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Old 30 June 2021, 11:33   #1241
Arne
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I got my A1200 upon release here. While I don't remember being disappointed, I do remember it being a risky buy and by this time stuff on other platforms were beginning to look impressive. I never actually used AGA much on my machine, aside from having a 256 colour desktop image. Even so the A1200 made my old A500 feel clumsy. I had a HDD and Blizzard 1220/4 so it was a nice machine to work on and no PC offered a similar environment. I used mine up until the mid-late '90s. I didn't play much games compared to other people, and don't even remember having any AGA ones. AMOS didn't do AGA either.

Thinking back, I remember feeling that the A600 was a bit pointless by the time it came out, and that the A500+ upgrades were "boring", but maybe it would've worked to have a faster CPU A500 with nice HDD support and more memory... out at the right time, i.e., basically just increased convenience, whilst retaining well established developer support. Focus on that and hopefully benefit from economy of scale. In hindsight think I could've lived without a major graphics upgrade until 94-95 (perhaps instead investing in memory/HDD/monitor). Graphics were moving so quick mid '90s that it's hard to say what the timing and specs should've been.

Last edited by Arne; 30 June 2021 at 11:47.
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Old 30 June 2021, 11:50   #1242
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Graphics were moving so quick mid '90s that it's hard to say what the timing and specs should've been.
True enough. We got a Pentium 120 at some point around '98 I think and that computer was pretty much outdated in a month. Everything started to snowball so hard, I would actually be really curious to see how a platform like the Amiga would have coped.
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Old 30 June 2021, 12:30   #1243
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I wasn't disappointed at all. When I upgraded from an A500 to an A1200 with hard disk (63MB!), everything was just better.
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Old 01 July 2021, 13:07   #1244
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... I would actually be really curious to see how a platform like the Amiga would have coped.
I essentially just used my A1200 as a fast ECS machine, which was fine until the mid '90s. I think after that the Amiga could only have survived in spirit, i.e. peak multimedia capabilities, accessible for game/software development with a lively 'PD' community.

I suppose one of the more stable platforms during the mid to late '90s was the Playstation 1, though it was a pure gaming machine. It successfully fielded both hot must-haves: 3D and optical discs, and at an affordable price. It came out in (late) 1994 and survived at least 6 tough years. It very nearly supported 8 or even 16MB work RAM (had 2, +GPU, etc). Sony were also experimenting with 21MB floptical disks at the time. Original NA retail price was $300 but by 2000ish it was $100 (PSone).

As for development, Sony had the Net Yaroze initiative for hobbyists, and while the Playstation was apparently not hard to program for, the dev system was obscure and the process required an external PC. I think Sony's mindset was much more stale and corporate.

If the Playstation had been designed to be expanded/scaled into a full computer, perhaps via keyboard+floptical+memory add-ons, I think it would've been quite engaging to develop for (or rather, on) and it would've sufficed for doing light office/homework and early www browsing, though it would have needed a hires/monitor mode (max was 640x480 interlaced).

Last edited by Arne; 01 July 2021 at 13:18.
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Old 01 July 2021, 23:40   #1245
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Ultimately, the big problem is that PCs, Macs and home consoles were moving forward while the Amiga was still more or less in the same place it was in the 80s. More RAM and a half-finished AGA chipset wasn't really enough, and the CD32 only proved that further.

I love my A1200, I love the games I got to play - and still play - and I loved the creative outlet the Amiga offered through applications like DPaint and Scala (I did a lot of nonsense with Scala as a kid).

But Commodore didn't do enough to keep the Amiga competitive, and I think the A1200 was fairly solid evidence of that.
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Old 01 July 2021, 23:47   #1246
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Originally Posted by Arne View Post
I suppose one of the more stable platforms during the mid to late '90s was the Playstation 1, though it was a pure gaming machine. It successfully fielded both hot must-haves: 3D and optical discs, and at an affordable price. It came out in (late) 1994 and survived at least 6 tough years. It very nearly supported 8 or even 16MB work RAM (had 2, +GPU, etc). Sony were also experimenting with 21MB floptical disks at the time. Original NA retail price was $300 but by 2000ish it was $100 (PSone).
Indeed and one of it's main selling points is that it was a stable platform, it did not suffer the massive hardware snowballing trainwreck that the PC underwent at the time. Ours lasted 10 years before it was finally retired.

