Commodore Comes Back

Commodore Comes Back

*Tappity tappity tappity* Hear that noise? It’s me doing the happy dance. Ever since I heard that the Commodore 64 was making a comeback, I’ve been getting jiggy with it doing the 8-bit boogie. Like many elder (but not old!) geeks my age, this is where it all began, and I’m elated to see the Commodore branding hitting the headlines again, even if only by name.

Do you think they'll use the same marketing shots from the 80s?

You’re thinking, ‘By name, you say?’ Yep. The beige contraption from the early 80s isn’t really coming soon to a desktop near you, but instead being re-launched with a facelift and outfitted in modern componentry decadence. Their top tier model will carry a quad-core 2.66GHz QX6700 processor with a pair of nVidia 8800GTX videocards and 4GB of RAM, eons ahead of the 1MHz processor (no joke) and 64KB memory found on the original C64. I can hear the double-click generation snickering, but those anemic specs of yesteryear gave birth to what remains the best selling PC ever, with estimates ranging from 20 to 30 million units sold. If the new Commodore can reach out to just one tenth of one percent of those original owners, that would account for 3000 PCs right off the bat. To help appeal to these nostalgia buffs, they’re including a C64 emulator with over 50 ROMs, so you can legally relive those glory days in 16-color splendor, and wonder why the hell you used to find them so entertaining. And of course there will be the obligatory custom case designs, a process they’re dubbing C-kin, which ranges from modern art to retro graphics.

But alas, it’s a crowded field in the OEM boutique market, with the likes of VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, OverdrivePC, and many others to contend with. The landscape has changed since Commodore was a household name, and this new generation of Windowed gamers has no idea what’s so special about a command line displaying Load“*”,8,1, let alone why anyone would wear a shirt with that emblazoned across their chest. Still, I don’t think I’m the only one rooting for them, and may even pick up a lower end model for my 9 year old kid. How cool would it be for him to also say he got his start on a Commodore?



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I still have my Atari 800 and 800XL and Commodore 64 Boxed away in my storage. I even have the ATARI 1040 ST! Remember that? I never got to get my hands on the Amiga :( I have the emulators on my PC for all of them. I STILL play Archon!! I agree that its a masterpiece! its an awesome strategy board game with arcade influences! I would love to see an updated version that would allow online play! I can see it on Xbox Live and on PS3 Online as well as the granddaddy of them all, The PC.

Remember how there were certain areas of the board that kept shifting from black to grey to white and back again to grey and black? If you were the white side your characters powers were stronger when it was light grey to white, equal to the black side when the area was grey and then weaker when the square got darker and darker. There was so many ways to win the game. Matter of fact, I am gonna pull out my C64 out of storage after I finish typing this and take the trip back in time! I'm going to see if its exactly the same as the emulator or better. Thanks for reminding me of the good ol days!




I still have mine! I also have the 1541 disk drive and the tape drive. Man, it took forever for stuff to load. At the time the C64 was a decent gameing machine. Other than writing BASIC programs, I never used it for any kind of productivity.



I was and am still amazed at the amount of info game programmers could squeeze into C64 games. Maybe it's the rose-colored glasses, but I'd swear pound for pound the games today are just bloated, memory-hogging wrecks compared to masterpieces that were Airborne Ranger, Archon and so many more!


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