Difference between revisions of "Plus"

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<center><gallery caption="CPC+/GX4000">
+
== Introduction to the Plus range ==
  
image:6128plus_es.jpg|Spanish Amstrad CPC 6128 Plus
+
<gallery align="right">
image:6128plus_fr_en_kanga.jpg|Airbrushed CPC 6128 plus
+
image:6128plus_es.jpg|Spanish Amstrad 6128 Plus
Image:Gx4000.jpg|The Amstrad GX4000
+
image:6128plus_fr_en_kanga.jpg|Custom Airbrushed 6128 Plus
</gallery></center>
+
</gallery>
  
 +
In 1990 Amstrad introduced the "Plus" range which tweaked the hardware in many ways and added a cartridge slot to all models.  The Plus included the 464 Plus, 6128 Plus and the GX4000 video game console (which is a cut down Plus without the keyboard nor support for non-cartridge media). All of the range included a cartridge slot and additional hardware improvements.
  
== Introduction ==
+
Most improvements were to the video display which saw an increase in palette to 4096 colours and gained the capability of hardware sprites. Splitting the display into two separate windows and pixel scrolling both became full supported hardware features although both were possible on the non-"Plus" hardware using clever programming of the existing Motorola 6845. An automatic DMA transfer system for feeding the sound chip was also added but the sound chip itself remained unchanged. Additionally, the BASIC command set for disc access was improved.
  
In 1990 Amstrad introduced the "Plus" series which tweaked the hardware in many ways and added a cartridge slot to all models. Most improvements were to the video display which saw an increase in palette to 4096 colours and gained a capacity for hardware sprites. Splitting the display into two separate windows and pixel scrolling both became full supported hardware features although both were possible on the non-"Plus" hardware using clever programming of the existing Motorola 6845.
+
These models did not do very well in the marketplace, failing to attract any substantial third party support. The 8-bit technology behind the Plus was starting to look a little out of date by 1990 and users resented the substantial price hike for cartridge games compared to their tape and disc counterparts. However, the Plus machines did sell well in France where Amstrad still had a large following due to the success of the classic CPC range there.
  
An automatic DMA transfer system for feeding the sound chip was also added but the sound chip itself remained unchanged. Additionally, the BASIC command set for disc access was improved.
+
The range was officially titled as 'Amstrad 464 Plus', 'Amstrad 6128 Plus' and 'GX4000' and the 'CPC' (standing for Colour Personal Computer) abbreviation used in the older generation was dropped. However, many Amstrad users refer to the Plus range as 'CPC Plus' or 'CPC+' due to the inherent similarities of the two ranges.
  
A cut down CPC+ without the keyboard nor support for non-cartridge media was released simultaneously as the GX4000 video game console.
+
Klick to see the PCB of the 6128 Plus [[Mainboard Versions]]
  
These models did not do very well in the marketplace, failing to attract any substantial third party support. The 8-bit technology behind the CPC was starting to look a little out of date by 1990 and users resented the substantial price hike for cartridge games compared to their tape and disc counterparts. It's often forgotten that Europe had a large CPC following well supplied by Amstrad it's said the plus machines sold best in France.
+
== The GX4000 Games Console ==
  
''(Taken from Wikipedia.org)''
+
<gallery align="right">
 +
Image:Gx4000.jpg|Amstrad GX4000
 +
Image:Amstrad-GX4000-Console-Set.jpg|Amstrad GX4000
 +
</gallery>
  
== The CPC Plus ==
+
The GX4000 is a game console based on a 6128 Plus without a floppy controller or keyboard (although it is actually possible to modify one, add a floppy controller and a keyboard and use it as a Plus). It was delivered with two game paddles (as the ones delivered with the Plus models) and Burnin' Rubber on [[GX4000 cartridge|cartridge]] (without BASIC).
 
+
'''CPC Plus''' can use cartridges released for the '''GX4000''''''''', but specific software can be created using the extra features without the need of hardware (contrary as it was claimed by Amstrad in 1991). The extra features are not locked by a hardware mechanism but only by a special 17 bytes-lenght sequence send to the CRTC. So, it's possible for everyone to create his/her own software on the cpc plus, using the extra features available through a 16kb ASIC I/O page(See [[Programming ASIC]].) Except the extra-features, the 464 &amp; 6218&nbsp;Plus machines&nbsp;are almost fully compatible with the old CPC generation. Some minor&nbsp;differences are noticable in emulated components ([[8255|PPI]], [[CRTC]], [[Gate Array]][[Gate Array]]) and in the interrupt mechanism in vectorised mode.''
+
 
