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Old 07 January 2016, 01:02   #61
DisposableHero
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With single-button controllers as the norm, there was no hope of taking on the consoles on their own territories - try Streetfighter 2 and FIFA's control systems for a start. UK gamers spent less than those in the US - not only were the 8-bit cartridges ignored here, the US C64 market was dominated by disks by about 1987, yet tapes were always the far bigger seller here. Upgrading PCs purely to play games took off much sooner there.

I always think the A500+ would ideally have had a 2-button controller standard (perhaps bundled with specially modified 2 button versions of (say) Kick Off 2, Robocod and Final Fight). The main limitation on putting serious upgrades in was that it realistically had to cost the same to make as the A500, as a price rise before Christmas would deter buyers and they couldn't've sold it at a loss long-term.

After that, the priority should have been punching up against the PC - encouraging gamers to upgrade to hard drives, faster processors and more memory. 1992 saw a lot of top PC games converted - Monkey Island 2, Civ, Red Baron, Wing Commander, Links, Heart of China Hare Raising Havoc - all unplayable (or at least an ordeal) on a basic A500. Most sold poorly, and that's where the US market was lost. And many of those were 1991 PC games.

I'd've held off the AAA chipset until it was properly finished, not bothered with AGA, and instead released the A1200 as a midrange machine (maybe aimed at £600, for parity with the £300 A600). 14Mhz 020, 60Mb hard drive, 2Mb Chip 2Mb Fast, 2 button controllers, a 68000 (or near-compatible clone) on board to stop 1/3 of previous games being incompatible, and a mysterious 'AAA-ready' badge on the box concealing a slot to add the AAA chip when finished. Then put everyone onto debugging AAA and plan a big Christmas 1993 launch with games ready for launch as a cheap upgrade with free fitting for those under warranty, and the launch of an A1400 with the AAA chip already installed. Then push CD-ROMS as the big evolution for 1994, and I think you'd still have a viable brand long after it died out in reality.
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Old 07 January 2016, 02:08   #62
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The real stupid thing is that the Amiga Hardware is capable of handling 3 buttons without any trouble, and the mouse itself uses 2 buttons.

I think the only reason Commodore said the Amiga joystick had 1 button was because they had a store full of 1 button joysticks for the C64 they needed to sell. I can't see any other reason, this was a real stupid move. Even the Spectrum had 2 button interfaces. By 1985 2 buttons were already the normal.
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Old 07 January 2016, 23:03   #63
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it's a weird thing... Commodore were happy to market the Amiga as a games computer, but seemed really quite disinterested in supporting it as such. They really didn't know how much of a good thing they had, kind of acted like they were embarrassed of it.
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Old 08 January 2016, 02:38   #64
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I guess they were thinking you are sitting at a desk next to a keyboard, which already has quite a few buttons.
Which is quite wrong, because even if you only have to use the space bar in a game it's a pain. One button joysticks were madness.
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Old 08 January 2016, 03:02   #65
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For some games like Frontier, fligths sim etc, it's ok.

But stuff like throwing your pod with space bar on R-Type is really extremely annoying.

And nowadays I only have pads, it's kinda difficulty to play with one hand at the controller and other on the keyboard. I remember playing a few games like this back at the time. I can't see myself playing Fire Force anymore because of this.
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Old 08 January 2016, 18:04   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadOnlyCat View Post
Interesting example but two things:
- Brazil is a special case, during the 90s it was still much poorer than US/EU/JP markets so piracy was much more of a necessity, even if game prices were comparatively lower than in the US/EU/JP.

If you need extra hardware or RAM to play cracked games, that raises the bar for wannabe pirates and thus makes it more practical to buy originals.
Brazil was much poorer than the Netherlands. That's why Dutch crackers were so quick to add RAM to their machines so they could run big cartridge dumps.

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No, the MSX example does not prove anything without hard figures regarding sales of cartridges in wealthy countries and I bet that in these countries cartridges sold well enough.
I'm not saying you don't have a point, but:
1) They didn't sell well enough for European developers to adopt cartridges, despite the advantages you outline. Because cost was still a matter.
2) Cartridges on the MSX competed with cassette tapes. The difference in loading times between tape and cartridge is in itself a sales argument. With much faster floppies, the added loading time isn't as aggravating.
3) Cartridge games could be sold to a "console" market of people with base MSX systems without floppy disk, and the cost of a floppy drive with interface, let alone a RAM expansion, was much higher than that of a few cartridge games. As I said before, the Amiga already has a floppy drive.

