (sound data), .MS* (music scores - one for each track) and .RTM (rhythms). The user disk is not provided in this package.


The graphics editor is the same as the one created for the HB-F900 / HBI-F900 system as HBS-H022D, but lacks some features. Files created by this tool: .SCR.

Contrary to the professional version, which always requires a mouse, you can use the keyboard, a joystick in port B or a mouse in port A with this version.

This version uses a golden border (instead of blue) and supports screens 5 to 8. The fonts screen is different from the previous versions.


It starts with a demo presenting the standard set of 3 floppy disks coming with this computer. To leave the demo, just press the spacebar.

Then comes the main menu, with 4 options (some tools use Kanji BASIC and/or MemoryDisk BASIC):

  • Raku Raku Anime, an easy Animation tool for screen 5, 8, 10 to 12, with a submenu:
    • Animation Play (loads an example)
    • Animation Edit (loads the editor with save/load option - .PDT files)
    • Make Animation Disk (you need to use a blank disk)

This tool can integrate .VCD files created by MSX Voice Recorder. You can leave each part with the ESC key.

  • MSX Voice Recorder, an utility created by HAL Laboratory, it uses the keyclick to save and replay 1-bit PCM samples of voices or musics (.VCD files), and adds a MSX-BASIC extension - see SonyVoice BASIC
  • BASIC Filer with its own submenu which displays the names of all available BASIC files. You can run them or load them and most of them can be interrupted by using CTRL + STOP. You can generally go back to this sub-menu with RUN"FILER.BAS". There are 7 options:
    • AUTOEXEC (go back to the opening demo)
    • SP-PROG - Sprite Editor with save/load option (.SP1 and .SP2 files)
    • MSXVOICE - MSX Voice Recorder with save/load option (.VCD files)
    • FILER (go back to this submenu)
    • COLPRINT - Print Program for pictures in Screen 5, 8, 10 to 12
    • KY-PROG - Keyboard Trainer
    • BACKUP - New version of the DISKCOPY tool available on F1 Tool Disk

Files not displayed in the menus or hidden:

  • FILER.SYS to use the F1 Tool Disk style menu for .BAS files (back to this menu with F3)
  • SPIC12.BBB to show 2 Screen 12 pictures
  • a secret File Manager (the name is not displayed with the FILES instruction, you need first to rename the file with an external tool)
  • 6 Playball files for F1 Synth + a musical driver

Japanese Word Processor

Document Writer is a Japanese Word Processor that uses the built-in MSX-JE. The second disk of the original product, containing a collection of about 100 illustrations, is not provided in this package.

For more info, see Sony HBS-B012D.


To run MSX-DOS, you need to press CTRL+STOP when booting with the 3rd disk in drive A, this to avoid the launching of the Word Processor.

From the Word Processor, you can access MSX-DOS by pressing F5, then choosing the Quit option. If you want to go back to the Word Processor, just enter TITLE or MSXWP on the command line.

XV Story Disk

It is an extra disk with PSG effects and use of SonyVoice BASIC, that is complementary to the standard disks 1 and 2.

It starts with an animation that leads to the menu with 4 options:

  • Proof Game
  • Janken (game)
  • Raku Raku Anime Parts Editing Tool (utility)
  • H2O Image (animation)

The disk also contains song data for the F1 Synth utility.



Sony HB-F1XV box
Sony HB-F1XV
Sony HB-F1XV underside
Sony HB-F1XV main PCB
Sony HB-F1XV main PCB back
Sony HB-F1XV floppy disks
Sony HB-F1XV Story Disk
Sony HB-F1XV right side
Sony HB-F1XV manuals
Sony HB-F1XV back
Sony HB-F1XV label


F1 Synth

F1 Synth intro
F1 Synth menu
Score Edit
Sound Edit
Score Play
Rhythm Edit

Main menu of disk 2

Main menu of disk 2


RGB colors
256 colors mode
16 colors mode
Drawing styles
Screen modes
Effects + Input/Output


Opening demo
Opening demo
Tools main menu
Raku Raku Anime menu
Animation Play
Animation Edit
MSX Voice Recorder
BASIC Filer menu
Sprite Editor
Screen 12 picture
Keyboard Trainer
File Manager

Japanese Word Processor

Document Writer intro
Document Writer
Character Selection
Document submenu
Document Format
Screen Colors
Disk Utilities
Illustrations (file names)
Illustration example

XV Story Disk

Story Disk menu
Proof Game
Anime Parts Editing Tool
H2O Image


The HB-F1XV is a MSX2+ with 2 cartridge slots (one at the top, one at the back). The CPU is a Z80A from Zilog (Z0840004SPC) and the MSX-Engine is the S1985. The floppy disk controller chip is the MB89311.

The HB-F1XV was not planned to expand the Main RAM internally but it is possible by replacing RAM by a small PCB. (See below)

Slot Map

Slot Slot
0-0 0-1 0-2 0-3 Slot 1 Slot 2 3-0 3-1 3-2 3-3
Page C000h~FFFFh MSX-JE Cartridge
Slot 1
Slot 2
Page 8000h~BFFFh Kanji
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Disk ROM MSX-Music
Page 0000h~3FFFh Sub-ROM


Repair and Modifications

Diameter: 59mm (length: 186mm)
Width: 2.8mm
Thickness: 0.4mm

  • The systemboard has a daughterboard called "HIC-1" which contains three SMD electrolytic capacitors which will leak over time and badly damage the board around it. Please see this thread about replacing them.