Reply 20 of 30, by zarkon
How common are X68000 systems outside of Japan? Or other Japanese systems for that matter? I've basically stayed away from these systems because they're so insanely rare here, it'd be hopeless trying to build one and keep it going, let alone finding additional hardware to swap.
Very uncommon. Same with PC8801, PC9801, FM Towns etc.
I see X68000 games are selling for hundreds of dollars on eBay and there are no systems available to purchase at all. It also seems like the vast majority of the games are only available in Japanese, so unless you can read it, it'd be hard to get into them.
You'd be surprised. Obviously you wouldn't be able to get into the JRPGs, but there are a ton of arcade games for it, which rarely require Japanese knowledge. In point of fact, a lot of Japanese arcade games were originally developed using an X68K, which is why it tends to have the best ports for them (and in turn is probably why a lot of the games are so expensive now).
I never ended up buying an X68K myself because I didn't want to deal with the upkeep, instead I've gotteb a kryoflux (usb floppy controller that supports 5.25" drives), and a 5.25" drive that is compatible with the X68K disks so that I can dump them to pc and play them on an emulator.
Some times it amazes me how vastly different the Western and Asian markets used to be with regard to computers and software. Even today, with the internet connecting everything together, the language and societal barriers almost make it seem like they're two different worlds with little casual (non-business related) interaction between them outside of specific websites. Like, there might be a Japanese forum somewhere with exactly the information I need about an old piece of hardware, but it will never come up in an internet search because it is probably called something completely different that doesn't use any western characters at all.
Yeeeeeeeeeeeees. I have run into problems like this quite a few times over the years. Sometimes machine translation or the few english-language enthusiasts that exist have helped me out, sometimes I just had to guess or give up.