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Atari ST vs Amiga?


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#51 thrax OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:08 PM

I've didn't have either Atari or Amiga in the day and only after being here on this forum a few months it is obvious that any thread with words "Atari" and "Amiga" will grow rather quickly.
:)


My opinion on the issue is that actually those emulators did more harm then good on the atari computers. I always felt, that if I were to buy an atari to emulate a mac or a pc, why not buy a mac or a pc?


The store I bought my Mac from was selling Atari/spectre systems and i recall the cost savings being dramatic. Also there were people who wanted an Atari but used the mac software because the ST had very limited software when it first came out. Another reason people liked it was because you would of had greater resolution with the mono ST mode rather than the 512h pixels of the mac.
(For the record, i bought the mac since i already had apple peripherals from the 8 bit days, was doing heavy DTP, and a mega sale at the store coupled with apple's educational discount cut teh price gap enough for me to pay extra.)

#52 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:19 PM

Anyone care to debate the Atari Falcon vs. the Amiga 4000? How come I never see any Falcon vs. discussions? LOL


Perhaps it came far too late?


Well Atari was really slow upgrading the ST line however I prefer to see it as an example of a computer being built right for years to come instead of forcing owners to upgrade every few years. I do like the TT and Falcon computers though I have to admit.

#53 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:28 PM

You are totally wrong. When it comes to games the OS is of little consequence. Most games didn't run through OS anyway. The difference between the Atari ST and the Amiga (I like and used both platforms) is more than just the time a programmer puts into developement (although you are correct that makes a big difference) the Amiga's grfx/sound chipset ran circles around an ST and every Amiga had them even the very first A1000. I think a fair comparison would be A500 vs Atari 520stfm or 1040.


The Amiga's grfx/sound chipset ran circles around the ST? Are you trying to start the which conversion is better argument again which I am sure every Atari ST and Amiga owner would love to have. What may have looked better technically on paper to some just was not the case when the games were done. Most people will agree that the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga were very similar systems. Besides, the Amiga started off with a huge disadvantage of only having 256K and their OS on disk (a serious hardware issue many of us would say even though you may not) which forced them to change their strategy to stay alive with the low to high end models instead. Atari took a big lead at first which is why developers developed for Atari first initially. In the end though, they were both very powerful 16 bit systems and so similar that most publications at the time grouped them together always. Developers developed between both system easily as well. If it ran circles like you claim, this would not be the case at all.

Edited by TheGreatPW, Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:05 PM.


#54 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:33 PM

Totally wrong all right.

To say the hardware is virtually the same is like saying the only difference between the C-64 and Spectrum is the CPU.


It sounds like you are saying the Amiga is the C-64 and the Atari ST is the Spectrum? You are wrong there. The 16 bit systems were more simliar (I did say almost) than different unlike the comparison you made.

Edited by TheGreatPW, Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:28 PM.


#55 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:39 PM

Whew! Reading through this thread reminded me that all the snotty attitudes in debating Amiga vs. ST 15 years ago can ressurect in an instant!


15 years ago? LOL Try 23 to 24 years ago! It was like a religion! You had Atari, Commodore and Apple owners squaring off all the time! Ah, the wonderful, fun memories. It was short lived through, the 386 started moving users over and by the time the 486 came out, the game was all but over. Thank goodness people still keep the arguing alive via the Internet today. Too bad not one of us are using any of these systems to post online today even though we so love to argue about it LOL.

Speaking of which, anyone still using a 386 or 486 to surf the web on here?

#56 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:44 PM

Whew! Reading through this thread reminded me that all the snotty attitudes in debating Amiga vs. ST 15 years ago can ressurect in an instant!



I personally love both machines so the debate is of no interest imho. You make a good point though! I wasn't expecting this to explode into a 15 year old debate; I should have known better. :|


Yeah you should have known better ;) but look at this way, Atari must have won the argument because we are not debating this on a Amiga or TI99 4/A website right? Honestly, how many Amiga websites do you go to? LOL Just kidding you Amiga owners!

