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Old 08 April 2020, 23:33   #1141
Gorf
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@Kyle

Just because you put something upright, doesn't make it a tower...
as your picture shows: the boards won't even fit in the case next to it.
what is actually on these boards I can't tell.

That the people were working at an Amiga with Zorro-Bus expansion is no secret - actually it is even mentioned in the interview I linked.

But AGAIN (how often do I have to repeat until you start listening?):
THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT.

We were talking about the so called "ranger chipset" - not a case or a motherboard.

It is not important if this is the real project name from back in the 80s, of if Jay Miner called it that or not.
It is the name that now refers to the last Amiga chipset revision planed and prototyped by Jay Miner before he left Commodore.

As pointed out, it is very likely that what we now know as ECS is a cut down version of the chips Miner planned. The UHRES register is a hint.

Last edited by Gorf; 11 April 2020 at 19:43.
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Old 10 April 2020, 02:47   #1142
Kyle_Human
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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
Just because you put something uptight, doesn't make ist a tower...
as your picture shows: the boards won't even fit in the case next to it.
what is actually on these boards I can't tell.
The case has a clearly readable logo which demonstrates it's intended orientation. It's a tower. It's also the only evidence of anything Los Gatos did post 1985. It's funny that you'll dismiss a real existing prototype, an actual real piece of evidence, but cling bitterly to a couple of unverified sentences in an old interview.

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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
It is the name that now refers to the last Amiga chipset revision planed and prototyped by Jay Miner before he left Commodore.
Of which no physical evidence or documentation has ever appeared, or testimony outside of one (1) unverified magazine interview. Which is regarded as myth by actual commodore engineers, and has never been discussed by any living Los Gatos engineer.

i.e, it's existence can only be taken on faith.

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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
As pointed out, it is very likely that what we now know as ECS is a cut down version of the chips Miner planned. The UHRES register is a hint.
No there's nothing likely about that at all because ECS is the collective result of gradual improvements which were released slowly over three years, starting with the slow-ram agnes you don't like. This work was done by West Chester, and West Chester never had a "Ranger chipset" to cut down. Remember a couple of pages ago when you said Commodore didn't have the blueprints, but now they must've had not only them but better ones?

You should really stop trying to duct tape myths, rumours and speculations together in the hopes of creating a history, especially when it's incompatible with hard evidence, and contradicts your previous statements.

Last edited by Kyle_Human; 10 April 2020 at 02:54.
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Old 10 April 2020, 12:28   #1143
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The logo it clearly unreadable.

No clue if this case is from Los Gatos or elsewhere. Is ist obviously some experiment.
The boards are for testing. The case is just some available parts glued together.
There seems to be no connection between the boards an the case - these are obviously two different projects.
Here are some more pictures:

https://www.bigbookofamigahardware.c...t.aspx?id=2006

The case ist probably not meant to stand upright - see the power button and the wooden feet on the plexiglass.
So it is simply a Desktop.

Nowhere on the case or on the board it says "Ranger" ...

Yes: for the Ranger chipset, we have only the word of several people, including Jay Miner.

If there is some physical evidence on the found boards, I can’t tell. Did someone actually analyze these boards?

But again: it is totally unclear if theses boards and these parts have anything to do with the next generation chipset. I imagine there where quite a lot of testing boards and provisional cases standing around in Los Gatos and in Westchester.

Please finally read the UHRES thread. There you can see why ECS ist not just a straight forward gradual upgrade...

And again: I said after a certain point Commodore was missing SOME documentation - Paula being one of them. That still holds true.

You brought no evidence whatsoever, that the ranger chipset never existed.
You brought not a single argument that contradicts my points.

All you brought is a picture of testing boards, someone believes it might have something to do with "Ranger".