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Market demand can only support so much. Parents will pay for a game or two but will likely hesitate to buy a hardware extension dedicated to pirate games.
Remember that the vast majority of gamers were not financially independent adults in the 80s/90s but teenagers.
Market penetration of these pirate offerings would be necessarily much lower than cracked floppies penetration which cost is so low that teenagers could afford them without going through their parents.
Yes, but even so, the home computer market — especially for an advanced home computer like the Amiga — has different dynamics than the console market. The buyers weren't exactly piss-poor to begin with, and even the "Amiga as a floppy-based console" buyers were likely to have a computer nerd in their school who would spread the word of this great little expansion that would allow you to play all the games you would like for free. Datel would have made that expansion and sold it in colour adverts in Amiga Format.

I'm not saying that every Amiga owner would jump on that train, but the games companies were obviously not content with the consumers that bought the latest Batman game for christmas; they were mourning the loss of all those consumers who were savvy enough to play pirate copies.

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That is incorrect, any hardware addition incorporated in the cartridges, even if minor, requires additional work by the crackers to 1) investigate and 2) work around. This would have delayed releases of cracked versions which is an important factor in increasing sales.
Any hardware addition would have raised the price of the game in equal amounts. So instead of paying licence fees to Nintendo, the consumer is paying someone to program those (expensive) PAL chips or sandpaper away the markings on those 74xx chips.

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Also, additional RAM was really expensive: it took maybe four years after the A500 release for most people to have just 512k of additional RAM. Only a fraction of the public would have invested in such expansion just for the sake of pirating and that was slow RAM moreover. Fast RAM can only be added using the more complex extension port.
Sufficiently fast RAM can be added via the same port used for cartridges. 512k of ROM isn't free either. Far from it.

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It was already hard to justify the purchase of 512 extra KB when some games started to require it, so just for piracy? Nope, only a few would have done that.
I think most people bought the 1 MB expansion when it became necessary with no qualms. Component prices, economics of scale and consumer price sensitivity met at that point in time. Before that, games requiring 1 MB weren't financially viable because, as you point out, most consumers thought it too dear.

Even the C64, which had a large assortment of cartridge games in its infancy, dropped that format once games grew beyond what was cheap enough ROM size, even though bigger ROMs would have been trickier to transfer to tape and pirate copy.

Only the MSX stayed with cartridges, and only until that point in the market where floppies outgrew ROMs in size and market penetration. And this was in Japan, where pirate copying (when not handled by the yakuza) is a marginal phenomenon.

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Examples of simple hardware additions which require extensive investigations/adaptations to discover/work-around: flip function for sprites, blit lists, register-setup lists, custom interruption generation, DMA copy from ROM to chip, memory filling, etc. The NES cartridges had some of these.
These additions in NES cartridges were:
1) necessary because of the early limitations in the NES hardware
2) expensive enough not to be used on the Sega or MSX
3) not the subject of attention of pirates, so the same technology could be reused for years

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It is simple to understand: when people cannot steal, they pay.
That is what they did on consoles despite:
- being poorer than the guys who bought Amigas
- the games costing more than on the Amiga.
Indeed. It's just that it's always easy to steal on a computer.

Quote:
Also, as I said, just making the work of crackers longer and delaying the release of a pirate version and/or reducing its quality is enough because it reduces the comparative value of the cracked version: being late is an opportunity cost so any added weeks contribute to increase sales.
(Cf the Dungeon Master link above.)
But it's also a gamble. Reproducing Dungeon Master on floppy disks costs as much as reproducing any other game, which isn't much. The floppies could even be reused if returned. If you stake your bets on a cartridge version and it's cracked before release, you'll be sitting with a large investment of expensive PCBs populated with very expensive ROMs which can neither be sold nor reused in a sensible way.

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Why? I do not see any logical connection there.
This cartridge extension could just have been sold along with the early flagship games. Imagine Shadow Of The Beast being cartridge only, that would have been enough to sell the extension (yeah I know the game sucked but it was a flagship game nevertheless that everyone wanted to have).
The same logic can be used for the cartridge emulator extension which has another killer app: free games.