#57 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:55 PM

I've didn't have either Atari or Amiga in the day and only after being here on this forum a few months it is obvious that any thread with words "Atari" and "Amiga" will grow rather quickly.
:)


My opinion on the issue is that actually those emulators did more harm then good on the atari computers. I always felt, that if I were to buy an atari to emulate a mac or a pc, why not buy a mac or a pc?


The store I bought my Mac from was selling Atari/spectre systems and i recall the cost savings being dramatic. Also there were people who wanted an Atari but used the mac software because the ST had very limited software when it first came out. Another reason people liked it was because you would of had greater resolution with the mono ST mode rather than the 512h pixels of the mac.
(For the record, i bought the mac since i already had apple peripherals from the 8 bit days, was doing heavy DTP, and a mega sale at the store coupled with apple's educational discount cut teh price gap enough for me to pay extra.)


David Small is a legend. At one time, Atari ST owners were running Macintosh software faster and at at better resolution than Mac owners (you pointed the latter out already of course)! I do not believe hardware emulation hurt Atari owners because the Mac and PC emulator ran fast and were very good at their time. I remember using PC Ditto and PC Ditto II as well.

Honestly though, I think most Atari owners (and people in general) understood the world ran on a PC, the schools ran on Apple and games ran on Atari so it was no big deal to us to buy an emulator for our computer by then. Even the Atari 8 bit had a PC emulator and the Commodore 64 had a Apple II+ emulator. However since we are in a Atari ST vs. Amiga debate (you know I have to make a knock), notice no one ever made an Amiga emulator? We all knew people could live without one (Amiga) LOL. Just kidding!

Seriously though, the Atari ST also had a couple of great desktop publishing programs that competed well against the Mac. Calamus and PageStream were very excellent programs. Well I guess you cannot beat an Apple education discount though. I knew a lot of people bought their Apple IIe's because of that program.

The good news you can always emulate a ST if you ever want to see what you missed out on!

Edited by TheGreatPW, Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:19 PM.


#58 Warriorisabouttodie OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:12 AM

I've didn't have either Atari or Amiga in the day and only after being here on this forum a few months it is obvious that any thread with words "Atari" and "Amiga" will grow rather quickly.
:)


My opinion on the issue is that actually those emulators did more harm then good on the atari computers. I always felt, that if I were to buy an atari to emulate a mac or a pc, why not buy a mac or a pc?


The store I bought my Mac from was selling Atari/spectre systems and i recall the cost savings being dramatic. Also there were people who wanted an Atari but used the mac software because the ST had very limited software when it first came out. Another reason people liked it was because you would of had greater resolution with the mono ST mode rather than the 512h pixels of the mac.
(For the record, i bought the mac since i already had apple peripherals from the 8 bit days, was doing heavy DTP, and a mega sale at the store coupled with apple's educational discount cut teh price gap enough for me to pay extra.)


David Small is a legend. At one time, Atari ST owners were running Macintosh software faster and at at better resolution than Mac owners (you pointed the latter out already of course)! I do not believe hardware emulation hurt Atari owners because the Mac and PC emulator ran fast and were very good at their time. I remember using PC Ditto and PC Ditto II as well.

Honestly though, I think most Atari owners (and people in general) understood the world ran on a PC, the schools ran on Apple and games ran on Atari so it was no big deal to us to buy an emulator for our computer by then. Even the Atari 8 bit had a PC emulator and the Commodore 64 had a Apple II+ emulator. However since we are in a Atari ST vs. Amiga debate (you know I have to make a knock), notice no one ever made an Amiga emulator? We all knew people could live without one (Amiga) LOL. Just kidding!

Seriously though, the Atari ST also had a couple of great desktop publishing programs that competed well against the Mac. Calamus and PageStream were very excellent programs. Well I guess you cannot beat an Apple education discount though. I knew a lot of people bought their Apple IIe's because of that program.

