There are no advantages.
There are also some advantages of planar which you forgot about.
In the context of the ST that would seem so (with 1, 2, and 4 bpp display modes), but in the Amiga's case, it facilitated the 32-color (5bpp) mode, plus the 64-color halfbrite mode and HAM I think. (unless I misunderstand the nature of HAM and it's not 4,096 colors per scanline, but palette swapping every scaline like the Apple IIgs does and atari ST and consoles like Mega Drive can do as well -with software at least)
How is that when the ST came out first? Amiga upon release did not sell well and was full of problems, this went on for at least the 1st 6months or so.
To me the ST is just a bad Amiga copy, which again is the evolution of the A8. Yes, A8 is superiour. At the time of release the A8 was unbeatable, just like the Amiga when it came out.
They are different machines completely. Neither is a copy.
Yeah, they really were in development at the same time, Amiga may have started develop earlier (it was in the works for a good while), but that doesn't mean it contributed to the the ST's design. (if anything the Macintosh would have been more of an influence; the STE otoh seems more of a response to the Amiga's capabilities -by which point both platforms were falling behind some advancements of PC and MAC platforms)
I will give you an example, the Sharp X68000 is another 10mhz 68000 based computer sold only in Japan in 1987--> and they went the opposite way of the Amiga and went for very specific custom hardware in the style of the C64 (this is the closest any 16bit computer comes to being a spiritual successor to the C64 by the way) it has massively powerful but fixed sound hardware....massively powerful sprite engine....massively powerful screen controls. However that poor machine hasn't got a hope in hell of even producing a better version of Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 or Batman on the Amiga....no blitter you see? And the instruments for the music all sound a bit samey and PC general midi Roland LAPC-1 style...or like a SNES console if you like.
Sound is subjective sure, I kind of meant that the music sounds a bit samey on X68000 games....a bit like SNES games if you get my drift, the quality certainly is fantastic and technically higher quality I know...
A couple more comments on these points: Firstly games like outrun and Lotus could be done well without a blitter (or custom scaling hardware as in the arcade -arguable falling into the blitter category as well in some cases), but with sprite+tilemap displays like x68000 or Sega Genesis, such games could still be done pretty well. (and in the Genesis's case at least, many of the raster effects the Amiga could do, it could do as well)
Interestingly, I find that the Atari ST version of Space harrier with its software scaling is one of the best looking home ports from the time, it may not be full screen, but it looks better than the Amiga version of "Space Harrier II" on the Genesis.
As for the sound, this has come up between us before, but I have to disagree about the Roland MT-32/100/LAPPC-I and SNTS compared to Paula. All 3 have some distinctive characteristics and in the MT-32's case is an acutal synthesizer as well as sampler (and could use user definine samples as well), I personally find most MT-32 music better sounding than most similarly composed music on SNES of Amiga (there are certainly better compositions in general, but that's more the composer and not the hardware). I will agree that most MT-32 compositions for games do tend to have a similar sound to them, but that may be mostly due to user prefrence; I definitely wouldn't compare it to general midi though, which is limited to hardcoded samples and is completle wavetable based. (and some compositions do break from this as well) In the case of Fm synth chips like the YM2151, the "samey" sapect is a bit greater due tot he nature of the chips, and in that case it's even more up to programmers/composer to get the best from it with their own sound engines, and indeed many do break free from the more stereotypical FM synth music tendancies. (the same could be said for SID music, but moreso IMO)
As to SNES's and Amiga comparison, they're very similar in the sense that they're both entirely sample based (with some exceptions of software generated waveforms and such) and user-defined (no hard coded samples available), in the SNES's case it has 64 kB of SRAM for storing 16-bit ADPCM samples, with the Amiga using 8-bit signed linear two's complement samples (stored in chipram iirc). The Amiga's 4 8-bit DACs being DMA driven outputting 4 channels with 8-bit waveforms at up to 28.87 KHz, while the SNES has a dedicaded 2.048 MHz SPC700 (custom Sony 650x derivative) controlling a 16-bit 24.576 MHz DSP outputting 8 channels of 16-bit waveforms at up to 32 kHz sampling rate. Both use various filters as well (in some cases creating mufled sounds, sometimes critisized, particularly in the SNES's case) The Amiga is stuck with 2 voices hardware to each left and right audio outputs, or paired to give 2 stereo channels with full panning, while the SNES had 8-channels, each supporting hard panning (left-center-right) or pairing for true panning stereo. (hard panning used more often)
However, this contributes little to the main point, "sameyness" which, if true, is due entirely to developers using standard instrument sets provided with the dev kits, although I recall a good deal of distinctive music deviating from this. (for example, Capcom's disney games tend to use their on fiarly distinctive instrument set, same for Argonaut Super FX games -Star Fox, Vortex, Stunt Racer FX), the same could be said for the many Games developed for Genesis using the rather poor GEMS engine.
but after compiling a 12Gb archive of MODs from demos and games I came to the conclusion that the Japs are rubbish at game music with a severe bias to orchestral type soundtracks....not my cup of tea
Huh??? Tha't a gross overgenralization if anything, there're plenty of Japanese developed games that don't get into the "orchestral" stuff, SNES kind of catered to that due to the sample based audio, though even there, there are a fair number of non-orchestral sounding games. (SMW or Mario Kart for example; plus quite a few western dvelopers went the orchestral route for that as well) In th e8-bit era that was true to an even lesser extent, and on top of that, lots of Japanese arcade games had rock/pop/jazy music, look at varios SHMUPS, fighting games, etc, plus look at Sega's games (arcade and home).
Your observation really seems unfounded to me...
Edited by kool kitty89, Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:23 PM.