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May 5, 2023


Everything about MSX, and more…

MNESX – The NES emulator for MSX

2 min read
The MSX is emulated in several different systems, but not many platforms are emulated on MSX.

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit third-generation home video game console produced by Nintendo. It was first released in Japan as the Family Computer (FC), commonly known as the Famicom, in 1983.

The console technical specification is:

  • CPU type: Motorola 6502 8-bit (MOS)
  • CPU speed: 1.79 MHz
  • RAM: 16 Kbit (2 Kbyte)
  • Video RAM: 16 Kbit (2 Kbyte)
  • Picture resolution: 256 x 240 pixels
  • Colors Available: 52 colors
  • Max colors at once: 24 colors
  • Max sprite size: 8 x 8 pixels or 8 x 16 pixels
  • Max sprites: 64 sprites (max per line: 8)
  • Min/Max Cart Size: 192 Kbit – 4 Mbit
  • Sound: PSG sound
  • Picture Scroll: 2 h.v

To emulate such hardware on an MSX machine is not an easy task, especially if you consider the memory allocation requirements and the CPU differences. The MNESX emulator is in its early stages of development, but the results are already remarkable (even without audio).

This video was captured from the emulator running on an MSX Turbo-R with GFX9000. The authors commented that it is still missing a dynamic recompiler, which required the R800 CPU to be overclocked to produce this demo.

The project seems promising and it is nothing less than impressive. Another testament of how powerful and versatile the MSX can be when talented programmers devote time to overcome challenges and make incredible things happen.

If you like this project and would like to support its development, please donate by clicking here.

You can learn more about The New Image (TNI) and their projects in their website.