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      /  Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
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BigD 
Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 20:20:52
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5910
From: UK

In the UK the A500 was ridiculously hyped and a very sort after machine. Most people my age wanted one or had to put up with an Atari ST or Amstrad (I had an ST)! Other than for two of my closest friends that was not true of the A1200. The same was true in terms of the hype and desire to get one but hardly anyone I overheard wanting a CD32 or A1200 ending up getting one! Why was this? It seemed to me that my working class Master System and NES owning friends wanted to upgrade to the A1200 in 1992-1994 but couldn't afford to and bought another console. The people that could afford to saw Doom and didn't want to but still only played the shareware levels as it was really their Dad's PC!

Were their parents getting tech savvy at this time? Was there a big uptake in Dad's buying PCs to work from home in the UK? I mean I know Windows 95 was a big deal but Windows 3.1 really was rubbish as was Microsoft Works which all my PC owning friends seemed to have in 1994-1996! Was MS Encarta being sold as a killer app to get all UK kids into Oxbridge in 1993/94? Crazily it was still sold up to 2009?

I'm just interested! I thought the Amiga was special personally, thought that early PlayStation titles looked horrible (Twisted Metal 2, Wipeout 2097 and Pandemonium aside) and I continued to use my AGA Amiga as my only games and productivity machine until 2003 so I hardly empathised with the general market

Last edited by BigD on 26-Aug-2021 at 08:25 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 26-Aug-2021 at 08:22 PM.

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Mobileconnect 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 20:31:47
#2 ]
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Joined: 13-Jun-2003
Posts: 430
From: Unknown

@BigD

A1200 sold pretty well, I definitely got one, but as I remember all my school classmates, maybe 10 has Amiga 500s and another 5 had Atari ST and 1 or 2 had Archimedes, but of them I was the only one to stick with Amiga. The others I remember either got a SNES and did their gaming there, or used 'Dad's PC' to play XWing and Doom.

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danwood 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 21:06:49
#3 ]
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Joined: 30-Sep-2008
Posts: 1059
From: Unknown

@BigD

Commodore going bust in 1994 was a pretty major factor.

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BigD 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 21:25:07
#4 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5910
From: UK

@danwood

Yeah, but the point is they didn't sell enough A1200s and CD32s to survive. Retailers post-Commodore actually ran out of supply of A1200s in Christmas 1995 and had to sell CD32 SX-1 bundles at Special Reserve to fulfil demand in the UK IN 1995!

...So no the death of C= actually didn't stop the popularity of the Amiga immediately in the UK especially as C= UK/Phase5 were very bullish about the future. But Commodore didn't sell CD32s in the USA AT ALL!!!! They also couldn't produce enough A1200s to fulfil early demand and in my view didn't push hard drive bundles hard enough! A number of my A500 owning friends thought that hard drives were a unique PC technology around this time!

A big advertising campaign was needed. An exchange/discount programme for handing in your A500/+ to get money off a new A1200 etc would have helped. I mean they actually needed to try and sell the things in 1992! The A1200 blew my Atari ST out of the water and Doom wasn't released until 1993. Hell, they could of even offered a discount for handing in Atari STs/Archimedes machines - why not? To do that more machines were needed in circulation for Christmas 1992 and manufacturing capacity seemed crippled and the Philippines was a stupid manufacturing base! Do or die I say! Were they not even trying to replicate A500 numbers? Was it all about C= PC clones post Thomas Rattigan? Ridiculous People say that AGA wasn't good enough but for the UK market it was in 1992 at least!

Last edited by BigD on 26-Aug-2021 at 09:28 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 26-Aug-2021 at 09:28 PM.

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Futaura 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 23:32:44
#5 ]
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Joined: 10-May-2004
Posts: 239
From: UK

I clearly remember when the A1200 was first released and the complete lack of marketing, at least here in the UK. I first heard about and saw the A1200, by chance, during my weekly weekend visit to my local independent computer store. IIRC, it had not been mentioned in any Amiga magazines at that point either, so I was not aware of it. Neither were the owners of the store - it just turned up one day and they hadn't been given much information about it, if anything.