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Huh? Plenty of computers had cartridge ports at that time. Most of them actually had one. The ST has one, the C64 had one, the MSX models had one, etc.
So where are the games? The C64 had every opportunity to make use of cartridges: big market, console-like audience, standardised hardware, slow tapes, prohibitively expensive floppy drives. Yet people chose to use those slow tapes or invest in an expensive 1541 drive.

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Cartridges do not mean "games" at all.
Especially not on the Amiga, where the only cartridges were those aimed at crackers.

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We got these precisely because the Amiga games market was not worth investing in because of 1) small size compared to the still important 8 bit market (C64 and urgh... ZX Spectrum) and 2) widespread piracy.
Another factor that can't be left out is the Atari ST, which always hampered the Amiga as a games machine. It hampered ports, it hampered original games making use of the hardware (because of considerations of portability to the important ST market). It had a floppy drive just like the Amiga, so the same floppies could be reproduced for both machines at no extra cost. Unlike two different cartridge standards.

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Cartridge based games would have reduced piracy's impact enough to allow for more sales, just like they did for 8 bit and 16 bit consoles.
Even the NES sold several orders of magnitude more games than the Amiga even during the 16 bit era and at higher prices, how can this be explained otherwise?
Because the NES sold an order of magnitude more consoles?

NES buyers might have been poorer than Amiga buyers (after all, they were younger) but they were legion.
A typical NES buyer might have been between 8 and 12 years old. At that age, you can't afford a NES game on your own. So you get one or two each christmas and birthday. Over the course of a few years, you might amass as many original games as four or eight. Not much, and not far from the number of original games bought by Amiga users.
But if there are four million Amiga users (not all of which are interested in games) and forty million NES owners (all of which are interested in games) a lot of games are sold. And since the Amiga has six times as many titles released each year, NES developers sell higher numbers of each title.
And you can't pirate NES titles unless you're a semiconductor fab in Taiwan, unlike an open architecture like the Amiga where the likes of Fairlight and Skidrow rule.

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I am convinced cartridge games are still a valid distribution media even for the A500 nowadays, even more than in the past.

A few modern advantages:
- they do not cost that much to produce nowadays
The typical Amiga developer nowadays isn't Psygnosis or Ocean. It's you or me in our bedroom, with a projected market of 100 or 200 copies — if you aim broadly instead of only those who have bought this far-from-cheap cartridge adapter.
For an individual, debugging and printing 100 PCBs with ROMs is a considerable cost which must be taken from our food expenses.

Quote:
- it would be supremely easy nowadays to heavily protect them and thus delay piracy for months rather than days/weeks (which is important because the ratio of pirates to buying customers is probably higher now than it ever was back in the day on the Amiga)
I think our best protection nowadays is to rely on the gentleman-like behaviour of our remaining crackers instead of actively challenging them by releasing a cartridge.

Quote:
- a simple pass-through design is relatively easy to conceive for people who use the extension port for other things (ACA, Fast RAM, HD, etc.).
So you're talking about the A500 expansion port? Do you know the cost of 100 86-pin card edge connectors?
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Old 08 January 2016, 18:21   #67
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Brazil was much poorer than the Netherlands. That's why Dutch crackers were so quick to add RAM to their machines so they could run big cartridge dumps.
Just to let you know, we did it here in Brazil too My MSX2+ has a 256kb ram expansion installed back in 88

And yeah. To run pirated games. Nothing else.

Alas, my father bought an MSX exclusively for games. I was the one while, growing older, used it for other stuff (doing school homework and learning how to code - It also helped me a lot when I was learning to read, or so my mom always tell me )
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Old 09 January 2016, 14:04   #68
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Some thoughts to this topic.

I have one C64 Cartridge game (Last Ninja, dont remember which one).

What I wonder is if they ever released any game on C64 to Cartridge only, or released cassette/disc version later afterwards and if sales figures of that are known.


I recall Dragons Lair took a long time too before cracked version of it became available, are there sales figures of Dragons Lair available anywhere? It would be especially interesting since I remember that at least in Finland Dragons Lair was the most expensive game for Amiga there was as far as i can recall.


From my own experience I would side mostly with ReadOnlyCats view that Cartdridges could have been good thing, however, it is impossible to say now afterwards since there were so many different variables there, like the whole market was pretty wild back then still.

As example at one point a local music store sold budget Amiga games, i doubt something like that could easily happen anymore.

