Sharp X68000 emulators

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The Sharp X68000, in repose. ca. 1987

The X68000 (エックスろくまんはっせん Ekkusu Rokuman Hassen?) is a home computer created by Sharp, first released in 1987, sold only in Japan.

The first model featured a 10 MHz Motorola 68000 CPU (hence the name), 1 MiB of RAM, and no hard drive; the last model was released in 1993 with a 25 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU, 4 MiB of RAM, and optional 80 MB SCSI hard drive. RAM in these systems is expandable to 12 MiB, though most games and applications did not require more than two.

Emulators[edit]

Name Operating System(s) Latest Version Active Recommended
XM6 Pro-68k Windows 161123
XM6 TypeG Windows 3.30 L35
MAME Multi-platform 0.192
XM6i Multi-platform 0.53 ?
px68k Multi-platform 0.15 ?

Comparisons[edit]

  • XM6 Pro-68k was, at the time, the only English interface, focused on providing necessary debugging features and has decent compatibility. It has since been succeeded by TypeG in most regards.
  • XM6 TypeG is going to be your best bet in terms of accuracy; can run in X68030 mode, good peripheral/expansion support and will run just about any game you throw at it.
  • MAME's X68000 core is, in terms of playability, still in a very early stage of development and should only be used if the debugging features of Pro-68k are lacking.
  • XM6i is built largely around being able to run NetBSD/X68k. While it can run games, it is clear that this is not what XM6i is focused on.
  • px68k is an open source fork of the c68k emulator. px68k has a libretro core, but lacks options like save states present in other emulators. It lacks MIDI emulation.

Playing Games[edit]

Before first using the Retroarch core for px68k, make sure to go under the directory for BIOS files ("system" by default) and create a new folder called "keropi". Then inside that folder put cgrom.dat and iplrom.dat from this pack. If you're using standalone Pro-68k, put those two files under the same directory as the emulator executable.

If you're using MAME's core under Retroarch, you'll need to put those x68000 BIOS files (from emuparadise) under the keropi folder: x68000, x68000 super, x68000 XVI, x68030, x68k_cz6bs1.

You'll need the MS Gothic font installed on your PC as well. Make sure to decompress the games before playing them. The lzh extension means it's a compressed archive format popular in Japan in the nineties, but fortunately it's handled by any zipping tool worth its salt (like 7-zip).

While in-game, the F12 key (or L2 button) brings up a menu, "SWITCH for PX68k", that's still in Japanese.

  • FDD0, FDD1: Floppy Disk Drive slots 0 and 1. You can choose another ROM from here (preferably from the current drive letter). Simpler games will use just FDD0, some like Nemesis '90 will have two disks to be loaded on FDD0 and FDD1, and multi-disk games will require going to this menu in-game at some point to change the disk image.
  • No Wait Mode: This makes fast-forwarding work in Retroarch if turned on.

On p68K-libretro, After the first boot a “config” file will be generated in the “keropi” folder. You can enter your rom folder into the “StartDir” line to make it accessible from the PX68k-libretro core’s in-game menu.

Core options include some other things of interest:

  • Amount of RAM used
  • CPU Clock Speed: Useful when games run too fast (for example changing from 25MHz to 10MHz to play Arkanoid as intended), or to speed up floppy disk loading times (by changing it to something like 100MHz for example).
  • Sound: 44kHz for Audio-CD sound quality is recommended.