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The Commodore 64 Is Back

David Gilbert

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The Commodore 64 Is Back

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, it’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 –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 ‘Barebones’ which includes the case, chassis, keyboard plus multi-format card reader and USB port to ‘Ultimate’ 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 – we are already imagining how Jet Set Willy and IK+ will look on our modern monitors. The C64 will cost between and £170 and £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 we’ll be set.

Source: Commodore USA

iain coghill

April 8, 2011, 2:59 pm

I am a bit disappointed. The original justified it's C64 moniker by providing 64K of memory. Surely the up-to-date C64 should have a 64 bit processor.

targetpractice

April 8, 2011, 3:15 pm

"ZX Spectrum was a far superior machine", hogwash! The C64 knocked spots off the speccy.

iwasanerdd

April 8, 2011, 3:20 pm

International Karate+ FTW. Nostalgia , it ain't what it used to be.

Mark Walton

April 8, 2011, 3:30 pm

Agree with targetpractice, even though I had a Spectrum the C64 was a much more powerful system - sprites, synthesizer, proper keyboard etc.....

Both iconic computers though, I wouldn't be doing the job I have today if it wasn't for these machines (the ZX81 is where it really started for me though!)

Gk.pm

April 8, 2011, 3:33 pm

I don't know about C64 owners, but if someone did this to the Spectrum I would be extremely disappointed. It's just a case mod, nothing different from regular PCs at all and like iain pointed out there's not even a reason for the 64 title.

There are far more interesting "keyboard pcs" out there, like the Asus EEE Keyboard PC.

Denis iii

April 8, 2011, 3:43 pm

no tape deck to load my commodore 64 games?! :)
Dan Dare here I come, I will kill the Meakon overlord and FINALLY make it out before everything explodes without dying!

Keithe6e

April 8, 2011, 4:00 pm

@ianin, @Gk.pm: Surely the up-to-date C64 should have a 64 bit processor.

Isn't the Atom 525, 64bit. Even my Revo Atom 230 is running a 64 bit version of W7.

Peter A

April 8, 2011, 4:00 pm

"ZX Spectrum was far superior". Thought you'd be above trolling in your own article...

Gk.pm

April 8, 2011, 4:29 pm

You're right @Keith it does have a 64bit capable processor.

iain coghill

April 8, 2011, 4:49 pm

@Keith - my bad. I clearly missed the bit when Intel released 64 bit Atoms.

cliche

April 8, 2011, 9:53 pm

even though the ZX Spectrum was a far superior machine - you do realise he is trying to rekindle the c64 vs Speccy debate and wind us oldies up ?

Gk.pm

April 9, 2011, 3:16 am

@cliche Was there even any debate? Just look at Matthew Smith's "apps":

Manic Miner + Jet Set Willy = His first two. Probably the two best games ever made, both on ZX Spectrum, fantastic sales.

The Mega Tree = His third game, C64 only. Utter failure.

:-)

speedyg2012

April 9, 2011, 3:45 am

BBC Micro > All.

That is all.

:)

Corzair

April 9, 2011, 4:05 am

Err They (commodore usa) are making Amigas too... in name anyway
Also a-eon are making an spiritual successor to the Amiga also

btw C64 was miles more ace like then that there monochrome spectrum!

Carnex

April 10, 2011, 11:53 am

Everyone pointed out Specy comparison but also, if you look at Guinness book records you will see number of 30 millions units sold. Even the more convectional sources put out the number of 22 million units sold.

supamario

April 10, 2011, 2:45 pm

The only way Commodore could again establish some dominance is by offering hardware thats again years ahead of its time. 4000x2500 screen resolution, maybe glasses-free 3D, 40bit colour, true HD sound, 5GHz processor, and games and software that supports it.

cliche

April 10, 2011, 7:30 pm

@ supermario The Speccy had those AND a rubber keyboard !

Corzair

April 10, 2011, 8:09 pm

@Supamario - there are otherways - pure hardware isnt the only way to go. The modern PC is very Commodore/Amiga like anyway with its many processor for different tasks - I feel its about getting a good experience and feel maybe using a core set of standard hardware and Software/os.

ChrisC

April 10, 2011, 9:39 pm

@speedyg2012 - lol at your BBC Micro comment! When you got bored with playing Elite, you could always play Turtle and....er....Rogue?!

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