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AuthorTopic: First CD-ROM based game console???  (Read 6202 times)

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Offline amigadave

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First CD-ROM based game console???
« on: September 25, 2008, 11:55:02 PM »
WARNING: long post and rant follows.

I was watching the History Channel today from my bed that I am currently confined to (don't want to get into my self pity at the moment) and saw a show called "Modern Marvels".

They were doing a show on technologies that emerged in the 90's and when they came to a section showing the great success of the Sony Playstation, they stated that it was the world's first game console that used the CD-ROM discs format to play games.

I know we all have been upset to some degree or another when incorrect information is seen in the media and the Amiga is always ignored.  Sometimes I just let it go with only a bit of regret that the world at large knows so little about what was such a great pioneer in the history of computing.

This time I decided to do something.  I wrote the following long email to the contact email address for the History Channel.  I know that probably nothing will come of it, but it relieved by feeling of regret just a little, so it was worth the typing effort.  It would be great if they did what I asked of them though.

My email to the History Channel:

I am writing to correct an incorrect fact that was presented in the show noted in the subject line of this message.

The show stated incorrectly that the Sony Playstation was the first video game console ever to use the CD-ROM format.  The entire episode of this show was about technology of the '90's.

The Commodore Amiga CDTV was released in March of 1991 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_CDTV ) which was a full 3 years and 9 months ahead of the Sony Playstation ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation ) which was released in December of 1994.  Although the CDTV was not called a "Game Console" (that term may not have been coined at that time), the Amiga was one of, if not "THE" most popular computer gaming platform of that time.

Even the Commodore Amiga CD32, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_CD32 ) which was the worlds FIRST 32bit CD-ROM based game console was released ahead of the Sony Playstation, as the CD32 was announced in July of 1993 and released in September of 1993, a full 1 year and 3 months ahead of the Sony Playstation.   The CD32 was most definitely a "Game Console".

It is very frustrating for the few of us remaining Amiga users and developers to see time after time that the Amiga is ignored completely by the media and computer historians.  A good series of articles on this subject can be found at:

http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/amiga-history-part-7.ars

and I would love to see a Modern Marvels show dedicated to the creation, life and misreported death of the Amiga computer platform.

The remarkable capabilities of the Amiga computer led to the invention of the NewTek Video Toaster and non-linear video editor "Flyer", which created a whole industry shift.  I could go on for pages describing the many other "Firsts" and amazing things about our beloved AmigaOS and Classic hardware, which sold only 5 million (approx.) world wide before it's untimely demise due to poor management at Commodore Business Machines before their bankruptcy.

What followed was a painfully slow resolution through the bankruptcy courts and several failed attempts to resurrect the Amiga by other companies such as ESCOM of Germany and Gateway in the US, and finally the inept and incapable slow torture in the hands of the current (maybe) IP owner, Amiga Inc. Washington.

Through it all we the users are still very much alive and active in creating new and exciting ways to keep the Amiga alive.  In just this past year there have been several new developments and the release of not one, but updates of two separate, but very much Amiga-Like Operating Systems.  One, AmigaOS4.1 developed by Hyperion Entertainment ( http://www.hyperion-entertainment.biz:8080/ ) and Two, MorphOS2.1 ( http://www.morphos.de/ ) developed by an independent team of dedicated Amiga developers that formed when the parent Amiga company failed to move forward in a timely manner.

There are also the great Amiga users, fanatics, enthusiasts, bedroom developers and third party hardware manufacturers, that keep this community alive.  There is one lone software programmer who took it upon himself to recreate the original Amiga computer on a 6 inch square pcb with a FPGA replacing the functions of the Amiga's three custom chips that made the Amiga the marvel that it was when it was first introduced.  He has accomplished alone, over the space of 14 months what no person, group, or company has been able to do since the demise of Commodore in 1993.  His project is called the Minimig, ( http://home.hetnet.nl/~weeren001/ ) and Dennis has released his work as Open Source so all Amiga fans can use and improve upon his work.  Many revisions have sprung up and there are perhaps a dozen programmers now working to improve his design even further.  Other projects similar to the Minimig are in process, like the NatAmi ( http://www.natami.net/ ) which show much promise for keeping the original AmigaOS alive for years to come.