I can only speculate at this point but SAY that Commodore would have come to their senses and put out a faster machine that might have underperformed compared to the PC but would have given a stable platform where the hardware would last you for half a decade at least... maybe it would have had a market. Not as a PC competitor but more like a console/PC hybrid. The work machine with classic Amiga gaming capabilities.
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Old 02 July 2021, 00:30   #1247
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I jumped from c64 to a1200.
Needless to say I wasnt disappointed.
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Old 02 July 2021, 01:14   #1248
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A figure like 8MB at the time was prohibitively expensive and would make the A1200 unaffordable and sink for lack of sales. I really hate to say it but 2MB was the right choice at the time, economically speaking. It should have been Fast RAM, though. Chip RAM was a legacy thing that should have been dropped...
As far as I know, Chip RAM was essential for the Amiga- the chipset used it! The problem was that there often wasn't enough left over for the CPU to operate at full potential. Fast RAM was reserved solely for the CPU, which is why it helped so much. That's why RAM was the big problem with the A1200, not the processor. Presuming an '030 was cost effective and you select it instead of an '020, you still need extra RAM. We know for a fact RAM on its own gave a big boost to the A1200's performance; adding an '030 on its own would just be a CPU operating even further below its potential than the '020 was.

It would be interesting if anyone has any idea, though, how much more expensive an '030 chip would have been for Commodore- obviously the accelerator cards were very expensive for consumers, but so were the '020 ones; I think most of that cost comes from the design and production of the boards rather than the chips, one reason why I don't think the idea someone mentioned earlier of including a separate CPU board would have been an improvement. And how much would it have cost to have an '020 clocked at 25Mhz rather than 14Mhz? I would like to know how much Commodore were actually saving.

Regarding expandability, there were plenty of products on offer for consumers, whether from physical shops or mail order- if you wanted CD-ROM drives, HD floppies, scanners etc. it was all there to see in the magazines, and my dad bought our A1200 from a store with fast RAM fitted. But the A500/A600/A1200 were not only smaller-cased machines which were always going to be less easy and cheap to expand than a big box machine, the customers they were aimed at didn't have a load of money to spend on extras, or a reason to want extra RAM or a better CPU. Nor would it have been useful for games developers to have a customer base for a new machine with a wide range of different CPU and RAM specs.

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Originally Posted by Cobe View Post
I jumped from c64 to a1200.
Needless to say I wasnt disappointed.
For me, the jump was only from an A500+ so it wasn't as exciting, but my jump to the A500+ had been even bigger. All I had known from friends' houses, at that point, was Speccys and Amstrads. Our own machines had been an Atari 2600 and a Commodore Plus 4 (had quite a bit of fun with both, though I was too young to get much out of them and we got the first Amiga at a good age for me; I was ten).

EDIT: Just found this interesting article from 1990: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...277-story.html. It says Motorla drastically reduced the price of their CPU chips by 50%; this meant buying 68030s (in lots of 1000) for around $50 a unit rather than almost $100. In those days, that would mean a 68030 costing Commodore about £30 each! It doesn't sound like much, does it. On the other hand, I don't know how much the '020 was, and obviously with every Amiga produced the unit price adds up to an ever greater difference. I also read an article on a Mac history site that said the difference between an '020 and an '030 wasn't very big in general peformance terms, so the performance gain in most everyday tasks might not have been considered worth it. Nevertheless, it seems CPUs weren't as big a part of the overall cost of a computer as I expected, and of course two years later when the A1200 launched the cost would be even lower.

Last edited by Amiga1991; 02 July 2021 at 01:59.
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Old 02 July 2021, 04:50   #1249
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Originally Posted by Amiga1991 View Post
Presuming an '030 was cost effective and you select it instead of an '020, you still need extra RAM. We know for a fact RAM on its own gave a big boost to the A1200's performance; adding an '030 on its own would just be a CPU operating even further below its potential than the '020 was.
Yes, which would have made FastRAM almost essential to justify the cost, making the machine even more expensive.

Quote:
how much would it have cost to have an '020 clocked at 25Mhz rather than 14Mhz? I would like to know how much Commodore were actually saving.
Probably a lot. Firstly the lower speed 'economy' CPU was probably a lot cheaper, then interfacing it to the AGA chipset would be easier at 14MHz, and it would run cooler so they could slip it into a spare spot on the motherboard that didn't have enough space for a fan or large heatsink. I bet the CPU itself was almost free compared to the engineering required for a premium processor.

Another advantage was compatibility - the number one issue for most users (especially those who had a large collection of existing software). The faster the CPU the more software would break, and having RAM above 16MB would break it even more. This was another good reason to produce the base unit with ChipRAM only.

Even with no FastRAM the A1200 is still much faster than an A500, and unlike the A500 adding RAM through the trapdoor makes it twice as fast again. This gave the customer a useful improvement over the A500 at a low introductory price, with the option of adding FastRAM for a good performance boost or an accelerator card for 'unlimited' upgrade potential (which is still true today!).

