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Old 18 June 2003, 01:00   #1
Antiriad
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Amiga and America

Why didnt the Amiga take off as much in America as it did in Europe? Or at least as much as the C64 did? Its something thats always mystified me...

I.e, why did Americans go on using their C64s and crappy NES's when 16bit machines like the Amiga (and even the ST) beat it hands down?

Is this a reflection on the American market seeing games for consoles and apps/business for PCs? - Which as we know is how the rest of the world has now also thought since the early nineties... was the "home computing" age merely a European phenomena only? (Sure feels that way)

So if our American members could explain this it would be much appreciated...
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Old 18 June 2003, 01:12   #2
BippyM
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cuz Europeans (and brits :P) have brains
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Old 18 June 2003, 01:29   #3
Dizzy
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The Americans only like words with 3 letters: USA, WAR, NES & C64

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Old 18 June 2003, 01:41   #4
jmmijo
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Well I agree there are too many STUPID people in this country for my tastes but I'm not so sure we're all a bunch of WARmongers over here

As for the three letter words, well that's the stupid gene having taken over most, if not all, of the market speak over here

Now how come we have so many laws to protect ourselves from ourselves
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Old 18 June 2003, 01:59   #5
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Off the top of my head (without any research whatsoever) I'd say that three factors stifled the Amiga in the US.

Firstly, the NES. It was a huge success in America, much bigger than in the UK, and even more powerful machines didn't really stand a chance against it - I think even the Genesis had a pretty tough fight to begin with. Compare it with the PlayStation/PS2 - despite the DreamCast, XBox and Game Cube all being more powerful, and in many instances having better (if fewer) games, the Sony machines seem to win every time.

Secondly, the PC. The PC was never very big in the UK outside of the office, but I think it established its dominance in US hacking circles fairly early on. I could be wrong, but it seems that whilst the Brits had the Dragon, Speccy, BBC, etc, the Americans had IBMs, or had C64s and then progressed to IBM compatibles.

Thirdly, Commodore. The desktop wedges (500, 600 and 1200) were heavily marketted in the UK as games machines. In the US, the onus was very much on the big-box machines (1000, 2000, etc) as business and multimedia workstations. You can see the evidence for this on eBay - big-box machines change hands for a few dollars on eBay.com, but tend to fetch stupid prices on eBay.co.uk. Similarly, 1200s were allegedly extremely rare in America, and don't tend to appear on eBay.com at all. To put that into perspective, I recently gave one of my 1200s away - they tend to be very cheap at car boot sales.

The big-box machines cost a fortune, hence the old joke that the A2000 was so called because it cost 2000; the desktops were cheap.
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Old 18 June 2003, 04:23   #6
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ant512 summarized it best so far. The NES just appeared and there was a small cult following (which I was a part of); it was the follow-up comeback to the old no-brainer cartridge-based game machines (as opposed to the C-64, which was a computer that supported some cartridges) after the big crash of 84.

In my opinion, there was ALWAYS a better machine alternative to the PC, but I will always have deep resentment in my heart towards the stupid Americans who made this piece of shit the dominant machine here. Even when it was the only computer I'd ever seen or used, I always thought it was crap. I never got excited over a computer until the Amiga appeared. And the European scene was my only port in the storm for cool software, Amiga support, and general disregard of PC's. My friends and I talked about it a lot and we wondered if the disease would ever spread overseas and ruin the good thing we had going with the Amiga. Of course, it did. Now we have people all over the world who stupidly defend the PC at all costs the way only stupid Americans did before. (sigh)

@Dizzy
Easy on the WAR bullshit. This kind of talk will get you in one. Politics are *forbidden* on this discussion board. If you wish to engage in this kind of antagonistic crap, there are boards created just for flame-o-holics. Please take it there and spare us here.
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Old 18 June 2003, 04:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost

@Dizzy
Easy on the WAR bullshit. This kind of talk will get you in one. Politics are *forbidden* on this discussion board. If you wish to engage in this kind of antagonistic crap, there are boards created just for flame-o-holics. Please take it there and spare us here.
Sorry , I'm not against the war (Denmark was part of the war 2, and I'm totally behind our goverment).
This was just a pathetic joke..... don't shoot me :-)
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Old 18 June 2003, 05:31   #8
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Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh. Someone pissed in my cornflakes.