There is easily enough material to create a full episode of Modern Marvels on just the Rise and Fall and amazing continuation of the Commodore Amiga Computer.  It truly is a story worthy of telling, and it would not hurt to correct so many misconceptions about where so many "First" in the computing world came from.

Please contact me if you wish to have any assistance in gathering the history and additional information about the Amazing Amiga.  I will be attending the only West Coast Amiga computer show the second week of October and expect all the newest developments in the world of the Amiga community to be shown at that time.  I will also be purchasing brand new add-on hardware for my Amiga A1200 which is over 15 years old and still going strong.  How many IBM compatible PC built in 1992 can say the same?

I thank you very much if you have taken the time to read this far.

Sincerely,
David W. Morris
Efficient by Design
Big Bear Lake, CA
(909)233-4563

End of email and this weeks rant:

 :-D
How are you helping the Amiga community? :)
 

Offline pan1k

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2008, 12:16:43 AM »
Nice Work, AmigaDave!
A4K: \\\'060, Cyberstorm MKIII Cybervision 64/3D w/ Scandoubler, Buddha Flash XSurf, MP3@64, A4K: \\\'040, Toaster, Y/C, A1200: Apollo \\\'040, A1200 GVP \'030, A1200: Stock, A2000: 68K, Trump SCSI, Supra 8Mb, and Toaster 4K, A2500: \\\'030, GVP SCSI, Supra 8MB x2, Video Toaster, CD32, Minimig, Efika and Hopefully an A4000T soon!
 

Offline VEGNAcore

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2008, 12:34:37 AM »
Well Done!! :-)  :-)  :-)
[color=003399]VEGNAcore[/color][/b][/i]
Amiga 500 / Motorola 68000-7.09MHz/ 1meg/ Makes A Noise When I Put A Disk In It/ Glows Blue At Night(Inside)/ Games, Games, Games
 

Offline mikrucio

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 12:43:19 AM »
HMM wonder what will happen?
good effort none the less!
 

Offline DamageX

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 12:48:19 AM »
The PC-Engine CD-ROM drive attachment was released Dec. 1988. The standalone version PCE Duo wasn't released until Sept. 1991 though.

Playstation is not the first by any stretch of the imagination. Even Saturn was released earlier in the USA.
 

Offline Tripitaka

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 01:06:33 AM »
Sadly this is far from the first time I've heard of the history channel getting it wrong. It's good to correct this sort of thing so well done, getting recent history so wrong is very poor.
Lets not forget the pre-saturn sega effort, after the mega cd and 32X there was the Multimega - rare yes, but released none the less.  :-D
Falling into a dark and red rage.
 

Offline don27dog

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 01:11:56 AM »
Dave,

GREAT read.. I hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears..
Amiga 4000D Cyberstorm PPC 150Mhz, 68060 50 Mhz, 128Meg Ram, IndivisionAGA, Deneb USB Controller, Zorram 256, Os3.9/Os4.0 Classic
Amiga 3000T Warp Engine 4040, Elbox FastATA Controller, Progressive Perpherals ProRam3000 64Meg, Mediator, VoodooIII, Os3.9
 

Offline recidivist

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 01:15:17 AM »
 Good job,Dave.
And get well soon!
 

Offline adolescent

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 03:32:25 AM »
Quote

amigadave wrote:

Even the Commodore Amiga CD32, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_CD32 ) which was the worlds FIRST 32bit CD-ROM based game console was released ahead of the Sony Playstation, as the CD32 was announced in July of 1993 and released in September of 1993, a full 1 year and 3 months ahead of the Sony Playstation.   The CD32 was most definitely a "Game Console".


