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Old 03 February 2020, 04:34   #1
d4rk3lf
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If Commodore UK bought Amiga...

Some days a go, I've listened some of the many interviews of David Pleasance, and he mentioned some of the steps they planned, if they acquired Amiga.

He claims, they had a very strong investors behind them, but Escom beat them very close.
Anyway, some of the steps (from my memory) he mentioned was:
1) Making Commodore sign exclusive (printing shirts, pencils, and many peripherals with that sign and sold it)
2) Making Amiga sign exclusive (printing shirts, pencils, and many peripherals with that sign and sold it)
3) Investing large amounts of money into research
4) Making a very low cost Amiga, but very expandable. Apparently, the name was to be "Amiga infinite", you could expand it to infinity.

I can't find now the exact interview, and could try tomorrow, or somebody else can find it.
I love David Pleasance, and his charisma and all, but I am unsure if this would work.

Do you think this would work?
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Old 03 February 2020, 05:01   #2
005AGIMA
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EDIT
Was this the interview? (Dan Wood)
[ Show youtube player ]
39 minute mark talks about the buyout plans, including licencing of CBM, Commodore, and Amiga names/badges.
41:30 ish is about the "upgrade path" plans for the Amiga itself.
Dan Wood referred to this as "Modular"
David says "The name we came up for that was Amiga Infinity"

END EDIT - My Original Post below.

Sure it would work.

Heck even Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini used "merchandising" to bring in extra cash flows AND further advertise the brand. If you've got a hat with a Ferrari Logo on it, you've literally PAID to advertise for them everywhere you go. Fantastic! (for them).

The "Amiga Infinity" is a tricky one and let's be honest, no system is future proof BUT...that's what the PC and Mac market did. Release machines that were (almost) infinitely expandable....within a product generation

So really Amiga Infinite is a fancy way of saying "modular".
EDIT
In fact it's the same thing the community do today, with throwing an A1200 PCB into a tower and adding....everything they can
/EDIT

As for David, I've had a brief chat with him on a facebook group and he seems like a top bloke. Comes across so well in every interview I've seen with him and to be this activly involved with the community is outstanding imho. Let's face it.....how many of us "care" about a job we left 20 years ago?

If I make it to Amiga 35UK, I can't wait to shake him by the hand and thank him for all the memories.

Without his marketing strategy and game bundles, it's possible the Amiga would have past many of us by unnoticed, and we'd all be on the Atari ST forums right now lol

Last edited by 005AGIMA; 03 February 2020 at 05:19. Reason: Added video link and info as I found it.
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Old 03 February 2020, 05:31   #3
d4rk3lf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 005AGIMA View Post
EDIT
Was this the interview? (Dan Wood)
[ Show youtube player ]
39 minute mark talks about the buyout plans, including licencing of CBM, Commodore, and Amiga names/badges.
41:30 ish is about the "upgrade path" plans for the Amiga itself.
Dan Wood referred to this as "Modular"
David says "The name we came up for that was Amiga Infinity"
I think that's exactly where I draw my inspiration to open this subject.
Thank you very much, for finding it! Wohoo

And thank you for your opinion, and details.
Yeah, without his bundles, I imagine this forum would exist, but with much less UK citizens... and when I say much less.. I mean.. MUCH LESS!
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Old 03 February 2020, 05:54   #4
Minuous
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 005AGIMA View Post
The "Amiga Infinity" is a tricky one and let's be honest, no system is future proof BUT...that's what the PC and Mac market did. Release machines that were (almost) infinitely expandable....
PCs, yes, but Macs have always been notorious for their poor/nonexistent expansion options and lack of forwards/backwards compatibility, so their customers have to keep buying new machines.
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Old 03 February 2020, 06:50   #5
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PCs, yes,...
PC's, even today are not "infinity", sooner or later, you have to get rid out of most components. Most of the crap, and you basically, buy a whole new comp.
I think David meant something else..
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Old 03 February 2020, 06:51   #6
005AGIMA
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PCs, yes, but Macs have always been notorious for their poor/nonexistent expansion options and lack of forwards/backwards compatibility, so their customers have to keep buying new machines.
Hmm you're right for the most part re Macs. I'm no Mac fan at all. Have avoided them most of my life....however....

