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History of video games/Platforms/Amstrad GX4000

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History[edit | edit source]

Launch[edit | edit source]

Bring the whole arcade into your home.
—Tagline for the Amstrad GX4000, The Game Show[1]

The Amstrad GX4000 was launched in 1990 as a console version of the Amstrad CPC series of 8-bit computers that cost $150 at launch.[2] The console was to have a 15 million British pound marketing campaign.[3]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The console did not sell well, and retailers tried to unload stock by selling the GX4000 as a price as low as $30.[2] The console is often said to have sold about 15,000 units,[4] though some sources give sales figures for the console as high as 150,000 units.[5][6] The Amstrad GX4000 was discontinued in 1991.[4]

Technology[edit | edit source]

The included Amstrad GX4000 power supply is very temperamental and is notorious for destroying the GX4000 when used.

Compute[edit | edit source]

The Amstrad GX4000 used a 8-Bit Z80A CPU clocked at 4MHz.[7] The system was capable of about 0.58 million instructions per second (MIPS).[8]

The GX4000 has 64 kilobytes of RAM and 16 kilobytes of video RAM.[9][10]

Hardware[edit | edit source]

The Amstrad GX4000 uses a General Instrument AY-3-8912 chip for audio.[11] Though General Instrument was once a major supplier of chips in the first consoles, the GX4000 is a notable late use of such chips, owing to it's 1980's computer heritage.

The GX4000 Power Supply is among the most notorious official power supplies in any console,[12] as it's use typically results in the console being destroyed due to it's exceptionally poor quality.

Notable games[edit | edit source]

27 cartridges were produced for the GX4000.[2]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Amstrad GX4000[edit | edit source]

Controller[edit | edit source]

Internals[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Amstrad GX4000 - The Amstrad CPC Games Console". Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  2. a b c Rignall, Jaz (3 January 2016). "Consoles You've Never Heard of: Amstrad GX4000" (in en). USgamer. https://www.usgamer.net/articles/gx4000. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  3. Screen Digest. Screen Digest Limited. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  4. a b McFerran, Damien (March 9th, 2017). "6 games console flops that gave gaming a bad name" (in en). TechRadar. https://www.techradar.com/news/6-games-console-flops-that-gave-gaming-a-bad-name. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  5. Civera, David (January 11, 2013). "21 Consoles And Handhelds That Crashed And Burned" (in en). Tom's Hardware. https://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/611-console-handheld-fail.html. 
  6. "Info on the Amstrad GX-4000". RetroRGB. 4 November 2019. https://www.retrorgb.com/info-on-the-amstrad-gx-4000.html. 
  7. "Amstrad GX4000 - Game Console - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  8. Murnane, Kevin. "From Pong To Playstation: The 40-Year Evolution Of Gaming Processing Power". Forbes. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  9. "Home Page". Video Game Console Library. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  10. "Amstrad GX4000 [BINARIUM]". binarium.de. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  11. "OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum". www.old-computers.com. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  12. "Feature: Your Beloved Games Console Is Slowly But Surely Dying". Nintendo Life. 25 December 2019. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/12/feature_your_beloved_games_console_is_slowly_but_surely_dying.