X68000 Z | mini computer pre-orders open, prices are startling

x68000 z

Pre-orders are open for the X68000 Z – a mini version of the Japan-only Sharp computer. Be prepared to pay a high price to import one, though.


Bringing the zeitgeist of miniaturised, USB-powered retro devices to what might be its natural conclusion, the X68000 Z is based on Sharp’s Japan-only X68000 computer, originally released in 1987. An extraordinarily powerful PC for its day, the X68000 became known and widely coveted for its near arcade-perfect library of games, from Konami shooters to Sega pseudo-3D arcade conversions. That power came at a price, however, with the X68000 retailing for several thousand dollars.

In 2022, Japanese hardware manufacturer Zuiki announced the X68000 Z – a bantam-sized replica of the computer, complete with keyboard and mouse. White versions of the system were initially crowdfunded via Japanese site Kibidango, and its backers received their coveted devices in April.

Zuiki has long talked about the production of a black ‘retail’ version of the X68000 Z, though, and the firm has now revealed that it’ll come out on 28 September on the Japanese Amazon store.

Pre-orders are now open as of 8 June, though bear in mind that you’ll need to pay a hefty sum for it. As shared by Twitter’s @gosokkyu, the X68000 Z comes in three packages: Starter, Basic and Complete.

The Starter pack, which comes with the computer, joypad and a copy of Gradius on an SD card, will set you back ¥29535, or £169.56 in pounds sterling.

The Basic pack, which includes all of the above as well as keyboard and mouse, is ¥65780, or £377.63.

The Complete pack is the most eye-watering of all. It comes with all of the above, a pretty cute looking five-inch mock CRT monitor, an additional game collection, as well as a soundtrack CD. It’s ¥87780, or £504.04.

Bear in mind, too, that these figures don’t include shipping or import taxes; at present, Amazon.jp doesn’t appear to be shipping the system overseas, though Japanese outlet Beep does appear to offer it elsewhere, albeit via the WorldShopping service.

These prices are, of course, far in excess of most mini consoles we’ve seen in the past, most of which were also built by Zuiki. The Sega Mega Drive Mini, for example, sold for about £70 in 2019.

There’s a lot of charm and thought gone into the X68000 Z, though. For one thing, it functions as a proper computer, complete with operating system, which means users will be able to sideload their own ROMs as well as purchase games on SD cards. Then there are other touches, like the full-size mouse, which has a top that flips open to reveal a trackball.

It’s undoubtedly a lovely machine, and for fans of computer history and classic Japanese games, its asking price is possibly one worth paying.

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