In the big box G4 era, not only were they very customisable and expandable, they even made it dead easy to get in the case via the ring pull on the side door. Not one single screw needed to be turned, and the entire MB came down with the door so you could get at everything with ease.


It was a FANTASTIC design.

And just before that, there was a period of legitimate grey macs made by 3rd parties which were also expandable. (I'm trying so hard to remember the brand name we had in the design studio where I worked at the time but try as I might....it's gone lol)

EDIT: UMAX (Thank Wikipedia....)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_clone

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMAX_Technologies


Last edited by 005AGIMA; 03 February 2020 at 07:09. Reason: so many typos lol
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Old 03 February 2020, 08:40   #7
sean_sk
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Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
Do you think this would work?
I doubt very highly that it would have and whatever plans David Pleasance might have had would have been short lived. By the late 90's Windows PC's had gained too much of a stranglehold on the business and domestic markets. That damage was already done: Amiga had already fallen too far behind and I don't think there was any possible way to catch up despite all the best intentions that Mr. Pleasance might have had.
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Old 03 February 2020, 09:32   #8
005AGIMA
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Listen to what David is saying in the interview

1) At around 41:26: It was an upgrade plan that included swapping pretty much ANYTHING out of the case in favor of the latest version.
"We had a tower case designed, that would allow us...the idea was that everything that we manufactured would be transferable. So if you brought an Amiga 500 and you brought it in a tower case, and you wanted to upgrade to a 1200, you'd go back to your dealer...and they would take out the PCB and put a 1200 PCB in. You can add all your peripherals, and so you had a path with which to grow and develop your Amiga"

2) At around 42:26: He also states that eventually the Amiga line would have to die off in it's current form and he says this AFTER talking about the Amiga Infinity.
"The truth of the matter is that inevitably the Amiga line would have to go, would have to change"
He then goes on to talk about the work they were moving into with RISC based core chips etc. So I assume here he's meaning backward compatibility with 68K based systems would eventually have to die? I'll admit, that's an assumption on my part. He quickly moved from saying "would have to go" to "would have to change" as if he corrected himself.

3) Think in context of the time. The "upgrade path" is exactly what the PC's were just starting to do...he just gave it a cool name for the Amiga, but he was clearly taking inspiration from what he saw as the point of difference from PC's. Just propitiatory (like a mac) rather than open standards (like a PC). The concept is the same.

4) He's not just talking about Amiga, but Commodore UK and it's survival, including branded PC's. He saw the future. Amiga had a finite life, but Commodore could have lived on.

Remember...he's a marketing guy.

And so to go back to the original question...yes it WOULD work. It DID work. But for the PC market, not for the Amiga

So he was dead on point. He saw the future but sadly missed out on the chance to make it happen.

EDIT: Sorry lol...but to add...really...the Amiga Infinity DID happen. It's called the Checkmate A1500 Plus Case It's just not a tower Hell you can even put a PC PCB in it

Also and lastly (I promise) note that they were planning to licence the CBM Name for PC's. Don't skip past that part of the interview as it's one of the most relevant parts. They were planning to have their cake AND eat it. They weren't planning on fighting the march of the PC, but to use it and profit accordingly.

EDIT: Ok this is my last point lol.......Amiga COULD have lived on actually. No it wouldn't have won against PC....but it COULD have won Against Mac....which I think we forget, is it's main rival in area's of Music, Video, and in terms of having a niche following outside of the mundane business market. Apply was faltering in the 90's too, as we all know.

Last edited by 005AGIMA; 03 February 2020 at 09:57.
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Old 03 February 2020, 10:06   #9
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David Pleasance was/is a force of nature, he was very well respected by software companies, and I think that had CBM UK been successful, there would have been a much slower exodus to leave the Amiga.

