PC-8801

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The PC-8801 is a Zilog Z80-based home computer released by Nippon Electric Company (NEC) in 1981 in Japan, where it became very popular. The PC-8801 is informally called the PC-88.

NEC's American subsidiary, NEC Home Electronics (USA), marketed variations of the PC-8801 in the United States.[1][2]

Model list[edit]

Released Year model name model CPU RAM VRAM N mode V1 mode V2 mode V3 mode sound ATARI D-sub 9pin I/O port FDD CD-ROM comment
1981 PC-8801 NEC µPD780 4 MHz 64KB 48KB y y n n Internal Beeper like in the IBM-PC or the original Sinclair Spectrum. n none n
1983 PC-8801mkII model10 NEC µPD780 4 MHz 64KB 48KB y y n n Internal Beeper n none n
model20 5.25" 2D x1
model30 5.25" 2D x2
1985 PC-8801mkII SR model10 NEC µPD780 4 MHz 64KB 48KB y y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y none n The V2 mode that is necessary to play most PC-88 games is introduced.
model20 5.25" 2D x1
model30 5.25" 2D x2
PC-8801mkII TR NEC µPD780 4 MHz 64KB 48KB y y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y 5.25" 2D x2 n PC-8801 mkII SR with 300 bit/s modem
PC-8801mkII FR model10 NEC µPD780 4 MHz 64KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y none n Cost reduced version of PC-8801mkIISR
model20 5.25" 2D x1
model30 5.25" 2D x2
PC-8801mkII MR NEC µPD780 4 MHz 192KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 n FDD 2D->2HD
1986 PC-8801 FH model10 NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 64KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y none n 88FR CPU upgrade
model20 5.25" 2D x1
model30 5.25" 2D x2
PC-8801 MH NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 192KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 n 88MR CPU upgrade
1987 PC-88 VA NEC V50 (µPD9002) 8 MHz 512KB 256KB n y y y FM(YM2203) Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 n CPU upgrade (8bit->16bit)
PC-8801 FA NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 64KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2608) Stereo + ADPCM Mono y 5.25" 2D x2 n sound card upgrade (88FH + sound board2(Yamaha YM2608))
PC-8801 MA NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 192KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2608) Stereo + ADPCM Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 n sound card upgrade (88MH + sound board2(Yamaha YM2608))
1988 PC-88 VA2 NEC V50 (µPD9002) 8 MHz 512KB 256KB n y y y FM(YM2608) Stereo + ADPCM Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 n
PC-88 VA3 NEC V50 (µPD9002) 8 MHz 512KB 256KB n y y y FM(YM2608) Stereo + ADPCM Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 / 3.5" 2TD x1 n add 2TD FDD
PC-8801 FE NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 64KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y 5.25" 2D x2 n TV(NTSC) output (composit video), del external I/O
PC-8801 MA2 NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 192KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2608) Stereo + ADPCM Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 n 88MA model change
1989 PC-8801 FE2 NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 64KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2203) Mono y 5.25" 2D x2 n 88FE model change
PC-8801 MC model1 NEC µPD70008 8 MHz 192KB 48KB n y y n FM(YM2608) Stereo + ADPCM Mono y 5.25" 2HD x2 (option)
model2 5.25" 2HD x2 y

Hardware[edit]

For its time, the PC-8801SR (V2-mode) had a high display resolution, but could only display 8 out of 512 colors simultaneously. The 640 × 400 mode was monochrome only. Its sound-producing capabilities were also more advanced than other machines of the time.

  • N mode: PC-8000 Series compatible graphic mode
  • V1 mode: 640 × 200 8 colors, 640 × 400 2 colors
  • V2 mode: 640 × 200 8 out of 512 colors, 640 × 400 2 out of 512 colors
  • V3 mode: 640 × 200: 65536 colors, 640 × 400: 256 out of 65536 colors, 320 × 200: 65536 colors, 320 ×  400: 64 out of 65536 colors
  • PC-8801/PC8801mkII
  • PC-8801mkIISR/TR/FR/MR
    • CPU: NEC PD780C-1 (Z80A-compatible)
    • Resolutions: (SR/TR) ( N mode / V1 mode / V2 mode ) or (FR/MR) ( V1 mode / V2 mode )
    • Memory: 40+8+24 = 72 KB ROM, 64+48+4 = 116 KB RAM (MR = 244 KB)
    • Sound: beep + YM2203 ( 3 FM channels, 3 SSG ) Mono
  • PC-8801FH/MH/FE/FE2
    • CPU: µPD70008 (Z80H-compatible)
    • Resolutions: ( V1 mode / V2 mode )
    • Memory: 40+8+24 = 72 KB ROM, 64+48+4 = 116 KB RAM (MH = 244 KB)
    • Sound: beep + YM2203 ( 3 FM channels, 3 SSG ) Mono
  • PC-8801FA/MA/MA2/MC

A part of software corresponds to YM2608 and ADPCM. (ex: Snatcher)

Software[edit]

Companies that produced exclusive software for the NEC PC-8801 included Enix, Square, Sega, Nihon Falcom, Bandai, HAL Laboratory, ASCII, Pony Canyon, Technology and Entertainment Software, Wolf Team, Dempa, Champion Soft, Starcraft, Micro Cabin, PSK, and Bothtec. Certain games produced for the PC-8801 had a shared release with the MSX, such as those produced by Game Arts, ELF Corporation, and Konami. Many popular series first appeared on the NEC PC-8801, including Snatcher, Thexder, Dragon Slayer, RPG Maker, and Ys.

Nintendo licensed Hudson Soft to port some of Nintendo's Family Computer games for the console, including Excitebike, Balloon Fight, Tennis, Donkey Kong 3, Golf, and Ice Climber, as well as new editions of Mario Bros. called Mario Bros. Special and Punch Ball Mario Bros. and a unique Super Mario Bros. game for the computer, Super Mario Bros. Special.

The computer also had its own BASIC dialect, N88-BASIC.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Infoworld Media Group, Inc (May 1984). "New Products". Info World: p.52. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "NEC PC-8800 personal computer system. (evaluation)". Creative Computing 9 (11): 28. November 1983. Retrieved June 20, 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
NEC PC-6001
NEC PC-6601
PC-8000 Series
NEC Personal Computers Succeeded by
NEC PC-9801