Sony began selling the HB-55 in November 1983 as a home computer that was compatible with the MSX architecture standard. Designed for ease of use for beginners without specialized knowledge, the HB-55 could be used just by plugging in ROM cartridges containing pre-written programs. It was priced at \54,800.
The HB-55 had the following features.
- 1. The computer came with easy-to-use, menu-driven software for taking care of such household tasks as managing household schedules, creating address books, and making memos.
- 2. The HB-55 could run MSX software because it was compatible with the MSX architecture standard.
- 3. An ordinary household television set could be used as the computer’s display, eliminating the need for a dedicated color display.
|Memory||ROM: 32 KB (MSX-BASIC) + 8 KB
RAM: 16 KB (main); 16 KB (video)
|Display resolutions / specifications||Text: max. 40 characters×24 lines
Graphics: 256×192 pixels
Sprite images: 32
|Sound functions||8 octaves, three square wave generators, special sound effects|
|Cassette interface||1200/2400 baud, FSK modulation scheme|
|CRT interfaces||RF output, composite video output|
|Keyboard||ASCII layout (for input of alphanumeric characters and graphical symbols) or Japanese syllabary order (for input of hiragana and katakana characters)|
|Printer interface||8-bit parallel interface compliant with the Centronics specification|
|Extension slot||I/O bus (50-pin), accepted game and expansion cartridges|
|Joysticks||Connections for two external joysticks|