That and the fact that my "short day" at work ends up being 12 hours (!?). I start my 'holiday' Wednesday, so my evil, oppessive employers have to be sure and get the last bits of torture in before I walk out the door. (sigh)

Peace.
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Old 18 June 2003, 06:07   #9
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Old 18 June 2003, 07:12   #10
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Nice graphic!

And for the record, I am finally away from my job! A day to clean my apartment, the weekend networking my PC's and some recording studio work, a couple of days at the beach, then back to the gravel pit. My week off just began and already I am depressed over having to return to work. (sigh) I think I just pissed in my own cornflakes!

No offense to blackcornflake intended.
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Old 18 June 2003, 07:21   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by ant512
To put that into perspective, I recently gave one of my 1200s away - they tend to be very cheap at car boot sales.
They're not too common in Australia either... if anyone has one they want to give away, tell me how much postage will be!
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Old 18 June 2003, 07:29   #12
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The US scene on the C-64 was actually cooler than the US Amiga scene, which I always found to be lame. The only US demo coders used RSI Demomaker ; even though we housed all the WHQ's, no games were ever cracked here, since all the real programming talent was overseas; the US Amiga mags mainly focused on productivity, apps & multimedia while games were given a paragraph each tops. While I loved Euro software before, my life REALLY turned around when the ECS Agnus allowed my A500 to display true PAL! Hated NTSC ever since. And in the end, it was the US big business machine that finally drove the Amiga to a Bahama bank and left the PC to swallow up its version of multimedia via Windows 95. I'm not sure I can ever forgive America for this treasonous act.

At least the US market on the C-64 wasn't scared of games. Typically, the PC crowd always lashed out at Amiga users as being owners of a mere "game machine". And now look at how many people own PC's just for gaming. And the ones that use them for multi-purposes only do the ritual upgrades for gaming purposes. That is one damn expensive game machine!

I always have viewed US programmers as a bunch of stiffs who write rigid, clunky code that just squeeks by. Especially the games. The US had a few revolutionary products on the Amiga, though...Deluxe Paint, the Video Toaster, CygnusEd, Pagestream, etc. I always loved Amiga apps because once they got past their v1.0, updates usually meant brilliant things were addded, rather than bloat.

Anyhow, at the end of the day, the reason the Amiga never cracked the US market was simply the fault of the buffoons at CBM.
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Old 18 June 2003, 07:38   #13
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Couldn't have said it better TG

And I think there needs to be more emphasis on the Buffoon's that ran CBM
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Old 18 June 2003, 09:11   #14
Oscar Castillo
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Re: Amiga and America

Quote:
Originally posted by Antiriad
Why didnt the Amiga take off as much in America as it did in Europe? Or at least as much as the C64 did? Its something thats always mystified me...

I.e, why did Americans go on using their C64s and crappy NES's when 16bit machines like the Amiga (and even the ST) beat it hands down?

Is this a reflection on the American market seeing games for consoles and apps/business for PCs? - Which as we know is how the rest of the world has now also thought since the early nineties... was the "home computing" age merely a European phenomena only? (Sure feels that way)

