The Amstrad GX4000 is actually quite a rare console if the sales figures status online are to be believed. Only around 15,000 units were sold. The fact that the consoles can still be picked up relatively cheapely, probably should say a lot about the quality of the console, but I actually think it’s a nice piece of hardware. It’s basically an Amstrad CPC computer in a consolised form.
It has some pretty good ports on it, like games such as Pang which is a faithful port of the arcade game. But there were not many games released and that was almost certainly the main reason for its demise.
The games for the console are now the main sticking point of owning one in the modern age and you can expect to pay a pretty penny for them on eBay (Although it seems the consoles themselves are increasing in price and are now selling for twice the price I paid for mine at the tail end of last year!). Luckily there are a few modern solutions to this issue. One is the C4CPC flash cart, but these can be a bit hard to get ahold of. The other is to get some PCBs fabricated by one of the many online companies that offer the service, then program an EPROM chip and solder it to the board with a few other components. I have detailed this process here: https://www.northdevonretroarchive.co.uk/gx4000-game-backups/
In recent times the homebrew community has released some software for the GX4000, including an absolutely awesome port of Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. It really shows what this console could have been capable of if it got the right developer support back in the day.
There is also a port of Sonic the hedgehog in development which I will be checking out as soon as it is available.
I’m actually a fan of the design of the console too. I think it’s a fairly interesting looking machine in comparison to some of the other consoles of that era. I think growing up with an Amstrad 5286 PC makes this console trigger a big of nostalgia for me even though I never heard of them back then.
Would I recommend you picked one of these up? Well, that’s a difficult one. There isn’t a huge selection of games, and unless you are willing to use homemade cartridges or a flash cart, buying the games probably won’t make good use of your money. But with it selling in such small numbers I would imagine the values of these units will continue to increase over time.
In all honestly, you would probably be better picking up something like a CPC464/6128 Plus which will play the same games. But we are retro collectors, so why not both!! (I actually have a CPC464 Plus in my collection now)
|Number in collection||1|
|Modifications and Accessories||Home constructed EPROM based game cartridges|