Archive for the ‘Hardware Reviews’ Category

From Tuesday people in the USA have had the ability to buy a replica version of the Commodore 64. Not only does this replica play old Commodore games, but it has also had a major overhaul and actually can be used as a modern day PC.

Pre-installed with Linux Ubuntu distribution, the Commodore 64 (Loved by many people in the early to mid-80’s) surpassed everything that was technologically available at the time, including Apple and IBM systems. Looking at the old specification it is hard to see why it was so popular, but as an 80’s child let me tell you you were a nobody if you didn’t have one of these. (Or a ZX Spectrum)

The New Commodore 64 Replica

The New Commodore 64 Replica, in all its beige, retro glory

With a processor running at 1.023 MHz the system used cassettes (And later floppy disks) to run software, applications, saved data and of course games. Now the processor is a lot beefier; an Intel Atom Dual Core (The kind of processor they put in net books) that runs at 1.8 GHz. Memory has also taken a boost from the lowly (But impressive at the time) 64Kb to a 2 Gb DDR Ram chip. Other noticeable upgrades include an NVidia Ion 2 graphics chipset, 5 USB ports and an optional Blu-Ray drive.

The question that needs answering is is there a market for it in the UK and Europe? Commodores USA have said that “It well surpassed our expectations and we’re in our second production run now.” That’s great, but as we in the UK know, the US can at times buy things that are utter rubbish .In the USA sales for the chassis (That’s the case for any less technical fans) and indeed the full, prebuilt system will cost you $250 and between $595 and $895 respectively.

So would I buy one? If the price came down I may just have the money to buy it. I mean it is a classic and a great conversational piece for when I have company. But short of that, I already have a PC, it’s not a beast, nor is it a slow retro PC, but it would easily beat the C64 for power and memory. So for me to buy this it would have to be around the £200-£250 mark (The PC I now currently own cost me £300) and even then I may feel slightly cheated.

Summer Games 2 screenshot

You can keep your Fifa and your COD, Summer Games 2 session anyone?

The one thing that may make me change my mind is that the console/computer comes complete with, what Commodore USA are marketing it as “classic game package” which will no doubt include some games that are a blast from the past. In either case, surely I could just download an emulator and download some ROMs and I’m good to go. (A little illegal possibly, but still cheaper than £250) Saying that, most of the games for the C64 (Such as Summer Games 2) are downloadable on the Wii for a small fee anyway, so I could play it legally.

I would love to own a C64, but one of the original ones, with the slow processor, the low RAM, and the cassette deck, because that’s where retro belongs, that’s why it is called retro and that is where my childhood memories are stored.

What are your thoughts? Amazing technological advancement? A must have gadget? Does anybody but me remember it? What’s your view?

BBC News Coverage – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12997245

C64 USA website – http://www.commodoreusa.net/CUSA_C64.aspx

Wiki – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64

 

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