It's been a long, long time since we had to type Load"*",8,1 to fire up a game or any other program, a command that will instantly and always be familiar to anyone who grew up in the Commodore 64 era. Commodore USA LLC is hoping to cash in on that nostalgia with a line of modern day nettops shoved into replica C64 keyboard cases, and if you've been anxiously awaiting for these replica machines to ship, we have good news for you.
Commodore USA posted a YouTube video (see above) of its Fort Lauderdale facility that's now open for business. It will serve as the company's new corporate headquarters and prototype "Commodore Store," but what's really of interest here is that the company says it's "almost finished with our initial pre-order production run of the new C64" and will begin shipping out machines this week.
The cost of nostaliga isn't cheap. A barebones C64 replica runs $250 and includes the beige case, keyboard, and card reader. For $595, you can buy the C64x Basic with an Intel Atom D525 processor, Nvidia Ion 2 graphics, mini-ITX motherboard, power supply, 2GB of DDR2 memory, and 160GB hard drive. There are three other tiers to choose from, including the C64x Ultimate for $895 with all of the above plus 4GB of DDR2 memory (instead of 2GB), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Blu-ray drive, and 1TB hard drive.
All units come with Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) on disk and ready to install. Commodore USA also says it will ship Commodore OS 1.0, along with emulation functionality and classic game package to customers when available.