+
== The GX4000 Games Console ==
+
 
+
The GX4000 is a game console based on a CPC 464+ without a floppy controller or keyboard (although it is actually possible to modify one, add a floppy controller and a keyboard and use it as a CPC+). It was delivered with two game paddles (as the ones delivered with the CPC+ models) and Burning Rubber on [[GX4000 cartridge|cartidge]] (without basic).
+
  
 
The GX4000 was [[Amstrad]]'s attempt to gain some share in the home game console market, then dominated by the likes of Nintendo and Sega. Like others before it, and like others after it, it failed abysmally in its goal. Despite the fact that the hardware was decent (after all the CPC+ series were some of the very best 8-bit computers ever designed), it was a case of 'too little, too late'. Lack of CPC+ specific software, lack of marketing effort and bad timing meant that Amstrad's adventure in the home market was about to end.
 
The GX4000 was [[Amstrad]]'s attempt to gain some share in the home game console market, then dominated by the likes of Nintendo and Sega. Like others before it, and like others after it, it failed abysmally in its goal. Despite the fact that the hardware was decent (after all the CPC+ series were some of the very best 8-bit computers ever designed), it was a case of 'too little, too late'. Lack of CPC+ specific software, lack of marketing effort and bad timing meant that Amstrad's adventure in the home market was about to end.
  
<gallery caption="Amstrad GX4000">
+
=== GX4000 differences compared to 464 or 6128 Plus ===
Image:GX4000 01.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 02.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 03.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 04.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 05.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 06.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 07.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 08.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 09.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 10.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 11.jpg
+
Image:GX4000 12.jpg
+
</gallery>
+
  
== Specific Software for CPC+/GX4000 ==
+
* The master clock is 39.9Mhz (approx) instead of 40Mhz for the 464/6128 Plus. The Arnold V specification indicates this is to give a better picture. This means the GX4000 is 0.25% slower than a 464 or 6128 Plus but should have a better picture.
  
===== Graphic utilities =====
+
* The pause button on the GX4000 is mapped to the P button on the CPC keyboard. Other than this the 2 digital joysticks are connected, all other keys are not connected.
  
* [[Bmp Converter]] ([[Snn]] of [[Futur's]])
+
* There is a difference in the wiring schematics on the ADC inputs where the ASIC senses the computer configuration.
* [[Claudia]], a Bmp Converter ([[Eliot]])
+
* [[GMSK]] ([[TFM]] of [[FutureSoft]])
+
* [[GraphOS]] ([[BDC-Iron]])
+
* [[Kit 4096]] ([[OffseT]])
+
* [[Sprite Editor]] ([[Blue Impuls]])
+
* [[SMARTplus]] ([[Radical Software]])
+
* [[SymPlay]] ([[Prodatron]])
+
* [[SymSee]] ([[Prodatron]])
+
  
To complete... See [[Applications]] for exact words
+
* The following are not connected on GX4000 so the associated inputs are not defined (possibly high):
 +
    * Printer (data and strobe)
 +
    * Keyboard lines 0,1,2,4,5,7,8
 +
    * FDC
 +
    * FDD motor
 +
    * Cassette read, write, motor
 +
    * The signals /ROMEN, ROMDIS, /RAMRD, RAMDIS, CRTC CURSOR, EXP, Printer BUSY
  
==== Music software ====
+
* When a system cartridge is inserted (this has been verified with a yellow and a green labelled system cartridge), the copyright message and a Ready prompt is displayed. If the fire buttons or directions are pressed on the first digital joystick you see X,Z and the arrows displayed, the same as if you had pressed these buttons on a 464/6128 Plus or CPC. Pressing Pause displays "P".
  
* [[Soundtracker DMA]] by [[Zik]] of [[Futur's]]
+
== Accessing the Plus hardware improvements ==
  
To complete with software able to use dma sound playlist... See [[Applications]] for exact words
+
'''The Plus''' and GX4000 cartridges access the Plus hardware improvements, but specific software can be created using the extra features without the need of cartridge hardware (contrary as it was claimed by Amstrad in 1991). The extra features are not locked by a hardware mechanism but only by a special 17 bytes-length sequence send to the CRTC. So, it's possible for everyone to create his/her own software on the Plus, using the extra features available through a [[ASIC]] I/O page. Except the extra-features, the 464 and 6128 Plus machines are almost fully compatible with the classic CPC generation. Some minor differences are noticeable in the components ([[8255|PPI]], [[CRTC]], [[Gate Array]]) contained in the ASIC and in the interrupt mechanism in vectorised mode.
  
