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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
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Amiga Power Module

Power Module
The Power Module was an addon to the Atari 2600, allowing the use of cheaper tape-based games. The project was first unveiled during February 1983, for release later that year. At an expected price of $44.95, the device was planned to include two Power-Play game cassettes. Additional games could be purchased for $9.95. The May 1983 issue of Digital Antic describes the module as:
An alternative to ROM cartridges for the Atari VCS. Plugged into the game machine, it provides 6K RAM and and a microprocessor to receive and use game programs loaded from a cassette recorder. Preprogrammed tapes for the module are much cheaper than ROM cartridges, and the extra RAM enhances graphics and play.

Innnovation:

To set their product apart from the rest of the market Amiga had to give it an interesting features- something that no other product could do. The first was hardly original even for the time. Using the 3D glasses, games could be played in glorious three dimensions. This could be used with the bundled 3-D Ghost Attack game. More interesting was the second innovation, that allowed Atari 2600 users to link their Power Module to a modem and play against each other over a phone line. To demonstrate the possibility of the device, Amiga created Depth Charge- a submarine simulation game that placed two players in the role of submarine or destroyer captain. Could this be one of the first implemenations of online gaming? A market that would eventually lead to the development of Doom, Quake, and millions of others?

Before the device could be released, Amiga cancelled the project in favour of the new Multiplay Video Game Cartridges. These quickly became known as the Power-Play Arcade series. Each cartridge was to include three games, created by Amiga or licensed from another manufacturer.

Thanks to Atari Gaming Headquarters for providing information and cover screenshots.
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