by Mark Nobes, chief editor

Now, this is one of those beautifully styled pieces of hardware that was very tempting to buy, but suffered from bad marketing. Externally, the console looked like a space craft, but internally it was, basically, a CPC Plus computer. 

With a launch price of £99.99 and bundled with two controllers, a power pack and the racing game Burnin' Rubber,  the GX4000 seemed like a bargain in 1990, and was Amstrad's first and last attempt to grab a slice of the video game market. 

Amstrad GX4000 Console

However, with other 8-bit consoles already being established in the video game market, and the rise of the 16-bit consoles such as the Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo (SNES) and computers such as the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, the new 8-bit console simply couldn't compete.

There were also other factors which led to the machine's quick demise. A lack of software (Amstrad lacked the funding to support the software houses) and little information about the console didn't help - there was little support from the tech magazines. 

The games that were released for the system were, basically, CPC games which could be bought for under a fiver on cassette. Therefore, releasing them onto a cartridge and charging around £25 was never really going to work. 

Just 27 titles were released for the console including some big titles such as Robocop 2 and Switchblade. However, many well-known games were also cancelled such as Kick Off 2 and OutRun.

It's a shame that the machine wasn't successful as, like another ill-fated 90s console the Atari Jaguar, it was a pretty decent piece of kit. The console was discontinued in 1991 with remaining Burnin' Rubber bundles being sold off for £29.99 in Dixons.

Amstrad Action Magazine Issue 1

Amstrad Action was one of the only magazines to support the GX4000 console.