==== Libraries ====
+
For details about the Plus/GX4000 hardware features, see [[Arnold V Specs Revised]].
  
* [[B-ASIC]] ([[Logon System]])
+
== Software ==
  
==== Operating Systems ====
+
=== System Cartridges ===
  
* [[FutureOS]] (only in german)
+
See [[Plus System Cartridge]].
  
== Demos ==
 
  
=== Pure CPC Plus demos ===
+
=== Pure CPC Plus demos ===
  
* [[4096 Preview]] ([[Kevin Thacker]])
+
*[[4096 Preview|4096 Preview]] ([[Kevin Thacker|Kevin Thacker]])  
* [[Allergy]] by [[Semilanceata]]
+
*[[Allergy|Allergy]] by [[Semilanceata|Semilanceata]]  
* [[ASM Intro 1]] by [[Roudoudou]] of [[Flower corp]]
+
*[[ASM Intro 1|ASM Intro 1]] by [[Roudoudou|Roudoudou]] of [[Flower corp|Flower corp]]  
* [[Basic Demo 3]] by [[Roudoudou]] of [[Flower corp]]  
+
*[[Basic Demo 3|Basic Demo 3]] by [[Roudoudou|Roudoudou]] of [[Flower corp|Flower corp]]  
* [[Black Sabbath]] by [[BDC-Iron]]
+
*[[Black Sabbath|Black Sabbath]] by [[BDC-Iron|BDC-Iron]]
* [[CPC+ Desktop]] by [[Odiesoft]]
+
*[[Blob Demo]] by [[Redbox]]
* [[Demo Plus]] ([[GPA]])
+
*[[CPC+ Desktop|CPC+ Desktop]] by [[Odiesoft|Odiesoft]]  
* [[Diamonds]] ([[ZilogMonkey]])
+
*[[Demo Plus|Demo Plus]] ([[GPA|GPA]])  
* [[DMA music demo]] ([[Cadjo Clan]])
+
*[[Diamonds|Diamonds]] ([[ZilogMonkey|ZilogMonkey]])  
* [[Fantasy]] by [[Semilanceata]]
+
*[[DMA music demo|DMA music demo]] ([[Cadjo Clan|Cadjo Clan]])  
* [[Hate Beats]] by [[Ukonx]]
+
*[[Fantasy|Fantasy]] by [[Semilanceata|Semilanceata]]  
* [[It was so nice before the crash of the mir station]] by [[Eliot]]
+
*[[Hate Beats|Hate Beats]] by [[Ukonx|Ukonx]]  
* [[Larsen]] by [[OFE]]
+
*[[It was so nice before the crash of the mir station|It was so nice before the crash of the mir station]] by [[Eliot|Eliot]]  
* [[LiquidSnake]] by [[Revival]]
+
*[[Kill Max]] by [[OFE|OFE]]
* [[Sappy]] by [[Semilanceata]]
+
*[[Larsen|Larsen]] by [[OFE|OFE]]
* [[Simply The Bests]] by [[Eliot]]
+
*[[Lumiere]] by [[Revival|Revival]]
* [[Seminoisin]] by [[Semilanceata]]
+
*[[LiquidSnake|LiquidSnake]] by [[Revival|Revival]]  
* [[Synergy]] by [[Impact]]
+
*[[Sappy|Sappy]] by [[Semilanceata|Semilanceata]]  
* [[Tragedy]]
+
*[[Schnapps|Schnapps]] by [[Shining|Shining]]
* [[Walking on a scroll]] by [[BDC-Iron]]
+
*[[Simply The Bests|Simply The Bests]] by [[Eliot|Eliot]]  
* [[Wulf]]/[[Ratz]] unreleased part of [[Palatine]]
+
*[[Seminoisin|Seminoisin]] by [[Semilanceata|Semilanceata]]  
* [[Ze Meeting 2000 Demo]] by [[BDC-Iron]]
+
*[[Synergy|Synergy]] by [[Ast]] of&nbsp;[[Impact|Impact]]  
 +
*[[Tragedy|Tragedy]] by [[Ast]] of&nbsp;[[Impact|Impact]]
 +
*[[Walking on a scroll|Walking on a scroll]] by [[BDC-Iron|BDC-Iron]]  
 +
*[[XMas 2008]] Dentro by [[Ast]] of&nbsp;[[Impact|Impact]]
 +
*[[Wulf|Wulf]]/[[Ratz|Ratz]] unreleased part of [[Palatine|Palatine]]  
 +
*[[Ze Meeting 2000 Demo|Ze Meeting 2000 Demo]] by [[BDC-Iron|BDC-Iron]]
  
 
=== Demos with Plus features ===
 
=== Demos with Plus features ===
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* [[Heat Demo]] by [[Odiesoft]]
 
* [[Heat Demo]] by [[Odiesoft]]
 
* [[Fire Engine demo]] (attributed to [[Roo-dolph]] but unreleased?)
 
