Image: IOT Media Laboratory

Update #4 (Mon 16th Oct, 2023 16:20 BST): In a press conference that took place today in Tokyo, IOT Media Laboratory revealed its future plans for the MSX0. This includes plans for a new crowdfunding campaign on Kibidango, lasting from November 1st to January 31st, which will allow Japanese backers to pick from a range of new MSX0 designs (thanks GameWatch!). Some of these options will include a credit card-shaped MSX0 Card, MSX0 watches, a handheld gaming device called the MSX0 Atom Boy, and a set of ultra-compact MSX computer modules.

MSX0 Atom Boy
Image: IOT Media Laboratory

As GameWatch notes in its report on the event, the Atom Boy will be able to emulate MSX/MSX2/MSX2+ games (much like other versions of the MSX0), but is extremely small, with the LCD screen being only 0.85 inches. It will cost ¥29,800 and will come with two more MSX0 devices that are wearable (a ring and a necklace).

In addition to the crowdfunding news above, there were also some updates provided on D4 Entertainment's planned support for the MSX0 in the future, with the company's president Naoto Suzuki revealing that almost 30 games are scheduled to be coming to the line of devices at the beginning of next year. These will be available for non-paying members of Project Egg's Amusement Center service to buy directly.

Update #3 (Thu 14th Sep, 2023 11:15 BST): The MSX0 is now out in the wild, with early backers in Japan finally getting their hands on the portable MSX.

In the past, Kazuhiko Nishi has expressed interest in a separate crowdfund for countries including Brazil, Spain, Holland, and Italy, but so far, nothing has come of this. When Time Extension contributor Ashley Day asked Nishi how people outside Japan could get a hold of one back in July, he was told that people would be able to order them direct from either Amazon or SwitchScience after IOT Media Laboratory has finished shipping crowdfunding orders.

Update #2 (Wed 22nd Mar, 2023 13:05 GMT): As spotted by @gosokkyu on Twitter, MSX0 has finally hit its funding target of ¥59,998,000, meaning the project is definitely going ahead!

The crowdfunding campaign had appeared to slow down at the start of this month, but on March 16th, Kazuhiko Nishi announced on Twitter that he had cut a deal with the publisher D4 Entertainment to bring 100 ASCII MSX games to MSX0 via the Japanese video game service Project EGG. As @gosokkyu notes, this could potentially be what helped to generate enough interest to push it over the finish line.

Update #1 (Thu 2nd Mar, 2023 12:35 GMT): Earlier today, the co-creator of the MSX, Kazuhiko Nishi, showed off a prototype of a new cartridge reader for the upcoming MSX0.

The MSX0 doesn't feature a cartridge slot built into the device, but owners will be able to plug in a branded cartridge reader to play some of their favourite MSX games on the machine. In a set of pictures released on Twitter, Nishi showed an image of the prototype reader and another of the MSX game Volguard plugged into the cartridge slot.

From what we've been able to find out, the MSX0 is currently being crowdfunded on and has so far raised ¥52,830,233 of its ¥59,998,000 target. There are seven tiers of support as part of the campaign, with the cheapest (Plan A) costing ¥29,999 (about £183.00/$219).

Nishi expects the cartridge reader to be ready in time for July, which is when the MSX0 is believed to be going out to backers. It is being developed in collaboration with the IOT Media Laboratory, a non-profit which features Nishi as the chairman of the board.

Original article (Thu 5th Jan, 2023 16:00 GMT): Last year, we let you know that the MSX co-creator Kazuhiko Nishi was hard at work building the new generation of MSX computers: including the MSX3 one-board system, the MSX turbo personal supercomputer, and the MSX0 microcomputer for IoT. And now, thanks to one of the manufacturing partners, M5Stack, we've finally got a better look at one of the above devices.

The pictures, which M5Stack posted on Twitter, show an official prototype of the MSX0 featuring an interchangeable keyboard and "Game Boy-Esque" gamepad for playing MSX, MSX2, and MSX2+ titles. It is being built using M5Stack's ESP32.

Nishi wrote about the goals for the device back in November 2022 (as translated via Google):

"MSX0 aims to build an IoT environment. The small control microcomputer has a built-in basic interpreter and compiler for IoT, and it is designed to be easily connected to sensors and relays for measurement and control. In addition, it's able to connect to the cloud with wireless Internet and wired Ethernet. It is a minimal setup that will allow you to start programming immediately."

On Twitter, Nishi also claimed today that he is now working on a prototype of the "Pro" version of the device. He says that this other version will be able to run the MSXturboR using the Zynq 7010 FPGA.

What do you make of this news? Let us know in the comments!