Last edited by Gorf; 10 April 2020 at 12:48.
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Old 10 April 2020, 12:43   #1144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle_Human
Commodore was very good for AMIGA in the beginning. They made many improvements in the chips. Commodore made a lot of improvements in the things that we wanted but we did not have the resources to accomplish. The AMIGA originally only had three hundred and twenty colours across the screen, even in the six forty mode. They helped us put in full colour in the six forty mode. They also improved the colour by moving the NTSC converter off the chip.
Yep, and that's him talking about the NTSC composite signal generation. Nothing lunatic about having it on-chip for a game console/home computer that is connected to a TV set - as written earlier, a lot of consoles and home computers did the same - but less well suited for a computer connected to a dedicated monitor. So they were adjusting to he changing requirements.

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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
The case has a clearly readable logo which demonstrates it's intended orientation. It's a tower. It's also the only evidence of anything Los Gatos did post 1985. It's funny that you'll dismiss a real existing prototype, an actual real piece of evidence, but cling bitterly to a couple of unverified sentences in an old interview.
The front of the prototype has two still readable labels "ON/OFF" and "Power", in horizontal orientation. Ask yourself: What is more likely to be in correct orientation, the logo or the label of the power switch?
https://www.bigbookofamigahardware.c...t.aspx?id=2006
Selectively picking the one picture where someone put in in vertical orientation and claiming that it's a tower... well...

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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
Of which no physical evidence or documentation has ever appeared, or testimony outside of one (1) unverified magazine interview. Which is regarded as myth by actual commodore engineers, and has never been discussed by any living Los Gatos engineer.

i.e, it's existence can only be taken on faith.
At least RJ Mical also mentioned Ranger, with very similar specs as those given in the Miner interview.

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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
No there's nothing likely about that at all because ECS is the collective result of gradual improvements which were released slowly over three years, starting with the slow-ram agnes you don't like. This work was done by West Chester, and West Chester never had a "Ranger chipset" to cut down. Remember a couple of pages ago when you said Commodore didn't have the blueprints, but now they must've had not only them but better ones?
Gorf specifically mentioned Paula, which was never changed after the Los Gatos closure. Your logic seems slightly flawed. But do believe what ever you want to believe in, I think we simply disagree here.

Anyway, Happy Easter everyone.
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Old 10 April 2020, 16:51   #1145
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The logo it clearly unreadable.
You say that and then link to the full photoset where you can read the logo clearly in high resolution. You're a very unserious person.
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Originally Posted by chb View Post
Yep, and that's him talking about the NTSC composite signal generation. Nothing lunatic about having it on-chip for a game console/home computer that is connected to a TV set
It's plenty crazy, it's going to be a very bad implementation in terms of quality, and selling outside of NTSC regions is going to involve an expensive standards converter. It was very wise to get rid of that "feature".
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Gorf specifically mentioned Paula, which was never changed after the Los Gatos closure.
And he mentioned Paula because he thought he could use it's lack of improvement as some way to justify the "lost blueprints" myth. Which is a tenuous claim to say the least, if you understand how people's thinking about digital audio changed over the Amiga's lifespan.

Paula's approach to audio is all fixed purpose hardware. Need twice as many voices, you need twice as much hardware. By the time four voices became a constraint DSPs were out and could do everything in software and a stereo dac. The only thing we can conclude from Paula's stagnation is that Commodore engineers saw where the future was.

Last edited by Kyle_Human; 10 April 2020 at 17:11.
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Old 10 April 2020, 18:22   #1146
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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
You say that and then link to the full photoset where you can read the logo clearly in high resolution. You're a very unserious person.
yes, sometimes I am not serious

in this case I am:
There is a logo. No clue if this is just a sticker or something from back than.
But that does not matter at all, since this logo provides no proof of origin, no proof of that it is meant to be own a vertical case, and of course no proof, that this case has anything to do with the so called "Ranger".


Quote:
It's plenty crazy, it's going to be a very bad implementation in terms of quality, and selling outside of NTSC regions is going to involve an expensive standards converter. It was very wise to get rid of that "feature".
That is why they did get rid of it eventually.
But being developed as a game console for the two biggest video-game markets (Nordamerica and Japan) it makes sense to integrate that part.
(Europe was more or less non existent an a market for video games in the early 80s...)