* [[Fire Engine demo]] (attributed to [[Roo-dolph]] but unreleased?)
 +
* [[NQ!-Music Disc]] by [[Shining]]
 
* [[System Party 97]] by [[Eliot]]
 
* [[System Party 97]] by [[Eliot]]
 
* [[Texture Mapping Plus]] by [[Odiesoft]]
 
* [[Texture Mapping Plus]] by [[Odiesoft]]
 +
* [[Ze Meeting 96-97 Compilation]] by [[Condense]] (Contains a CPC+ part)
 +
* [[Ae2010 Final Exams]] by [[Impact]] (The last part contains some Cpc+ features !)
  
 
* to complete
 
* to complete
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* [[Samantha Fox Slideshow]] by [[Demoniak]]
 
* [[Samantha Fox Slideshow]] by [[Demoniak]]
 
* [[The 7th guest slideshow]] by [[Snn]]
 
* [[The 7th guest slideshow]] by [[Snn]]
 +
* [[Amiga Graphics Plus]] compiled by [[Simon Green]]
  
== Games ==
+
=== Graphics  ===
  
=== Non-cartridge games ===
+
* [[Bmp Converter]] ([[Snn]] of [[Futur's]])
 +
* [[Claudia]], a Bmp Converter ([[Eliot]])
 +
* [[GMSK]] ([[TFM]] of [[FutureSoft]])
 +
* [[GraphOS]] ([[BDC-Iron]])
 +
* [[Kit 4096]] ([[OffseT]])
 +
* [[Sprite Editor]] ([[Blue Impuls]])
 +
* [[SMARTplus]] ([[Radical Software]])
  
* [[Aigle D'or: Le Retour]]
+
(to complete... see [[Applications]])
* [[Burger Party]] ([[Futur's]]) - horizontal shoot'em up
+
 
* [[Call &BD10'n'oeuf]] ([[Fenyx Kell]]) - released for the Amstrad Expo 2005 Contest
+
=== Music  ===
* [[Fluff]] ([[Radical Software]])
+
 
* [[Frogger]] ([[Executioner]])
+
* [[Soundtracker DMA]] by [[Zik]] of [[Futur's]]
* [[Jet Set Willy Plus - Manic Miner 3 Plus]] ([[Andy Cadley]]) - remakes of 3 CPC classics for the CPC Plus
+
 
* [[Prehistorik 2]] ([[Titus Software]])
+
(to complete... see [[Applications]])
* [[Space Gun]] ([[Ocean]])
+
 
* [[Stryker and the Crypts of Trogan]] ([[Codemasters]]) - enhanced for Plus
+
=== Utilities ===
 +
 
 +
* [[B-ASIC]] ([[Logon System]])
 +
 
 +
=== Alternate Operating Systems ===
  
 +
* [[FutureOS]]
  
=== Cartridges released for the GX4000 ===
+
=== Cartridge Games ===
  
 
* [[Barbarian 2 ( Cartridge )|Barbarian 2]]
 
* [[Barbarian 2 ( Cartridge )|Barbarian 2]]
 
* [[Batman The Movie ( Cartridge )|Batman The Movie]]
 
* [[Batman The Movie ( Cartridge )|Batman The Movie]]
 
* [[Burnin' Rubber|Burning Rubber]]
 
* [[Burnin' Rubber|Burning Rubber]]
* [[Chase HQ 2 ( Cartridge )]]
+
* [[Chase HQ 2 ( Cartridge )|Chase HQ 2]]
 
* [[Copter 271 ( Cartridge )|Copter 271]]
 
* [[Copter 271 ( Cartridge )|Copter 271]]
 
* [[Crazy Cars 2 ( Cartridge )|Crazy Cars 2]]
 
* [[Crazy Cars 2 ( Cartridge )|Crazy Cars 2]]
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* [[Enforcer (With Phazer) ( Cartridge )|Enforcer (With Phazer)]]
 
