Last evening at our local Amiga User meeting, we were fortunate enough to have
a Commodore rep come around and demo the new CD32 for us! (He was actually
going to be at the local dealer showing it off today, but they were charging
$50.00 to get in the door! The User group smooshzed him into coming to our
meeting and showing it off!).
Well, I brought a note pad and pen, and wrote down everything I could about
Before I start, I should note that this all happened in Regina, Sask, Canada,
so I'll be mixing US and Canadian prices among post.
The Commodore rep was Duncan Fraser (sp?), the Regional Manager, form Commodore
in Vancouver (that's the closest regional manager we have...two and a half
The first thing I noticed, although I'm sure most of you already know this,
is it has a brick power supply, like the A500 (boo!). The drive is a Sony
double speed CD-ROM drive. A PhotoCD license is pending.
He said there are only 5 CD32's in Canada right now, and he had two of them.
One was at our meeting, and the other was at home, where his 5 year old
daughter was playing with it.
The official launch of the the CD32 in Canada will be Oct. 25, 1993, and you'll
be able do buy one by the end of this month. The Suggested Retail Price
is $499 CDN (no suprise there). It has an A4000-style keyboard port on the
side (called an expansion port).
He also mentioned that the MPEG add-on is $250.00 US, and is already
available in the US (don't know how true that is).
When asked how many he would have in Canada before Christmas, he said
no more than 10,000 units (better than nothing, I suppose).
The demo software:
He put in a CD, and it automatically loaded up the selection screen. On
this particular CD (he had 4 or 5 with him), were a bunch of options, for
example AGA Robocod, AGA Pinball Dreams (or was it Fantasies), AGA Zool,
CDXL demo, etc. He picked an option that I thought was a promotional
demo to sell the CD32 to people (I can't remember what the option was
called :-( ). Anyway, this demo was AMAZING! First it showed a little man
running across the screen, with very clocky gfx, and a tiny dinosaur chasing
him. All the while, there was music, sound fx, and voice coming off the
CD as well. This part was obviously a "slam" on the current 16-bit
technology. After the little man runs off the edge of the screen, the dinosaur
runs into the middle of the screen, then morphs into a huge, massive dinosaur,
with a photo-like piccy in the background, meant to be a direct comparison
between the CD32 and the 16-bit machines. This really WOWED me.
The rolling demo continued, showing all kinds of cool effects, including a
space shot, with aliens flying over the earth (with the earth shown in
all it colorful glory), then a shot of the White House, and the aliens
flew past it. Another particularly impressive animation was an underwater
submaring shot. The screen showed an underwater shot, with a cliff on the
left side of the screen. Then a submarine drives (hmm, couldn't think
of the correct word) from behind the cliff, across the front of the screen,
out the other side of the screen. What impressed me about this was the
quality of the gfx. If I hadn't known better, I would have sworn I was
watching a live shot of the thing! Another was a short dogfight in a
fighter jet. You were sitting in the*pit, with another plane
in your sights, then a missile was letgo, and smashed into the enemy jet
in front of you. Pretty cool.
Next he showed the CDXL demo from the disk. This was pretty impressive.
It was about 3/4 screen "FMV". I put FMV in quotes, because you could
tell it wasn't really video quality, but pretty darn close. The screen
was a little chunky, but still very smooth, and in full color. Duncan
mentioned that CDXL is capable of full-screen "FMV".
He then showed some photo-quality still pictures (nice, but didn't WOW me).
He then loaded up AGA RoboCod. I got a chuckle out of this, never having
seen it before. I liked the sound effects, and the way your fish/crab/whatever
it is moved. I thought it was quite humorous to watch anyway.
He said there are still two announcements to be made before Christmas,
both regarding CD32 compatible CD-ROM's for the Amiga's. One was an internal
A4000 CD-ROM drive (he wasn't sure, perhaps this would also work in the
A2000/A3000 too), and the other was an external CD-ROM for the A1200 (that
will plug into the trapdoor...old news there).
Talking about CDTV (and Cd-i), he said Commodore lost millions on the CDTV.
There was too much stuffed inside, and the price was too high. In comparison,
he said Philips lost mega-millions on the CD-i. :-)
He then talked aboutt he future of the Amiga. The next generation of Amiga's
will be 64-bit, running on a risc processor of some type. He said right now
it looks like they'll be using the HP chip. He also mentioned that they've
had an Amiga running on an Alpha chip already! Also, he said don't expect
the next generation Amiga's to be real compatible. They've strived to keep
even the A1000 fully compatible till now, and it's time to let the 16-bit
technology go. But he also stressed that the new Amiga's are "a while off
yet", to use his words.
The've dropped their MS-DOS line of computers in Europe.
They've restructured in a BIG, BIG way (after loosing lots of money last year).
More about the CD32
He said the CD32 will be a mass-merchandized machine, in a BIG, BIG way.
He's already talked, and given presentations to, all the big department,
chain stores, like K-Mart, Future Shop, Eatons, etc, etc., etc. All are
interested in carrying the CD32. I managed to get a question in regarding
a TV ad campaign. He said there will not be a TV campaign, at least not
this year anyway. He simply doesn't have the money. The only money he's
getting right now, is enough to go around the country and giving demos,
like the on he ws giving at the local dealer.
More CD32 software
He loaded up The Paper Bag Princess, the talking book, and demoed it for a
He then loaded up a Jurassic Park demo. It will feature full screen, CDXL
movie clips from the movie. This wasn't too impressive. The graphhics
were quite blocky, but moved reasonably well. The game parts that were
shown in the demo (where you're actually playing the game), were
taken from the Nintendo version (go figure!)
He also mentioned that discs like the Grolier Encylopedia has been CD32'ized.
That is, the gfx have been updated to AGA, etc.
Hmm, that's all the noted I have written down, and I can't think of anything
else to say, so I guess I'll sign off now.
"...up the well known tributary without an adequate means of propulsion."
Author of Totally Useless Game, the most unique text adventure ever written!
Available at your local Aminet site (/pub/aminet/game/role/tugame.lha)