Amstrad GX4000
Type Console Developer Amstrad
Release Date 1990-Sep Region(s) Europe
Initial Price $169 USD Games Released 27
     by Dark Watcher
Amstrad's GX4000 was the second UK-developed console to be released on the market.  The console retailed came with a main adapter, TV lead, two paddle control units and a game called "Burnin' Rubber".  It featured a unique case design that looked like a space ship.  It was even demonstrated as such on the packaging.  Does this mean it was Space Age?  Well, no, not really.
Amstrad, seeing the ever increasing money to be made in console video game market, followed in the same footsteps as many other computer companies had.  The GX4000 was actually a modified CPC6128+ computer.  This allowed the system to be compatible with a majority of CPC+ computer line software.

Unfortunately the Amstrad GX4000 did not fare well in this growing market.  In a matter of weeks the system could be bought at discounted prices.  Popular UK videogame magazines marked the system as "the worst system of the month" as voted by most readers.
The system was distributed in a few European countries.  After this console's failure, Amstrad stopped all activity in the computer and videogame field.  Most of 20+ games released were made by UK based companies Ocean (became Infogrames UK) and US Gold (became Eidos).  Timing may have been the thing that killed this system. The 8-bit Amstrad GX4000 was released shortly after the newer generation 16-bit Sega Mega Drive.
     by Marriott_Guy
The GX4000, released in Europe in 1990 by Amstrad, is definitely one of the most unique looking video game consoles ever released.  Amstrad, a popular computer manufacturer, looked to cash in on the lucrative video game console market like many of its peers had attempted to do, some more successful than others.  Sporting a very sleek design that resembles the snow speeder in Star Wars, looking underneath the hood of this console reveals anything but space-age technology at the time of its release.
The GX4000 is basically a modified CPC6128+ computer.  This enabled the console to be compatible with many existing CPC computer games and applications.  The system came packaged with the two controllers (NES style), AV cables and a racing game entitled Burnin' Rubber.  Released for commercial sale for $99 (British Pound), this console was moderately priced at its time.  With a substantial amount of readily available ports from the CPC, the GX4000 would not have to entirely rely upon new game development but could be subsidized by its sister system(s) for game content/programming.  Even with all of these positive measures, the GX4000 was doomed from the beginning.
The GX4000 was powered by an 8 bit Zilog Z80A processor, which could display a color palette of 4096 (impressive at the time for an 8 bit system) and enhanced sound.  The drawback - 16 bit processing technology was released by Sega (and shortly thereafter Nintendo) just after the GX4000 hit the store shelves which essentially sealed this consoles fate.  Porting of the inferior CPC games to the GX4000 did not prove to be financially sound and was quickly abandoned.  Around 27 games were released for this console and could be found in the bargain bins throughout the UK along with the GX4000 system within months of its initial release.

The GX4000 is an interesting system, but only recommended as a purchase for collectors.  Readily available in the UK and abroad through eBay and like services, a CIB (complete in box) system can run you around $50-$100 USD, much less in the UK, but keep in mind that shipping costs can be pricey.

     Officially licensed releases
Amstrad GX4000
Amstrad GX4000 Amstrad GX4000 Amstrad GX4000
Amstrad GX4000 Amstrad GX4000 Amstrad GX4000
Amstrad GX4000 Amstrad GX4000 Amstrad GX4000
Courtesy of Charles Lee
     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     by Marriott_Guy
Consoles are rated based upon the available technology at the time of its release.  A 10 point scale is utilized, with 10 being excellent.

Console Design 06 I happen to like the "Star Wars snow speeder" look of the GX4000 simply due to the unique design.  The stream-lined chassis makes the ports somewhat difficult to access.
Console Durability 05 Though I have not experienced any issues with my GX4000, the plastic construction does feel fragile and gives the feeling that this console was not made for the long haul.
Controllers 02 The control pad is as simple as it gets, featuring a small D-Pad with only two (2) buttons.  Though it doesn't affect performance, the wire casing has a tendency to pull apart from the controller.
Graphics 03 8-bit technology was on its way out in 1990, but Amstrad decided to use the Zilog Z80-A as its main processor.  Overall, the graphical presentation reflects this poor choice.
Audio 03 The AY-3-8910 chip used in the GX4000 was obsolete by more than 6 years at the time of its release.  For comparison sake, the Intellivision (1979) used the same PSG.
Media 03 The cartridge format was fine, but the low amount of RAM (64 KB) results in some choppiness during game play.
Gamer Value 02 Unless you are a huge Amstrad fan, there is not allot the GX4000 offers.
Collector Value 07 With its limited run, the Amstrad GX4000 is recommended for the console collector but should be avoided by the average gamer.  This system will definitely get a second look when displayed within your hardware arsenal.

