In a last ditch attempt to get a foothold in the lucrative console market Commodore launched the Amiga CD32. After their previous effort with the C64 GS failed and the strange decision to advertise the Amiga 600 as a games machine that could be used as a computer it was vital that the CD32 succeeded.
The CD32 is notable for being the first 32 bit CD-ROM based console ever released (the PlayStation wasn't released until the next year). It was based on the Amiga 1200 hardware which now had a new chip named Akiko that acted as a CD-ROM controller and I/O chip.
Initially the system was quite successful and managed to gain more than a 50% share of the CD-ROM based market in the U.K., where it outsold better known systems such as Sega's Mega CD and even the PC CD-ROM. Software for the CD32 was a bit of a disappointment though, mainly consisting of ports of old Amiga software with the odd video thrown in along with the obligatory CD music tracks.
Unfortunately for Commodore their financial problems had begun to take hold by this point. The U.S. government passed a ruling that banned Commodore from importing goods into the country as they owed $10million from a patent infringement lawsuit. With the financial situation rapidly getting worse and unable to sell the CD32 in the American market, Commodore filed for bankruptcy at the end of April 1994. The unsold CD32s were seized by the government of the Philippines as payment owed by Commodore for the use of a factory.
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BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES
8-way d-pad, 4 buttons?
14.18758 MHz (PAL) 14.31818 MHz (NTSC)
AGA based chipset: 8374 Alice (memory controller and blitter), 4203 Lisa (video control chip), 8364 Paula (sound & I/O), 391563-01 Akiko (I/O controller)
2 MB Chip RAM + 1 KB flash
Kickstart 3.1: 512 KB + 512 KB extended ROM
320x200 to 1280x512 max
Palette: 16.7 million On screen: 256 in normal modes, 262144 in HAM-8
4 channel 8 bit PCM, stereo output
SIZE / WEIGHT
serial port, expansion interface, 2x RCA audio, composite video out, RF out, keyboard interface, 2x Atari controller ports