I know, it's certainly not really an example of the so called good-taste to be in love with an outdated prehistorical machine like the MSX nowadays definitely is.
But still, it has something attractive that old love of mine. Its a humble attractive hardworking little fellow with a trusty 8-bitter. Heck, the Z80 is still the most used 8-bits CPU in the world you can find them in the most weird places, coffee-machines etc.
The most programs on the Wintel platform are consuming
megabytes of storage and internal memory, they need resolution of thousands
by thousands pixels with millions of colors just to look decent. They have
been written using RAD tools, thereby using general libraries of code making
them drag along thousands line of code which are compiled in the package
but will never be used. Besides they have to drag along thousands of drivers
for all the different hardware devices and/or configurations. I probably assume
that now some of you will start to complain with arguments like:
"But that's exactly why GOD has invented Direct-X"
And they believe it is a good thing to. Well, it isn't because every new game needs the latest version of Direct-X, your hardware fabricant won't support their older cards anymore (Buy our newer,faster card !) or they haven't had the time to write the newer driver. And worst of all, Direct-X is bloated middleware. You lose CPU-cycles passing through all the layers without doing anything usefull with them.Just look at all the reviews about the newest 3D cards. When you install the newest drivers you gain 10 percent speed !! Isn't that great, the same hardware, just some crazy stupid midleware that makes the difference.
But worst of all, those Wintel programs are so %$*?@! bad written. Beside the fact that they chuck along a bunch of never used code most PC progs have been written with the following attitude :
Ofcourse some programs are an exception. Quake from ID is a very good example. It uses a very good datastructure internally, it's very well optimized (and therefore very fast) and doesn't support one hundred different card types (Only defacto soundblaster like cards and just standardized vesa routines).
MSX programmers almost always optimize there code. They almost always write in assembly code and they definitely don't write code that isn't used. Most code is optimized by counting the clock-cycles used by every instruction. Hardware like the VDP is directly written to instead of using elaborate routines and sublayers. Instead of using easy to learn routines they take the time to figure out what they're doing and how they can do it better and faster.
MSX-progs proves that you don't need billions of colors to make for a good picture. By carefully picking your color palette and using a good handmade dithering you can attain the most beautiful images. In this case the proverb 'a picture explains more than a thousand words' says it all. So I suggest you have a look at the MSX-gallery.
Music on an MSX has to be real music, its written using notes, instead of samples. They rely on a good arrangement instead of falling back on to just a some goods sound-effects (read sound-effects as memmory hogging 16 bits stereo samples).
In short: I like MSX more because it shows that someone has done a good (and probably time consuming) job instead of using a nice set of wizards and tools. They show that you can achieve great results with a minimal of hardware.
Everything made for the MSX is an original product. No standard libraries. No collection of scanned or raytraced images. Everything is made starting from scratch. Every program nowadays that is made for the MSX is made out of love for the system. It's made with a great personal dedication to deliver something one can be proud of. People spend time on it because they want to create a little gem, not because they have five games to make today to earn their living. They want to be creative instead of using prechewed pieces of wizard-codes and standard collection of bitmaps and soundfiles.
MSX shows some good old craftsmanship.
It shows the power of creativity and geniousity.