Amstrad CPC

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Amstrad CPC
Amstrad CPC464.jpg
Developer: Amstrad
Release Date: 1984
Competitors: Commodore 64
BBC Micro
ZX Spectrum
Generation: Third generation

The Amstrad CPC is a home computer originally released by Amstrad in the UK in 1984. It competed against the Commodore 64, the BBC Micro, and the ZX Spectrum. The Amstrad CPC successfully established itself primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the German-speaking parts of Europe.

Six different models were released, ranging from the 464 model with 64 KB RAM and a built-in tape deck to the 6128 model with 128 KB RAM and a built in floppy disk drive, to the Plus models, which also had a cartridge slot to make it compatible with Amstrad GX4000 games.

Why It Rocks

  1. A huge library of games consisting of over 2,000 titles.
  2. Many adventure games.
  3. Depending on the model, the computer came with either a built-in cassette recorder (464 model) or a built-in floppy drive (664 or 6128 models), unlike its competitors, which required buying those seperately.
  4. In addition to either the tape deck or floppy drive, the Amstrad CPC also came with its own monitor, when most of the competing computers had to be connected to the TV.
  5. Most Amstrad CPC games have incredibly colorful and detailed graphics.
  6. Software ranges from programming language implementations, databases, word processors and spreadsheets to drawing tools and even 3D modelling.

Bad Qualities

  1. Since the Amstrad CPC shared the same Z80 processor as the ZX Spectrum, some games were just straight ports of Spectrum games with less colors and slower gameplay, and also suffered from attribute clash.
  2. As the Amstrad CPC had so many screen modes, most people found it difficult to program games on it compared to the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum.
  3. Somewhat primitive sound quality, although not as bad as the ZX Spectrum.