Were you impressed with our reviews of the superb Sinclair ZX81 last week, but thought nothing would be able to better that for a long time? Well, you were wrong, today we bring you news of the Commodore 64.
No, itâ€™s not another April Fools joke, the Commodore 64 is back and in all its original beige, plastic-y glory. Commodore USA has announced that the much-loved Commodore 64 is being re-released but this time with some updated specs â€“which would have seemed like science fiction when the original iconic unit was released back in 1982. The new C64 comes with everything housed in what looks like an almost exact replica of the original machine. Inside however things are decidedly different from the 8-bit machine. Replacing the 8-bit MOS Technology 6510 microprocessor is an Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz Dual Core CPU and while the original had 64KB (65,536 bytes) of RAM, the new version can have up to 4GB (4,294,967,296 bytes).
One of the most immediate memories people have of the original C64 is of the keyboard, and the exact same keys and feel have been kept in the new model including "a lovely IBM classic mechanism and click sound." And while this may lead to less speedy typing, each keystroke will transport you back 30 years to those exciting times of your first home computer. The new C64 can be bought in a variety of configurations from â€˜Barebonesâ€™ which includes the case, chassis, keyboard plus multi-format card reader and USB port to â€˜Ultimateâ€™ which includes 1TB of storage, Blu-ray drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4GB DDR2 memory, nVidia ION2 graphics, and the Atom 1.8GHz CPU.
The system ships with the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating system but can be loaded up with Windows should you require. However in news that will excite nostalgia junkies, Commodore USA says that in the coming months, it will mail out Commodore OS 1.0 complete with an emulator to allow you play classic C64 titles â€“ we are already imagining how Jet Set Willy and IK+ will look on our modern monitors. The C64 will cost between and Â£170 and Â£565 (including shipping from the States) depending on what configuration you pick.
The original C64 was the best-selling single home computer of all time with sales somewhere in the region of 15 million units (even though the ZX Spectrum was a far superior machine). While Commodore tried and failed to make a gaming comeback a few years ago, and while the revamped model will undoubtedly not reach these figures, there are probably enough people out there looking for a hit of nostalgia to make this a success. What we need now is for someone to re-release the original Amiga and weâ€™ll be set.
Source: Commodore USA