The good news you can always emulate a ST if you ever want to see what you missed out on!



The reason no one ever made an Amiga emulator for the ST is simple. THe ST couldn't emulate an Amiga. The Amiga could and did emulate an ST. The Amiga may of been more advanced and had better games overall but there were plenty of great ST games too.

#59 Christos OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:38 AM

You are wrong.. the amiga didn't emulate the ST. It just ran tos. That's a big difference..

#60 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:49 AM

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it also didn't help that the ST had to be rushed into production after Atari lost out on the Amiga chipset after partially funding the venture.



Never happened. That's more of RJ Mical's misinformation.

The ST was *never* planned on the Amiga chip set, they had no clue about it when they bought Atari consumer. They already had the planning (paper) stage done by the time they bought Consumer for its manufacturing and distribution. The Amiga funding was done by Warner's Atari, not Jack's Atari Coproration. As soon as Jack bought Consumer, Commodore sued Shiraz and some of the other ex-Commodore engineers for theft of trade secrets/materials and sought an injunction on any computer production. When they (Atari Corp.) discovered the Amiga deal in late July/Early August during the projects "evaluation" period, they launched a counter suit. According to some of the old Commodore staff that worked with Shiraz, they actually helped lay out the ST with him during lunch time (on Commodore's dollar), before Shiraz had quit. So Commodore's suit had merit, but both companies wound up settling out of court eventually.

Edited by wgungfu, Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:59 AM.


#61 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:57 AM

The Amiga was designed as a gaming machine right from the start, as it was to be a console-only at first (no keyboard) (source: Retro Gamer magazine).



Not true. It was designed as a console *with* a built in keyboard. That was Jay and Joe's dream at the time, they wanted a console where the game coders could code right on it. It was by the time Commodore took over that it evolved in to a regular computer, multitasking OS, etc.

#62 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:32 PM

While the Atari 8bit vs. Apple II vs. Commodore 64 is a debate that is more passionate and with merit; I cannot say the same about an Atari ST vs. Commodore Amiga debate. I find it hard to believe people still try since the systems were almost one and the same in the beginning.

First, few people forget that the Atari ST was born from a lawsuit between Atari and Amiga. The suit was settled out of court and sealed but most of us would agree that it basically meant that the first models would be pretty much similar since Atari funded the project and they choose to settle.

It is only the first models that are really worth debating because the Atari line was not upgraded (I do not count adding the disk drive to the system and calling STFM as a hardware upgrade) at all till the 90s and by then the war was pretty much won by the PC and Microsoft.

With very similar hardware, the difference between which system had the better version lies solely on the programmer's talents. The real difference was: the operating system which the Atari ST had a more polished one. Atarian63 got it right. The Amiga had a buggy system that required users to load it from a disk drive. Atari managed to squeeze their operating system into ROMs (when it released to the masses). That is the key.

For a brief moment (very brief) Atari had great sales vs. IBM, Apple, and Commodore. However Atari did nothing to upgrade the system till the STe and by then (as mentioned earlier) it was all over.

Some people were comparing their Amiga 2000 to the original Atari ST and that is just wrong. A short while after its release, Commodore changed their strategy and released a bunch of Amigas to satisfy the low end to high end group. It is clear that the Atari ST (520, 1040 and Mega) would not be able to compete with the high end models. However, I would argue that software wise, programmers mostly programmed games for the low end Amiga (entertainment software in general I am referring to) anyway to reach the most number of users and this benefitted Atari users as well since that meant that the entertainment software would not be too much different if a conversion had to be done. Btw, while we are on the entertainment subject, please stop making the Shadow of the Beast comparisons, I think most of us agree that is just a horrible way to compare (we could then go on with the Dungeon Master, etc. comparisons and it would never end). The differences were strictly tied to the programmer(s) abilities & understanding for each respective system. Sadly some developers like Sierra Online made versions that were exactly the same as the PC making the Atari and Amiga look worse (performance wise) in some respects as the PC's processor grew more powerful so both Atari and low end Commodore users lost out in these cases.

