SAM: CLIVE II
MGT, the leading manufacturer of
Spectrum add-ons, has unveiled detailed plans for the production of a
£149.95 ‘Super 8-bit’ computer. Miles
Gordon Technology’s SAM Coupé features 256K RAM,
six-channel stereo sound, four screen display modes, a sophisticated custom
chip and a Z80B processor which runs 50% faster than the Spectrum’s. A
£220 version comes with a built-in 780K 3.5″ disk drive, but the
entry-level machine will load off cassette. There is also a 48K Spectrum
emulation mode allowing most Spectrum games to run on it. Expected to be
available from April, already the first month’s production run has been
News of the machine was exclusively revealed in
Issue 48, with an in-depth report in Issue 50,
but it’s taken a year to finalize the design. SAM will come complete with
a multiplicity of interfaces, including MIDI for musicians, and can easily be
expanded to 512K RAM with two extra chips. Owners of MGT’s Plus D and
DISCiPLE Spectrum disk drive add-on will also be pleased to know they’re
SAM compatible. For more details on this exciting machine turn to Tech Niche.
MOONWALKER STRIKES GOLD
MEGASTAR Michael Jackson is set to appear on the Spectrum this
autumn thanks to US Gold. The game will be based
on the pop phenomenon’s hit Moonwalker movie, which opened this
last Christmas. In the film Jackson is turned into a superhero by a passing
shooting star. While critics have lambasted the plot, which includes lengthy
clips of his videos, the effects are spectacular with Jackson transforming into
a rocket car, a silver robot and even a massive spaceship.
The game will be programmed by US Gold and distributed by them in Britain
and Europe (more than likely containing a free audio track tool), while the
Keypunch Corp will handle sales in America.
Keypunch are based in Minneapolis, St Paul, and as well as having several
full-priced labels account for 25% of the US budget market. Current successes
include Californian Raisins (based on a TV ad) and Psycho.
Keypunch also plan to release Jaws and A Nightmare On Elm
Street. US Gold will be handling the UK distribution of some Keypunch
games, including A Nightmare On Elm Street.
Another big licence due out from US Gold is Indiana Jones: The Last
Crusade. US Gold have produced computer game versions of the earlier
two films and expect the third to be ‘wonderful’. Programming is by
Tiertex, responsible for 720° and
Thunder Blade and also tipped to do Moonwalker. The Last
Crusade is due out in June.
DISHY NEW SPECTRUM IN SEX SCANDAL
The new version of the Spectrum +2, the +2A, has run into
criticism due to its incompatibility with some peripherals. This is because it
has the same circuit board as the +3, which has a slightly different edge
connector to the old +2. Critics suggest Amstrad
have made this alteration to clear stocks of unused +3 boards.
Although the +2A is easily distinguished from the grey +2 by its black
colour, it is being sold in identical packaging.
The Spectrum’s creator has, of course, moved onto other things. Sir
Clive Sinclair’s latest product is a low-price satellite TV receiver.
The flat, square ‘dish’, from Sir Clive’s Cambridge Computer firm, measures just 60cm across.
And at a mere £149.95 for the basic receiver and tuner system
(£179.95 with remote control; £229.95 with remote control, graphic
equaliser and stereo sound), it will be in direct competition with Alan
Sugar’s similarly-sized (and shaped) Amstrad/Fidelity dish at
£199.99 (£259.99 with remote control). We’re all backing Sir
Both dishes, available in high street stores from March, use the popular PAL
format to receive transmissions, including the 16 channels available from the
recently-launched Astra satellite.
Of course one of the main worries with satellite TV is the potential for
crude exploitation-type entertainment. Similar concern about standards in
computing are being voiced by OASIS — the Organisation Against Sexism In
Software. It aims to encourage software houses to avoid sexist stereotyping and
Is producing a bi-monthly journal, offering a forum for further discussion on
One software house already producing software with ‘women in
mind’ is Audiogenic, which has outlawed sexism and adopted a policy of
positive discrimination towards women — surely that’s a contradiction in
Anyway, we at CRASH welcome the campaign for more women in games, in
programming, in promotions, in the CRASH office, and practically anywhere else,
for that matter.
Women (and blokes come to that) will pleased to know CRASH has been proved
the magazine intelligent readers prefer. In a recent scientific trial, held at
Spitting Image’s Limehouse Studios, competition winners from all the top
computer magazines were entered in a talent contest. Each winner had to
perform an imitation of a celebrity of his choice. Needless to say the
contestant who had been raised on monthly issues of CRASH magazine won easily.
17-year-old CRASH reader Steven Martin did a scintillating impression of
EastEnders’ Dot Cotton to win various goodies, including a latex puppet
of himself worth several hundred pounds. Congratulations, Steven!
FOLLOW THAT LICENCE!
After many months toting the game around software houses, it
seems that the ever-cute Roger Rabbit has found a home. Activision have just finalised plans to release
Who Framed Roger Rabbit, due out in February. The conversion of the
Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future) film is to be programmed by
Software Studios (R-Type). Other interesting releases from Activision
include The Real Ghostbusters (February), Time Scanner
(March) and Incredible Shrinking Sphere. Force
Field are programming the last two, with ISS reviewed next
Ocean are never quiet. Schwarzenegger’s
Red Heat and TV’s Run The Gauntlet are ready for an
Easter release. Renegade fans will be glad to hear the third in the
series is also planned.