The Sharp X68000: The Retro Japanese Sister of the Mac and Amiga

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 14, 2008 in Tech |

In my final year of art school (which was 1987) I had a friend from Japan who owned the Sharp X68000 — in fact the computer was only ever sold in Japan. As you can see in the commercial above this machine was very friendly for folks who liked to work with video and graphics, and that wasn’t by accident as the box was powered by a Motorola 68000 CPU which was the same family of chips that powered the other artist friendly machines of that era which were the Macintosh and the Amiga. The first model of this system ran at 10 MHz, had 1 meg of of RAM and no built in hard drive, so it’s sort of amazing just how much this system could do. It’s also interesting to note that many game designers in Japan created arcade games using the X68000 and today you can find emulators for the system.

In the video below the 2nd commercial is for the Sharp X68000, notice how they’re pushing the “high resolution graphics” and music capabilities of the machine:

And here’s a photo of a later model which reminds me a great deal of the NeXT from the sleek black look which was unusual at the time:

The Sharp X68000

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