If Commodore had put a faster 020 or 030 CPU on the motherboard they they would have had to include FastRAM on the motherboard too to make it worthwhile. This would use up space that wasn't available unless they gave up the trapdoor slot. The result would be either very limited internal expansion capability, or a different case style to take the larger motherboard. Then if you upgraded to an even faster CPU all that (expensive) stuff would be redundant.

I for one am glad that they went for the all-in-one case style with trapdoor RAM/accelerator slot. It meant that you could have a nice compact unit like the A600 (whose styling I loved) with open-ended expansion limited only by your budget. Who would have thought that within a few short years you would be able put an 060 and/or PPC processor and 128MB of RAM into your lowly A1200? (let alone an FPGA board that could turn it into a completely different machine!).

Quote:
Regarding expandability, there were plenty of products on offer for consumers, whether from physical shops or mail order- if you wanted CD-ROM drives, HD floppies, scanners etc... the customers they were aimed at didn't have a load of money to spend on extras, or a reason to want extra RAM or a better CPU. Nor would it have been useful for games developers to have a customer base for a new machine with a wide range of different CPU and RAM specs.
This is very true. We already knew from the A1000 and A500 that plenty of products would be produced to provide the upgrades people wanted. It wasn't long before owners were squeezing a 3.5" hard drive into their A1200 and/or bringing out a cable for connecting an external IDE drive - or if that wasn't enough simply popping the motherboard into a tower case. Amiga owners have always been innovative, and enjoy adding things to our machines. To some of us the lack of features in the base unit was a good thing, because it gave us more excuses to do so!

Quote:
EDIT: Just found this interesting article from 1990: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...277-story.html. It says Motorla drastically reduced the price of their CPU chips by 50%; this meant buying 68030s (in lots of 1000) for around $50 a unit rather than almost $100. In those days, that would mean a 68030 costing Commodore about £30 each! It doesn't sound like much, does it.
Sounds expensive to me. If Commodore was paying $50 a unit in 1000 up quantities the retail price would be much higher, perhaps around $150-$200 (rule of thumb in hardware design - multiply BOM cost by 2.5 x to break even). Add in all the other stuff needed to support it and the A1200 would have been much more expensive.

Last edited by Bruce Abbott; 02 July 2021 at 04:56.
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Old 02 July 2021, 10:49   #1250
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Guys, the A1200 was an entry, low cost system. Piling it up with 030s, tons of RAM, extra chips etc, would only make it less appealing in a pc-dominated world. They were right to bring HD and non-HD models, the only realistic thing missing, which probably wouldn't cost all that much, was either an onboard simm slot for fast-ram and/or (even better) some built-in fast-ram, 128k-256k to hold the code and boost the whole speed almost x2.

Having a better blitter and sound chip would also be great, but given the state Commodore was in at the time and their hurry to bring it to the market, honestly, that'd also be unrealistic.

It could be argued that another model, sitting between the A1200 and the A4000 could be made with more bells and whistles, ie 68030, 4mb fast ram and an HD-floppy, but that's a different story.
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Old 02 July 2021, 11:05   #1251
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Probably a lot. Firstly the lower speed 'economy' CPU was probably a lot cheaper, then interfacing it to the AGA chipset would be easier at 14MHz, and it would run cooler so they could slip it into a spare spot on the motherboard that didn't have enough space for a fan or large heatsink. I bet the CPU itself was almost free compared to the engineering required for a premium processor.
There's a small piece I remember coming across in an old Byte (I think) issue on Google books that has the volume pricing for all the Motorola chips. I can't remember which issue, sorry, but the things were pretty much jellybean parts by 1991/2. IIRC, the difference in pricing of the faster 020 models being little more than a few cents. A cooling fan, or even a simple heatsink isn't needed on a chip at that speed, either. This would be a trivial change to the design, IMO.

The real kicker is the Fast RAM, of course. How much would 2mb have added to the A1200's bill of materials at the volumes that C= would have been buying the parts in?

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Old 02 July 2021, 11:06   #1252
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If Commodore would have put 020 on the card with as little as 512k of fastram, it would have been a hell of a difference, since It would have allowed Commodore itself, and other sellers, to be able to customize A1200.

Come on, settling some OCS issue, back in the day would not had been so expensive to do
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Old 02 July 2021, 12:23   #1253
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Originally Posted by vulture View Post
Guys, the A1200 was an entry, low cost system. Piling it up with 030s, tons of RAM, extra chips etc, would only make it less appealing in a pc-dominated world. They were right to bring HD and non-HD models, the only realistic thing missing, which probably wouldn't cost all that much, was either an onboard simm slot for fast-ram and/or (even better) some built-in fast-ram, 128k-256k to hold the code and boost the whole speed almost x2.
...
It could be argued that another model, sitting between the A1200 and the A4000 could be made with more bells and whistles, ie 68030, 4mb fast ram and an HD-floppy, but that's a different story.
That's why putting the CPU on a CPU card and spending 1-3$ for the required connector would have been a wise idea. Commodore could have offered any configuration from a naked 020 up to 030s+882 with fastmem as the market demanded it and could have slowly shifted from selling mostly 020s to selling more 030s with high clock frequencies without having to change the base model.

