'Amiga'. Just to say the name brings back wonderful childhood memories for me as I wiled away (far too many) hours playing the likes of Kick Off 2, North and South, Lotus Turbo Challenge, Populous and Xenon 2, but could it really make a comeback? A-EON certainly hopes so...
The company, which owns the 'AmigaOne' trademark for selling compatible Amiga hardware, has announced the 'X1000' - the first new Amiga computer in over five years. Promoted as a 25th anniversary upgrade to the original Amiga 1000, it is a sizeable (and naturally necessary) step up from its predecessor's 7.09MHz CPU, 32 colour 320 x 200 pixel graphics and 256KB of memory.
Instead what the X1000 brings to the table is a dual-core 1.8GHz PPC RISC CPU, ATI Radeon R700 graphics, 2GB RAM, a 500GB HDD, 7.1 channel audio and a 22x DVD drive. There are also up to 10 USB 2.0 ports and 2x PCIe x16 along with Gigabit Ethernet. On top of this is 'Xorro' a customised PCIe x8 slot which can directly influence the X1000's CPU.
As standard a 'Xena' programmable 500MHz board is slotted into Xorro to boost system performance, but it is hoped further boards will be developed in future to help the X1000 stay reasonably future proof.
As with all AmigaOne computers, the last of which was the 2004-2005 'Micro-A1 -C' made by licensee Eyetech (yeah, we missed it too), the X1000 will run Amiga Workbench. Remarkably, the OS is still being steadfastly maintained to this day and v4.1 was launched in January this year. I'll admit to knowing little about any Amiga OS since my 1.0 days, but on the outside it does look surprisingly good and has more than a hint of Mac OS X going on.
So can A-EON really stage an Amiga revival? I'd say the odds are extremely long - particularly without a modern laptop as well to provide some mobile continuity. That said, it would take a cold heart not to want to see Amiga rumble on as a niche product and - if prices can be kept reasonable - there seems no reason why A-EON's X1000 can't achieve that.