     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Amstrad GX4000 was distributed on ROM cartridges.  The small, light gray shell featured a very basic game identification sticker.  These carts are as bland as they come.

Titles were packaged in charcoal colored plastic shell casings that were surprisingly durable.  Like early SMS and Genesis games, many of these also had a plastic tab on the top to allow for easy retail display.  Cover art mimicked more of the same, boring graphics as those utilized with the game cartridge.  If anything, the overall packaging of Amstrad GX4000 games is extremely consistent.

Due to limited availability and the extremely short shelf life of the system, GX4000 games tend to be rather expensive.  Unfortunately, the titles themselves do not necessitate the inflated price tags that are routinely placed on them.  Loose games are easy enough to score, but boxed, complete versions are infrequently available.

Sample Game Play (Navy Seals)
One of the most sought after titles is Chase HQ II: Special Criminal Investigation. Excluding protos, Chase HQ II is definitely the Holy Grail when it comes to GX4000 collecting.  Expect to shell out over $1K USD for this treasure.

Amstrad GX4000 Game Covers

     Captured in-game images
Barbarian 2
Barbarian 2 Screenshot
Batman: The Movie
Batman: The Movie Screenshot
Burnin' Rubber
Burnin' Rubber Screenshot
Chase HQ 2
Chase HQ 2 Screenshot
Copter 271
Copter 271 Screenshot
Crazy Cars 2
Crazy Cars 2 Screenshot
Dick Tracey
Dick Tracey Screenshot
Enforcer Screenshot
Fire and Forget
Fire and Forget Screenshot
Gazza 2
Gazza 2 Screenshot
Klax Screenshot
Mystical Screenshot
No Exit
No Exit Screenshot
Operation Thunderbolt
Operation Thunderbolt Screenshot
Pang Screenshot
Panza Kick Boxing
Panza Kick Boxing Screenshot
Plotting Screenshot
Pro Tennis Tour
Pro Tennis Tour Screenshot
Robocop 2
Robocop 2 Screenshot
Skeet Shoot
Navy Seals
Super Pinball Magic
Switchblade Screenshot
Tennis Cup 2
Tennis Cup 2 Screenshot
Tintin on the Moon
Tintin on the Moon Screenshot
Wild Streets
Wild Streets Screenshot
World Sports
World Sports Screenshot
Courtesy of GX4000.CO.UK
     First and third party system emulators

Windows based Amstrad Plus Emulator. It emulates the CPC 464/664, 6128, the CPC 464+ and 6128+ line of computers.
As mentioned the Amstrad GX4000 is a modified 6128+ so you will be able to still enjoy the same games.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
8-bit Zilog Z80A 4.0 MHz None 64 KB
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
160 x 200 to 640 x 200 4,096 (32 on screen) 16 Sprites 3 channel Mono (AY-3-8910 Chip)
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
Cartridge 128-512 KB 27 None
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
32 KB ROM None 2 Button control pad w/D-Pad Light Gun (third party)
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
Two (2) None Light Gun (RJ11), Analog
Controller Port (IBM)
Audio & RGB video output
(8 pin DIN), SCART
Power Supply - External Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
Input: 240V, 50 Hz
Output: 11V, 500mA
None None
Amstrad GX4000 Owners Manual (PDF) - 3.70 MB

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
Amstrad GX4000 Television Commercials (France)

Amstrad GX4000 Advertisement (France)

     Visitor insights and feedback
Please be respectful and abide by our Terms of Use & Policies prior to posting.  Basically be nice, keep it clean and don't spam or be a troll.  Thanks!

comments powered by Disqus