So if our American members could explain this it would be much appreciated...
Anyone interested in games back then wasn't interested in a computer once the consoles became popular. Amigas were capable, but long load times and lack of hard drives mean't endless floppy swapping if the game was decent. And then games just weren't meant to run of the hard drive even if you did have one, they were so compact.
Consoles with their cartridges offered quick and easy access.
The Amiga was always seen as a decent games platform, but once it hit status as the PC to have for desktop video it lost some of its appeal to gamers. Then expanding it was very, very expensive.
Recall how much it was to add a hard drive. Then they standardized on SCSI, which even today is still too expensive.
Many who purchased the stock models stopped there and never realized the true potential of the machine due to the high cost of accelerators, RAM and storage at the time.
For gamers it was just too much trouble to be bothered. And ultimately the gamers market prevailed and there was no stopping the consoles from taking over as the dominant games platform. When the cheap clones came in with ever increasing performance and inexpensive peripherals, it was all over.
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Old 18 June 2003, 09:47   #15
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In America marketing rules, most Americans buy what they are told too. Attention spans are 15 minutes tops, keeping up with the Joneses is always in vague and peer pressure is digently applied to all those that don't do as their told. Having the same computer that can go on giving you enjoyment and pleasure for 10 years is an impossible concept to most Americans, what it is not new? Thank goodness it is not 100%, Bill Gates is trying hard though. Microsoft spends billions keeping Windows on almost every new computer and makes many exclusive deals to keep the masses in the dark. Don't think so? Read the first chapter from an Ex- M$ employee on this very subject of the war Microsoft fights daily to keep the Windows platform the only choice.

http://www.plamondon.net/james/02_plamondon.htm

http://slashdot.org/articles/03/06/1...id=109&tid=187
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Old 18 June 2003, 14:52   #16
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Well this kind of confirms my worst suspicions. I guess the American culture of "instant" everything could only be the reason why the ever so shite NES succeeded. Even the Master System was a better console! (which funnily enough did better than the NES in Europe). American EAB members, dont take this the wrong way, ill support your thinking on SOME things (as i did in a long running argument over a certain subject with a thankfully now banned former EAB member) but ill always look down on the US gaming scene.

Nothing made me sadder in the early nineties of the death of the home computer scene and the adoption of American culture of splitting everything into consoles (that can only play games) and expensive PC's (that have to be constantly upgraded), when the home computer could cover both angles. Having a computer that could play games of the same standard or better as consoles could but also do apps and programming whilst being massively cheaper than a PC - and have a shelflife of a console was my idea of computing heaven. I miss those days terribely...

Still...between C='s utter incompetence and M$'s ruthlessness there was never a chance of the Amiga succeeding anyway...
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Old 18 June 2003, 19:00   #17
DrBong
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adeptus
They're not too common in Australia either... if anyone has one they want to give away, tell me how much postage will be!
Nowadays A1200s aren't so much common coz the Amiga scene has been long dead here, but they're a lot easier to get hold of than a big box Amiga.

Unfortunately one thing I've noticed with the increasing popularity of Ebay is the disappearance of Amiga ads in the local papers here, even A500s. Couldn't get much more than $20-30 for a basic A500 here in the local Perth papers 2-3 years back. Now they go for $50+ on Ebay.
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Old 18 June 2003, 21:41   #18
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Correction

Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost
The US scene on the C-64 was actually cooler than the US Amiga scene, which I always found to be lame. The only US demo coders used RSI Demomaker ; even though we housed all the WHQ's, no games were ever cracked here, since all the real programming talent was overseas; the US Amiga mags mainly focused on productivity, apps & multimedia while games were given a paragraph each tops. While I loved Euro software before, my life REALLY turned around when the ECS Agnus allowed my A500 to display true PAL! Hated NTSC ever since. And in the end, it was the US big business machine that finally drove the Amiga to a Bahama bank and left the PC to swallow up its version of multimedia via Windows 95. I'm not sure I can ever forgive America for this treasonous act.

At least the US market on the C-64 wasn't scared of games. Typically, the PC crowd always lashed out at Amiga users as being owners of a mere "game machine". And now look at how many people own PC's just for gaming. And the ones that use them for multi-purposes only do the ritual upgrades for gaming purposes. That is one damn expensive game machine!

I always have viewed US programmers as a bunch of stiffs who write rigid, clunky code that just squeeks by. Especially the games. The US had a few revolutionary products on the Amiga, though...Deluxe Paint, the Video Toaster, CygnusEd, Pagestream, etc. I always loved Amiga apps because once they got past their v1.0, updates usually meant brilliant things were addded, rather than bloat.

