Saturday, April 23, 2016

Gaming Bits: A SuperNerd's Guide to Japanese Computers: Part 3: The Fujitsu FM-7/FM-77/FM-77AV/FM Towns (56k Warning)


Now onto the final part of this miniseries.

In 1981, Fujitsu released it's second Microcomputer after the LKIT-8, It would be known as the FM-8, It was the first computer in Fujitsu's FM Line. It was supposed to be a mix of business machine and home use, But it wasn't at the right price to be used for the home and wasn't powerful enough for business use. It was decently successful, but wouldn't catch on until 1982 with the release of it's home focused variant...

The Fujitsu FM-7 Was one hell of a machine, with it's really good graphics display, Basic Essentials for home use, and one hell of a game library. It's specs were.a 2MHz Processor, a option of a 640x200 8 color Display or a 320x200 display, 40KB ROM, 64KB RAM, 3 Channel PSG Chip, Option for 5.25" Floppy Disks, 3 slots for optional Plug in Cards, and a feel similar to a US Based TRS-80 CoCo. I would talk about the 1984 released FM-77, But I couldn't find any info regarding it, so if anyone wants to do my job for me, fire away, besides a year later it's more well known counterpart, the FM-77AV was released.

The FM-77AV was major improvement in all areas, It had the option for a 4096 color display, up to 2 built-in 3.5" floppy drives, 2 CPUs, Up to 192KB RAM, 96KB VRAM, 72KB ROM, 3 FM Channels, 3 PSG Channels, 2 joystick ports, 4 expansion ports, and retailed for the equivalent of $1,200, this machine had impressive graphics for an 8 bit computer, but it would only get better from here...

The FM Towns (released in 1989), Named after Nobel Prize Winner Charles Townes, Was a CD Based Computer with 2 3.5" Floppy Drives. It had a 16 MHz Processor, a 640x400 Display with 16 out of a possible 4096 Colors displayable, up to 64MB of RAM, 8 PCM Voices, and 6 FM Channels, The bets part was that the OS was on CD, Towns OS, It was released years before Mac OS 7 or Windows 95, TALK ABOUT AHEAD OF IT'S TIME!!!!! A Simpler game console variant called the Marty was released, but it was pretty much the same thing, only in game console form...

The FM Towns Marty is considered the first Fifth Generation Console, but wasn't that successful along with 3DO and Jaguar.

There were plenty more variants of the FM Towns along with some spiffy gamepads, and mice. It was also compatible with hard drives, big, boxy hard drives, but what about games?



It was just a lot of ports, Really nice looking ports, but ports all the same. Maybe I'm Missing some exclusive, if I am, Tell me down below.


It had it's own share of arcade ports form all developers, really arcade perfect arcade ports, but there are a couple of original titles of note.

Rayxanber, a really good arcade style shmup, by Datawest (not to be confused with Data East). It had great sound design, and felt like it could've been released in an arcade cabinet.

It had the definitive versions of several Lucasarts adventure games, especially Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. which you could only play this particular version on the FM Towns...


Simply put, you won't be getting the original computer, but you do have a chance of getting the Marty, for a hefty price. You could always emulate the system (there's one decent emulator for it), but a number of factors make this a indufficiant option. You're better off going on and playing other versions of these games. Now that was A SuperNerd's Guide to Japanese Computers. All I can say is #USELESSKNOWLEDGEFTW!!!!!


Gather around my circle, because May is PC ENGINE MONTH!!!!!

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