* [[Enforcer (With Phazer) ( Cartridge )|Enforcer (With Phazer)]]
 
* [[Fire and Forget 2 ( Cartridge )|Fire and Forget 2]]
 
* [[Fire and Forget 2 ( Cartridge )|Fire and Forget 2]]
* [[Gazza II ( Cartridge )]]
 
 
* [[Klax ( Cartridge )|Klax]]
 
* [[Klax ( Cartridge )|Klax]]
 
* [[Mystical ( Cartridge )|Mystical]]
 
* [[Mystical ( Cartridge )|Mystical]]
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* [[Pro Tennis Tour ( Cartridge )|Pro Tennis Tour]]
 
* [[Pro Tennis Tour ( Cartridge )|Pro Tennis Tour]]
 
* [[Robocop 2 ( Cartridge )|Robocop 2]]
 
* [[Robocop 2 ( Cartridge )|Robocop 2]]
* [[Skeet Shoot (With Phazer) ( Cartridge )]]
+
* [[Skeet Shoot (With Phazer) ( Cartridge )|Skeet Shoot]]
 
* [[Super Pinball Magic ( Cartridge )|Super Pinball Magic]]
 
* [[Super Pinball Magic ( Cartridge )|Super Pinball Magic]]
 
* [[Switchblade ( Cartridge )|Switchblade]]
 
* [[Switchblade ( Cartridge )|Switchblade]]
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* [[World Of Sports ( Cartridge )|World Of Sports]]
 
* [[World Of Sports ( Cartridge )|World Of Sports]]
  
=== Games patched for the Amstrad CPC Plus ===
+
=== Unofficial Cartridge Games ===
  
The following Amstrad CPC games have been patched for the Amstrad CPC Plus to take advantage of its extended colour palette:
+
The following cartridge games are unofficial, i.e. in that they were not sold commercially during the Plus/GX4000 lifetime.
 +
These cartridges work on Plus and GX4000.
 +
 
 +
* [[Bears!]]
 +
* [[Blue Angel 69]]
 +
* [[Ghosts 'n' Goblins]]
 +
* [[Puzznic]]
 +
* [[Stryker and the Crypts of Trogan]]
 +
 
 +
=== Non-cartridge Games ===
 +
 
 +
* [[Aigle D'or: Le Retour]]
 +
* [[Best Of The Best]] - Championship Panza Gold Edition Karate/Kick Boxing Gold Edition ([[Loriciels]]) (1991)
 +
* [[Burger Party]] ([[Futur's]]) - horizontal shoot'em up
 +
* [[Bumpy's Arcade Fantasy]]
 +
* [[Call &BD10'n'oeuf]] ([[Fenyx Kell]]) - released for the Amstrad Expo 2005 Contest
 +
* [[DDay]]
 +
* [[Fluff]] ([[Radical Software]])
 +
* [[Frogger]] ([[Executioner]])
 +
* [[Jet Set Willy Plus - Manic Miner 3 Plus]] ([[Andy Cadley]]) - remakes of 3 CPC classics for the CPC Plus
 +
* [[Prehistorik 2]] ([[Titus Software]])
 +
* [[Space Gun]] ([[Ocean]])
 +
* [[Stryker and the Crypts of Trogan]] ([[Codemasters]]) - enhanced for Plus
 +
* [[Wildfire]] (Game in development for the CPC plus)
 +
 
 +
=== Games patched for the Plus ===
 +
 
 +
The following Amstrad CPC games have been patched for the Plus to take advantage of its extended colour palette. They are often disk versions that do not work on GX4000:
  
 
* [[Cybernoid II Plus]]
 
* [[Cybernoid II Plus]]
* [[FIFA World Cup 2006]] (based on ''World Cup Soccer: Italia '90'')
+
* [[FIFA World Cup 2006]] - based on ''World Cup Soccer: Italia '90''
 
* [[Solomon's Key Plus]]
 
* [[Solomon's Key Plus]]
* [[Rick Dangerous Plus]]
 
 
* [[Operation Wolf Plus]]
 
* [[Operation Wolf Plus]]
 +
* [[Rick dangerous 128%2B]] - Extended and enhanced for Plus
 +
 +
=== Vapourwares ===
 +
 +
Some games are said to have actually existed and even reviewed in some specialised press :
 +
 +
* [[:Category:Vaporware]]
  
