Retro gaming has been a hot topic as of late and it appears to show no signs of slowing. The NES Classic generated a ton of buzz for Nintendo last year (some good, some bad) and the company followed up with the SNES Classic which just hit store shelves today – and quickly sold out almost everywhere. The Ataribox continues to draw interest as we inch close to its release. And projects like this Amiga emulation piece we did over at HotHardware pull in tons of eyeballs. Virtually all of the classic video game systems are enjoying some sort of revival at the moment – Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Amiga, you name it.
For many long-time computer geeks like me, though, today’s announcement that a mini, modernized Commodore 64 is on the way will be the most exciting retro-gaming development in ages.
The Commodore 64 is the best-selling, single personal computer of all time. The Commodore 64 permeated households the world over throughout the ‘80s and helped spur an entire generation’s interest in computing and technology. I fell in love with my C64 back in the early ‘80s and have been in front of a personal computer every day since.
The upcoming C64 mini is being developed by Retro Games Ltd. and will be distributed by Koch Media. It will be roughly half the size of the original “bread-bin” style Commodore 64, and like the NES/SNES Classics, the C64 mini will connect directly to a television through a single HDMI cable.
“We are delighted to be able to bring back some of the most loved retro games ever, on one of the most successful formats of all time”, said Paul Andrews, Retro Games’ Managing Director, “The C64 mini is a reimagining of the classic C64 computer and the first in a planned series of products on the way.”
The C64 mini will include 64 licensed classic games built-in and will also allow users to connect a standard USB keyboard for entering BASIC programs and playing around in the old C64 environment. The included games are from some of the most highly-acclaimed developers of the time, such as Epyx, Gremlin Graphics, Hewson, and The Bitmap Brothers.
In addition to the built-in games, the C64 mini will include a joystick, an HDMI cable, and user’s manual. It is slated to arrive in early 2018 for $69.99.