Quote:
And he mentioned Paula because he thought he could use it's lack of improvement as some way to justify the "lost blueprints" myth.
It is a strong hint. Paula got zero updates und stayed NMOS, while the rest was moved to CMOS.
Even to Toni Wilen some of the inner workongs of Paule stayed a mystery...

You can call it a myth if you insist, but it was told by several insiders in the 90s. The circumstances collaborate that story.
Until someone publishes the schematics of Paule I consider them lost.

Quote:
Which is a tenuous claim to say the least, if you understand how people's thinking about digital audio changed over the Amiga's lifespan.

Paula's approach to audio is all fixed purpose hardware. Need twice as many voices, you need twice as much hardware.
1) Paula is not just audio.
2) more voices can be mixed in hardware - so you do not need twice as much logic, but only about 20-30% more.
3) Paula was not even changed to support off the shelf hd-floppy-drives. Instead a more complicated and expensive way was chosen, to modify the drives..

Quote:
The only thing we can conclude from Paula's stagnation is that Commodore engineers saw where the future was.
LOL


Let me guess: they were told about the future by the Easter Bunny!

Really: please stop that nonsense

Last edited by Gorf; 10 April 2020 at 20:41.
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Old 10 April 2020, 19:03   #1147
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It's plenty crazy, it's going to be a very bad implementation in terms of quality, and selling outside of NTSC regions is going to involve an expensive standards converter. It was very wise to get rid of that "feature".
It's exactly what the most successful consolo of that era, the NES, does - the PPU has analog on-chip composite out, as written already earlier. Were Nintendo/Ricoh engineers "plenty crazy"?
And NTSC/PAL was usually done by having two separate chip revisions - mostly quite a bit later if someone had decided that the European market was worth it. See again NES or C64. The standards are reasonably close to do this without too much effort.


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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
And he mentioned Paula because he thought he could use it's lack of improvement as some way to justify the "lost blueprints" myth. Which is a tenuous claim to say the least, if you understand how people's thinking about digital audio changed over the Amiga's lifespan.

Paula's approach to audio is all fixed purpose hardware. Need twice as many voices, you need twice as much hardware. By the time four voices became a constraint DSPs were out and could do everything in software and a stereo dac. The only thing we can conclude from Paula's stagnation is that Commodore engineers saw where the future was.
Which computer came with a DSP before 1990, apart from expensive workstations like the NeXT cube? Why did C= design a dedicated sound chip for AAA that was fixed function, not based on a DSP when they saw the future? And btw, twice as many voices don't have to need twice as much hardware - just google Time Division Multiplexing (no, Paula does not do this).
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Old 11 April 2020, 14:05   #1148
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ou can call it a myth if you insist, but it was told by several insiders in the 90s. The circumstances collaborate that story.
Until someone publishes the schematics of Paule I consider them lost.
"My dad works at nintendo"

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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
1) Paula is not just audio.
2) more voices can be mixed in hardware - so you do not need twice as much logic, but only about 20-30% more.
3) Paula was not even changed to support off the shelf hd-floppy-drives. Instead a more complicated and expensive way was chosen, to modify the drives..
Paula's other functions are so generic that there's no point upgrading them either by early 90s. Any SUPERIO chip would do it cheaper and better than the expense of making some Paula mkII.

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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
Let me guess: they were told about the future by the Easter Bunny!
A basic and necessary capability for a successful technology company is to know about upcoming technology in the fields they operate in. Digital Audio had been done with DSPs for a few years already and was getting cheaper all the time. It was an established trend that was coming down in price.

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Which computer came with a DSP before 1990, apart from expensive workstations like the NeXT cube? Why did C= design a dedicated sound chip for AAA that was fixed function, not based on a DSP when they saw the future? And btw, twice as many voices don't have to need twice as much hardware - just google Time Division Multiplexing (no, Paula does not do this).
Which computer came with AGA before 1990? None either, both Amiga DSP Audio and AGA are post 1990 projects, contemporary with Atari Falcon who does have DSP and a lot more too. Didn't the AAA effort start much earlier?

