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/// WOCA Toronto Reports
» Part One: By Darren Eveland (firstname.lastname@example.org) «
Yes, I just got back from WOCA Toronto. Here is my quick and dirty summary:
CD32 - Yes, they were for SALE. NTSC Version. Apparently C= had them
flown in from their plant the night before, and the C= rep I talked to
said they managed to squeeze one production run in for NTSC units.
But that is it. The rest are PAL versions headed for Europe. Don't
expect general availability in N. America until after Jan 1, 1994.
Price in CDN dollars was **** $489.00 ****, which translates to about
$366.00 US. MPEG module will be available in Europe beginning
DEC. 11/93. No date was given for N. American availability. I
expect the price to get lower by sunday (the end of the show).
The MPEG Module was QUITE impressive. They were playing STAR TREK
VI: The Undiscovered Country. Apparently this was hot off the press
and had only been available for a week. They also had Top Gun, but
they were told "not to show that" yet. Hmmm. No sign of the Bon
Jovi video, but they did demo a music video called "killer".
MPEG quality was equal to or better than current VHS technology.
The freeze (pause) was awesome - crystal clear and no "noise". Oh
ya, they had the European TV Commercial too - were showing that in MPEG
GVP - GVP was demoing the EGS Spectrum (w/EGS paint), ImageFX for EGS
(beta), TBC Plus, various accelerators, etc... A fairly large booth.
I am not going to say much about the Spectrum since I have already
bought one. But, they were selling for $599 CDN ($450 US) (2 meg
EMPLANT - Jim Drew was there along with a lady taking orders and another
tech guy from UU. Emplant was looking nice. UU both was almost
right across from Simon Douglas (programmer of A-MAX IV Colour)
and his demo (rather uncomfortable!!!). Jim was saying how he
has 11 patents pending on emplant. Emplant was selling for about
$360 CDN (basic model).
A-Max IV Colour - I talked to Simon Douglas about A-MAX IV-Colour, which
was selling for $429 CDN ($322 US). They had been
working on the software/hardware part of it since last
January, and had been beta testing since august.
Looked quite impressive, with lots of configuration
options for memory, video, scsi, etc... Actual emulation
looked nice, and was pretty fast. Expert Services had
A-Max IV Colour running on a large monitor with the
Picasso Video board hooked up. This *WAS* impressive.
Very fast. Had 256, thousands, and millions colour
options. Bug fixes are free, and major upgrades may
cost a small fee.
What can I say? Emplant and A-Max IV Colour both do good jobs at
emulating a mac. You'll have to make your own decision about which is better.
A4000T - Well, where was it? I didn't find it...but maybe I didn't look
Amiga CD32 external units
C= had hoped to show them at WOCA, but for some reason they were not there.
I did learn that both will be external units. C= officials would not tell
me how it will hook up to either machine. Only users with AGA machines
will get to use these drives though. Look for them in Q1 94.
All I can say is: Looked impressive. Price for PS 2.2 was 199 CDN (tax
included, ($149 US)), which will get you a free upgrade to 3.0 when it is
released Q1 94.
There was A LOT of stuff going on at the show, so this is just a highlight
of what products I found interesting...I'm going back again on saturday to
return a HD A3000 floppy which does not work :-(, so maybe I'll glean some
more info from C=. I'll try to sit in on the C= "future directions"
seminar with Lou E (head of engineering). Maybe he'll know some goodies
» Part Two: By Roy Park (email@example.com) «
Hello everyone... (ya ya, it's Roy Park again) :)
Since I went to WOCA Toronto CBM keynote addressing session, I thought I'd
let ya know some stuff that was said
*note: the following is what I think I heard.. so if there's any mis-
information, blame my ears, not me!
First, WOCA in general:
- CD32 was for sale at $499 CDN
- the MPEG module for CD32 was NOT available at the show (I'll get into that
- a very few number of vendors attended (IMO)
- about 3 local Amiga dealers were present, busy selling CD32
- lots of interesting stuff: Picasso II, Piccolo, Spectrum, Studio16 3.0,
LightRave, PageStream 3.0 demo, and lots of CD32
for the people to touch and experience(!).
- ONE CD32 unit with MPEG module was playing "StarTrek VI: Undiscovered Country
at the show... many 'WOW's from the crowd.
Now, the news from CBM..:
- There are over 120 registered software developers for CD32.
- The MPEG module (or FMV) is now in production! It will be available very
soon (within a couple weeks time.. about 2 weeks I guess) and the NTSC CD32
owners can buy FMVs early from European market (if they wanted them that
bad) since FMV recognizes NTSC/PAL correctly and output at a right freq.
- Commodore has just licensed PhotoCD from Phillips. (not from Kodak) Lew says
they can now say "PhotoCD compatible" on CD32, but not "Kodak PhotoCD compa-
tible"... I'm not sure how this works legally.
- Commodore is hiring back some of old Software Engineers (!) and they'll be
working on to complete RTG. *note: they could be NEW software engineers, he
didn't exactly say 'hiring back'...it's my imagination. So ex-CBM engineers,
don't quit your day job!
- AAA stuff:
1) the chips are 95% ready (in other word, the chips they have works
95% of the functionality from what they planned originally).. and
some MINOR bugs has to be found.
2) the 2 of the chips will go into 2nd pass soon, and the other 2 will
go into 2nd pass in February. From what I hear, if everything goes
well (meaning they get the chip they want from 2nd pass) the actual
AAA machine wouldn't take too long to come out.
3) Commodore finally decided to use Intel's PCI for the system bus
4) DSP will be an integral part of AAA. CBM's expecting to be using
AT&T 3210 DSP for this. (with VTOC or something.. which I don't know
how to spell, nor know what it is)
- "Beyond AAA" (from Lew's words)
Commodore has already assigned two engineers for systems beyond AAA chipset.
