ZX Interface 2

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ZX Interface 2

The ZX Interface 2 was a peripheral from Sinclair Research for its ZX Spectrum home computer released in September 1983. It had two joystick ports and a ROM cartridge slot, which offered instant loading times. The joystick ports were not compatible with the popular Kempston interface, and thus did not work with most Spectrum games released prior to the launch of the ZX Interface 2. In addition, the pass-through expansion bus provided was stripped, only allowing a ZX Printer to be attached.

Compatible titles[edit]

Availability of cartridge software was very limited: The cost was almost twice as much as the same game on cassette tape, and each cartridge could only hold 16 KiB, making it almost immediately obsolete as the majority of Spectrums sold were 48K-models, which the software publishers targeted.

Only ten games were commercially released:

  1. Jetpac
  2. PSSST
  3. Cookie
  4. Tranz Am
  5. Chess
  6. Backgammon
  7. Hungry Horace
  8. Horace and the Spiders
  9. Planetoids
  10. Space Raiders

Paul Farrow has demonstrated that it is possible to produce custom ROM cartridges, including the ability to exceed the 16 KiB design limitation of the ROM cartridges.[1]

Joystick ports[edit]

The interface two came with two joystick ports that (unlike the Kempston which used the IN31 command) were mapped to actual key presses. Player 1 was mapped to 60 and player 2 was mapped to 15. This initially seemed at odds with Sinclair's own keyboard layout, given that the keyboard itself had the cursor keys mapped to 58 with 0 typically being used by games as a fire button. Joystick interfaces that mapped to the cursor keys were available, but like the popular Kempston interface they were limited to supporting a single joystick only. It was the twin joystick feature of the ZX Interface 2 that turned out to be its major selling point.[2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Paul Farrow. "ZX Interface 2 - Custom ROM Cartridges". Fruitcake.plus.com. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  2. ^ "Sinclair talks...", CRASH magazine, Issue 3, April 1984