Ahhh the Amstrad CPC 464, a great machine that did surprisingly well against the C64 and the ZX Spectrum. And today it's a day of celebration! Well at least if you had an Amstrad, as the old girl is 30 years today. Amstrad was founded by Alan Sugar who is well known by the younger generation as the person that says " You're fired " although I'm not a fan of the guy I can thank him for the Amstrad and a great period of retro gaming. It was said that in the early 80's Alan Sugar wanted a machine to resemble a real computer, and not a pregnant calculator and thus the Amstrad CPC 464 was born in June of 1984.
The design behind the Amstrad CPC was that of a fully contained system, an "all in one" with a keyboard, tape deck and monitor, unlike the two big guns of the time the C64 and the ZX Spectrum which needed a TV and a separate tape deck. Yes there was also the BBC Micro but ask most retro gamers today and they'd probably mention the other two not the Micro.
The Amstrad was a pretty decent machine and had a vast selection of great games, although it did suffer behind the C64 and ZX Spectrum with many lower quality ports and didn't use much of the Amstrad's full potential. Saying that though if you had played Dizzy it had in game music which wasn't in the C64 or ZX Spectrum version.
Sadly in 1990, the 464plus replaced the CPC464 in the model line-up, and production of the CPC464 was discontinued. But there is much hope on the horizon as developers are not just making new games for the Amstrad but also brand new devices such as the X-MEM, and DDI-1 clone.
What's even more cool is the fact that many of the games can be played through the use of an Android device plugged into the side of a tape deck connection or mp3 tape adapter. Tapdancer comes highly recommended as you can play 100's of tape based games as .CDT files or even .MP3 (the Amstrad hears the sound and thinks it's a tape loading), it's just brilliant!
As for disk based games, If you can afford it I'd highly recommend either buying the Gotek and waiting for an Amstrad firmware or the more expensive HxC device, which emulates an extra floppy drive whereby you can play 1000's of games in disk format!
And that's that, let the celebrations begin!
UPDATE : Don't forget to check out Lazy Game Reviews excellent review of the Amstrad CPC 464, found by InkPanther on the gog forums!
UPDATE 2 : Another user by the name of s2325 on EAB has also informed us about a Top 10 Amstrad CPC 464 Games that you need to own or start with youtube video. So here it is!
So what Amstrad did you have? What did you think of the Amstrad as a retro gaming system?