 
=== Bootlegs ===
 
=== Bootlegs ===
  
Lately (as of May 2007) several instances of bootleg cartridges have appeared. These are not original releases and, although they could run without any problems, caution should be exercised when buying. What is more, their collectible/historical value is doubtful. For more details, see [http://www.pcwking.netfirms.com/cartridge.html here]
+
Lately (as of May 2007) several instances ofbootleg cartridges have appeared. These are not original releases and, although they could run without any problems, caution should be exercised when buying. What is more, their collectible/historical value is doubtful. For more details, see [[Bootleg Cartridges]] and [http://www.pcwking.netfirms.com/cartridge.html here]
  
== System Cartridges ==
+
=== Modern Cartridges ===
  
* [[English ROM with Burning Rubber]]
+
* [[Modern Cartridges]]
* [[French ROM with Burning Rubber]]
+
* [[Spanish ROM with Burning Rubber]]
+
  
 
== Included in Delivery ==
 
== Included in Delivery ==
  
=== 464plus ===
+
=== 464 Plus ===
  
* The computer itself, incl. built-in Datacorder
+
* The computer itself, including built-in Datacorder
* System Cartridge with AMSDOS(the Plus series were actyakky the first Amstrad machines to have the OS on a removable medium, as opposed to on-chop built-in OSes; nevertheless, this was not that bad as cartidge loading is instantaneous), Locomotive BASIC 1.1 and the game Burnin' Rubber
+
* [[Plus System Cartridge]] with Operating System (v4), [[Locomotive BASIC]] v1.1, [[AMSDOS]] and the game [[Burnin' Rubber]]
 
* 1 Paddle
 
* 1 Paddle
* CPC464plus/CPC6128plus manual
+
* 464 Plus/6128 Plus manual
 
* Game manual
 
* Game manual
 
* Either an [[Amstrad MM12 Monochrome Monitor]] or an [[Amstrad CM14 Colour Monitor]]
 
* Either an [[Amstrad MM12 Monochrome Monitor]] or an [[Amstrad CM14 Colour Monitor]]
  
=== 6128plus ===
+
=== 6128 Plus ===
  
* The computer itself, incl. built-in 3" disk drive
+
* The computer itself, including built-in 3" disk drive
* System Cartridge with AMSDOS (the Plus series were actually the first Amstrad machines to have the OS on a removable medium, as opposed to on-chop built-in OSes; nevertheless, this was not that bad as cartidge loading is instantaneous, Locomotive BASIC 1.1 and the game Burnin' Rubber
+
* [[Plus System Cartridge]] with Operating System (v4), [[Locomotive BASIC]] v1.1, [[AMSDOS]] and the game [[Burnin' Rubber]]
 
* [[System Disk]] with CP/M Plus and utilities, identical disk for all countries
 
* [[System Disk]] with CP/M Plus and utilities, identical disk for all countries
 
* 1 Paddle
 
* 1 Paddle
* 464plus/6128plus manual
+
* 464 Plus/6128 Plus manual
 
* Game manual
 
* Game manual
 
* Either an [[Amstrad MM12 Monochrome Monitor]] or an [[Amstrad CM14 Colour Monitor]]
 
* Either an [[Amstrad MM12 Monochrome Monitor]] or an [[Amstrad CM14 Colour Monitor]]
Line 210: Line 242:
 
=== GX4000 ===
 
=== GX4000 ===
  
* The console itself
+
* The console itself which included SCART and RF outputs for connection to a TV
* [[Burnin' Rubber|Burning Rubber]]
+
* [[Burnin' Rubber]] cartridge
 
* 2 Paddles
 
* 2 Paddles
 
* Console manual
 
* Console manual
 
* Game manual
 
* Game manual
* Power supply
+
* Power supply 11v 500mA - -(o- +
* Optional: [[Amstrad MM12 Monochrome Monitor]] or [[Amstrad CM14 Colour Monitor]]
+
 
 +
<gallery caption="Amstrad GX4000">
 +
Image:GX4000 01.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 02.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 03.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 04.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 05.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 06.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 07.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 08.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 09.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 10.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 11.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000 12.jpg
 +
Image:GX4000_Top.jpg|GX4000 Top
 +
Image:GX4000_Bottom.jpg|GX4000 Bottom
 +
Image:GX4000_PCB_Top.jpg|GX4000 Motherboard Top
 +
Image:GX4000_PCB_Bottom.jpg|GX4000 Motherboard Bottom
 +
</gallery>
 +
 
 +
== Amstrad CSD ==
 +
 
 +
The Amstrad CSD was a system containing a 464PLUS motherboad and an additionnal Mainboard enabling to switch beteween 12 different game (or whatever) Cartridges. The System was supplied with some sort of JukeBox OS Cartridge.
 +
 
