Sharp X68000 (CZ-600, XVI)

Pubblicato: giugno 24, 2011 in Sharp

Modelli: X68000 Cz-600 (Grey), X68000 XVI (16Mhz, Black)

Periferiche e accessori :
Interfaccia midi + MT-32 + CM-500
Hard Disk esterno (XVI)
4Mb Ram
Arcade Stick
Megadrive Joypad Adapter
Gamepad (KOF)
PSU 220v (XVI)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Sharp X68000, often referred to as the X68k, is a home computer released only in Japan by the Sharp Corporation. The first model was released in 1987, with a 10 MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, 1 MB of RAM and no hard drive; the last model was released in 1993 with a 25 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU, 4 MB of RAM and optional 80 MB SCSI hard drive. RAM in these systems is expandable to 12 MB though most games and applications didn’t require more than two.

Operating system

The X68k ran an operating system developed for Sharp by Hudson Soft, called Human68k, which features commands very similar to those in MS-DOS (typed in English). Pre-2.0 versions of the OS had command line output only for common utilities like ‘format’ and ‘switch’ while later versions included forms-based versions of these utilities, greatly improving their usability. At least three major versions of the OS were released, with several updates in between. Other operating systems available include NetBSD for X68030 and OS-9.

Early models had a GUI called “VS” (Visual Shell); later ones were packaged with SX-WINDOW. A third GUI called Ko-Windows existed; its interface is similar to Motif. These GUI shells could be booted from floppy disk or the system’s hard drive. Most games also booted and ran from floppy disk; some were hard disk installable and others require hard disk installation.

Since the system’s release, Human68k, console, and SX-Window C compiler suites and BIOS ROMs have been released as public domain and are freely available for download.

Case design

The X68000 features two soft-eject 5.25″ floppy drives, or in some of the compact models, two 3.5″ floppy drives, and a very distinct case design of two connected towers, divided by a retractable carrying handle. This system was also one of the first to feature a software-controlled power switch; pressing the switch would signal the system’s software to save and shutdown, similar to the ATX design of modern PCs. The screen would fade to black and sound would fade to silence before the system turned off.

The system’s keyboard has a mouse port built into either side. The front of the computer has a headphone jack, volume control, joystick, keyboard and mouse ports. The top has a retractable carrying handle (only on non-Compact models), a reset button, and a non-maskable interrupt (NMI) button. The rear has a variety of ports, including stereoscopic output for 3D goggles, FDD and HDD expansion ports, and I/O board expansion slots.


The monitor supports 15/24 and 31 kHz with up to 65,535 colors and functions as a cable-ready television (NTSC-J standard) with composite video input. It was an excellent monitor for playing JAMMA compatible arcade boards due to its analog RGB input and standard-resolution refresh timing.

Disk I/O

Early machines use the rare Shugart Associates System Interface (SASI) for the hard disk interface; later versions adopted the industry-standard small computer system interface (SCSI). Per the hardware’s capability, formatted SASI drives can be 10, 20 or 30 megabytes in size and can be logically partitoned as well. Floppy disks came in a couple of different formats, none of which are natively readable on other platforms, although software exists that can read and write these disks on a DOS or Windows 98 PC.


Many add-on cards were released for the system, including networking (Neptune-X), SCSI, memory upgrades, CPU enhancements (JUPITER-X 68040/060 accelerator), and MIDI I/O boards. The system has two joystick ports, both 9-pin male and supporting Atari standard joysticks and MSX controllers. Capcom produced a converter that was originally sold packaged with the X68000 version of Street Fighter II’ that allowed users to plug in a Super Famicom or Mega Drive controller into the system. The adapter was made specifically so that users could plug in the Capcom Power Stick Fighter controller into the system.

Arcade at home

Hardware-wise, it was very similar to arcade hardware of the time, and it served as the Capcom CPS system development machine. It supported separate text RAM, graphic RAM and hardware sprites. Sound was produced internally via Yamaha’s then top-of-the-line YM2151 FM synthesizer and a single channel OKI MSM6258V for PCM. Due to this and other similarities it played host to many arcade game ports in its day. Games made for this system included Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Parodius Da! Shinwa kara Owarai e, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Strider, Final Fight, Street Fighter II Dash, Akumajo Dracula (Castlevania in other regions, the X68000 version was ported to the PlayStation as Castlevania Chronicles), Cho Ren Sha 68k (which has a Windows port) and many others. Many games also supported the Roland SC-55 and MT-32 MIDI modules for sound as well as mixed-mode internal/external output.

  1. Bert ha detto:

    Gran bel blog saxa, ora me lo esploro tutto! Grazie tante anche per il link al mio blog, contraccambio più che volentieri! ;-D

    • Saxabar ha detto:

      Figurati, dovere! Al momento è ancora in fase embrionale ma conto di sistemare il tutto al più presto e aggiungere nuovi contenuti interessanti (o almeno ci si prova) 🙂


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