But I can easily see how if there had been some very succesful cartridge title (as example the previously mentioned shadow of the beast example) or they have otherwise noticed cartridges were selling generally much more than disk based games, then more developers would have jumped to the wagon, and this could have created completely new possiblities. For example It was basically PS1 and PC games that were the first ones around here that got inside the supermarkets as everyday products, if i recall right.

There were some bigger shops that were indeed selling games even at 8-bit era already, maybe even before that, but my first memory is about shopping with my dad for MSX cartridge and also seeing Scooby Doo on cassette for C64 in there and someone was play testing it with a C64 that was inside that store, and i remember him even loading it from cassette first.

anyway, maybe if Amiga cartridges would have got popular, it could be that first game products as mainstream products in supermarkets could have been Amiga cartridges, and this again could have significantly changed everything, at least in here.

But it is all quessing and dependant not only on the A500 cartridges existing, but also on them being one way or other a succesful product.


About the piracy on buying. I basically never saved money from my weekly allowance to buy games, as there was no need for it due to piracy. I did save for disks and other low cost stuffs however, but mainly I just bought comics. Had there not been pirated copies available, I could well have got the idea to save my weekly allowances for games, which had been much better from educational point of view of learning to save money to get something bigger and waiting for better etc.

I did wish games for christmas and birthdays, and got them indeed, but outside of those celebrations, i didnt wish games. Had i not all the pirated games, perhaps i had been pushing for games some other times too. But now i had no need.

As example i can take my own daughter, there have been couple of games i have bought because she have been wanting them. Had she not shown any interest, i wouldnt have bought. But then again, I am much easier to persuade into buying her games since I am myself viewing them positively.

But once again, if she would have dozens of pirated games, i dont think she would have been wanting those couple of games so much then nor would i have bought them so easy.

When Nippon Safes Inc.s demo version came on magazine, i wanted that game. For first two years i looked for a pirate copy, but coudlnt find one, then i decided to buy it. However, i couldnt find it from anywhere. I didnt actually get that game until it was bundled among Amiga Forever games.

But that shows that despite having so many games, there are games that you really want, and if you cant get them, then you are willing to shovel the money to get it.

Another game like this was Genesia, which i neither could get and at point i could have found it on sale, it was already so old, and seemed to me like that games user interface aged real bad, that i havent wanted it anymore.

Then there was "Hook" which is still in my "to get list", just havent been that interested in it anymore and hence havent got it yet. But it had this copy protection which let you copy the first disk freely, but not the other three. So i loaned the game from a friend who had bought it, and what a great game it was, but only got disc 1 for myself since couldnt copy the rest.

This is also another example about why I think it was good to have at least some sort of protection. There were couple of other games that friends had bought, but which werent that interesting to me which had copy protection on them enough to prevent them being copied by us local guys. Some of them later became available to us as pirate copies, some didnt, but those games that didnt have copy protection, those got copied instantly and got spread around.

So while it maybe wouldnt stop pirates and crackers, it would be enough to stop local spreading to some extent and at least slow it down.

Then when it come to consoles, lot of those around here, many friends had it. But I never knew a single guy who could make copies of their console games. So while there might be a device to make those copies etc. that they cost was already effectively stopping piracy a lot.

As last remark nowadays that i always buy my games. Last year i spent more money on games than i have ever spent in a year, and theres a clear reason that surprised myself a bit too.

Thing is, I have always been wondering that who on earth are thoe people that buy games full priced. I always wait for games to come to the last possible discount and pay like 5 Euros from them. From console and Nintendo DS/3DS games i pay bit more but even that pretty much stays under 20 Euros, and closing to 20 euros needs to be something I am very much wanting.

Now I have Nintendo WII U, and I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for those nintendos games to drop their prices, but they never do.

Then last year i read an article where they told that it is Nintendos matrketing tactic that they have decided not to drop prices of their games at all. Except for some rare discounts. This year, If I have seen Nintendos own released WII U game for 30 euros somewhere, i have pretty much jumped to that offer. I have also paid close 50 euros from some of their games.

While you could say that people use only certain amount of money on games, I dont think that is true. I as a gamer am naturally more flexible when it comes to budgeting money to games, but clearly i have this previous year learnt, that if games are not available for cheap price, then I am ready to shovel even that 50 euros to them, even all this time before i was wondering who on earth pays more than 20 euros from any game.


