Commodore's Comeback

Commodore's Comeback

Commodore marked the 25th anniversary of the C64 by announcing its re-entry to the U.S. market with a new line of gaming PCs. Fortunately for fans of the Commodore brand, this isn’t the same management team that augured the old Commodore into the ground (destroying my beloved Amiga in the process). These folks are focusing strictly on building gaming PCs.

Commodore Gaming, based in the Netherlands, has been selling PCs in Europe for some time. They’ve partnered with some major brands for their push into North America, including Asus, Corsair, Nvidia, and—most significantly—Microsoft. I met with CEO Bala Keilman while I was at E3 and came away impressed with most of what he had to say; but I also observed a couple of missteps that lead me to believe that the management team has a lot to learn about doing business in the U.S.

PENNY-WISE, POUND FOOLISH

The company had just one machine to demo during our meeting because the rest had been detained in customs. They could have avoided this problem by using the services of a freight forwarder and customs broker, but Commodore apparently wanted to save a buck by using an express delivery service, instead. That’s a common mistake made by companies based outside the U.S. (and a common excuse for why review product doesn’t arrive when promised). Painting mushroom clouds on the cases couldn’t have helped matters.

The shipping lesson is easily learned, and I wouldn’t have given it too much thought had they not offered this explanation as to why U.S. Customs retained the product for further inspection: “The computers were clearly labeled as gaming PCs,” Commodore’s rep told me while managing to keep a straight face, “but the Customs agent told us that the components inside the boxes were just too powerful to be just gaming PCs.”

If you can swallow that, I suggest you join the International Federation of Competitive Eating.


Commodore encountered difficulty getting their new PCs through U.S. Customs. Painting the cases with mushroom clouds probably didn't help.

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Darth Ninja

Will the new Commodores have this boot skin?
http://tinyurl.com/2vgnk6

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Marcus_Soperus

Call me sentimental, but I wish they'd include a C-64 emulator and some games. Of course, then their 'crack' team of marketing people would need to decide which emulator and games to bundle: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Commodore+64+emulator

The first technical writing I ever did was to boil down the C-1541 floppy disk drive manual to a single page so my customers at Children's Palace (also home of the $50 TI-994A) could figure it out. LOAD "$",8, anyone?
=============================================
It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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MrMick

They are including an emulator and 50 games, although they haven't disclosed what those games will be.

Michael Brown Executive Editor

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Bin3ry

It sounds like some kinda terrible marketing ploy to me. I mean,"the components inside the boxes were just too powerful to be just gaming PCs", how lame is that. I think i will stick to building my own. Thanks Michael, for giving another great and honest review. This is what makes MaximumPc the greatest PC magazine on the planet.

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crank

The Amiga was my very favorite computer. It was the first multi-media computer. I would rather see it come back than the Commodore. How would a new Amiga be configured?

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TheMurph

I, for one, think the mushroom cloud design looks pretty sweet. But that's just me. :D

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Talcum X

I often wondered where the big 'C' went after all these years. But looking at the list of innards, it seems to me to be just another pre-built, after market rig. Beyond the custom C-kins, which isn't a new process, and maybe the enclosure, its everything anyone else can pick up at NewEgg. Now, that said, it's good stuff inside. I was almost hoping to see the Commodore come back as it once was, but modern. But then I remembered, "I don't want to see another Packard Bell" either. Proprietary = Bad Ju-ju.

Welcome back Commodore, and good luck.

********
Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

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oihorse

My first computer, my first real gaming machine after the Atari.

I was always boggled at how much they squeezed out of that little machine, and reaffirms my belief that today's games are bloated beasts wasting massive amounts of computer resources.

Horse

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RGCook

Guys - you are at your best with this review. The comment about mushroom clouds and MBA had me laughing at loud.

But on a serious note, I wish Commodore the very best. I may be dating myself but my first computer was a Commodore Colt, with an 8087 processor, two 5.25" floppy drives and (I think) 640K or ram with a VGA monitor. The mouse was an expensive add-on! I remember staying up late many nights, reading the GW-Basic manual that came with it. I taught myself a lot about programming - stuff that I still use as I endeavor to learn VB.NET, some two decades later in my profession as a chemical engineer. Yes, I cut my teeth on WP 5.0/5.1 for DOS and dreaded the migration to Windows 3.0 when our company said it was time to "upgrade". I sold the machine to a friend of mine back in 1994 and he still uses it to run simple programs for his service station.

I have found memories of my Commodore.

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