FM Towns Marty

FM Towns Marty

Infobox CVG system
title = FM Towns Marty

manufacturer = Fujitsu
type = Video game console
generation = Fifth generation (32-bit/64-bit era)
lifespan = 1991 (JP)
CPU = AMD 386 at 16 MHz
media = CD-ROM
onlineservice =
topgame =
The FM Towns Marty was a video game console released in 1991 by Fujitsu, exclusively for the Japanese market. It was the first 32-bit home video game system, and had a CD-ROM and disk drive built in. It was based on the FM Towns computer system Fujitsu had released in 1989. The Marty was backward-compatible with older FM Towns games. A second system, the FM Towns Marty 2, was released late in the system's life. It featured a darker grey coloured shell and a new lower price (66,000 yen) but was otherwise identical to the first Marty. It is widely believed that the Marty 2 was like the FM Towns 2, which had a faster CPU than the first, but this is [ not the case] . It has also been speculated that the Marty 2 featured a 486 CPU, however this was also discovered to be false.

Despite having excellent hardware from a gaming perspective, the FM Towns, and the Marty by extension were very poor sellers in Japan. They were expensive and the custom hardware meant expandability wasn't as easy as with DOS/V (IBM PC Clones with Japanese DOS or Windows) systems. NEC's PC98 series computers were also dominant in Japan in its early years, making it difficult to break out before the DOS/V invasion began later. This was despite such revolutionary features as a bootable CD-ROMs, including a bootable color GUI OS in 1989 on the FM Towns PC, something that predated Microsoft's Windows 95b bootable CD by 7 years. Software today is rare and expensive due to the low production runs. Despite backwards compatibility with most older FM-Towns PC games, compatibility issues plagued the Marty as newer titles were released for the FM Towns and further limited its potential as a true "console version" of the Fujitsu FM Towns PC. A limited library of games for a console version of a niche market PC was not a good combination. The Marty did have its own library of "Marty" specific games, but they were not enough to strengthen its strange uber-niche position between console systems and PCs.

When Fujitsu lowered the price and released the Marty 2 sales started to increase, but the corporate attitude was that it was a lost cause, and the system was dropped. This led to the Japanese "Marty's Law" (マーティーの法則, similar to Murphy's law) that if you don't keep offering something to sell you can't increase sales.

Technical Specifications

CPU: 32-bit AMD 386 processor

CPU Speed: 16 MHz

*Resolution: 352x232 up to 640x480
*32768 color palette - 256 onscreen

The Marty had only composite and S-video output, no other video connectors are possible. As some FM Towns games were VGA-only, the Marty had a 15kHz down-scan capability for displaying on a household TV screen.

*6 channel FM
*8 channel PCM
*2 MB

Data Storage:
*CD-ROM, Single-speed (1x)
*Internal 3.5" HD floppy drive

*PCMCIA slot Controllers:
*4-way D-pad, 2 fire buttons, select, and run
*2 standard controller ports
*keyboard port

The controller connector is a DB9, referred to as an "Atari Type" in Japan because it's fundamentally the same connector as an Atari 2600. The Towns' Start and Select buttons are the equivalent of pressing right and left, or up and down at the same time. A six-button controller from Fujitsu was available for use with Capcom's Street Fighter. Capcom also released an adaptor for their [ CPS Fighter stick] which made the stick compatible with the FM Towns/Marty as well as the X68000.

External links

* [ General information and pictures]
* [ Console Database entry]
* [ FM Towns Marty Disassembly]
* [ FM Towns Controller Connector]
* [ Xe, an emulator collection]

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