There are two other differences that gave Atari an advantage over Amiga when it was first released: price and memory. The Atari 520ST was far cheaper and had 512K compared to the Amiga's 256K. For those reasons along with the operating system, many of us bought the Atari ST first. Later on of course, this would not be a factor at all for Commodore users however later on is not relevant to the Atari ST vs. Amiga argument.

Anyone care to debate the Atari Falcon vs. the Amiga 4000? How come I never see any Falcon vs. discussions? LOL





You are totally wrong. When it comes to games the OS is of little consequence. Most games didn't run through OS anyway. The difference between the Atari ST and the Amiga (I like and used both platforms) is more than just the time a programmer puts into developement (although you are correct that makes a big difference) the Amiga's grfx/sound chipset ran circles around an ST and every Amiga had them even the very first A1000. I think a fair comparison would be A500 vs Atari 520stfm or 1040.

Not suprising since it is a relative of the Atari 8bit

#63 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:32 PM

The ST was *never* planned on the Amiga chip set, they had no clue about it when they bought Atari consumer. They already had the planning (paper) stage done by the time they bought Consumer for its manufacturing and distribution. The Amiga funding was done by Warner's Atari, not Jack's Atari Coproration. As soon as Jack bought Consumer, Commodore sued Shiraz and some of the other ex-Commodore engineers for theft of trade secrets/materials and sought an injunction on any computer production. When they (Atari Corp.) discovered the Amiga deal in late July/Early August during the projects "evaluation" period, they launched a counter suit. According to some of the old Commodore staff that worked with Shiraz, they actually helped lay out the ST with him during lunch time (on Commodore's dollar), before Shiraz had quit. So Commodore's suit had merit, but both companies wound up settling out of court eventually.


So in short, the legend of the ST being designed from start to finish after the Amiga fell through for Atari Corp is nothing more than a legend ...?

I didn't know that.

#64 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:43 PM

So in short, the legend of the ST being designed from start to finish after the Amiga fell through for Atari Corp is nothing more than a legend ...?

I didn't know that.



That's correct. A lot of it stems from misinformation from RJ, some from the press surmising, etc. Again, the Amiga deal never fell through with Atari Corp. - there was no deal with Atari Corp.

#65 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:04 PM

So in short, the legend of the ST being designed from start to finish after the Amiga fell through for Atari Corp is nothing more than a legend ...?

I didn't know that.



That's correct. A lot of it stems from misinformation from RJ, some from the press surmising, etc. Again, the Amiga deal never fell through with Atari Corp. - there was no deal with Atari Corp.

The deal was with Warner Atari who financed the developement of the amiga chipset ie Atari 1600XL

#66 retrogeek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:39 PM

So in short, the legend of the ST being designed from start to finish after the Amiga fell through for Atari Corp is nothing more than a legend ...?

I didn't know that.



That's correct. A lot of it stems from misinformation from RJ, some from the press surmising, etc. Again, the Amiga deal never fell through with Atari Corp. - there was no deal with Atari Corp.

The deal was with Warner Atari who financed the developement of the amiga chipset ie Atari 1600XL


Speaking of the Atari 1600xl:

http://www.atarimuse...0xl/1600xl.html

#67 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:20 PM

So in short, the legend of the ST being designed from start to finish after the Amiga fell through for Atari Corp is nothing more than a legend ...?

I didn't know that.



That's correct. A lot of it stems from misinformation from RJ, some from the press surmising, etc. Again, the Amiga deal never fell through with Atari Corp. - there was no deal with Atari Corp.

The deal was with Warner Atari who financed the developement of the amiga chipset ie Atari 1600XL


Speaking of the Atari 1600xl:

http://www.atarimuse...0xl/1600xl.html

Yep! Thats it!

