QUOTE Gary, where do you get the figure of '5 times' and how do you define 'mature'
The USA have 5 times the population and they are about 10 years ahead of the UK in terms of the marketing of DCC so relatively mature. When I buy the American Railroad Modeller magazine (occasional purchase) it is full of full page adverts for DCC and has been for years. It is big business in the USA but in the UK it is very much a cottage industry with a few small distributers and one onshore manufacture (for the moment of course). I read somewhere that the USA railway modelling market is now worth one billion dollars which is about £600m. That probably makes it more than 5 times the UK market.
QUOTE They should follow Peco's lead, and factory fit the decoder!
Back to the question of fitting chips as original equipment.
Ok so it happens in the USA.
For those models that are produced with chips fitted as original equipment, are these identical models to those offered without chips, or are they unique models that are not available without chips?
I am not too familiar with the US market.
How many different eras are there and how many different companies?
Is/was the same loco operated by many different companies?
In the UK we have Stanier locos and LMS, we have Gresley locos and LNER, we have Bulleid locos and Southern, we have Churchward locos and GWR and then we have the BR standard locos and the different regions and then the privatisation period. That is about 1000 different types or more for such a small country!!!
How does this compare with the USA?
What I am getting at is that is there the massive variety of locomotives and liveries in the USA that we very clearly have in the UK, and given that there is this massive variety in the UK, how could Hornby possibly satisfy everybody by only chipping some locos? (and Bachmann also of course)
You can see it is very complicated!
Are modellers going to be happy paying for something they don't want if Hornby fit chips to everything?