In the Escom-years Amigans fantasised about an A1300 all the time (even though almost everybody already had a 1230...). Amiga Technologies could have turned that into a reality without much effort if Commodore had put the CPU on a CPU card right from the start.

When the A1200 was new, 030s were not outdated processors. They weren't at the top of the pile but they were absolutely reasonable CPUs. My PC friends had PCs ranging from a 25 MHz 386sx to a 33 MHz 486 when I had a 50 MHz 030. Of course, then came along the 486DX/2 and then the Pentium which made the 030 look very modest but that was some time after the A1200 was new.
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Old 02 July 2021, 13:00   #1254
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I never knew this at the time, but during the Escom period, apparently many of the A1200's were sold with bundled accelerators directly by Amiga Technologies (during this thread and others on EAB I saw some adds for those combinations). Even the 68040 ones were quite doable, price wise.

So in retrospect, yeah - including a CPU board would've been a very good idea.
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Old 02 July 2021, 13:17   #1255
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On a slightly different tack - I always preferred the shape of the 1200 to the 500. Nice clean lines and just looked more modern in my eyes so definitely was not disappointed with it! Plus upgrades such as hard drives, accelerators, memory all went inside the case so didn't have stuff sprawling across the desk and kept everything nice and neat.
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Old 02 July 2021, 16:35   #1256
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I remember being disappointed with the games that came with the Desktop Dynamite package, but spent hours with DPaint IV. When it got towards the end, I remember writing a letter to Commodore/Amiga Tech saying there was plenty of good PD software which could be tapped into to build much better bundles and they should lay off Amiga Power (man, I loved that mag). Jonathan Anderson even rang me about it, lol.

From a hardware perspective, I wasn't disappointed as it was an upgrade from my brother's A500. In retrospect though, it was too little too late from Commodore- but they had form for trying to squeeze too much out of old hardware rather than pushing for further innovation (how long did the C64 get recycled for?)

I upgraded to a Blizzard 1230 MkIV in 1996 and spent so much time using programs like Cinema 4D, OctaMED and anything I could try from coverdisks that I couldn't consider my years with Amigas a disappointment.

I remember 'slim' 3.5" hard drives being advertised, getting myself an 810Mb one.

Got back into Amiga a few years ago, bagged myself an 060 last year just as prices went crazy after having a beauty of a Blizzard 1230 for a while.
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Old 04 July 2021, 09:34   #1257
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I was expecting an AAA-Amiga and we got A1200. At first I was kinda ok with A1200 but I was still expecting Commodore to launch those AAA machines. That was the holy grail I was looking for. I thought A1200 and A4000 was just a stopgap before the serious launch to the next level of computing.
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Old 25 July 2021, 04:13   #1258
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Was anyone else disappointed with the A1200?
Yes and no. Some things were disappointing, others were great, and I had a lot of fun with it, and I still use it for graphics (the best machine for that). Some AGA games were also the best of their genre (AB3D was better than Doom, gameplay-wise and atmosphere-wise, plus, it was real 3D instead of 2.5D).

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Most Amiga users and magazines seemed to be very happy with the A1200 when it came out.
Well.. faster CPU, more memory, more graphics memory, heavily upgraded special chips, graphics capabilities that surpassed the VGA and reached towards SuperVGA, amazing demos, some pretty amazing games as well - what's not to be happy about?

Mostly, it was the -potential- that got me excited about it. Compared to Amiga 500, Amiga 1200 gave me WAY more freedom and multi-tasking, and it was the first Amiga I felt compelled to add a hard drive to, and then some .. the sheer expandability of the machine was just through the roof!

(The fun and times I had with this machine, I would love to go back and live that era over and over again, ahh.. and the DEMOS!!)

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I just saw the same games with more colours and a bit smoother. There was no wow factor.
Really? What games were you 'seeing'? Super Stardust was certainly a bit like that, but it still looked awesome with all that VGA-like-but-better AGA-based anti-aliasing and the tunnel effects, etc. How about Pinball Fantasies, Slamtilt, Skidmarks that allowed for more cars (and insta-loading from hard drive), Banshee... really? No WoW-factor?

I take it you never saw the AGA demos, then..? Just watch the TBL stuff, like Tint, and tell me there's no 'wow-factor'.

