Friday 9 March 2012

Goodbye 1983. Hello 1984.

Goodbye Atari 5200 - The 5200 was discontinued just 2 years after it was introduced and a full 7 years before the console it was designed to replace.

Hello Amstrad CPC - Released in June 1984, it completes the triumvirate of 8-bit computers that dominated the UK market for the next few years.

Hello Sinclair Spectrum+ - Also released in June 1984. The ‘+’ means a redesigned case and improved keyboard to replace earlier squishy rubber effort.

Hello EGA - PC owners play games too, you know!  The Enhanced Graphics Adapter introduced by IBM in October was a massive improvement over the eye watering CGA graphics.  It could display 16 colours simultaneously from a palette of 64.

For me 1984 marks the start of a golden age in UK home computing.  The market was dominated by 8-bit home computers so the US video game crash of 1983 did not affect us.  Video game development had been moving away from bedroom coders and towards software houses that still weren’t afraid to experiment and release original or ‘off the wall’ titles.  Additionally, the limits of the 8-bit machines were being reached pushing out some truly seminal titles that could not have been dreamt of just couple of years earlier.  This era lasted well into 1986 when the 16-bit computers and Japanese consoles started to dominate the market.

Games I’m looking forward to but have never played….

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