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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There was a device created for the CD32 that plugged into the back expansion port. It was called the SX32. The device added parallel, floppy, keyboard and mouse ports. It also had a VGA output. A laptop hard drive would fit on the card as well. Once installed the CD32 acted like a 1200 with a CDROM. A nice toy but a bit pricey.
Monday 16th March 2015
Mark Raymond (USA)
i have one of these and love it also the FM towns marty was the first 32 bit cd system it beat this by about 6 months and the akkio was to keep people making cd rom drives for the a1200 to upgrade it and for chunky to planar conversion for FPS games and the like
Thursday 22nd May 2014
matthew (United States)
The controller did indeed have a d-pad (I assume that it is 8-way) with 7 buttons.
On the face of the controller there were four round buttons - red, yellow, green and blue - and a Start/Pause button. There were also two shoulder buttons designated ''Left Top'' and ''Right Top''.
As the CD-32 was also designed to be used as a CD player (and indeed a Video-CD player with the addition of the MPEG decoder cartridge) the buttons were all also labelled with controls for the CD player functions - Play/Pause (on the Start/Pause button), Stop (on the blue button), Fast forward and Rewind (on the Top Right and Top Left buttons), Repeat (on the yellow button) and shuffle (on the green button). The Red button was also designated the ''Select'' button.
Friday 17th December 2010
Steve Bryce (Earth)
END OF PRODUCTION
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
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