Amiga: 25 Years Later
A Depressing, Exciting Machine
Why wouldn't big computer retailers carry an impressive computer like the Amiga? Commodore itself was part of the problem. It was famous for selling undistinguished home computers at bargain-basement prices at stores such as Toys "R" Us. The very idea of it launching a computer as slick and powerful as the Amiga was jarring -- it was as if Yugo had bought out DeLorean. And without Jack Tramiel, Commodore lacked the ambition, heart, guerilla tactics, and raw nervous energy that hade made the Commodore 64 the best-selling computer of its time.
In July of 1985, computer magazines had talked about the Amiga overtaking the Mac; within a few months, they were questioning whether Commodore had a future. Like Mac owners of the mid-1990s, Amiga users had to deal with constant predictions of the imminent demise of their platform. Except in the case of Commodore, the naysayers turned out to be right.