[I ♥ The PC Engine] X-HE2Posted on July 14th, 2009 8 comments
Maker: Dempa Shinbunsha
Release Date: November 1988 sometime
Price: 1600 yen
As licensed PCE accessories go, this one is pretty rare — a two-port multitap that came out to little fanfare in 1988 and was available for just a short time in the market.
Dempa Shinbunsha, a Japanese publisher named after the electronics industry newspaper they were founded to run, released this peripheral under the “MICOM SOFT” brand. This was inspired by MICOM BASIC Magazine, a pioneering hobbyist computer mag — arguably, the first one to achieve popular support among the general public — that Dempa published in Japan from 1982 to 2003.
A month after this, Dempa used the “X” label again for the XE-1 PRO HE, a sturdy joystick that cost the near-unimaginable sum of $100-ish in 1988 dollars. Dempa wanted to get in on the ground floor with the PCE, there’s little doubt about that — they even worked on some of NEC Avenue’s early releases as a subcontractor.
If you’re the sort of person who thinks a 5-port Multitap has too many “unused components” (like that 5-CD changer that you only listen to one CD with) then why not use this instead and save yourself a few hundred yen? This isn’t the only two-port adapter, either — there’s Sur de Wave’s Twin Tap (1992), along with Hori’s unlicensed Twin Commander (1989).
You’d think that more PCE gamers would’ve been interested in a two-port multitap, but in the end NEC-HE’s 5-port model was by far the most popular accessory in the genre, followed (not too closely) by Hudson’s three-porter.
micomsoft is pretty interesting. i don’t know much about them (maybe you can remedy that!) but people are still forced to buy their upscanning kits (i.e. XRGB units) to play analog games on digital displays with any form of clarity or precision. i know NCS gets their stuff in sometimes. not sure what they make these days. but they do have a website…
XRGB3… so expensive!
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