Commodore USA releasing updated C64; nostalgia grips millions

Image source: Commodre USA

If you're over 30, you probably remember seeing the Commodore 64. Released in 1982 for $595 ($1,300 adjusted for inflation), it was the best selling computer of all time and dominated the market with 30-40% of the market share. With its whopping 64k of memory and advanced sound and video chips, the machine could be used for both business and pleasure.

Commodore USA, founded in April 2010 by Barry Altman, is trying to recreate the magic by releasing an updated C64 that is "as close to the original in design as humanly possible." The PC will be powered by an Atom D525 1.80GHz processor, includes two gigabytes of RAM, and has memory card readers and a DVD drive all built into an original form-factor case. The iconic red LED on the Commodore 64 is still there and doubles as the power switch.

According to the site, users will be able to boot directly into a Commodore 64 emulator or can install a standard operating system and use Workbench 5, a custom made C64 operating system.

While the nostalgia factor is high (many people wrote their first BASIC programs on a C64), the question is whether this will be a viable product within the consumer market. Most people who are familiar with the Commodore 64 probably have enough technical abilities to run an emulator on their current machine, and a laptop would be much more portable and easier to use than the C64 clone. On the other hand, if the price is reasonable, there is no reason to believe that it won't be able to sell a fair number of units to people who remember the system with fond memories.

The machine is not yet available for preorder and no price has been posted.

Image Credit: Commodore USA

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