Software update: OpenMSX 0.8.0

The MSX is a home computer from the past, but fortunately there are still people who are involved in the development of the MSX and with the various emulators for this platform. The openMSX emulator runs on various operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, and according to the developers focuses on the perfection of the gaming experience. Version 0.8.0 was recently released with the following announcement:

Release Notes for openMSX 0.8.0

This release brings you two major new features: reverse and Laserdisc. Reverse is similar to what you can do in meisei: you can ‘rewind’ time with your finger tip, to correct game playing mistakes or inspect what caused a crash. Laserdisc is the Palcom system introduced by Pioneer in 1984: now you can play all the Palcom MSX Laserdisc games in openMSX!

For the rest we have mostly fixed smaller issues and added smaller features (see below). Here’s the list with all highlights:

New or improved emulator features:

  • Added reverse: go back in time to correct mistakes or replay your actions (use PgUp and PgDn to control, enable visualization of this feature with this console command: set auto_enable_reverse gui). For more information on usage, please see the (links in the) FAQ of the manual.
  • Debugging:
    • added information on last address/value written which triggered watch point
    • added several new debuggables: keymatrix, joystick ports, romblock
  • Windows unicode fixes
  • Added possibility to link to Generation MSX from within scripts
  • Various internal code cleanups
  • Better SDLGL-PP TV scaler, sensitive to scanline setting
  • Many speed and code size optimizations, developed in the context for the Dingoo port
  • Renamed “update” command to “openmsx_update” to avoid conflicts with the native Tcl command
  • Various tweaks to OSD menu: new colors (thanks Wolf), save states show date, toys menu, …
  • Added new icon skin especially made for handhelds
  • Added OSD virtual keyboard (only international QWERTY layout for now) for devices without keyboard
  • Added OSD mouse support, you can now easily create drag and drop of MSX objects, for instance
  • New scripts that demonstrate the OSD framework:
    • experimental OSD script for tabbed MSXing (controllable from OSD menu)
    • music keyboard (visualize notes or sound chips)
    • SCC editor (edit SCC waveforms)
  • Experimental (still primitive) support for TAS (http://tasvideos.org/)

MSX device support:

  • Added emulation of Palcom Laserdisc games on the Pioneer PX-7/PX-V60 (note: not visible in screenshots and video recording yet)
  • Added support for balance per channel, including support for the “stereo” effect of the FM Stereo PAK and the stereo PSG of the Pioneer PX-7
  • Added new mapper: Arc
  • Accuracy improvements:
    • minor fixes in V99x8, V9990, YM2413 and YMF278 emulation
  • Added emulation of the trackball (thanks n_n)

Build system, packaging, documentation:

  • Added platform/CPU support for: PA-RISC, Dingoo, SuperH, Nokia N900/Maemo, MacOSX 10.6/64-bit, GNU/kFreeBSD, Atmel AVR32
  • For Laserdisc support (which is optional), added dependency on libogg, libvorbis and libtheora
  • Removed dependency on SDL_image

And of course the usual various bug fixes.

In “doc/manual/index.html” you can find a set of HTML manuals for openMSX. Make sure you read this if you haven’t used openMSX before, but also to learn more about the new and changed features.

Known issues / caveats:

  • Emulation isn’t perfect yet. See the bug tracker on sourceforge.net for known bugs.
  • Until we reach version 1.0.0, file formats can change in an incompatible way without backwards compatibility. This happened between 0.4.0 and 0.5.0, for example. Keep this in mind if you create machine descriptions, ROM database entries etc. We do try to be backwards compatible for at least one release, though. Keep in mind that openMSX is still evolving at a considerable speed.
  • openMSX is confirmed to run on the following operating systems: Linux, Win32, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD; on x86, x86-64, PPC, ARM and Sparc CPUs. Running on other operating systems (wherever SDL runs) or CPUs should be possible, but may require some modifications to the build system. If you are compiling on a new platform, please share your experiences (see below for contact info), so we can make openMSX more portable.
  • CPU and graphics performance varies a lot, depending on the openMSX settings and the MSX hardware and software you’re emulating. Some things run fine on a 200 MHz machine, others are slow on a 2 GHz machine. For performance tuning tips, see the Setup Guide.

Thanks to all contributors for their feedback, support, bug reports, testing, coding and other help!

Have fun with your emulated MSX!
the openMSX developers

Version number 0.8.0
Release status Final
Operating systems Windows 7, Windows 2000, Linux, BSD, Windows XP, macOS, Windows Vista
Website openMSX
Download http://openmsx.sourceforge.net/
License type GPL
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