ASCII MSX Game Reader
This page was last modified 17:07, 26 May 2023 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Rderooy and Gdx.



The MSX Game Reader was developed by ASCII and released in 2004 in Japan. It is a MSX Cartridge to USB adapter, and is meant to be used with the MSX-PLAYer emulator.

It comes with a CD-ROM with version 3 of the MSX-PLAYer emulator and 32-bit Windows 2000/XP drivers. The ASCII version has a Japanese language MSX-PLAYer version. The standard USB cable is not included in the Japanese package. After more than 4000 pre-orders, it was sold for ¥11,000.

Sunrise was able to get distribution rights for Europe, and shipped his own version of the MSX Game Reader in 2005, with an English language version of the MSX-PLAYer emulator and an USB cable added in the package. The price was 75 euro exclusive of postage and package.

This adapter is supported only by blueMSX and the MSX-PLAYer emulator and you need to use 32-bit Windows XP. Neither the special version of the MSX-PLAYer emulator or the Windows drivers have had any updates.

It is not possible to use the adapter with more recent Windows versions, especially on 64-bit systems. More recently the communication has been reverse engineered, and an opensource driver has been written (linked at the bottom).

About the special version of MSX-PLAYer

  • This version of the MSX-PLAYer emulator is bridled, as it works only when the presence of a cartridge in the slot is detected. Some new cartridges are not detected due to some of their components.
  • For access to MSX-BASIC, you need to insert a non-executable cartridge in the slot of the MSX Game Reader.
  • Depending on the cartridge inserted the emulator will either emulate a MSX1 or a MSX turbo R. This was probably done as the color palette of the MSX1 is slightly different to that of later MSX models. Note that the support in blueMSX is different, allowing to run the MSX machine and/or generation that you prefer.


ASCII version

ASCII MGR box and content
ASCII MSX Game Reader
ASCII MGR underside
ASCII MGR content of box
ASCII MGR cartridge slot
ASCII MGR manual

Sunrise version

Sunrise MGR package
Sunrise MSX Game Reader
Sunrise MGR - back/right side
Sunrise MGR - CD-ROM box
Sunrise MGR - CD-ROM
Sunrise MGR - CD-ROM box (back)
Sunrise MGR - PCB
Sunrise MGR - PCB (underside)

Dip switches settings

These dip switches are on the underside in the ASCII version, on the right side in the Sunrise version.

Switch Description
1 Selects MSX slot 1 or 2
2 ID select
3 ID select
4 Enable programming