On 7th of November 1995, Petro as CEO for ESCOM, Amiga Technologies announced at Bensheim that new PowerPC 604 Amiga’s was going to be launched in the first quarter 1997:
During his key note address held in Los Angeles at the Video Toaster Expo, Petro Tyschtschenko, CEO and President of Amiga Technologies officially announced the Power PC to be the processor used in the future generation of Amiga computers.
The first POWER AMIGA will be available 1st quarter 1997 and will feature the Power PC 604 RISC CPU. Further models will be available later in the entry-level, as well as in the mid-range.
The Power Amigas will be backwards compatible with current models and will also feature a new and more powerful chipset.
“Our pre-emptive multitasking Operating System AmigaOS will be ported to the Power PC platform first. Our goal is to make our OS hardware independent to allow further ports on other platforms”, said Petro Tyschtschenko.
What if this new PowerPC 604 happened back in 1997
Looking at different news items from now and then reveals a goal for Petro and ESCOM that could have made Amiga huge? Would it be enough to give Amiga the push it needed? Petro thought of AmigaOS for PowerPC already in 1995. Maybe we would have AmigaOS 3.10 PPC edition or AmigaOS 4. But that never happened. It wasn’t until November 2007 that AmigaOS 4 for PowerPC got released.
ESCOM however managed to re-release Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000T, with Amiga Walker was going to take 68k Amiga further. Maybe there were too many plans?
Close co-operation between Amiga Technologies and phase 5 regarding PowerPC Amiga future
More good news for all Amiga users: The Power PC technology will not only be available for new Power Amigas. Thanks to a close co-operation between Amiga Technologies and Phase V, a German turbo board manufacturer, a full range of Power PC boards will also be available for the A1200, A3000 and A4000 series.
Digging thru the same document also reveals that Amiga Technologies was going to release PowerPC cards in co-operation with phase 5 at that time. They were going to be released by the end of 1996, which phase 5 actually did on their own .. but that happened in 1997.
But no PowerPC Amiga came out. If it had, this new POWER platform from Amiga Technologies would have shake the Apple marked a bit. Instead Genesi, with their Pegasos platform became the first PowerPC AmigaOS compatible hardware with MorphOS running on them. That made me love MorphOS after I tried it at AmiGBG event in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2003. This also started the legal battle between blue and red. It is now much better though, but at that time the blue vs red wars became really intense. Especially after AmigaOS 4 release in 2007!
For the serious market, Apple won more and more at that time. However! On the home market, Amiga was still leading a lot over Apple, which at that time still had only super expensive apps. Apple in 1997 wasn’t a home and gaming platform at all. Amiga could have made huge scoop if ESCOM still was alive.
ESCOM grew too quickly and had to closedown in July 1996
Why ESCOM had to closedown in 1996 is still a mystery for many. This company had a huge success with their PC sales! But the fact is. Escom did buy Commodore International for US$14 million. It was primarily to get the Commodore and Amiga brand names.
So, ESCOM started early after they got the Commodore Amiga rights to focus on Amiga. ESCOM started using the Commodore name on computers sold in Europe, and established a separate division for Amiga related technologies.
It is said that ESCOM grew too quickly, however, and lost about 185 million German Mark in 1995. With no bailout from it’s shareholders, ESCOM decided to go down on 15th of July 1996, and was liquidated.
What would happen if ESCOM managed to stay alive is unknown. But it seems like the Commodore purchase went a bit too fast and plans became too many.