Author Topic: The Konix Multi-System  (Read 21182 times)

Offline TL

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The Konix Multi-System
« on: May 22, 2012, 19:20:08 PM »
Any self respecting fan of British gaming should know the legend of the Konix Multisystem or Flare 1 as it was also known. It was the bigger brother of course of the Flare 2 that we better know as the Jaguar and was an unbelievably powerful 8-bit console based around a special ASIC chip called the "Slipstream". It's almost unreal that this console was never released, especially if you read the story behind it. From its hydraulic chair to the games by Jeff Minter everything about this machine is facinating.

My interest in it was spiked again recently when I found out that they had finally found a development system and even better some source code to go with it (from different sources too!).

I suggest everyone here goes and reads all about it over at the website.

http://www.konixmultisystem.co.uk/index.php


Offline DreamcastRIP

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 19:25:16 PM »
I've seen that website before and bloody good it is too. The interviews in particular make for a fascinating read. The Jaguar could have been a 128-bit console!!!
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Offline zapiy

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The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 18:04:53 PM »
Wow great info. I almost forgot about this system. Something to get my teeth into over the coming weeks. Cheers fella.
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline TL

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 18:26:00 PM »
It's such a great site, you can spend hours reading it.

I am so excited by the news that they are now working on emulator having finally found a development system and some source code!

Offline TL

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 16:25:27 PM »

Offline AmigaJay

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 18:23:14 PM »
Nice site, always interesting to read about the KMS... but i agree with the site owner, of all the titles so far found out about only a couple interest me, the rest looked ports of poor to average 8-16 bit games...Crazy Cars 2! Pah shoot me!
It was a powerful system for the time though, shame we never got a release too see what it really could have done..I most annoying thing about the KMS was that it was SO close to being released, not even the M2 was as close to coming out!
I will forward to news if he gets that pcb populated or they ever get an emulator runnable in the future.
Old School Gamer Since 1982 - Creator of various gaming websites and blogs 1998-2018

Offline TL

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 18:30:32 PM »
The games that interest me the most are Jeff Minters and one that looks a great deal like Blue Lightning in that video.

It really is such a damn shame what happened to this machine, if only Flare had chosen to go with a bigger company to produce it rather than a joystick manufacturer. What a waste that the Slipstream chip set ended up in quiz machines. Flare really didn't have much luck with their consoles, such talented hardware designers deserved better.

Offline mqarkcambie

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 14:27:14 PM »

Offline TL

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 14:30:54 PM »
Brilliant to have you here Mark, your site is one of the most facinating on the internet  8)

Offline mqarkcambie

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 14:43:42 PM »
Nice to be here :)

Just as a matter of interest - how did you like the Power chair videos? It took a LONG time to get those (basically since the start of last year), and it took quite some investigating to track down the company.

Any thoughts on what else you'd like me to look into?

Offline TL

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 14:53:08 PM »
Quote from: "mqarkcambie"
Nice to be here :)

Just as a matter of interest - how did you like the Power chair videos? It took a LONG time to get those (basically since the start of last year), and it took quite some investigating to track down the company.

Any thoughts on what else you'd like me to look into?

I remember drolling over the Konix in C&VG back in the day. Now being a massive Atari fan the Konix is also interesting to me from that point of view as it was developed by Flare who of course made the Jaguar for Atari.

I would love to know more about the games media, I have read that it was going to use a disk drive but what was the capacity, what type of disks, was there copy protection to stop piracy, was there also a cart slot available or an expansion port for extra RAM or a CD-ROM?

Offline mqarkcambie

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 15:12:20 PM »
Ok, I can probably elaborate on the website a bit more about this.

I have noticed that the specs on Wikipedia are wrong (lol) about the memory of the unit - they say it was 256K, later expanded to 512K. The dev-kit and all the early documents say it was 128K later expanded to 256K (after the programmers got stroppy). There was also to be a 512K expansion cartridge (the unit still had a cart slot at the back even after they decided to go with floppy) - but this probably would have only appeared once the machine was launched. Interestingly the Flare one unit the slipstream was based on was to be 1MB - but it was supposed to be a computer rather than a console.

I'll have to read through notes to say exactly what the specs of the floppy was and the form of copy protection. But that was definitely the way they were aiming to release software and this was purely to keep cost down (both for manufacture and to keep games affordable). I don't think they got quite as far as having disks produced, there may have been a few made for testing, but all the dev-kits used a PC to download the code directly to the dev-kit which ran the games from memory. I have asked the Konix graphic designer and he said there was no artwork produced for games, so no pics of packaging or so.

The 2nd attempt at launching the system - the TXC / Yanion / Newstar systems were definitely CDROM based. Apparently - these WERE produced and you could walk into a Tandy / Radio shack and buy one - but I'm finding it very difficult to track one down.

They were sold as a CD / VCD / Karaoke player with games playing capability.

I've got a lot more to write up about the later version of the Konix, so stay tuned to the website once every month or so (I can't make promises about when I can get around to writing all the stuff down).

Offline TL

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 15:15:53 PM »
Quote from: "mqarkcambie"
The 2nd attempt at launching the system - the TXC / Yanion / Newstar systems were definitely CDROM based. Apparently - these WERE produced and you could walk into a Tandy / Radio shack and buy one - but I'm finding it very difficult to track one down.

They were sold as a CD / VCD / Karaoke player with games playing capability.

I've got a lot more to write up about the later version of the Konix, so stay tuned to the website once every month or so (I can't make promises about when I can get around to writing all the stuff down).

This is especially interesting because that makes it very like the Nuon, which was also developed by ex-Flare guys and had several sequals to Jaguar games programmed for it.

Offline TL

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 19:16:42 PM »
Just bumping this topic because there is a fabulous feature on the Konix Multi-System in the new issue of Retro Gamer!

Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The Konix Multi-System
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 21:29:19 PM »
Was an avid reader of ACE at the time (still have the mags) and the Konix really did look, in concept terms, years ahead of anything else at the time and a real gamers dream.

Wasn't till good few years after i 'encountered' it again, this time in form of video footage on Telegames video (What Videogame console? or something like that) and it had tech demo's of the boat racing game etc.

Was honestly very dissapointed, graphics were fast, but seemed like souped up ST/Amiga games.

Have to say the Slipstream website and feature in RG were just superb-Features like that WHY i subscribe to RG (not for the iOS game reviews!).

Will we ever see anything like it again i wonder? nowadays consoles seem out dated concept, it's all: All-in-1 media devices with anything you offer, so can i..(ie motion control, online gaming).