However, I still think the release of the Playstation was an absolute game changer.

Unless they had waiting in the wings something that was likely to challenge (and they were a few years off that), I still think the outcome would have been the same, just delayed.

Whilst Psygnosis in the early years fought for their independence to release for whatever systems they liked after being bought by Sony, I think had Psygnosis fought to develop for a system that was potentially more powerful than Playstation or could have taken some of the shine off the system, they might well have put their feet down and said "No, Sony only!".

But certainly releasing a cheap Amiga, maybe slashing the cost of the A600 would have significantly helped, because there were plenty of people that weren't that fussed about having the latest kit.
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Old 03 February 2020, 10:22   #10
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Tbh i think he has had 25 years of thinking ‘what if’ lol.

I don’t remember any of this modular stuff being banded about back then or since, but even if it was it thought of then, it wouldn’t have worked in the majority of Amiga market which was a budget games market that most people didn’t want to upgrade, they would rather buy a new computer if the specs were advanced enough.
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Old 03 February 2020, 14:24   #11
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I respect him a lot, but I think that the ship has sailed at that point. There was no way to turn around the Amigas bad fortunes.

Had they released the A1200 in 1991, things would have been different.
In 1995, there was nothing to salvage anymore.
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Old 03 February 2020, 15:17   #12
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David Pleasence could easily sell snow to Eskimo's.

His plan from what I understand was to sell Amiga as a brand much in the way that Hyundai the car manufacturer have their name slapped on everything from toasters to lawn mowers but they don't make any of it.

The idea I think would have been to lease the name to other companies to make money quick then use that for development. I would have foreseen a range of Amiga branded generic accessories coming along such as speakers, keyboards, mice and possibly even full IBM compatible machines (maybe commodore branded rather than Amiga).

The mid 90s was a mess of multiple companies struggling to come good so its difficult to say if Commodore UK had of come good, if they would have survived but given the mans talents to sell I think they certainly would have done better than Escom. But and I mean BUT I don't think the Amiga as we know was a feasible means of going forward.
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Old 03 February 2020, 15:19   #13
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However, I still think the release of the Playstation was an absolute game changer.

Unless they had waiting in the wings something that was likely to challenge (and they were a few years off that), I still think the outcome would have been the same, just delayed.
Another way to look at it: if the Playstation meant that there was no interest in the Amiga as a games machine (more precisely: as the 2D-scroller computer we know) any more, it would have been the perfect point in time to drop all custom chips and the abandoned 68k processor line and turn the Amiga into a low-cost but capable office machine with some new technology to build a new catalogue of multimedia software and games (basically a chunky framebuffer on a reasonably fast bus paired with one of the more promising processor lines of the time would have been enough for a few years).


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Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Tbh i think he has had 25 years of thinking ‘what if’ lol.

I don’t remember any of this modular stuff being banded about back then
The Walker may have been a result of those ideas. It was following the same idea of modularity and upgradability. The way I remember it nobody was thinking wedge-type computers would have any future.
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Old 03 February 2020, 17:27   #14
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They had high hopes for the HOMBRE chipset, which could supposedly have taken the fight to the PC for a bit.

Ultimately the sheer economy of scale meant everything converged on PC hardware (even Macs); Amiga wouldn't have been able to compete with that and be mass-market.
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Old 03 February 2020, 17:38   #15
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Ultimately the sheer economy of scale meant everything converged on PC hardware (even Macs); Amiga wouldn't have been able to compete with that and be mass-market.
Eh, not sure about that.

From a gaming perspective (there's a reason the most popular models were the low-end ones) the convergence you talk about only happened relatively recently.

So who knows, perhaps an inexpensive new Amiga console/home computer coupled with a decent custom chipset might have survived... assuming of course C= UK had the resources to design (or let a third party design) such a product, that is.

Even though to be honest having Sony first, then Microsoft entering the gaming market was a competition very few companies could NOT succumb to.
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