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After that I stuck with the Amiga 500 (with half meg memory expansion) and my Super Famicom (Jap SNES).
Ah, unfair comparison was the reason for your unreasonable dissatisfaction with something wonderful.

You do realize AGA can do way higher resolutions and more colors than Super Famicom can? Did you ever compare games - the Amiga versions are way better. Desert Strike, Chaos Engine, Jim Power... Super Famicom-versions can't even come close. (Ok, Desert Strike is pretty good, but still miles off).

Amiga IS a computer, after all, you can't draw pixel graphics or animations on Super Famicom, you can't compose music on Super Famicom, you can't watch demos on Super Famicom (there are only a handful, and they're not that good). Super Famicom had some impressive stuff, but Amiga has just so much more potential and more possibilities.

Doom on Amiga+Shapeshifter kicked the crap out of Super Famicom's Doom, just for one example. Amiga is customizable, you could play so many different versions of Doom, too. Not so on Super Famicom.

So your comparison isn't only unfair from the get-go, but comes from a completely one-dimensional place that doesn't take everything into account. How do you do 3D modeling on Super Famicom again? OBVIOUSLY a machine that's designed to do 'games only', is going to excel, you know, in GAMES ONLY.

Amiga had so much more to offer, if it wasn't as brilliant in games, it should've been EASILY forgiven, as it's not meant for games only.

Quote:
Here's what Commodore got wrong
Ok, then we'll discuss what YOU got wrong, ok?

Quote:
1. Too much focus on creating higher-res screen modes with more colours (and also making the blitter work in these different screen modes)
If you already have Super Famicom, why do you need Amiga to be another Super Famicom? Why can't Amiga be a COMPUTER instead of a game console?

Why would it be bad to let people use higher resolutions on a COMPUTER, when Super VGA was doing just that on the PC side at the time? Are you saying Amiga shouldn't have been able to compete with the PCs, only tried to compete against some game-only consoles? Come on, be reasonable.

I think it's GREAT that Amiga can do so many resolutions, I can, for example, create graphics on a real, honest 160x240 resolution to mimic the C64-style, while still being able to have lots of colors. It's brilliant. God Bless Commodore for doing this!

Just to be clear, I am 100% in disagreement with your game-focused narrow-mindedness here.

and not enough on enhancing gaming(8 or maybe 16 sprites when the comparitively old Megadrive and SNES could manage 64 and 128 respectively). It's a bit like the original Amiga - yes it can display 4096 colours on screen, but the majority of the games for the system were 16 colours (Albeit some had added some Copper magic) and most didn't even run at 50/60 fps. That was fine back in 1985 but 7 years(!) later you expect a significant upgrade.

By the way, Super Famicom used a non-standard, quirky, weird, typically japanese 256x224 resolution that's pretty low for its time, every 'normal' system used AT LEAST 320x200 or higher. Amiga was capable of way higher resolutions, and you see this as a bad thing somehow..

(The good thing about that resolution was that it looked similarly
'flat' in pixel proportions to the C64's 160x200 pixels)

Quote:
2. There was a mild improvement to dual playfield mode. Great!... when the SNES had 5(?) playfields and could scale and rotate whole screens. Commodore seemed to have no sense they were competing here....
Where do you get this 'playfields' information? I'll put that aside, but you do realize Amiga's playfields are completely different than anything
Super Famicom does? Researching the Super Famicom GPU specs and such, I see no mention of 'playfields' whatsoever. So what are you pointing to, and where did you get this information?

After looking at different spec sheets, all I can find is "scroll planes" or "layers", and it looks like there are only four of them at maximum. At a mode that probabl no game ever used.

Mode 0 is the only one that has four layers (nothing has five, as you claim), but each layer only has 4-color palette, giving you 16 colors total.

The more colorful modes have only two layers or just one, so your point is pretty much invalid here. Maybe Commodore was NOT competing against Super Famicom - ever think of that?

Maybe they 'had no sense they were competing here' because they weren't..

To add, what you're talking about is Mode 7, which is a very limited mode that can just put one plane of graphics on a 'mapped angle' so you can basically twist and turn one picture any way you want. Pretty limiting, but it IS fascinating what the programmers were able to do with it - Pilot Wings, F-Zero and even the maps in some RPGs are impressive enough.

You are talking about it, as if it was more versatile and usable than it actually was. It was basically a simple texturemapping with only one plane and one, big texture. Amiga was able to do so much more. You can compare Super Mario Kart to Xtreme Racing - it's the Amiga side that offers you more options, while still doing everything the Mode 7 stuff does.

So I really don't see your gripe here.

Quote:
2. Sound chip needed 6 channels to get a decent track playing with sound effects. Again SNES and Megadrive have 6 channels each. Using the same sound chip from 1985 was ridiculous!
Sound chips can't have needs.