Do you think improving paula for Time Division Multiplexing would've been cost competitive with DSP? (16bit sampling, "at least" 8 channels per hazydave).

Bare in mind this was when the concerns of Amiga hardware people was trying to transition out of proprietary designs and hardware banging and onto standards like RTG. I firmly believe that the reason Commodore never released an upgraded paula is that it was still good enough for low end systems, but wasn't worth trying to improve to compete with DSP audio and off the shelf superio solutions. In other words, Paula was eventually going to wind up vestigial part only kept around for backwards compatibility.
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Old 11 April 2020, 15:02   #1149
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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
"My dad works at nintendo"
Good for him.
So go on an ask your dad. He will tell you the same.

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Paula's other functions are so generic that there's no point upgrading them either by early 90s.
So it is better to go the expensive route and modify floppy drives instead of the controller chip?

Quote:
Any SUPERIO chip would do it cheaper and better than the expense of making some Paula
and still they panned a new Paula for AAA...

Quote:
A basic and necessary capability for a successful technology company is to know about upcoming technology in the fields they operate in.
Commodore was not successful, but went bust.

The last real innovation made by commodore was the VIC-II chip in 1982... so one could argue if they were even a technology company after that...


Quote:
Do you think improving paula for Time Division Multiplexing would've been cost competitive with DSP? (16bit sampling, "at least" 8 channels per hazydave).
it would habe been quite easy to keep the traditional Audio-DMA-cyles and using 32bit and double-CAS to fetch 64 bits each cycle instead of 16.
Thats exactly what Lisa does, so it could have been easily implemented...

To handle the data, you could:
a) double the audio-part in Paula - no dramatic increase, and the resulting chip in 1.5 mu would still be smaller than the original Paula.
b) double the internal clock to multiplex data handling.
c) do both ... and end up with 16 channels

and proper support of hd-floppies.

Quote:
Bare in mind this was when the concerns of Amiga hardware people was trying to transition out of proprietary designs and hardware banging and onto standards like RTG.
only because they perceived the custom chips as holding them back.
and that was only the case, because Commodore failed to innovate and continuously upgrade the chips and the Amiga line of computers.

The custom chips where not harder to upgrade than any of the PC graphics we could see during that time.
In fact some of the (planar) cga and text-modes are totally incompatible with (chunky) vga, but still supported by the gfx-cards ...


Quote:
I firmly believe ...
that I can see...

Last edited by Gorf; 11 April 2020 at 16:18.
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Old 11 April 2020, 15:33   #1150
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(Europe was more or less non existent an a market for video games in the early 80s...)
I don't know where you were during the early 80s, but over here in Europe (I was in the UK) we had a vibrant and thriving gaming scene. Likewise for the "videogames crash" which had literally zero effect in Europe; we just continued to enjoy many new gaming releases throughout.

Games consoles were not the sole domain that gaming happened in. But that should be obvious to anyone on an Amiga forum
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Old 11 April 2020, 16:12   #1151
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I don't know where you were during the early 80s, but over here in Europe (I was in the UK) we had a vibrant and thriving gaming scene.
but it was not driven by game consoles, but by home computers and "bedroom coders"

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Likewise for the "videogames crash" which had literally zero effect in Europe;
yes and no.
It had no impact on game consoles, because they where not as big in Europe to begin with.
The "micros" crashed a little bit later. Acorns "electron" failed and the company sold itself to Olivetti in 85.
Sir Sinclair sold all computer related stuff to Amstrad in 86.