#68 Warriorisabouttodie OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:53 PM

You are wrong.. the amiga didn't emulate the ST. It just ran tos. That's a big difference..


I had an ST emulator for the Amiga. I was able to play a few games (albeit slowly) on the Amiga. It wasn't a commerical emulator (as far as I know) I downloaded it from a BBS back int he day.

#69 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:22 PM

You are wrong.. the amiga didn't emulate the ST. It just ran tos. That's a big difference..


I had an ST emulator for the Amiga. I was able to play a few games (albeit slowly) on the Amiga. It wasn't a commerical emulator (as far as I know) I downloaded it from a BBS back int he day.

I had an Amiga emulator for the St. All I had to do was move the mouse and it gave me a "guru meditation error and a cryptic number) worked just like the real thing. (not really)

#70 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:25 AM

The reason no one ever made an Amiga emulator for the ST is simple. THe ST couldn't emulate an Amiga. The Amiga could and did emulate an ST. The Amiga may of been more advanced and had better games overall but there were plenty of great ST games too.


If the Amiga did have an Atari ST emulator, it was probably not very good unless it was hardware based. The best Mac emulator on the Atari ST was hardware based and that is why it was so good. Those old systems were generally all too weak to be a good hardware emulator via software on their own (even when they tried running 8-bit software). Only in the past few years can we finally get some great emulation on our PCs.

However, Atari ST owners did not need an Amiga emulator anyway because the system were so similar and most games were available for each system and they were great. As for the Amiga having better games overall, let us not start with our lists of which conversion is better than which (I promise it will never end). Thank you for not going into a rave about Shadow of the Beast LOL.

Edited by TheGreatPW, Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:57 AM.


#71 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:46 AM

I had an Amiga emulator for the St. All I had to do was move the mouse and it gave me a "guru meditation error and a cryptic number) worked just like the real thing. (not really)


LOL quite possibly the most accurate description of using an Amiga I have ever heard. Must have been interesting finding out that full Amiga emulation could be achieved with the bare minimum of an Atari 260ST and a single sided disk drive! Just kidding Amiga owners!

#72 Warriorisabouttodie OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:38 AM

The reason no one ever made an Amiga emulator for the ST is simple. THe ST couldn't emulate an Amiga. The Amiga could and did emulate an ST. The Amiga may of been more advanced and had better games overall but there were plenty of great ST games too.


If the Amiga did have an Atari ST emulator, it was probably not very good unless it was hardware based. The best Mac emulator on the Atari ST was hardware based and that is why it was so good. Those old systems were generally all too weak to be a good hardware emulator via software on their own (even when they tried running 8-bit software). Only in the past few years can we finally get some great emulation on our PCs.

However, Atari ST owners did not need an Amiga emulator anyway because the system were so similar and most games were available for each system and they were great. As for the Amiga having better games overall, let us not start with our lists of which conversion is better than which (I promise it will never end). Thank you for not going into a rave about Shadow of the Beast LOL.


the reason why Mac emulators were hardware based was to accommodate the Mac Roms. I like the ST and the Amiga but if you honestly think the Amiga was not the superior platform for games, then you never used an Amiga. It hardly matters now, and regardless of which one was best, they both had some great games that are still fun to play today.

#73 TheGreatPW OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:58 AM

the reason why Mac emulators were hardware based was to accommodate the Mac Roms. I like the ST and the Amiga but if you honestly think the Amiga was not the superior platform for games, then you never used an Amiga. It hardly matters now, and regardless of which one was best, they both had some great games that are still fun to play today.


I am not sure why you had to give an explanation for the hardware based emulators but those are the best types to get by far. I will say it again, those computers were too weak to fully emulate a system via software only.

I played the Amiga before and all I am saying is that the two systems were more similar than not. Whatever great difference in the chip set that some perceived (superior I believe you said) was maybe more on paper than anything else. What you found in the store shelves was another story. The way Amiga users rave about their "chip set" you would think that any game written on the Amiga must be the most impressive for its time.