Anyhow, at the end of the day, the reason the Amiga never cracked the US market was simply the fault of the buffoons at CBM.
The Surge / Quartex (Ben) was a yank if memory serves me right.
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Old 18 June 2003, 22:19   #19
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I jumped from a c64 to a PC because the apps I needed to run in college were on the PC.

From what I remember amiga's were never really advertised much. When I was growing up all the local stores had atari 800's and c64 on display. I remember seeing the cool 64 portable at the cheap KMart outlet and wondered what the heck people will do with that tiny screen. Commodore did some advertising, but their machines were on display so you could check them out.

The amiga was sold in maybe a few high end computer stores around here, you know the type that overcharged for everything and only rich people or buisinesses purchased from them. These stores sold the big box amiga's, I never even seen a real live a500 or a1200 untill I purchased one from ebay.

I new quite a few people with a c64 and we all traded games. If you have 2 or more friends with a specific type of computer and they had free games you could copy well thats the computer you ended up getting (well except for my parents who were cheap and got me a Timex 2068). I dont call that peer pressure, just being smart with your money. All of these people with the c64's went straight to the PC because of the pirate scene, or their parents had one at home for work reasons (well one guy went to the C128 for a few years but went PC after that).

Since the amiga's were sold in places you generally didnt go into, nobody I knew had one, no advertising at all,and they were expensive nobody knew about them or cared. Yes pc's were expensive at the time I got mine, but I ended up getting an $1800 NIB 286 for $600 cash because a friend helped one fall of the back of a truck if you know what I mean. Otherwise the $1800 price would have meant I would be using the crappy computers in the university labs instead of owning one myself ( I sold the c64 for over $200 with addons that subsidized my PC).

I always found that any PC that caught on in europe (especially britain) never did that well here. The brits loved their sinclairs while in the US their apeal dropped like a rock after the atari 800/c64 came out. same with the atari ST and Amiga. Also europeans used tape drives way after people in the US went to floppy only software. I had a fwe games on my c64 that were on tape and boy did they take a while to load.

Even now that I have a 500/1200 to play with I dont think I would have purchased one back in their glory because they didnt run the software that forced me to buy a PC in the first place. I think the amiga systems played games much nicer looking then the pc of their time (up to the early 90's), which is the reason I have them now. The PC saved me alot of agrivation during college, and being able to play some simple games (not like I had time going to school and working full time) was an added bonus. PC games didnt become extremely popular game machines like they are today untill the 386/486 came out in force.

The NES was popular because it played games other then the tired old space invaders variety of the old atari consoles and it was cheap. Parents with a few bucks always gave their kids something electronic to play with to either keep them from spilling cool-aide on their $3000 PC or just to keep them occupied for a few hours so their parents could chill out after a hards day work. Remember if your options are an old nintendo or that tired old atari 2600/5200 what are you going to play with?
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Old 19 June 2003, 01:14   #20
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The way I remember the NES invasion at my house: none of the kids of that era even knew what a game console was. As far as they were concerned, this concept didn't exist, so it was Nickelodeon and soccer practice every day after school. I was managing a record store at the time and we bought used products from consumers needing cash. Some of the hustlers bringing stuff in regularly started showing up with not only NES games, but the units themselves. We kept hearing talk about some Mike Tyson boxing game, but that was all we knew. After picking one up, it was a pretty cool quick way for some instant gaming fun, so we hawked up every game we could find (there was a time when I almost had every US NES cart!) After a few weeks, I showed my nephews, who were hooked from the moment they walked into my room. Super Mario Brothers was a brilliant game, so that didn't hurt. Rad Racer used the same model as older console racing games, but it was NES, so count that in. And The Legend of Zelda, etc. In the very beginning, any game for the NES was considered worth owning simply because it was for the NES. Word on the schoolyards spread like wildfire as kids everywhere were dashing out to department stores to get their own.

At least that's how it went in my neighborhood. One day, nobody had ever heard of this thing, but in about a month's time, every kid in America had one.
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