Quote:
Games consoles were not the sole domain that gaming happened in. But that should be obvious to anyone on an Amiga forum
But that was not the point of my argument here:

The original investors of Amiga startup (Hi Toro), wanted a video console - so targeting the main markets (north America and Japan) was the reasonable thing to do - and so the integration of NTSC logic in the gfx chip makes also sense.
(from that early point of view)

And yes I am glad they changed it later and I love the Amiga primarily as a computer platform and only secondarily a gaming platform... but integrating NTSC logic at that point of time was no "crazy" decision - as already pointed out: most other game consoles did it.
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Old 11 April 2020, 16:33   #1152
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The "micros" crashed a little bit later. Acorns "electron" failed and the company sold itself to Olivetti in 85.
Sir Sinclair sold all computer related stuff to Amstrad in 86.
The micros have never "crashed", some companies just went under or sold
out, which is a wholly natural thing ina an extremely competitive and saturated market. Bu the micros themselves were going on strong - very strong - until their later natural & unavoidable death by PC.

Also, you seem to be equating videogames with consoles. It's an American thing
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Old 11 April 2020, 17:41   #1153
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The micros have never "crashed", some companies just went under or sold
out, which is a wholly natural thing ina an extremely competitive and saturated market.
how could the market in mid 80s be "saturated", without a sudden recess in demand aka a "crash"?

Quote:
But the micros themselves were going on strong - very strong - until their later natural & unavoidable death by PC.
not in that short period of 84-85 particularly in Europe.

with that logic you could also argue there was no video game crash in USA, because consoles and games did sell strong before and after ...

Quote:
Also, you seem to be equating videogames with consoles. It's an American thing
no I personally don't.
I was just explaining the motivation, for integrating the NTSC logic into the gfx-chip, from the point of view of an American startup targeting the video console market in the first half of the 80s...

BTW:
Is it really so hard to follow the logic of an argument?
And is really so hard so make counter arguments, without making personal accusations?
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Old 11 April 2020, 18:04   #1154
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how could the market in mid 80s be "saturated", without a sudden recess in demand aka a "crash"?
What? Why do you need a crash for market saturation? There was just a whole heap of competing micro producers, and big demand, that's all.

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not in that short period of 84-85 particularly in Europe.

with that logic you could also argue there was no video game crash in USA, because consoles and games did sell strong before and after ...
But there was no before and after in Europe. 84-85 was actually a boom time, just look at sales/release figures for Spectrum or Commodore games. Your fixation with this "crash" is really impairing your vision here.


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I was just explaining the motivation, for integrating the NTSC logic into the gfx-chip, from the point of view of an American startup targeting the video console market in the first half of the 80s...
I get your motivation, but you have used a highly inaccurate - and contentious - example by saying that "Europe was more or less non existent an a market for video games in the early 80s".

Admittedly this angle has little to do with A1200 so I won't pursue it further, suffice to say that chronic underestimation of microcomputers in modern internet conversations is one of my pet peeves, which is why I butted in here.

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Is it really so hard to follow the logic of an argument?
And is really so hard so make counter arguments, without making personal accusations?
No, it isn't - which is why I made counters to your argument. And if you took that "it's an American thing" as a "personal accusation" then I suppose you're just worn out and a bit edgy from arguing with Mr. Human over the last few pages. Now, I fully understand that because his, ahem, "style" could drive a saint up the wall, but that has nothing to do with my little joke. When you see this thingy ---> in my post, it probably means I'm not entirely serious.

Ok?

Last edited by dreadnought; 11 April 2020 at 18:09.
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Old 11 April 2020, 18:24   #1155
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What? Why do you need a crash for market saturation? There was just a whole heap of competing micro producers, and big demand, that's all.

But there was no before and after in Europe. 84-85 was actually a boom time, just look at sales/release figures for Spectrum or Commodore games. Your fixation with this "crash" is really impairing your vision here.
Well the BBC is calling it a crash:

The growing disillusionment caused the market for cheap home computers to crash in 1985.
https://www.historyextra.com/period/...computer-boom/

Quote:
I get your motivation, but you have used a highly inaccurate - and contentious - example by saying that "Europe was more or less non existent an a market for video games in the early 80s".
Please don't take quotes out of context!
That is a very unfair thing to do in a discussion.

