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Amiga 300

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:48 am
by English Invader
I daresay most people here have heard about David Pleasance's original intentions for what became the A600 (a low cost entry level Amiga to tap into the declining C64 market) and my questions are:

1) Was a C64C T2 pack cost level Amiga even doable and what features would it have had and which ones would it have sacrificed?

2) Would the C64 market have even gone for it?

I think the first thing to go on a budget Amiga would be the hard drive capability and, of course, the numeric keypad could be dropped (as it was). I'm guessing they would have stuck with ECS (even though OCS would have been the better choice) and hopefully they could still have stretched to 1MB RAM.

I believe a lot of people stuck with the C64 for reasons beyond money. It was a great computer with a lot of great games and if it ain't broke, don't fix it and I think anyone who really wanted an Amiga or ST just did what they had to do to make it happen.

I'm interested to hear what everyone else's thoughts are on this matter.

Re: Amiga 300

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 11:00 am
by merman
In theory cost-reducing the Amiga 500 was possible, the problem would be the level of compatibility with software.

Oh, and dropping the number pad was a bad idea on the A600 anyway. Flight sims often used it, making them harder to play.

Re: Amiga 300

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 11:20 am
by English Invader
merman wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 11:00 am
Oh, and dropping the number pad was a bad idea on the A600 anyway. Flight sims often used it, making them harder to play.
That's debatable. I've used an A600 for years without ever coming across any software that required its use but then I'm not really into flight simulators or Deluxe Paint.

Re: Amiga 300

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 7:52 pm
by Matt_B
It's not just flight simulators and Deluxe Paint. Most strategy games and pretty much all office and development software would make heavy use of the numeric pad.

Still, there are a lot of people out there who only ever used their Amiga's to play arcade games with joysticks, and the pad was probably dead weight to them. Rather, it was a bad cost saving measure because plastic is cheap and air is free. The marginal savings on a smaller case without a pad were probably measured in cents.

Deleting the less used interfaces might have saved a little more. However, I'd think that the only way a truly low cost Amiga could have been produced is if they'd integrated the entire chipset onto a single die, which in turn would have allowed for a smaller and simpler circuit board. However, with MOS Technology working flat out on the already late AGA chipset, that just wasn't going to happen.

You'd still be looking at a more expensive computer than the C64 though, just because there were certain components that Commodore didn't make - such as the CPU and the RAM - that were always going to cost much more for an Amiga. Maybe if they could have got the price gap down to below £50 that might have been enough to tempt people over though.