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View Poll Results: Why did the CD32 fail?
It was too late for Commodore and/or the Amiga 67 35.08%
No cd-rom promptly available for A1200 7 3.66%
No SX-1/SX-32 type expansion promptly available 1 0.52%
Low quality "exclusive" software 41 21.47%
Low quantity software 11 5.76%
Poor Commodore marketing 37 19.37%
It was a success. Stupid poll. 6 3.14%
Microsoft conspiracy 6 3.14%
Low quality bundled joypad 0 0%
No room in existing console market 6 3.14%
Bad press reviews 0 0%
No Full Motion Video support/availability 0 0%
Because people thought it was "another CDTV" 6 3.14%
Bad looks 3 1.57%
Voters: 191. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 14 December 2006, 12:43   #81
kojak
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My CD32 failed - went broke so that I had to ship it back. It didn't read CDs anymore.

Some things on the CD32 were ridiculous. Floppy Games with 700K on CD. On the other hand I liked playing *Diggers* and *Frontier*.

I owned two Saturns, most impressive hardware I have ever seen. The PCB has lots and lots of processors on it and no heatsink at all.
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Old 17 December 2006, 01:16   #82
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I do like the CD32 although it was too little too late imo.

They're definetly not built as well as the earlier gear - after the A500's I think the quality dropped somewhat on the lower end of the Commodore range which was a shame

nothing like the Amiga now which provokes the kind of passion I had back then
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Old 17 December 2006, 10:29   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojak
Some things on the CD32 were ridiculous. Floppy Games with 700K on CD. On the other hand I liked playing *Diggers* and *Frontier*.
Yeah a few MB's on a cd is such a waste of space but the CD32 wasnt entirely alone in doing that: PC CD-ROM games at that time also had the habit of doing the same such as in CD versions of Airbucks, Ishar series, Heirs To The Throne, Lemmings 1 & 2, Lotus 3, Zool 2 to name a few.
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Old 17 December 2006, 10:35   #84
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To be fair, a couple of those games you mentioned were multi-disk games, and probably didn't fit on one diskette, and if it did, it would've been compressed so you had to install it completely to the PC harddrive.
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Old 27 July 2019, 13:05   #85
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you didn't list bad hardware in the poll. the cd32 came out a few months before the 3do. just compare the two. I had the CD32 and loved it but only because im an Amiga fan boy but the 3do is what the CD32 should have been. I can objectively say it was a bad machine... not CDi bad but bad for the time of release.
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Old 27 July 2019, 14:15   #86
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Commodore had the best sales / marketing successes in Germany, United Kingdom and the nordic countries.

No thanks to Commodore USA though.. :-) The local Commodores did the marketing themselves..

According to Commodore Germany they sold 25.000 CD32 consoles here. Hardly a success.


All small success in the UK, maybe Canada too. But that's it. Even the Amiga 500+ sold better.
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Old 27 July 2019, 14:36   #87
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I think it failed because it didn't consider 3D as something to go after.
And it made no sense to buy it if you went after an A1200.
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Old 27 July 2019, 14:41   #88
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I don't think so. 3D wasn't a big thing in Summer 1993. Consoles were a Japanese force back then. And yes, the PC helped too that the CD32 never had a chance. Even a financial healthier Commodore company would have failed.
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Old 27 July 2019, 14:44   #89
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Originally Posted by trydowave View Post
you didn't list bad hardware in the poll. the cd32 came out a few months before the 3do. just compare the two. I had the CD32 and loved it but only because im an Amiga fan boy but the 3do is what the CD32 should have been. I can objectively say it was a bad machine... not CDi bad but bad for the time of release.
And how much did the 3DO cost? The CD32 was made to compete against the Mega CD (based on the A1200 designed in 1991) not the next gen consoles of a few years later.

Last edited by -Acid-; 27 July 2019 at 15:23.
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Old 27 July 2019, 16:21   #90
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oo, 13 year old thread revived ;-)
Yea, this has been discussed to death but I think Commodore went into this half-heartedly to grab some cash without spending a lot on R&D and the main competition was definitely Mega CD here in Europe. The timing was unfortunately bad for that and if they wanted to comptete with 3do and Saturn they would have needed to revise the hardware significantly. Otoh, the 3do was probably twice the price so not entirely fair comparison.
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Old 27 July 2019, 18:49   #91
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I think they were probably just jumping on the CD bandwagon, you only have to look at the names of the consoles at the time (CDTV, MegaCD, CD32, CDI) to see that it was a key selling point, we were all being told that CD's would enable games to look like movies and you had games like Night Trap etc. It was also a lot cooler to have a console thanks to Nintendo/Sega, having a computer like an Amiga was still seen as a bit nerdy I think.