 +
It was used as a demonstration system at retailers and shops were the Amstrad PLUS range was sold.
 +
 
 +
[[Amstrad CSD| Check the Amstrad CSD page for more details.]]
 +
 
 +
== Videos ==
  
 
Showing the GX4000 in action
 
Showing the GX4000 in action
Line 226: Line 286:
 
{{#ev:youtube|T6oG7DRdBgI|300}}
 
{{#ev:youtube|T6oG7DRdBgI|300}}
  
 +
25th Anniversary Special By Novabug with Guru Larry
 +
 +
{{#ev:youtube|iWB6NRkjTmE|300}}
 +
 +
Unboxing & Playtest by Novabug
 +
 +
{{#ev:youtube|q8quohU5awY|300}}
  
== Emulators for CPC Plus ==
+
== Emulators for the Plus ==
  
 
* [[Arnold]]
 
* [[Arnold]]
 
* [[WinApe]]
 
* [[WinApe]]
 +
* [[MESS]]
 +
* [[NO$CPC]]
 +
* [[MTMW]]
 +
* [[ACE_(Emulator)|ACE CPC Emulator]]
  
 
== Weblinks ==
 
== Weblinks ==
  
 +
*http://www.gx4000.co.uk/ Xyphoe's GX4000 site - Reviews, roms, manuals, screen shots, vidoes, rarity/price guide for carts and more!
 
*http://www.cpcmania.com/  ( on the games section : GX4000/CPC+ GAMES )
 
*http://www.cpcmania.com/  ( on the games section : GX4000/CPC+ GAMES )
 
*[http://www.pcwking.netfirms.com/cartridge.html Listing and pictures of Amstrad GX4000 games]
 
*[http://www.pcwking.netfirms.com/cartridge.html Listing and pictures of Amstrad GX4000 games]
 
*[http://www.kjthacker.f2s.com/docs/carts.htm Complete list of GX 4000 games]
 
*[http://www.kjthacker.f2s.com/docs/carts.htm Complete list of GX 4000 games]
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*http://www.thepixelempire.net/amstrad-gx4000-reviews.html - Reviews of the GX4000 titles
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*http://www.thepixelempire.net/pixel-memories-amstrad-gx4000.html - A retrospective look at the console.
  
[[Category:Hardware]] [[Category:CPC Plus]][[Category:Video contents]]
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[[Category:Hardware| ]] [[Category:CPC Plus| ]][[Category:Video contents]][[Category:CPC Internal Components| ]][[Category:CPC History|* ]][[Category:Non CPC Computers| ]][[Category:Amstrad Products| ]]

Latest revision as of 12:28, 16 June 2020

Introduction to the Plus range

In 1990 Amstrad introduced the "Plus" range which tweaked the hardware in many ways and added a cartridge slot to all models. The Plus included the 464 Plus, 6128 Plus and the GX4000 video game console (which is a cut down Plus without the keyboard nor support for non-cartridge media). All of the range included a cartridge slot and additional hardware improvements.

Most improvements were to the video display which saw an increase in palette to 4096 colours and gained the capability of hardware sprites. Splitting the display into two separate windows and pixel scrolling both became full supported hardware features although both were possible on the non-"Plus" hardware using clever programming of the existing Motorola 6845. An automatic DMA transfer system for feeding the sound chip was also added but the sound chip itself remained unchanged. Additionally, the BASIC command set for disc access was improved.

These models did not do very well in the marketplace, failing to attract any substantial third party support. The 8-bit technology behind the Plus was starting to look a little out of date by 1990 and users resented the substantial price hike for cartridge games compared to their tape and disc counterparts. However, the Plus machines did sell well in France where Amstrad still had a large following due to the success of the classic CPC range there.

The range was officially titled as 'Amstrad 464 Plus', 'Amstrad 6128 Plus' and 'GX4000' and the 'CPC' (standing for Colour Personal Computer) abbreviation used in the older generation was dropped. However, many Amstrad users refer to the Plus range as 'CPC Plus' or 'CPC+' due to the inherent similarities of the two ranges.

Klick to see the PCB of the 6128 Plus Mainboard Versions

The GX4000 Games Console

The GX4000 is a game console based on a 6128 Plus without a floppy controller or keyboard (although it is actually possible to modify one, add a floppy controller and a keyboard and use it as a Plus). It was delivered with two game paddles (as the ones delivered with the Plus models) and Burnin' Rubber on cartridge (without BASIC).

