Gaming Graveyard: Amstrad Mega PC

Posted on by Ryan

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In modern times we always hear arguments between console gamers and the PC master race. With the lines being blurred with Microsoft and their Xbox One/Windows 10 cross-platforming, many tend to forget that there have been some attempts to do this in the past.

Back in 1993 PC company Amstrad, along with a licensing deal with Sega, released an Amstrad PC with a built-in Sega Mega Drive known was the Amstrad Mega PC. For those who are unaware, the Mega Drive is what the Sega Genesis was called in Europe. It’s also worth mentioning that Amstrad was a PC company based out of the U.K. While companies such as Sinclair and BBC tried to enter the U.S. market with the ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro, Amstrad decided to focus on Europe and went on to do very well in countries such as the U.K. and France.

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The PC part of the Mega PC featured 1MB of RAM with the option of expanding to up to 16MB of RAM, a 40MB hard drive, 32-bit Intel 80386SX CPU clocked at 25MHz, and a 50W power supply. By the time this was released in both Europe and Australia, the CPU was already outdated compared to others such as the Intel 80486 and the first Pentium processor.

So why was this not a success? First off it was very expensive. The price of the Amstrad Mega PC when it was released was £999.99 and this was in 1993. The price was later dropped to £599.99 but by then it was already to late and still overpriced in many people’s eyes. The other problem was the system could not be used as a Software Development Kit since you could not use the Mega Drive and PC hardware at the same time. This meant that if you wanted to develop a game you would need to buy a standalone Amstrad PC. Due to these issues and scarcity, it has become a collector’s item among Computer collectors.

Despite its collect ability it still belongs in the Gaming Graveyard.