Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 02:21 UTC, submitted by rohan_p
Amiga & AROS Good interview with Steven Solie - this bit stood out to me: "Although Hyperion has been using serial numbers for copies of AmigaOS since 4.0, it won't reveal sales numbers. Solie's 'personal guess' is that the system has 2000-5000 users. 'If you include all the various Amiga clones and emulators we would probably be talking about around 10000 users [in] total,' he adds, 'it is really difficult to judge because a majority of the users are rather quiet.'" Fascinating number - lower than I anticipated.
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RE[8]: LOWER than you expected?
by MOS6510 on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: LOWER than you expected?"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

What I recall was the promise of Commodore that a new Amiga chip set was coming, but it came very late and when it did it wasn't actually that good.

PCs started out crap and very expensive, but their prices came down and hardware upgrades became cheaper and better. It was a change from a culture where companies made their own computer and OS. I agree it became to expensive to maintain that, but it did give a computer its own unique personality I believe. It's something PCs today lack, but they're alive and Commodore's dead.

Also people at work used PCs and then they wanted them at home. This too didn't help Commodore and the Amiga.

Copying games is a bad and good thing. Most people I knew chose the Commodore 64 and later the Amiga not for it's specs, but for the pirated games. So for Commodore it was a good thing I guess.

Most games I had were pirated, but I did buy a couple and they were the best games I had (like Ultima V).

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

What I recall was the promise of Commodore that a new Amiga chip set was coming, but it came very late and when it did it wasn't actually that good.

My point exactly - it was probably hard to notably improve speed & features while keeping it compatible with those tightly integrated original chipsets while keeping timeframes and costs (especially for one manufacturer) reasonable.

PCs started out crap and very expensive

...and quite open, accommodating to new developments (sure, it was a bit of an accident - IBM even wanted to regain control with PS/2 and OS/2 - but still)

a computer its own unique personality I believe. It's something PCs today lack

Well it is a matter of software - the soul can live on under Ami emu ;p

(yeah, some people shrug at emulation for some reason ...but, that is the way to go: it will be increasingly more accurate, and down the line - like, few hundred years down the line - it will be the way to experiences those, by then, old forms of art)

Anyway, really, isn't that unique personality we remember largely about stylistic choices (in games GFX and sound, most notably) stemming from specific characteristics of (limited!) hardware?
This can be largely recreated, if there's a will (like some modern pixelart games)

Most people I knew chose the Commodore 64 and later the Amiga not for it's specs, but for the pirated games. So for Commodore it was a good thing I guess.

Point is, apparently not very sustainable - so maybe not that good. You have this huge number of people "locked" (in the meaning like I described) into gradually more obsolete hardware (bringing less and less profits) and hardly willing to upgrade, and the games don't bring you profit.

While Commodore and Amiga locked themselves into that "worst of both worlds" spiral (really, reminiscent of 1983 US video game crash), somebody else (Nintendo) figured out how to ride on such style of hardware.

Most games I had were pirated, but I did buy a couple and they were the best games I had (like Ultima V).

At my place, I don't think it was even really possible to buy "really legal" games - except, the concept of copyright itself didn't even apply to software until 1994 or so (and for a few more years after that it was of course mostly symbolic), you were really able to buy (in shops) only "pirate" copies. I don't think I've ever even seen an original Amiga game...

Magazines had a peculiar role in all this: the "reviews" were partly composed of what you would find in manuals (controls, and so on). And large part of the rest was a walkthrough, at least for RPGs (I remember one striking example, a "review" of Ultima VIII which was basically nothing more than a walkthrough) or adventure games (especially with those, it shows IMHO how utterly flawed they usually really were - not so good as still many people remember them, rightfully cast aside)

Curiously, later on some mostly locally-made and 8bit original games did show up - for example, one of such C64 titles I have is about our national hero of sorts ;) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Kloss
Also fond memories, that one. Though, keep in mind that buying original game also positively affects our perceptions (I'm not saying that, say, Ultima V was bad, but...)

Reply Parent Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

There are several problems with emulation.

One that bugs me the most when it comes to the Commodore 64 is the keyboard layout. Whether I use a Mac or PC keyboard doesn´t matter, a C64 keyboard was much different. This makes it hard to hit the RUN/STOP + RESTORE key combination or what about typing all those graphical characters?

When using a real C64 or Amiga it isn´t just the way it looks or the software, it´s also the experience of turning it on, the way it feels, the noises it makes. It´s much cooler to load a game and hear the disk drive doing its thing. It´s instant time travel.

Now regarding pirated games. Legal games were fairly easy to buy, if you knew where to look. I had one shop, Computer Collectief (CC), in Amsterdam where you could buy a LOT of software. Other shops mostly only offered the big titles, the ones sure to sell.

I bought The Bard´s Tale at CC which I played a lot. Then I bought The Bard´s Tale II, which I didn´t play because it didn´t work. So I swapped it for another copy. This did work... until I was asked to insert the second disk, which didn´t work. They weren´t very nice, but in the end I got my money back as they were out of other copies. Oh well.

But getting hold of pirated games was even easier, because there were offered without asking. Don´t blame a poor kid for not refusing hundreds of free games his friends were playing.

But games I bought were more fun, because they included manuals that were nice to read beyond the explanation how to play. Ultima V included a cloth map.

Ultima V is the greatest RPG for the C64. Ultima VI wasn´t it, it was a light version of the Amiga one running rather poorly. Some people prefer Ultima IV, but Ultima V is the same, only 4x bigger and it included day/night + other improvements. I enjoyed the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games (from SSI) too. Their combat system was much better, but Ultima wins as a complete game.

Sadly I could only buy Ultima V and VI. I copied Ultima II from an original. I now have the first 3 on floppy, I downloaded them and transfered them to floppy and played Ultima I on a real C128 a few weeks ago.

Reply Parent Score: 2