Super Famicom (and SNes) had EIGHT (8) channels, so you're wrong AGAIN.

Why didn't you check before writing this post?

Also, it's not like you would have known all this information back in the day, unless you read some data spec sheets very carefully from some magazines. How many playfields or layers some system has would not have mattered to someone back in the day, only what the games looked and sounded like.

Eight, six or even four channels also wouldn't matter, only how it sounds in practical reality (good or bad). Eight-channel music can sound bad, four-channel music can sound good. It's not that big a limitation, as Amiga's sound chip was fine, and solid design to begin with.

AGA Amigas could do 8-channel 14-bit music easily anyway (though games didn't do it usually), so I don't get this gripe.

Also, even if you were right (and you're not), six-channel sound is not THAT big an improvement.

Also, what about the 8-bit and 22kHz-nature of Amiga's sound chips? You focus only on channels without even mentioning the sound quality? What about Super Famicom's DSP? No mention..?

Somehow specs matter to you, but then suddenly they don't?


Quote:
3. Like the original Amiga, if you wanted to get a good number of objects on screen with a lot of colours and scrolling, you had to spend ages using hardware tricks or specific techniques.
As a user, consumer and player, how the heck would this have anything to do with anything? You wouldn't suffer from this, besides, that sounds awfully biased. What hardware tricks and 'specific techniques' do you refer to here? Please elaborate.

What do you mean by 'ages'? What's a "good number of objects"?

Where else would the games be but on the screen? I think you should've said "onscreen" anyway.

So you are claiming that you can easily put a 'bad number of objects offscreen with a few colors and no scrolling', but if you want to have 'good number', 'onscreen' and 'lots of colors' and 'scrolling', then suddenly you have to spend 'ages', and use 'hardware tricks' OR 'specific techniques' (could you BE more vague?)

Isn't that what the hardware is for, to use its tricks? What's wrong with using 'specific techniques'? Do you think Super Famicom offered everything to a programmer just by having them press a button?

Programming is hard and tricky, no matter what system you use, and it 'takes ages' nevertheless, so what difference does it make?

Quote:
Time = money
So if I ask "what's the money right now", you'll tell me the time?

I think you realize yourself that this can't be true, or we wouldn't have separate words for both, completely different concepts.

Also, is it really that difficult to type "is", that you have to substitute it with a mathematical sign? This is a conversation, and you're typing a sentence, it's bad form to use that kind of shortcuts. Just type 'is' when you're writing, and use those signs when you're doing mathematical formulas.

Quote:
and developers aren't going to want to spend 2 years making an arcade quality game on the A1200 when simpler systems exist....
Did it take two years to make every single game for Amiga 1200?

By the way, it's also bad form to use numbers instead of the written words for numbers when talking about small numbers, especially between one and ten.

What do you mean by 'arcade quality', and how do you know that's what people were trying to do? What if they were just making good games and enjoyed programming them? There are plenty of great games for AGA Amigas, and I am sure they didn't all take two years to make, so I think you're not only exaggerating, but being purposely unfair here.

Remember that Amiga is a COMPUTER, not a dedicated games console. Games are always going to be harder to make for a computer that can do 'anything', than a dedicated games system that's designed to ONLY run and play games.

So you wanted Amiga to be SIMPLER? Why? Isn't it enough you already have Super Famicom?


Quote:
I do have a CD32 now, but it's not very impressive from a technical point of view, even the mighty Banshee is bettered on both the SNES and Megadrive.
CD32 is a weird failure that you shouldn't use as an example of anything. Is THAT what you're basing all your unfairness on? Holy moly.

What Banshee is or isn't, has NOTHING to do with what CD32 is; Banshee can be played on an Amiga 1200, and it does showcase the AGA's abilities nicely (though lacking of music, making the gun always sound the same, and boring aural world hurts that game a lot - plus, the extra weapons collecting system is awful) - it has super smooth crossfades, really good graphics and nice explosions, plus the gameplay is excellent.

To say something bad about Banshee as a game, you'd have to come up with better reasoning than "it's bettered" (a weird way of saying something anyway).

Bettered by which games, exactly? I don't think it's "bettered", there are different games that may or may not be as good or better, perhaps, but Banshee deserves to exist, as it's unique and beautiful in its own right.

Why do you call it 'mighty', though?

So you admit something is 'mighty' on the Amiga side, basically countering all your own previous 'points' (such as they were), after all..

Nothing can touch Banshee on the Sega Genesis/Megadrive side, though, because Banshee, not only has 256 colors, it actually has more, due to the incredibly smooth fog and crossfade-effects. You'd have to come up with ACTUAL examples - Megadrive can't touch the Amiga in most cases, all conversions are sub-par, Amiga versions truly shine.