My sentence before that was: "But being developed as a game console for the two biggest video-game markets"

I was clearly talking about video-game-consoles and therefore "video games" means games for that kind of consoles - as opposed to "computer games".


Quote:
Admittedly this angle ahs little to do with A1200 so I won't pursue it further, suffcie to say that chronic underestimation of microcomputers in modern internet conversations is one of my pet peeves, which is why I butted in here.
which I certainly never did underestimate...
Quote:
if you took that "it's an American thing" as a "personal accusation"
well, you said I would see it that way...
you mixed up my explanation done from a certain point of view in an argument (here from Hi Toros point of view), with my personal views.

Quote:
then I suppose you're just worn out and a bit edgy from arguing with Mr. Human over the last few pages.
true..

Quote:
When you see this thingy ---> in my post, it probably means I'm not entirely serious.

Ok?
I really didn't get that - but I will try to remember ...
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Old 29 April 2020, 13:59   #1156
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(Europe was more or less non existent an a market for video games in the early 80s...)
Oh boy, that is soooo wrong! Video games were big here! I was a kid in West-Germany back then. Two of my friends had an Atari VCS2600, another one had a Vectrex, another one had a Matell Intellivision, I had a ColecoVision (1982), one or two years later, some of us had a C64 (I got mine for Christmas 1982 or 1983, with a 1541).

How could all those good games come from the UK in 1984/1985 if people would have just started with video games back then? The UK was one of the strong holds of intelligent and creative video games, back then. One, two years after the great Console crash in 1982.

It is true, that Japanese style consoles were less in use (but present), since most kids interested in such things had a Commodore Amiga or (to a lesser extend) an Amiga, when the NES and SNES became popular. At least in Germany, which was one of the Amiga strongholds (Commodore Frankfurt, phase5, IndividualComputers, Haage&Partner, etc.). But the NES was released in 1985 in the US and in 1986 in Europe. So, this already was another generation of video games.
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Old 29 April 2020, 14:09   #1157
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Oh boy, that is soooo wrong! Video games were big here! I was a kid in West-Germany back then.
me too.
and it was not really a thing...

Quote:
Two of my friends had an Atari VCS2600, another one had a Vectrex, another one had a Matell Intellivision, I had a ColecoVision (1982),
I know exactly one boy out of my entire school class that had an Atari console before 83.

Quote:
one or two years later, some of us had a C64 (I got mine for Christmas 1982 or 1983, with a 1541).
Again: homecomputers were a big thing in Europe!
I was talking about "consoles" as opposed to computers.
"Videogames" for consoles as opposed to computer games for computers...

I tried to explain why HiToro would target the NTSC market first and wound not care much about PAL compatibility, while designing a game console!

Quote:
How could all those good games come from the UK in 1984/1985 if people would have just started with video games back then?
now you are talking about computer games again!
no games for video consoles came from the UK back then..

Quote:
It is true, that Japanese style consoles were less in use (but present), since most kids interested in such things had a Commodore ....
THAT is exactly what I was trying to say!
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Old 29 April 2020, 14:17   #1158
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So Amiga/C64/Speccy games are not video games, guys, simple as that! :P
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Old 29 April 2020, 14:24   #1159
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So Amiga/C64/Speccy games are not video games, guys, simple as that! :P
at least they are not console games.

In publications from the 80s, especially in the USA, the term "video games" is used for console games exclusively.
The so called "video game crash" refers only to consoles and games for these devices.

I only tried to explain the motivations of the original investors of HiToro/Amiga back in the day...
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Old 29 April 2020, 17:01   #1160
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Sinclair sold to Amstrad because of two things: First, he was disappointed with the reception his machines gained - they were used almost exclusively for videogames and secondly his disastrous QL project literally bankrupted him.

Amstrad went on to produce three more new Spectrum models which were successful for many years thereafter. I'm not sure I'd call that a "crash".
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