As last thing I would like to point out that there were plenty of people who were willing to pay from Neo-Geos home system to get games at home that were like Arcade games.

I believe these cartridges could have appealed to same people as long as games had took advantage of these cartridges possiblities and made them more arcade like.

It is also a question could have Japanese got interested if they have had cartridges available for Amigas? For after all, they had already got used to making games to cartridges all the time, so it might be that floppy based gameing could have been a turn off for them even since they hadnt got used to idea about disc swapping and planning games based upon that.

It is difficult to say if it had had any effect or not in these better wanting people, since the first turn point that I remember was already 89-91 i think, not sure the year when they reviewed some submarine game, i think either attacksub 688 (i might recall name wrong) or silent service 2 where they were talking of this VGA monitor to PC where it would work in 256 colors.

I remember how that article was talking about that this is the first time that PCs game was able to beat Amigas. And I remember myself thinking "Wow, that would be amazing!", but i was a kid, so no chance to get that.

But by 1991, those who had started computing 1987 as 14 year olds, would already be 18, and some, although very few, might already have jobs and buying power for such things. Not to mention, some had started computing early 80s with Vic-20s as 14 year olds, and would already have good income.

I remember myself in early 2000 thinking that if i had had income, i would happily showeled maybe it was even close to thousand euros a month to get 10/10 Mbit connection to internet. But I just didnt have that income to make it reality. But Had i Had 1 500 Euro steady income, i would have got that probably.

Those kind of people existed already in 1991, and even more every year later. Therefore I believe there could have been good amount of people willing to pay from a much better versions of Amiga games, not to mention that parents would have bought them for birthday and christmas gifts those better versions of games.
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Old 09 January 2016, 23:29   #69
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It is true that cartridges are more expensive and require to prepare a inventory much expensive than floppies.

But... there are some kind of games that are sort of granted success. I think about follow ups and arcade conversions.

I personally bought a SNES when I still had my Amiga just to play a proper version of street fighter 2.

If SF2 was available on cartridge for Amiga, with the same quality of the SNES version, and the pirate version was not then I would have happily paid the cost of a cartridge.

To work with console makers was not all roses and kisses. They had the last word on the content of the game, the cost of the media and when it was time to release it. You had to submit the 'gold' of the game in your allocated slot or you had to wait for the next free slot. This is a problem on periods like Christmas. You also had to pay upfront for the game and be subject to their timing. There was also politics around what title should had the support of the console marker and what not.

All in all, to have a viable alternative to Sega, Sony and Nintendo would have been extremely valuable for game studios. Enough to support the development of an additional version of the game and the R&D around cartridges for Amiga.

I guess that studios didn't get this immediately and when they understood, it was too late. The Amiga market was dissolving, they were dependent from console makers and no one proved the media or had the required skills.
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Old 10 January 2016, 03:50   #70
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Cartridges can use embedded controllers to speed up the host system but that increases the cost of the game. One example of this is DoomFX for the SuperNES. Starfox had an early version also.
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Old 12 October 2016, 18:38   #71
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There exist copy protections too in tapes and are perfectly feasible and annoying too. Most of these are destined to defeat the copy from tape decks and extracting the data from the computer's memory. The majority of them were cracked, but there is still today some tape protections that are giving a hard time to people who try to get the game preserved.
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Old 23 November 2016, 05:05   #72
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Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
For some games like Frontier, fligths sim etc, it's ok.

But stuff like throwing your pod with space bar on R-Type is really extremely annoying.

And nowadays I only have pads, it's kinda difficulty to play with one hand at the controller and other on the keyboard. I remember playing a few games like this back at the time. I can't see myself playing Fire Force anymore because of this.
Agree with the point overall, but wasn't Amiga R-Type a two button game? I'm pretty sure I played either R-Type 1 or 2 on the Miggy using a Sega Master System stick which worked on both systems, and the second button was recognised on both too...
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Old 23 November 2016, 05:16   #73
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Just a point that didn't come up in this thread that I could see, but wondering whether the Amiga could have had a longer life by adapting to cartridge based games is missing the wider environment it found itself in towards the end. Yes, Megadrive etc games when purchased new cost so much more... but there was also the huge trade in market active too.

