Retro Home Computers – Commodore Amiga 1200


Commodore Amiga 600,
1992 – 1994

Bad decision

Commodore Amiga 1200

Above: Amiga 500 True Replacement

The Amiga 1200, or A1200, was Commodore’s third-generation Amiga computer and was aimed at the home market. It was released in October 1992, at a base price of £399 in the United Kingdom and $599 in the United States.

Like its predecessor, the A500, the A1200 is an all-in-one design incorporating the CPU, keyboard, and disk drives in one physical unit. The Amiga 1200 also included the option of an internal hard disk drive.

Commodore Amiga 500

Above: Commodore Amiga 500

The system competed directly against the Atari Falcon, but intended as a home computer it inadvertently also competed against entry level PCs and 16-Bit game consoles. During the first year of its life the system reportedly sold well, but not comparable to game consoles and in a desire to compete Commodore launched the Amiga 1200-compatible Amiga CD32 game console in June 1993.

Gaming

Commodore Amiga 500

Above: Commodore Amiga CD32

The future looked good for the Amiga 1200 platform, but due to poor financial management, Commodore ran into cash flow problems and soon went bankrupt – this despite the fact that the Amiga 1200 and Amiga CD32 both were successful and profitable products. With Commodore’s demise, the Amiga 1200 almost disappeared off the market, but the system got a second chance with Escom’s re-launch in 1995.

The new Escom A1200 was almost identical to the original model, the difference being updated firmware and a floppy disk drive from a different manufacturer. Re-launched at a price of one-hundred and fifty dollars above what it had been sold for two years prior. Potential buyers found that the system provided little value and largely ignored the system.

Due to poor sales, and Escom’s financial problems, the Amiga 1200 was taken off the market some time during 1996 and was never to return again. The only way to play amiga games or run amiga software for the amiga 1200 was through a series of emulators for both Windows and Macintosh.