This year there have been a few ‘minor’ computer shows, mainly for single machines — the Amstrad and Commodore Shows — and of course several ZX Microfairs. The CES Show, intended to be a major home computer trade extravaganza was poorly attended by software houses, and home computer hardware manufacturers hardly made a showing. The general consensus of opinion was that everyone was saving up their effort (and show budgets) for the Personal Computer World Show which runs from September 3rd to 6th this year.
Considering that it’s easy to spend £30,000 and more just on a stand at the PCW Show (and lots of companies plan to do at least that), it’s not surprising that firms take the show very seriously indeed. This year — as our seven page preview section illustrates — there’s an awful lot of interesting software due to make an appearance at Olympia. Several new labels, including Piranha and Faster Than Light are using the show as a springboard into the Christmas marketplace, and of course we’ll be there in force on the Newsfield stand.
But there’s not going to be a vast amount of exciting Spectrum add-ons unveiled at the show, by all accounts. The odd joystick or two will no doubt turn up, and of course the Spectrum Plus Two from Amstrad may well make its first public appearance. It seems the demand for Spectrum add-ons has largely been fulfilled. Perhaps once folks have got their basic requirements in the form of a joystick, interface and cassette recorder, they have all they need to play games and tend to leave it at that.
Mel Croucher, in partnership with Rod Cousens of Quicksilva and latterly, Activision fame, plan to reveal a very interesting black box at the show, however. Scorpio Interactive has been working on a device that allows you to interface your computer with the pictures provided by an ordinary video recorder and then play a game in which you control computerized graphics moving over the video image. Several pop videos and a couple of films have already been given the Scorpio treatment, and a demonstration of the possibilities should be running during the PCW Show. A neat idea, which has interesting possibilities — perhaps the most exciting innovation on the games/hardware front to be found at the show.
Only time and a good look round Olympia will tell. Maybe we’ll see you on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Wednesday and Thursday are trade only days, folks...
Holiday time comes round again, and this month’s CRASH has gone on an H-Plan diet! Staff hols, in combination with one or two other factors, have lead to a slightly slimmer issue this month — condensed rather than cut short. Lloyd has been a bit tied up with work on the new magazine mentioned last month, and handed over his MERELY MANGRAM pages to the team of wordsmiths in the CRASH office so that they could take a fairly comprehensive peek at the software offerings due at the PCW Show. Normal service will be resumed with the October issue, as the team returns from sunning its knees in a variety of locations across the globe and gets back to some serious work, thoroughly revitalised by a summertime break.
Not one, but two winning game designs were selected by the team of GENESIS judges assembled in a Birmingham hotel room. After much deliberation, representatives from Design Design, Domark, CRASH (Yours Truly), Solution Public Relations and Mel Croucher Worldwide Entertainment Enterprises Unlimited (Mel Croucher) felt they couldn’t avoid picking two winners. As a result two GENESIS games are planned: a shoot em up should appear in time for Christmas followed by an arcade adventure early in the Spring. Full details of the designers and their winning designs appear in the News and Results pages this issue. You can expect to be reading a lot more about the progress of the GENESIS project over the coming months...