The first (and maybe cheapest) Amiga product for Amigaholics like me

Before the Amiga was a computer, Amiga was a struggling independent company trying to stay in business so it would get its chance at changing the world. In order to make ends meet while they developed their multitasking computer, Amiga produced and sold joysticks for the game systems and computers that were already on the market.

These joysticks turn up on Ebay fairly frequently.

These controllers were pretty highly regarded when new. They were small, so they fit in small hands rather nicely, and offered much better precision than anything Atari made. Unfortunately for Amiga, they reached the market in late 1983 and early 1984, as the market for video games was crashing. The Power-Stick bought the struggling company some time but didn’t save it.

Amiga spent 1984 looking for a buyer, eventually ending up in the hands of Commodore–who then faced a lawsuit from rival Atari over the rights to the company they’d just bought. The Amiga hit the market in late 1985, much later than anyone at Commodore or Amiga wanted, and Commodore and Atari settled the lawsuit in 1987, long after Atari had released the Atari ST, which Commodore engineers Bil Herd and Dave Haynie often note bore a suspicious resemblance to the cancelled Commodore 900 with a Motorola 68000 CPU in place of the Zilog 8000 that Commodore had intended to use.

Commodore never put the Power-Stick back into production. But it’s an interesting relic for Amiga enthusiasts, and I suppose for Atari enthusiasts too, since it lets you see what the Atari 2600 designers made when they set out to design a really high-quality controller after their creation had been on the market a few years.

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