I think my first ever CD device was a Sony PS1 in about 1996 and I still thought it was amazing to be able to play audio CD's. Consoles today come with Blu-ray players and nobody really gives a crap.

Last edited by Mick; 27 July 2019 at 18:57.
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Old 27 July 2019, 22:38   #92
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I did read the CD32 was estimated to have sold around 100,000 units in total, would've been more but for C= 's financial troubles, they simply ran out of money.

If they had been financially sound...
If they had been able to enter the US market...
If they had some exclusive or at least good games...
If they had made the hardware a bit stronger...
If they had released it a couple of years earlier...

they may well have turned the CD32 into a reasonable success, at least until the PS1 arrived.
i was once of the many that went to the PC around the end of 1996, and to be honest i don't regret it, as the Amiga's time was up in all honesty.
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Old 28 July 2019, 03:58   #93
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No Full Motion Video support/availability ?
There was a FMV Expansion for £100 ? Extra.

Hard to choose between 'Too Late' + 'Poor Marketing' coz they are linked.

But putting a One Disk Game on a CD ?!?!
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Old 28 July 2019, 08:52   #94
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No Full Motion Video support/availability ?
There was a FMV Expansion for £100 ? Extra.

Hard to choose between 'Too Late' + 'Poor Marketing' coz they are linked.

But putting a One Disk Game on a CD ?!?!
The FMV Cartridge came out, not sure the question of availability, but no surprise support was null bar two titles as it came out only a couple of months before Commodore went under, why spend time and money on something only 1k ish people had?

An Amiga based CD console too late in 1993? Not at all, underpowered yes, but had Commodore survived more cd only games were due to be launched and i know i had fun with mine, it all wasn’t just about graphics back then, machines like the PC Engine Duo a dominant 2d cd machine was selling well into 1995 in Japan as were obviously cartridge machines like the Megadrive and SNES, i think people tend to remember ‘oh the PS1 came out in 1995’ end of story blah blah when in fact there was a vibrant and imo lot more interesting gaming scene on many levels before it hit with 8bit and 16/32 bit systems still selling in the sector.

Marketing wise, it wasn’t that bad esp considering their budget, got some good TV coverage at the launch with Chris Evans, had their infamous TV ad and advertising board outside Sega HQ, with their budget they did pretty good, compare it to the CDTV and you can see they learned alot, compare it to something like the Atari Jaguar which had no TV advertising.

Who cared if a great game that came on 1 disk for the Amiga had a port to the CD32? as long as the game was great and the price was reasonable i certainly didn’t, one more great game for the machine, better that than the machine not having the game at all.
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Old 28 July 2019, 12:12   #95
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Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
The FMV Cartridge came out, not sure the question of availability, but no surprise support was null bar two titles as it came out only a couple of months before Commodore went under, why spend time and money on something only 1k ish people had?

An Amiga based CD console too late in 1993? Not at all, underpowered yes, but had Commodore survived more cd only games were due to be launched and i know i had fun with mine, it all wasn’t just about graphics back then, machines like the PC Engine Duo a dominant 2d cd machine was selling well into 1995 in Japan as were obviously cartridge machines like the Megadrive and SNES, i think people tend to remember ‘oh the PS1 came out in 1995’ end of story blah blah when in fact there was a vibrant and imo lot more interesting gaming scene on many levels before it hit with 8bit and 16/32 bit systems still selling in the sector.

Marketing wise, it wasn’t that bad esp considering their budget, got some good TV coverage at the launch with Chris Evans, had their infamous TV ad and advertising board outside Sega HQ, with their budget they did pretty good, compare it to the CDTV and you can see they learned alot, compare it to something like the Atari Jaguar which had no TV advertising.