If Banshee was ever converted to Super Famicom OR Sega Genesis/Megadrive, it would be much worse, too. The resolution would be lower on the Super Famicom, and it still couldn't do all that smooth colorfade stuff. Color amount would be -signifigantly- reduced for Sega Genesis/Megadrive, sample quality would drop through the floor, the Amigalike fades and effects would not exist, it would be terrible.

So I don't see how it could even in THEORY be 'bettered' by either system's offerings, therefore you're wrong ... again.


Quote:
The reason I like it is because it offers something a bit different and it's an Amiga
Your reasoning isn't convincing, as you never provide actual reasons for anything. You like something because it's something. What?

Different? Didn't you just mock Amiga for being too different? Try to make up your mind at least.


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It's fairly obvious it had no hope of competing long term.
What's obvious and why?

Hope of competing against what or whom? Do you honestly think Commodore was trying to compete against dedicated game consoles, like Super Famicom?

You seem to be forgetting that Amiga is a _COMPUTER_. How many times do I have to say this?

If Amiga competed, it competed against VGA/SVGA PCs, and it continued beating them up for a long time, until PC CPUs became powerful enough, until Windows 98 started utilizing similar multi-tasking options, and even then, you couldn't still do everything on a PC that you could on the Amiga.

Amiga + ShapeShifter actually took you VERY 'long term' into the future, you could basically play most of the best PC and DOS games, and even use things like Photoshop. What's not long term about that?

I think you are just spouting opinions here, and your opinions certainly were NOT 'fairly obvious' at all, and still aren't.

There was always hope of 'competing' (though why everything has to be a competition all the time, is beyond me - can't something just be a good, enjoyable COMPUTER?), and I am still using Amiga for graphics, because nothing else feels as smooth and good to create graphics with, or inspires the user as much while doing creative things.

So I don't really know what you base these opinions on..

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I just find it hard to see what Commodore was thinking with the AGA architecture??
Really?

So you're basing everything on your own inability to see? Basically, your whole post and disappointed is based on your own blindness.

I can easily see what they were going for...

1) Let's improve upon the Amiga architecture
2) Let's give the user more screenmodes, more colors, faster CPU, more memory, more graphics memory, more expanadbility, all in a great, stylish, compact casing
3) Let's give the user a BRILLIANT, properly multi-tasking operating system that the maxxed-out modern Amiga hardware supports
4) Let's give the user autoconfig (instead of calling it plug-n-play, which is so childish and meant to charm the lowers common denominator)
5) Let's bring Amiga to modern era by giving AGA a full, 24-bit color palette that's always usable in every screenmode (what I mean is, you can always choose colors freely from 24-bit palette, even if you use fewer colors - the RGB color slider has 256 choices for each color every time)
6) Let's make it possible to port the beautiful VGA games to Amiga, but give the Amiga an upgrade over the "256 colors out of 262144 palette" system

Now that I have rebutted and debunked your, let's say 'thoughtless' post, let me tell my reasons why I was sometimes a bit disappointed:


- The sound chips were great and I had lots of fun with them and most games and wouldn't really need anything better, but I missed the C64's 'living synthesizer' stuff, and I was envious at the 16-bit 'Gravis Ultrasound''s great, pure sound, and as a musician, the sound channels seemed limited until I figured out how to use eight and more channels (with 14-bit sound quality, too!)

- Chunky mode would've been great, but thankfully, the extremely fast C2P-routines saved the day when I got a '060, so this was not an issue anymore

- 2 MB CHIP memory wasn't enough. This should've been 8 MB as default, and expandable from there

- It's the DEFAULT Amiga 1200 that I had a problem with, but after expanding it enough and having 14-bit 8-channel (or more) sound for music composition and fast C2P routines for 3D stuff, Shapeshifter for games and utilities and even perfectly good C64-emulator, when you had a fast enough CPU, all those problems were basically fixed.

The default A1200 couldn't compete with a PC or any console, so it was a bit of a weak and shameful display. The default 68020 CPU should've been at least a fast '030, if not '040. The CHIP memory should've been at least 8 MB, there should've been at least 16 MB FAST memory as default machine, expandable from there. There should've been either a proper chunky mode or Akiko-chip style stuff by default. Eight sound channels would've been the best - especially with 16-bit quality and at least some kind of decent synth chip. Doom should've been converted as soon as possible and given free with every Amiga 1200 (and optimized so it'd run well).

The only thing you might be correct about is the sprites and bobs - more everything, bigger and more sprites, more colors per sprite and so on, with a special chip that can handle a big amount of them moving fast and smoothly without ever slowing down.

