Amiga to develop games consoles, digital music players

Is Jim Collas moving even further away from original Amiga concept than previously thought?

Amiga's information appliance strategy appears to have become much more broad-based than the company's focus on its multimedia convergence computer has suggested. According to Amiga president Jim Collas, cited in today's Wall Street Journal, the company plans to develop a whole line of devices, including digital music players, games machines, wireless Net access kit and servers, all of them will aimed at home use. "There's a new computer revolution on the horizon that has to do with making computers a natural part of everyday life," Collas told the paper. The WSJ said the devices would be priced in the $100 (the games machine) to $1000 (the server) price range. However, Amiga will not necessarily make the machines itself -- it wants to license the designs to consumer electronics companies, said Collas. To what extent that plan is about transforming Amiga from a manufacturer into a design house remains to be seen, but it does suggest the company is moving away from its roots more quickly than the Amiga community might like. While Amiga fans might be pleased that the company will survive, they might not be too keen on its adoption of a platform that's way different from the one they know and love. Amiga's upcoming Operating Environment should make possible general purpose computers like the original Amiga, but you have to wonder whether, on the basis of Collas' WSJ comments whether that's where the company wants to go. ®

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