1985: We go Back to the Future at the movies, Live Aid concerts raise more than US$50 million for Ethiopian famine relief, Michael Jordan is the NBA ‘Rookie of the Year’, and Microsoft release Windows 1.0.
While they were a fledgling computing company at the time, Commodore weren’t, and July saw the release of their 16-bit marvel – the Amiga 1000. To say that it was a leap forward from the likes of the Commodore 64 and Sinclair Spectrum was an understatement, with a demo of a 3D rendered ball able to captivate enthusiastic geeks worldwide, while it’s 4,096 colours wowed in a classic still image of a mandrill. These same techies would absolutely wet themselves three years later when the game Pioneer Plague used all the colours at once, just because it could – even though it looked horrendous. Mercifully, better games abounded.
Anyway, the Amiga was a massive leap forward in many ways. It brought 3.5-inch “floppy” discs to the masses (which cost a bomb at the time), and was the introduction to many of the mouse as a controller. It soon made its way into video production, where it continued to be in use for decades to come. It was the ugly but effective 500 that saw the Amiga infiltrate homes and, in most spheres, it quickly saw off competition from the Atari ST, which must have annoyed then boss Jack Tramiel, who’d defected from the company that he founded, Commodore…
Meanwhile, in Japan, 1985 saw the release of Super Mario Bros., a platform game starring Donkey Kong’s previously generically named hero ‘Jumpman’. It played on the Famicom (short for ‘Family Computer’) console that had debuted in July 1983, and had been redesigned as a boring grey box – aka the NES – for the overseas market. The game was anything but boring though and the rest is, well, history…
Notable games released in July
Missile Command (1980)
Bionic Commando (1988)
NiGHTS into Dreams (1996)
Soulcalibur IV (2008)
Crackdown 2 (2010)