I had an A600 at that time and didn't buy an A1200 until 1995, I think, when ESCOM started selling the A1200 again, not long after my A600 had been stolen during a burglary. I pre-ordered the A1200HD Magic Pack from that same above mentioned store.

I guess as the A1200 went on sale as Commodore were on the way out, marketing and advertising was not on the priority list. One of their many mistakes, no doubt.

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TiredofLife 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 27-Aug-2021 0:18:52
#6 ]
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Joined: 6-Jul-2005
Posts: 1676
From: Here

@BigD

Maybe I was reading different magazines but I was well aware of the A1200 before it was released.
I couldn't have been in the minority either, in the UK at least.
They were selling out as soon as they were getting delivered in the shops.
I had a difficult time getting my hands on one in the early days.

Cheers


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agami 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 27-Aug-2021 2:59:31
#7 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 629
From: Melbourne, Australia

In Australia the A1200 was somewhat anticipated and sold reasonably well.

In 1993, one could walk into the MYER department store and see an A1200 HD positioned in prime real estate with some nifty demo running on loop on a 1084S monitor, with Enigma's "Principles of Lust" pumping out the speakers. K-mart was also a large stockist of A1200s and peripherals, and even ran Amiga-centric TV ads.

But it was all just that year: 1993. Very quickly in 1994 the Pentium buzz drowned everything out, and with the release of Windows 1995 it was pretty much over for the orphaned Amiga, and pretty much Apple.

Everyone goes on about Commodore's lack of marketing, and maybe in the US personal computer marketing was prominent, but in Australia in the early '90s there really wasn't much general computer marketing going on at all. Whilst I kept using my A1200, and for certain other tasks I used my then Mac LC, I did end up getting my first ever Pentium based Windows 95 PC in late 1995.

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kolla 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 27-Aug-2021 20:53:14
#8 ]
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Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1811
From: Trondheim, Norway

@BigD

From what I recall…
The reason why CD32 didn’t sell in the US was because all the NTSC CD32 units were stuck in a warehouse at assembly factory in the Philippines awaiting payment from Commodore. It wasn’t until many years later some of them were “released” somehow. I’m sure the story in full details is online somewhere.

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golem 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 27-Aug-2021 22:51:15
#9 ]
Member
Joined: 14-Feb-2004
Posts: 40
From: Nottingham, UK

I remember the A1200 being prohibitively expensive when it came out in the UK to a 20 something smoker on temp wages. I wanted one but did not have the disposable income until 1998. Was it £499? That seems to ring a bell

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bison 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 4:44:30
#10 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1879
From: N-Space

@BigD

Quote:
The A1200 blew my Atari ST out of the water and Doom wasn't released until 1993.

Wolf3D came out in May 1992, and that was a game changer (no pun intended).

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pavlor 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 7:50:30
#11 ]
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Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9248
From: Unknown

@BigD

Back in 1992 Commodore sold only 5 % of all PCs (C64, Amiga and C PCs included) - still the fourth largest manufacturer by number of PCs sold (it was close to 20 % in 1984). However, most of these PCs were in the low-end market with small margins (Commodore lost any reasonable hold of the bussiness market in the early 80s). Commodore´s reasearch and development spending was infamously negligible in comparison to all other technology companies. At this time, another great price war lowered prices of regular PC hardware to low-end levels (386SX PC with VGA/SVGA was price-wise competitive to A1200) and low end market was increasingly dominated by Mega Drive and SNES (big user base = high profits for everyone) - so the core Amiga market was cannibalized from both ends.

Combine all above mentioned facts and you get really bleak vision of Commodore future even in 1992.

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Mobileconnect 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 7:53:41
#12 ]
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Joined: 13-Jun-2003
Posts: 430
From: Unknown

CD32s could not be sold in the US due to a patent related injunction they never resolved before going bust.

