AmigaCD32 30 Years on…
Way back in September 1993, Commodore rolled there final dice and tried to enter the console market.
So I wanted to ask the question, did the AmigaCD32 have any chance of success? What was the best CD32 game, best to push the hardware? and best Gameplay?
This is what Ai spat out when I asked it, these questions (yes still playing with ai!)
“The CD32 faced several challenges that limited its chances of success:
Timing: The CD32 was released at a time when the gaming console market was dominated by the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) and Super Nintendo (Super Famicom). Sony’s PlayStation was also on the horizon. This intense competition made it difficult for the CD32 to gain a significant foothold in the market.
Limited Game Library: The CD32 had a relatively small library of games compared to its competitors. While it could run Amiga computer software, the console-specific game library was not as robust as what was available on other consoles.
Marketing and Distribution: Commodore faced financial difficulties and struggled with marketing and distribution for the CD32. This limited the availability of the console in various regions, and many potential customers may not have been aware of its existence.
Legal Issues: Commodore faced legal challenges related to patent infringement from XOR which further hindered the CD32’s success.
Lack of Exclusive Titles: Exclusive game titles can be a significant driver of success for a gaming console. The CD32 lacked a strong lineup of exclusive titles that could have differentiated it from the competition.
Short Lifespan: The CD32’s production was short-lived, as Commodore filed for bankruptcy in 1994. This led to the discontinuation of the console and a lack of long-term support.
While the Amiga CD32 had some technical advantages, such as its multimedia capabilities, it ultimately struggled to compete effectively in the highly competitive console market of the early 1990s. Its chances of success were limited by various factors, including market timing, competition, and business challenges faced by Commodore.”
Which I mostly agree with. Both the A1200 and CD32 although good upgrades, it wasn’t really big enough jump, they really didn’t feel next gen Amiga as they could be, its a shame as for very little cost a 68030 CPU at 25Mhz would of made these machine run much faster and would of been a fairly low cost hardware bump. Failing that the other way to really increase performance and might of even been a better upgrade is giving these Amiga some Fast Ram, the way AGA chipset was designed, fast ram can really increase the speed of the system, likely 4mb of Fast Ram on top of 2mb chip ram would of help both these late Amiga to really separate them self from the first Amiga. But I do understand the tight margin Commodore where dealing with in making the hardware and at this time Commodore was fast running out of money.
The AmigaCD32 (and Amiga in general) where ill equipped to deal with the fast approaching 3d gaming world we where entering, with PlayStation system arriving just a year 2 years away for Europe. Even before then PC and Arcades where showing what was possible, with Sega Virtual Fighter, and another company named ID Software had really shaken up PC gaming with its DOOM game.
Amiga market tried to fight back with Alien Breed 3d, Gloom, Fears etc each great in there own respect and impress to pull off on Amiga hardware, but none really could match DOOM. Other games like MYST, Magic Carpet, on the PC showed the new type of worlds 3d could add to gameplay.
Plus it didn’t help that companies were a bit lazy with their software release for the AmigaCD32, CD32 got basicly a load of re-released CDTV titles or quick A500 ports, I remember the Frontier Elite 2 CD Rom is literally just 1.4mb of data.
There was one company that put the time in and really showed off how far you could push this new hardware, one of Amiga best developers, Psygnosis, had developed Microcosm. A game where you literally fly inside the Human body, fighting cells, gameplay it wasn’t that amazing, but graphics and as a showcase of what could be done, it was a pretty good title.
As we know the CD32 failed to save Commodore, its legacy is not great outside of the Amiga community, many laugh at the console and think of it as a bit of joke which is a shame, it was under approached system really, let face its one of the few console in the world I know you could upgrade to a full computer setup if you like, it could also upgrade to play FMV disk. It may not have been the best system ever to be released but I think it can be a fun console and I wish it and its fans a very happy 30 birthday!
Video to Watch –
Every AmigaCd32 Video game – All Commodore Amiga CD32 Games – Every CD32 Game In One Video – YouTube
AmigaCD32 why did it die – The Amiga CD32 – It promised so much and yet fizzled and died – why? – YouTube
AmigaCD32 Release News – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYgbm9v4qvc
Cd32 Games/music video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukfjRWSzemg
Commodore Cd32 Introduction video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkfTDyWCGY8
Commodore UK CD32 Advert – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugMcKfl2kuw