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%% Commodore Launches Amiga Game Console             by James K. Willcox %%
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[Harv's note:  This is transcribed from the 1/9/94 issue of TWICE CES DAILY, 
the free, large format daily CES magazine handed out at the show which just 
ended, in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.  This report sounds like it was based mainly
on the writer's attendance at Commodore's press conference held during CES.  
Approx. 82,000 trade people attended Winter CES, which is up from last year 
but down from the all-time high attendance of 106,000 in 1988.]



Here at CES, Commodore officially launched its Amiga CD32 video game
console, saying it hoped to sell between 300,000 and 500,000 units
during its first year in the market.

The company also said that more than 150 companies are developing
titles for the system, with approximately 100 games being available
when the system begins selling in March, and more than 200 expected
to be ready by next Christmas.

The Amiga CD32 is a 32-bit CD-based game system built around the
Amiga 4000 computer platform, but contains specially optimized Amiga
chips for game and video performance.

The system carries a suggested retail price of $399, and will come
bundled with two to four titles which are still being determined.

In addition to CD-based games, the Amiga CD32 will also play audio
CDs, CD+Gs, and with a separate software upgrade, Photo CDs. When
used with an optional full motion video module, expected to be priced
just under $250, the Amiga CD32 will be able to play Video CDs
and Philips' CD-I Digital Video Titles.

Despite the number of systems heading to or already on the market,
Jeff Stilley, Commodore's president and general manager, believes
Commodore will be able to gain a significant foothold in the
advanced video game market, describing his competitors as "unable
to deliver titles or stumbling along in 16-bit technology."

Stilley says Commodore's distribution plan for Amiga CD32 will target
mall-based software outlets, TV home shopping channels, select consumer
electronics retailers, video rental stores and mass merchants and
toy stores.

Marketing efforts will include direct mail pieces to Amiga users,
promotions at sporting events, malls and other high-traffic events,
and retail training and POS (point of sale) material for dealers,
while advertising efforts will consist of page-dominant news
paper ads, full color national and children's magazine ads, and 30-
to 40- second TV commercials.

Commodore is also establishing a membership card club which will
offer special discounts on software and other related products.

During a question and answer period, Stilley said Commodore was
open to licensing Amiga CD32 technology to other mfrs who might
want to market such systems, and described Commodore's software
licensing program as liberal, with fees based on the amount
of softwar sold.

Asked about Commodore's stance on the issue of game ratings,
Stilley said that it was more an issue for publishers than for
Commodore since it doesn't create content, but added that Europe
recently addressed that issue by establishing a four-tier rating
system administered by a video game standards committee.