The Spirit of the Commodore 64 Lives On with THE 64
I remember a time, around the early to mid-1980s, when a neighbor down the street got a Commodore 64. I had only ever seen a computer at my mom’s office. It had its own room in the basement of the building, or maybe it was the whole basement. I thought this was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I was never able to have one of my own, but I, and all of you, may have the chance to own one in the near future. There is a new Indiegogo video game to check out; it could make you part of the revival of THE 64.
THE 64 is a fully functional system being developed in the United Kingdom by a team led by Darren Melbourne. If you know anything about Melbourne, you know he’s been around gaming for more than 30 years and has been dedicated to bringing back the Commodore 64, in some form. This lovingly crafted remake maintains a lot of the classic appeal but adds some updated features. One such updated feature is the handheld addition, THE 64SX (which reminds me an awful lot of the old NES controller). Backers can choose which one they want or opt for both. The creators also plan to bundle a joystick with the computer.
If you remember the good old days of Commodore 64 programming, this computer will allow you to relive the past. If you’ve never had the privilege, backers will now have access to video tutorials to learn the programming. They are also including games but aren’t release any names at this point. They hope to have it available by the end of the year. We’re hoping it releases before Christmas maybe?
The technical specs that are fixed for the system, according to the info on the Indiegogo page are as follows:
- Accurate recreation of the classic Commodore 64.
- HDMI video and audio output.
- We are considering composite video in addition to HDMI, for use on classic televisions.
- Multiple SIDs for stereo sound (6581 or 8580)
- New high-capacity (512MB+) writable cartridge support, with an adapter interface available later to provide classic cartridge compatibility.
- Support for current storage media (for example SD cards), with emulation of the 1541.
- Multiple joystick support for multi-player games.
- Support for many of the popular emulator game file formats.
- Firmware upgradable to support additional features and machines in the future (DTV64 features, etc.)
- Hopefully the possibility to connect original peripherals, or via adaptors.
There is plenty more specific tech information available in the updates section. They answer a lot of questions on the site and seem to be pretty good about responding to questions asked in the comments section. Also, be sure to check out the latest news and updates on social media using this hashtag: #iadorethe64. You can follow the page here on Facebook as well.
I realize you guys may feel a bit jaded about indie kickstart consoles after the debacle surrounding the Retro VGS. But, this one appears to be done. Like before, we’ll be watching this online and remaining cautiously optimistic about the project.
While we’re reminiscing, here are a few items I dug up on ebay:
- Commodore 64 Basic Programs in Minutes – Stanley R. Trost (1984)
- Commodore 64 Super Sketch Complete – Pretty rare these days. Price is a bit high. But, this is an auction for the complete set.
Here are some more rare and collectible items to check out:
- NEW!! Rare 1998 Vintage Nintendo 64 Power Zelda Collectible Pocket Watch in Box This is another one that may be a little pricy, but its still in its original packaging.
- Vintage Centipede New And Only From Atari Pinback Button 1980’s, Collectible Gamming Pinback Button, 1980s Memorabilia
- RARE VINTAGE NEW 1987 COLECO CATCH A CATERPILLAR POCKETFULS GAME TOY There’s even a sale on this one!
- VINTAGE Super Mario Bros Red Telephone Phone Landline Official Nintendo RARE – The prices on these items appear to have shot up a bit this year. We aren’t sure if they’ll come back down or not. If you’re adamant on buying one, you may want to do so now. Expect to pay $30 and up.
- Pac-Man PICTURE DISC Vinyl Record – 1980 – Pacman – Colored Vinyl – Bally Midway – Video Game Merchandising