Evening all, this will be the start of my short run of articles that talk about very obscure and rare consoles, enjoy!
Firstly i am going to talk about an obscure console, the Amstrad GX4000. This was Amstrads first and only attempt to enter the console market, but they were struck down for a number of reasons, but first the history.
The console was released in 1990 and was based on CPC technology. The GX4000 was at its core a modified CPC 6128 computer, allowing the console to be compatible was CPPC plus software. The console intitally recieved favourable reviews, as it had impressive graphics and sound, a huge colour pallete of 4096, hardware sprites and hardware scrolling. It retailed for £99 and came bundled with a driving game “Burnin Rubber”
One of the major factors in all consoles that fail is the games. While not necessarily bad, there was not much support for the console, and fewer than 40 games were made for the console, all produced by UK based companies auch as Ocean and U.S.Gold. Notable games were Burnin Rubber, RoboCop 2, Pang, Plotting, Navy Seals and Switchblade. One of the main problems related with most of the games just being CPC games put on a cartridge, and the price upgraded to £25 from £3.99 on a cassette.
The console was based with 8 bit technology, and was almsot instantly superseded by the MegaDrive (genesis), ans the SNES later. A lot of people agree that the machine was at least techinically capable, but Amstrad not having the marketing budget of the giants Nintedo and Sega. This led to commercial failure, and UKs last hope at a video game console smashed, in just a few months.
Console 2, Casio Loopy
This console is very unique for a number of reasons. Other than the fact that it is pretty unknown and released exclusively for the Japanese market, it had some very strange marketing and techinical decisions. It is also the first 32 bit unknown console on my blog.
The first, and most blatently obvious, is that it was targeted almost directly for the female market, probably pre-teen. This is very strange from a marketing point of view, because in the mainstream consoles all the way up to the Wii, games consoles have been marketed towards the male market, with only a few games on some systems that are aimed at both genders.
The second most unique thing about this system is that it includes a thermal colour printer that can make stickers of in-game screenshots, something very different on the gaming console scene. This console actually had a peripheral, “Magical Shop”. This add-on allowed you to take images from other devices such as VCR players and DVD players, and add text to them, subsequently printing them as stickers on the colour printer.
The female aiming of this system meant that its measly library of 10 games were either a dating sim, or a dress-up game, or a sticker maker. These games would not have interested most male and hardcore gamers, solidifying the fact that it was a “little girls” console.
This console only had one controller port, used cartridges for its media form and had a 32-bit RISC SH-1 CPU. This was never meant to be a very big console, and it succeeded in that front entirely.
List of games =
-Bow-wow Puppy love story
-HARIHARI seal paradise
-I want a room in Loopy town!!
-Lupiton`s Wonder Palette
-Mr Chakra`s charm paradise