Who cared if a great game that came on 1 disk for the Amiga had a port to the CD32? as long as the game was great and the price was reasonable i certainly didn’t, one more great game for the machine, better that than the machine not having the game at all.
Sounds like you see this from a UK perspective? Dave Pleasence did a good job there, but the rest of the world didnt see much advertizement for the CD32 AFAIK, (dont have much reliable info on that though, mostly memories). As for the Jaguar, I belive their primary market was the US and they did the "Do the math" thing which you can easily find on YouTube.

The FMV cartridge was a cool "novelty thing" for a short period of time in the early 90s. I remember being somewhat impressed watching a VideoCD movie on the CD32 +FMV in a store back then, but as we have all learned throughout history, an expensive add on almost never reaches critical mass so it becomes obsolete soon. It took a couple more years before DVD was a thing, but VideoCD was never a huge hit. If it was, and the CD32 would have been sold bundeled with the FMV module at a good price then maybe ppl would have bought it just for that. (It was also pretty good at Audio CD and a bunch of -at the time - CD formats (Karaoke, PhotCD etc).
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Old 28 July 2019, 13:27   #96
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Sounds like you see this from a UK perspective? Dave Pleasence did a good job there, but the rest of the world didnt see much advertizement for the CD32 AFAIK, (dont have much reliable info on that though, mostly memories). As for the Jaguar, I belive their primary market was the US and they did the "Do the math" thing which you can easily find on YouTube.

The FMV cartridge was a cool "novelty thing" for a short period of time in the early 90s. I remember being somewhat impressed watching a VideoCD movie on the CD32 +FMV in a store back then, but as we have all learned throughout history, an expensive add on almost never reaches critical mass so it becomes obsolete soon. It took a couple more years before DVD was a thing, but VideoCD was never a huge hit. If it was, and the CD32 would have been sold bundeled with the FMV module at a good price then maybe ppl would have bought it just for that. (It was also pretty good at Audio CD and a bunch of -at the time - CD formats (Karaoke, PhotCD etc).
Well of course, that's where i am so i can only respond from my UK perspective in most circumstances. Fair enough about the Jag adverts, they certainly didn't have any over here.

I think the FMV was more than just a 'novelty' it was planned as the next home video format, it just didn't hit enough stride in the mainstream to do so before DVD came out, but lots of consoles (CDi, 3DO, Saturn, Playstation etc) all had FMV cartridges released for their machines and Video CD's were massive in Asia even after DVD came out due to the cheap costs.

Plus I'm sure Commodore would have made a FMV bundle if they survived.
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Old 28 July 2019, 17:00   #97
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I was the same stupid idea Commodore had 1990 with the C64GS. "Ok, we have a lot of C64 hardware parts lying around. What can we do with it?" They had no clue at all. And it was released against the advice of the tech department from Commodore. A planned CD32 launch in the USA? After 1990 not a single person cared about the Amiga for gaming there. Obviously nobody told them that too.
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Old 28 July 2019, 17:07   #98
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I was the same stupid idea Commodore had 1990 with the C64GS. "Ok, we have a lot of C64 hardware parts lying around. What can we do with it?" They had no clue at all. And it was released against the advice of the tech department from Commodore. A planned CD32 launch in the USA? After 1990 not a single person cared about the Amiga for gaming there. Obviously nobody told them that too.
As the story has been told to me, the CD32 was the last roll of the dice. Commodore was in deep trouble and they rushed out the CD32 in an attempt to make enough money to keep open the door.

Had the US launch gone through and the patent lawsuit not been lost they might have been able to keep the doors open another year. But this is my rephrasing what my memory tells me some ex-Commodore (primarily Dave Haynie) people said at an Amiga meeting I attended years after the fact, so I might be wrong here.
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Old 28 July 2019, 17:14   #99
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Probably. But the biggest fail was that they haven't had new hardware made ready for the market, while the mother company already had smaller money problems.

The US launch would have helped for a few month, surely. But Commodore was already dead at that point. CDTV, Amiga 500+, A600 and then the CD32. Commodore UK was still strong according to David Pleasance, financial healthy enough to go a bit longer. But without new Amiga hardware, adapted to the already changed market situation?
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Old 28 July 2019, 18:32   #100
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The US launch would have helped for a few month, surely. But Commodore was already dead at that point. CDTV, Amiga 500+, A600 and then the CD32.
Don’t forget the A1200 in that statement, the next gen saviour that didn’t save Commodore.
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