Hard­ware Heaven: Amiga CD32

A quick look back at Com­modore’s third failed at­tempt to crack the con­sole mar­ket

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

When the first AGA (Ad­vanced Graph­ics Ar­chi­tec­ture) Amiga com­put­ers launched in 1992, Com­modore re­alised it had a pretty solid gam­ing plat­form on its hands – it could com­fort­ably claim to of­fer more than Sega or Nin­tendo. So for the third and fi­nal time, Com­modore would at­tempt to en­ter the con­sole mar­ket. Un­like the Com­modore 64 Games Sys­tem, the hard­ware wasn’t out­dated, and un­like the CDTV the price was rea­son­ably af­ford­able to the mass mar­ket. With a newly de­signed joy­pad and a (rel­a­tively) com­pact grey case, it looked to be a vi­able con­tender.

The sys­tem launched to a solid re­cep­tion in Europe in Septem­ber 1993 and quickly amassed a large soft­ware li­brary, though the bulk of this was com­prised of legacy Amiga games ported to CD for a quick profit. Although the con­sole dom­i­nated UK CD soft­ware sales dur­ing its short life, over­tak­ing PC CD-ROM and Mega-cd game sales, it wasn’t enough to save Com­modore. The com­pany went bank­rupt in 1994 and with no­body to man­u­fac­ture or ad­ver­tise new units, the CD32 faded into ir­rel­e­vance. When Es­com pur­chased Com­modore and the Amiga tech­nol­ogy later that year, it de­clined to support the CD32 – a sen­si­ble move, given the im­pend­ing ar­rival of the Playsta­tion and Saturn.

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