Even in the backwoods of Nottingham I knew of many second hand stores where I could buy 8 bit console games for £5-10 and trade in the ones I no longer wanted, and Megadrive games for a little more. This is where Piracy actually did perhaps hurt the Amiga, because games resellers tended to avoid allowing returns on disc based games because the fear was you had just taken them home to copy them. However they'd re-purchase console games over and over without question. Overall, I think piracy helped the Amiga market at the height of it's popularity, but towards the end when the margins were getting smaller, it encouraged a faster exodus away from the machine. They were all looking for an excuse to flee, but they cut their loses a little sooner than otherwise.

However even if the Amiga had adapted to cartridges towards the end, they would still have been going up against tens of thousands of second hand 8 bit games, which were close enough in quality to be nearly as attractive but whose development costs were sunk 4-5 years before... where as new Amiga production had to be built afresh, and you'd have to be charging full retail to get that investment back. And when you could likely buy a cartridge from a machine that actually surpassed the Amiga for less than a brand new retail, who would do that?

No, much as we all loved the machine, and it had a wonderful run, by the mid 1990s it's time was already up. The market had just changed too much by then.
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Old 31 December 2016, 03:38   #74
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On topic...

... IIRC, the NCE boys were very smug about their scoop. Unfortunately, they hadn't actually checked the technical details about how easy it was to copy a ROM chip, and what the financial constraints were on cartridge production.

Same with the management at System 3 - they thought "hey, we can make our games unpiratable and the public can't copy them".

After they had checked their facts, about production costs compared to floppy, they went very, very quiet on the subject.

They simply had not checked how much spare capacity was available for ROM mass production. Not very much, considering Nintendo and Sega had carved up the production years before. Lead times on ROMs were way more than floppies - 3 months or so, IIRC. A monthly cartridge on the cover of a magazine was NEVER viable, for that reason.

I said at the time it was bullshit idea. It would have meant System 3 making less profit on every game sold, and delivering late. Unthinkable.

Now, there WAS a lot of pressure at the time about piracy. Products like XCOPY were clearly aimed at copying games. Add in the fact that a games house had to pay all upfront development costs, before even showing a demo to a publisher, and you can appreciate just how... MEAN... the market really was.

It drove some developers into things like shareware, simply because they didn't have to crawl and do party tricks in front of suited businessmen, just to make a living, doing what they loved. I could write a few books about those times, but that won't change the past.

Last edited by Pat the Cat; 31 December 2016 at 03:43.
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Old 31 December 2016, 03:43   #75
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On topic...

... IIRC, the NCE boys were very smug about their scoop. Unfortunately, they hadn't actually checked the technical details about how easy it was to copy a ROM chip, and what the financial constraints were on cartridge production.

Same with the management at System 3 - they thought "hey, we can make our games unpiratable and the public can't copy them".

After they had checked their facts, about production costs compared to floppy, they went very, very quiet on the subject.

They did not see how much capacity was available for ROM mass production. Not very much, considering Nintendo and Sega had carved up the production years before.

I said at the time it was bullshit. It would have meant System 3 making less profit on every game sold. Unthinkable.

Now, there WAS a lot of pressure at the time about piracy. Products like XCOPY were clearly aimed at copying games. Add in the fact that a games house had to pay all upfront development costs, before even showing a demo to a publisher, and you can appreciate just how... MEAN... the market really was.

It drove some developers into things like shareware, simply because they didn't have to crawl and do party tricks in front of suited businessmen, just to make a living, doing what they loved. I could write a few books about those times, but that won't change the past.
...which has given way to viral marketing on social media. Interesting.
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Old 31 December 2016, 03:51   #76
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Kind of. Most of the "hit" programmers from the early 90s had moved into management themselves by the late 90s. God knows the industry needed leaders who understood basic issues of supply and demand.

Exception - the Oliver Twins. Last I heard of them, they went to Nintendo. And were very, very happy.

Most everybody else got bought up by Sony for the Playstation. And were similarly, treated very, very well.

Me? I just slung together 2 Amigas in a box with a video mixer, and hit the Rave scene as a VJ. Much more fun than writing magazines.
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Old 31 December 2016, 05:01   #77
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Originally Posted by Pat the Cat View Post
Kind of. Most of the "hit" programmers from the early 90s had moved into management themselves by the late 90s. God knows the industry needed leaders who understood basic issues of supply and demand.

Exception - the Oliver Twins. Last I heard of them, they went to Nintendo. And were very, very happy.

