News and Views


Issue 5

Sep/Oct 83

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First the BAD news. Remember those super new machines mentioned in the last issue? Well, according to one of the trade papers, Atari (UK) have no plans to introduce the 1400XL or the 1200XL in the U.K. That's not too bad but the real stunner is that when they introduce the 1450XLD they are going to strip out the modem and voice synthesiser. Apparently they say there are compatibility problems with the modem (comments please from Atari owning GPO technicians) and voice synthesis is not something that the British market wants! Atari thereby deal themselves another body blow as far as the British market is concerned. Communication between computers is going to be a big thing in the next couple of years and another manufacturer is going to introduce a machine with voice synthesis. In fact I believe that the BBC already has the facility although I don't know if the chip is currently available. New buyers are impressed by technology which hits them in the eye and what could be more impressive than a machine telling you of it's own features? What happens when all the software using voice synthesis starts appearing in the States? Atari surely cannot realise the amount of Third Party software that is bought by U.K. owners. Think again, Atari.

Recent software which is NOW available in the U.K. includes BLUE MAX (32K) - a WW1 flying game with 3-D graphics like Zaxxon, and SHADOW WORLD (32K) both from Synapse. From Datasoft, O'RILEY'S MINE (16K) - a Dig-Dug type game. A new one from Infocom - WITNESS (48K) which is a follow-up to Deadline. This one is a whodunnit based around the classic murder mystery novels of the 1930's. Pm ANIMATOR from Don't Ask - reputed to be the finest player-missile utility yet. From Santa Cruz, TRICKY TUTORIALS 8/9/10 (all 16K) on Character Graphics, GTIA and Sound Effects.

Coming soon . .. Word Wizard, Script Wizard and Money Wizard, all on ROM from Datasoft and six new titles from First Star Software who brought you the excellent Astro Chase. These are BRISTLES, RENT WARS, FLIP-FLOP, TOP SECRET, SAVIOUR 1 and DANGEROUS CARGO. At the time of writing, none of these products were available, even in the States, so be patient.