The GX4000 was Amstrad's attempt to gain some share in the home game console market, then dominated by the likes of Nintendo and Sega. Like others before it, and like others after it, it failed abysmally in its goal. Despite the fact that the hardware was decent (after all the CPC+ series were some of the very best 8-bit computers ever designed), it was a case of 'too little, too late'. Lack of CPC+ specific software, lack of marketing effort and bad timing meant that Amstrad's adventure in the home market was about to end.

GX4000 differences compared to 464 or 6128 Plus

  • The master clock is 39.9Mhz (approx) instead of 40Mhz for the 464/6128 Plus. The Arnold V specification indicates this is to give a better picture. This means the GX4000 is 0.25% slower than a 464 or 6128 Plus but should have a better picture.
  • The pause button on the GX4000 is mapped to the P button on the CPC keyboard. Other than this the 2 digital joysticks are connected, all other keys are not connected.
  • There is a difference in the wiring schematics on the ADC inputs where the ASIC senses the computer configuration.
  • The following are not connected on GX4000 so the associated inputs are not defined (possibly high):
   * Printer (data and strobe)
   * Keyboard lines 0,1,2,4,5,7,8
   * FDC
   * FDD motor
   * Cassette read, write, motor
   * The signals /ROMEN, ROMDIS, /RAMRD, RAMDIS, CRTC CURSOR, EXP, Printer BUSY
  • When a system cartridge is inserted (this has been verified with a yellow and a green labelled system cartridge), the copyright message and a Ready prompt is displayed. If the fire buttons or directions are pressed on the first digital joystick you see X,Z and the arrows displayed, the same as if you had pressed these buttons on a 464/6128 Plus or CPC. Pressing Pause displays "P".

Accessing the Plus hardware improvements

The Plus and GX4000 cartridges access the Plus hardware improvements, but specific software can be created using the extra features without the need of cartridge hardware (contrary as it was claimed by Amstrad in 1991). The extra features are not locked by a hardware mechanism but only by a special 17 bytes-length sequence send to the CRTC. So, it's possible for everyone to create his/her own software on the Plus, using the extra features available through a ASIC I/O page. Except the extra-features, the 464 and 6128 Plus machines are almost fully compatible with the classic CPC generation. Some minor differences are noticeable in the components (PPI, CRTC, Gate Array) contained in the ASIC and in the interrupt mechanism in vectorised mode.

For details about the Plus/GX4000 hardware features, see Arnold V Specs Revised.

Software

System Cartridges

See Plus System Cartridge.


Pure CPC Plus demos

Demos with Plus features

  • to complete

Slide Shows

Graphics

(to complete... see Applications)

Music

(to complete... see Applications)

Utilities

Alternate Operating Systems

Cartridge Games

Unofficial Cartridge Games

The following cartridge games are unofficial, i.e. in that they were not sold commercially during the Plus/GX4000 lifetime. These cartridges work on Plus and GX4000.

Non-cartridge Games

Games patched for the Plus

The following Amstrad CPC games have been patched for the Plus to take advantage of its extended colour palette. They are often disk versions that do not work on GX4000:

Vapourwares

Some games are said to have actually existed and even reviewed in some specialised press :

Bootlegs

Lately (as of May 2007) several instances ofbootleg cartridges have appeared. These are not original releases and, although they could run without any problems, caution should be exercised when buying. What is more, their collectible/historical value is doubtful. For more details, see Bootleg Cartridges and here

Modern Cartridges

Included in Delivery

464 Plus

6128 Plus

GX4000

  • The console itself which included SCART and RF outputs for connection to a TV
  • Burnin' Rubber cartridge
  • 2 Paddles
  • Console manual
  • Game manual
  • Power supply 11v 500mA - -(o- +

Amstrad CSD

The Amstrad CSD was a system containing a 464PLUS motherboad and an additionnal Mainboard enabling to switch beteween 12 different game (or whatever) Cartridges. The System was supplied with some sort of JukeBox OS Cartridge.

It was used as a demonstration system at retailers and shops were the Amstrad PLUS range was sold.

Check the Amstrad CSD page for more details.

Videos

Showing the GX4000 in action

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Review of the GX4000 by Retro Zone

{{#ev:youtube|T6oG7DRdBgI|300}}

25th Anniversary Special By Novabug with Guru Larry

{{#ev:youtube|iWB6NRkjTmE|300}}

Unboxing & Playtest by Novabug

{{#ev:youtube|q8quohU5awY|300}}

Emulators for the Plus

Weblinks