Most everybody else got bought up by Sony for the Playstation. And were similarly, treated very, very well.

Me? I just slung together 2 Amigas in a box with a video mixer, and hit the Rave scene as a VJ. Much more fun than writing magazines.
What i say on this matter is that we had companies making different styles of games, and now they all do the same kind of games.

That's an educational problem, they taught to their customers to buy the same games : FPS, RPG, MMO, Repeat, rince and wash.
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Old 31 December 2016, 05:30   #78
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I've often thought that the PCMCIA port could potentially be used for cartridge games. Imagine what kind of games could be possible on a stock A1200 if developers could add mass storage, extra memory, graphics accelerators (I imagine some kind of C2P circuitry), DSP's, etc. to their games. Potentially making products which could equal or perhaps even exceed the capabilities of a souped-up Amiga, all on a stock machine with no HD and 2Mb RAM.

But realistically that's not ever going to happen. As mentioned earlier in this thread, it would be one whole lot more expensive to publish a game on cartridge than it is on floppies/CD's, and that's without extra HW on the ROM. And if it wasn't commercially viable in the Amiga's heyday, then it's certainly not commercially viable now. Even if production costs have fallen by more than 50%, the user base has fallen by >99%.
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Old 31 December 2016, 06:24   #79
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What i say on this matter is that we had companies making different styles of games, and now they all do the same kind of games.

That's an educational problem, they taught to their customers to buy the same games : FPS, RPG, MMO, Repeat, rince and wash.
Ummm... not totally convinced.

Even back then, you had scrolling 2D shoot em ups, point and click adventures, top down RPGs, driving games, military sims. True, there were some original ideas. Like Lemmings. Radically different to other games. Civ was maybe the king of the strategy tile games, but that didn't lead on Amiga. Battle Isles was the same genre, and that did lead on Amiga, IIRC. They play totally differently, they aren't really the same game, but they get lumped into the same category.

There was a helluva lot of plagiarism, and the "companies" involved were typically one coder, one artist, one sound guy. And I say "guy" because it was a TOTALLY male dominated activity. I can think of ONE female coder from from the period, and she never touched Amiga stuff. (She worked for Argonaut).

Sometimes 3 roles in one individual, in rare exceptional cases like Jeff Minter. His products always put one thing first - gameplay. If it wasn't fun, he didn't show it.
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Old 31 December 2016, 06:33   #80
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I've often thought that the PCMCIA port could potentially be used for cartridge games. Imagine what kind of games could be possible on a stock A1200 if developers could add mass storage, extra memory, graphics accelerators (I imagine some kind of C2P circuitry), DSP's, etc. to their games. Potentially making products which could equal or perhaps even exceed the capabilities of a souped-up Amiga, all on a stock machine with no HD and 2Mb RAM.

But realistically that's not ever going to happen. As mentioned earlier in this thread, it would be one whole lot more expensive to publish a game on cartridge than it is on floppies/CD's, and that's without extra HW on the ROM. And if it wasn't commercially viable in the Amiga's heyday, then it's certainly not commercially viable now. Even if production costs have fallen by more than 50%, the user base has fallen by >99%.
16 bit device on the Amiga. Not accelerator friendly. It's 2.0, not the latest "tee hee, I'm really a PCI cardbus" standard.

Irony. When it was first put on an A600, the official line was "there is a reason for it being there. In a few years time, you will see why."

A few years later, CBM were dead ducks, and the reason was obvious. They were managed by greedy morons. They didn't pay developers on time, EVER. So the developers just walked away from them.

Now, maybe they were looking to get future Amigas networkable. Maybe they foresaw WIFI networking.

It just didn't look like it back then. WWW was a typing error. If you knew a WIFI friend, they had a personal hygiene problem. And home networks were just pipedreams - having one 40MB hard drive was considered very, very rich, for most Amiga users.

Yeah, the developers walked one way, and the users followed them - to the PC. And not without bloody good reasons.

it cost a five figure sum to register as a Commodore developer. That got you a set of books worth approximately 300 dollars at the time.

By contrast, Sony were offering a complete Dev kit for the Playstation for £12,500, IIRC. That got you a complete dev system, documentation, "tame" Playstation tied to a PC - the whole works. You got your money's worth, and you were working for the 2nd biggest electronics company in the world. No contest.

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