Usually helps if your correction has correct information.  The CD32, despite what the box says, was not "the world's first 32-bit cd games console". :lol:
Time to move on.  Bye Amiga.org.  :(
 

Offline Fester

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2008, 04:19:21 AM »
I always assumed it was. So which one is it then?
 

Offline LoadWB

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 04:20:09 AM »
Quote

adolescent wrote:
Quote

amigadave wrote:

Even the Commodore Amiga CD32, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_CD32 ) which was the worlds FIRST 32bit CD-ROM based game console was released ahead of the Sony Playstation, as the CD32 was announced in July of 1993 and released in September of 1993, a full 1 year and 3 months ahead of the Sony Playstation.   The CD32 was most definitely a "Game Console".


Usually helps if your correction has correct information.  The CD32, despite what the box says, was not "the world's first 32-bit cd games console". :lol:


Then which was?  The 3DO, with a specialized 32-bit RISC CPU was released roughly the same time as the CD-32 (same month, September 1993.)  Atari Jaguar also had a custom 32-bit RISC processor as well as 64-bit video cores, delivered in November 1993.  The 32-bit Sega Saturn was 1995.

What's missing?
 

Offline Everblue

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 06:28:11 AM »
FM Towns Marty:

The FM Towns Marty was a video game console released in 1991 by Fujitsu, exclusively for the Japanese market. It was the first 32-bit home video game system, and had a CD-ROM and disk drive built in. It was based on the FM Towns computer system Fujitsu had released in 1989. The Marty was backward-compatible with older FM Towns games. A second system, the FM Towns Marty 2, was released late in the system's life. It featured a darker grey coloured shell and a new lower price (66,000 yen) but was otherwise identical to the first Marty. It is widely believed that the Marty 2 was like the FM Towns 2, which had a faster CPU than the first, but this is not the case. It has also been speculated that the Marty 2 featured a 486 CPU, however this was also discovered to be false.
Despite having excellent hardware from a gaming perspective, the FM Towns, and the Marty by extension were very poor sellers in Japan. They were expensive and the custom hardware meant expandability wasn't as easy as with DOS/V (IBM PC Clones with Japanese DOS or Windows) systems. NEC's PC98 series computers were also dominant in Japan in its early years, making it difficult to break out before the DOS/V invasion began later. This was despite such revolutionary features as a bootable CD-ROMs, including a bootable color GUI OS in 1989 on the FM Towns PC, something that predated Microsoft's Windows 95b bootable CD by 7 years. Software today is rare and expensive due to the low production runs. Despite backwards compatibility with most older FM-Towns PC games, compatibility issues plagued the Marty as newer titles were released for the FM Towns and further limited its potential as a true "console version" of the Fujitsu FM Towns PC. A limited library of games for a console version of a niche market PC was not a good combination. The Marty did have its own library of "Marty" specific games, but they were not enough to strengthen its strange uber-niche position between console systems and PCs.
When Fujitsu lowered the price and released the Marty 2 sales started to increase, but the corporate attitude was that it was a lost cause, and the system was dropped. This led to the Japanese "Marty's Law" (マーティーの法則, similar to Murphy's law) that if you don't keep offering something to sell you can't increase sales.
 

Offline zipper

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 06:51:04 AM »
And the predecessor:

FM Towns
 

Offline LoadWB

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2008, 07:07:05 AM »
Quote
Everblue wrote:
FM Towns Marty:

The FM Towns Marty was a video game console released in 1991 by Fujitsu, exclusively for the Japanese market.


If that truly had a 386DX, then that would be a 32-bit CD-ROM console prior to all the others listed.  But exclusively in the Japanese market?  Please, like that matters  :-D
 

Offline adolescent

Re: First CD-ROM based game console???
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2008, 07:26:31 AM »
@LoadWB

The funny thing is even the wikipedia article Dave linked says the Marty was first.  :-D

@zipper

FM Towns was a computer.  Marty was the consolized version.  (Hmm, where have we seen that before?)
Time to move on.  Bye Amiga.org.  :(