They just didn't dare go deep enough in improving the old Amiga tech, and there were no visionaries anymore, so there wasn't anyone who could've boldly re-designed the system properly, so all they could was 'add some stuff' and then release the machine. They needed someone practical that looked over the fence, saw what the PC was doing, and what was necessary for Amiga to shine, and then done it.

The thing is, that kind of Amiga would probably have cost a lot more, but Commodore could've sold it at a loss at first, because it would've been such an attractive system, enough people would've soon bought it and developed software for it and that would make more people buy it, they would still have been able to make profit at some point.

Oh well, such is this world..
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Old 25 July 2021, 08:21   #1259
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Originally Posted by Nishicorn View Post
I was envious at the 16-bit 'Gravis Ultrasound''s great, pure sound
We were all envious of the latest PC products of the time. However that envy faded pretty fast for those of us who had to maintain them. We hated them.

Gravis Ultrasound
Quote:
The first UltraSound was released in early October 1992 [same month and year that the A1200 was released].... one of the first PC soundcards to feature 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, stereo.

Computer Gaming World in 1993 criticized the UltraSound's Sound Blaster emulation and lack of native support in games, stating that "it is hard to recommend this card to anyone other than a Windows MIDI musician"...

As the GF1 chip does not contain AdLib-compatible OPL2 circuitry or a codec chip, Sound Blaster compatibility was difficult to achieve at best. Consumers were expected to use the included emulation software to emulate other standards, an activity not necessary with many other cards that emulated the Sound Blaster through their sound hardware. The emulation software ran as a huge TSR that was difficult to manage in the pre-Windows days of complicated DOS extenders.

Some game developers of the time noted problems with the software development kit and the product's hardware design. On the user-side, the Sound Blaster emulation was especially hard to get right out of the box, and this resulted in a substantially high number of product returns at the store level and thus soured the retail channel on the product. Bundled software was refined over time, but Gravis could not distribute updates effectively.

The company itself also created its own trouble. When Gravis's list of promised supporting game titles failed to materialize, the company lost credibility with consumers and commercial developers. Several publishers and developers threatened to sue the company over misrepresentation of their products — pointing to outright fabrication of Gravis's list.
Meanwhile the A1200 still had boring old Paula, which just worked. Testing for compatibility was easy on the A1200 - boot the game disk, does it run? Yes, you're good to go. On the PC it was pointless. No matter what PC you tested it on the customer was bound to have a different configuration. So we ended up having to (try to) install customer's games for them - a frustrating experience at best. I hated selling PC games back then, and lived in fear of the infamous Gravis Ultrasound.

Last edited by Bruce Abbott; 25 July 2021 at 09:23.
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Old 25 July 2021, 09:22   #1260
Bruce Abbott
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Originally Posted by Nishicorn View Post
The default A1200 couldn't compete with a PC or any console, so it was a bit of a weak and shameful display.
Not exactly true. I sold A1200's in my shop alongside similarly specced and priced PCs, and the Amiga put them to shame. Consoles were... consoles - not even in the same league.

Quote:
The default 68020 CPU should've been at least a fast '030, if not '040. The CHIP memory should've been at least 8 MB, there should've been at least 16 MB FAST memory as default machine, expandable from there.
You're dreaming. Only high-end PCs had that much RAM in 1992, and they were ridiculously expensive. But the A4000 did have an 040 and was capable of taking 16MB FastRAM on the motherboard, and also cost about the same as a similarly specced brand name PC. The A4000 was also '8MB ChipRAM ready' so Commodore was looking at that option - though in practice 2MB has proved to be plenty enough for most applications. But of course the A4000 was far too expensive for most Amiga fans, so it was dismissed out of hand.

Quote:
There should've been either a proper chunky mode or Akiko-chip style stuff by default. Eight sound channels would've been the best - especially with 16-bit quality and at least some kind of decent synth chip.
The AAA chipset was going to have chunky modes and 8 channel 16 bit sound and more, but after many years of development they couldn't get it to work. AGA was the best Commodore's engineers could produce at the time. Perhaps if they had started with a less ambitious specification they might have done it sooner with more features.

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Doom should've been converted as soon as possible and given free with every Amiga 1200 (and optimized so it'd run well).
That would have been nice (especially for ID software), but a little tricky to arrange when Doom didn't exist until 1993.

Quote:
The thing is, that kind of Amiga would probably have cost a lot more, but Commodore could've sold it at a loss at first, because it would've been such an attractive system, enough people would've soon bought it and developed software for it and that would make more people buy it, they would still have been able to make profit at some point.
An interesting theory.

In reality they would simply would have gone bankrupt faster. In fact chasing the high end was one of the things that got Commodore into trouble in the first place. The A3000 was only on the market for 2 years, and most were probably sold at below cost. By the time Commodore corrected course and produced the A1200 they were already on the way down.
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