However, look at a bunch of games from various publishers and you will see this was not simply the case. Shovelware more properly describes it at times. Right off the top, I remember Amiga owners having problems with Sierra Online's Leisure Suit Larry 2 because there was not enough memory or there was some memory issue they had to resolve with only having 256K. Then when you play any Sierra Online game, they all pretty much looked and played the same whether it is on a PC, Atari ST or Commodore Amiga. Towards the end, games like King's Quest V and Space Quest IV just could not even compare to the PC version.

The same could be said about LucasArts' games from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey's Island. Was there really a big difference between the 3 systems? Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (the graphics adventure) looked way worse than the PC version. The Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (action game) was so bad, I am not even going to start on that one. Why the "chip set" could not help make the Amiga version better baffles us all right?

What about arcade games? We love those games from Sega and Capcom that dominated the arcades. Try playing Out Run, ThunderBlade, Afterburner, Street Fighter, and Street Fighter 2. Honestly, the "chip set" that was supposed to run circles around the Atari ST (as another poster put it) just was not the case. With Street Fighter 2, that game was so awful, if you were buying the Amiga as a gaming computer and you paid over a thousand dollars and then you looked at the Super Nintendo or the Sega Genesis version whose systems were under $129, you may have tossed your Amiga out the window.

There were some games that were better on the Commodore 64 like Platoon. Every Amiga owners' favorite (the crown jewel) Shadow of the Beast came out for the Commodore 64 on cartridge and some C-64 owners swore it was faster (due to it being on cartridge which was obvious) and had better gameplay than the Amiga version. Let us be honest, that game has aged badly. As did most of the 16 bit games. Ever play Back to the Future Part 2? The opening intro was amazing but when you got to play the game, it was a whole different story! If you looked at the large number of bad games, you should be upset at how much you paid for this computer and what you thought you were supposed to be getting.

What is the point of this? By 1989, you could pick up an Atari 520ST in Manhattan for under $280. The money you would save from buying an Amiga could have been put towards more games, a Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, or Atari Lynx. If you picked up 10 games that were developed for both the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, you would find that most of them were more similar than the shocking differences you were expecting to find due to the Amiga's hyped "chip set." Also, the 16-bit machines' time in the sun was just so short. They both wished they could have had the success of their 8-bit predecessors. Most people skipped these machines in the U.S. and for good reason.

Sarcasm and joking aside. The bottom line? Atari offered "Power without the price" and for the money, the Atari ST was the best value of the two computers. Plus back then, like I said on an earlier post, most people knew and understood that the world ran on PCs, the schools on Apple and games on Atari. Commodore did not want to be known as a gaming computer so it is ironic most here wants to think of it as a gaming computer first before anything else. Few people knew that the Amiga could do some special effects/editing work but so could the Atari ST as well (Genlock was available on the ST as an external add on). At least with the Atari ST you could point to its contribution in the music industry in a big way.

In the end, we are talking about this in an Atari dedicated website and Atari is the biggest name in the classic/retro world period. Long live Atari!

Edited by TheGreatPW, Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:57 AM.


#74 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:18 AM

It all comes down to the Lowest Common Denominator. Since, as you pointed out, the two machines were somewhat similar game companies usually developed games for both systems (with the occasional bone thrown to the Apple IIgs). Yes the Amiga had a graphical edge, but developing a different version for the Amiga took time and money. It was much easier and cheaper to just design the game around the lower end computer and release the same game on both. If you look at the library, most of the games people point out as being "The best on the system" were usually designed (at least originally) specfically for that system. Even the lowly Apple IIgs had a few of these games dispite being the weakest of the three.

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#75 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:28 AM

Anyone saying the machine were very close - you must have had the volume muted.

It's fair to say that on the surface, graphically many games were indistinguishable.

But audio-wise it was no contest.




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