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amigang 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 8:48:13
#13 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1654
From: Cheshire, England

Well my first Amiga was a A1200, so it made me a fan!

I think it was part of mixture of things that happened really, It launched in very limited numbers for Xmas 92, so missed that crucial sales period, you had a500 and a600 going for £100 cheaper or if not more that most parents got, there was very few programs and games that showed off why you needed a A1200 / AGA features over the A500/A600, commodore going bust in 94 made all the companies software house jump ship a lot quicker to other platform, 93 / 94 where years where PC games really caught up / passed the Amiga, until then I say we held our own, but games like Doom, magic carpet, etc showed what high end Pc could do, plus micrsoft got Pc in schools and industry in a big way making everyone think you needed a Pc to do computing. I think add it altogether and you can kinda see why a1200 wasn’t as big as it should of been.

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BigD 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 10:57:09
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5910
From: UK

@amigang

Yeah, the lack of good launch day AGA software/games was a real issue! Considering the A4000 had been out a while by Christmas 1992, Amiga developers should have been incentivised to get new AGA software out by then! C= only really course corrected with Wing Commander OCS/AGA but they had no answer to Wolf3D or Doom! Wing Commander OCS was only really fast enough on a stock A1200 anyway so AGA should have been targeted forcing people to upgrade. What the hell was the point of Theme Park OCS! Cut down AGA game madness! Syndicate had no proper AGA version either!

Ruff N’ Tumble was still ECS in 1994! That showed that AGA sales numbers couldn’t support new software in many publishers eyes!

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amigang 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 12:24:44
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1654
From: Cheshire, England

@BigD
agreed, it wasn't until late 93 or early 94 that the AGA computers got some much needed exclusives and real improvements.

I think the Doom Clones helped alot, Alien Breed 3d, Gloom, Fears I remember looking at them games thinking I was so lucky to own an A1200 Amiga! But also they had the unfortunate effect of showing to the market that Amiga couldn't quite do a Doom / 3d game which is was becoming clear by 95 with PS1 / Saturn on the horizon and being teased in gaming magazines alot Amiga kind of lost the gaming market.

Last edited by amigang on 28-Aug-2021 at 12:28 PM.

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IridiumFX 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 12:59:03
#16 ]
Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2017
Posts: 58
From: London, UK

From memory ... I grew up in Italy. At first the A1200 were scarcely advertised. Then the gaming magazines ignored it (except for CVG, but it did not survive too long ...) favoring tons of lame PC games. As soon as the CD32 came out, the local resellers were left with low or no stock of the A1200 as Commodore desperately tried to shift the A1200 to the US where they could not sell the CD32 due to the XOR patent. This surely impacted potential sales as people wanted a computer, not a console

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AmigaMac 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 14:48:21
#17 ]
Super Member
Joined: 26-Oct-2002
Posts: 1065
From: 3rd Rock from the Sun!

@BigD

The A1200 needs to be reintroduced with the hardware and component options that are out there from various projects.

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BigD 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 15:36:04
#18 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5910
From: UK

@AmigaMac



That ship has sailed surely? We have Vampire V4 Stand-alone as a replacement machine. Amiga Mini for casual users. Why would an A1200 be anything but a pricey liability product in 2021?

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AmigaMac 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 18:23:26
#19 ]
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Joined: 26-Oct-2002
Posts: 1065
From: 3rd Rock from the Sun!

@BigD

Because of the various expansion added hardware possibilities offered by the Amiga hardware vendors out there.

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BigD 
Re: Why the lost A1200 sales in the mid 90s?
Posted on 28-Aug-2021 19:30:34
#20 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5910
From: UK

@AmigaMac


Quote:
Because of the various expansion added hardware possibilities offered by the Amiga hardware vendors out there.


Which are already built into the Vampire V4 SA or MiSTer or UnAmiga!

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