He said it's CBM's intention to have some sort of 3D workstation by the end.
Currently the new projects are:
1) 30 million pixels per sec graphics rendering engine
2) 3D rendering engine
Well, that's about it! I tried to be most accurate as possible to what Lew
Eggebrecht said, so don't be throwing those nasty hot flames at me! L8er!
» Part Three: By J. Moore (1:229/15.0 on FidoNet) «
These are my personal observations and thoughts and not really an attempt
to be comprehensive. The size of the thing was about the same as last
year, with some smaller booths for many vendors but larger booths for the
stores. No shows included Opal, who probably don't want to hear any more
questions about when the modules are appearing. Big shows included the
Montreal Toaster distributors, whose demo guy gave the exact same
presentation he's been giving for as long as I've seen them (it's getting
a little old guys -- you're gonna make the Toaster look dull) and Scala,
which was very nice. The Scala seminar/demo was one good show as well,
and the biggest shock for me was seeing the guy run the whole thing from
a 1200 with an '020 and 4 MB ram. And he ran it out through the RF port
to a projector TV and it looked GREAT! Scala is the one program that
looks better every time I've seen it; like real easy to use and
effective. They were showing Scala MM300, which has more wipes,
anti-aliasing for their fonts, and other little goodies like the clicking
sound you get when you hit the buttons. They are also working on many
goodies, among them an editing setup for prosumer vcrs with infrared
sensors, Toaster controllers, etc. etc. etc. If you're doing
presentations or even thinking of it, get it! (IBM did.) The price at
the show: C$250 (US$190) for MM210 (approx. C$130 to upgrade to MM300,
available in a month or so).
The other big shock of the show was prices: bargains were to be had for a
change. Americans were spotted leaving the show with 5 A1200s in their
arms. A1200s were C$499 (US$378), CD32s were C$475 (US$360), Sunrize had
Studio 16 for around C$1350 (about US$1000). The Scala price at C$250
was good, but a buddy and I got it for 2 for C$425 (C$212.50 each =
US$161). Usually Canadians have gone to the States for deals, but now
Americans were doing the cross-border shopping.
Saw a good feature on PhotoCD. OS 3.1 will have CD support as part of
the OS (and maybe PhotoCD support as well -- I didn't go see Lew
Eggbrecht's talk wherein he gave out the offical word on C='s dealings
with Kodak re PCD). Saw the CD32 stuff; sorry, I'm not into games enough
to give a good review. They looked fine to me, and the MPEG module's
playback looked okay: about like something you recorded on a mid range
VHS deck in the 4-hour mode instead of SP. Emplant had a booth, and was
selling boards at some sort of deal, but didn't bring any deal for the
dealers, which annoyed them (annoying your dealers doesn't seem like the
best marketing strategy to me); they didn't even have boards to sell.
With Amax for sale at the show with a free upgrade path to the upcoming
"same as Emplant"-type software, it seems like Emplant picked the wrong
time to let their dealers down.
I'm sure other news will be posted -- that's the stuff that struck me as
most interesting. TTYL.
» Part Four: By Sean Caszatt (1:2601/512 on FidoNet) «
Well, I made the trip to Toronto this weekend for the World of
Commodore Amiga show there and here's a little of what I saw:
CD32 - great system, horrible games. Sorry, but that's the way I feel.
The CD32 "arcade" that was set up had JAMES POND 2, OSCAR, SLEEPWALKER,
PINBALL FANTASIES, a really cool flight simulator (no name), ARABIAN
KNIGHTS, and a side-to-side shooter that looks sort of like PROJECT X.
If they release one more platform game, I'm going to scream.
A BMD rep (who was importing a lot of CD32 titles) told me that the
sales of the CD32 were disappointing because of the lack of available
software titles. Only about 8 games were available for actual sale.
BMD's shipment of about 20 games were held up in customs and would
probably not make it to the show on time. At no time did I see anyone
carrying a CD32 around (after purchasing one). I still saw a lot of
A1200's walking around with people though.
Commodore's booth also had a number of CD32's running stuff, but it was
a lot more promising to see the stuff there.
They had STAR TREK VI running on CD (a CD-I cd-video). A woman was
freezing the motion, rewinding, fast-forwarding all with the CD32's
controller. That was impressive.
MICROCOSM was there and looked great. I've been hearing about it
forever, and seeing it was really cool.
Of course, the Toaster and SCALA were there showing the multimedia side
of the Amiga. Studio 16 v3.0 was there. Pagestream 3.0 was there.
Emplant was there (the first time I've had a chance to see
it...impressive!). A-Max IV was directly across from Emplant, and
looked slow...but it works.
The A4091 was there in DKB's booth. (They've picked it up and will be
Piccolo, Picasso II, and the EGS Spectrum card were all there (in
separate booths of course.)
On the gaming side of things: MORTAL KOMBAT was there, running on an
A1200...and it was very impressive. Looked as good as my SNES version
(and, yes, it has the blood.) It was fast and fluid too (very much
UNLIKE STREET FIGHTER II) No CD32 version though, not yet anyway. When
it makes the transition, it will be just as good as the console
versions are now. JURASSIC PARK was on sale there, but I didn't see any
demos of the game anywhere. It was only available for the A1200/A4000.
My whole impression of the show was dampened by the CD32's poor
showing. The console has the potential to kick ass, and is being given
meager titles to run. MICROCOSM and the unnamed flight simulator
(called FLIGHT DEMO by someone there) gave a glimpse of what the machine
can do. They were the most impressive AGA-type titles I've ever seen.
I hope those titles come fast and furious.