Plugged In

Commodore 64 fans rejoice as classic machine goes back on sale

Plugged In

Bumper Jack

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Classic look, updated innards.

One of the most successful home computers of the early 1980s, the plasticky, off-white
Commodore 64 holds a very special place deep in the heart of countless thirtysomething
one-time geeks.

If you're one of them, prepare to have your wallet lightened.

Announced this week via a flyer in Blu-Ray copies of 80s throwback Tron Legacy, the Commodore 64 is coming back, courtesy of startup Commodore USA. The new machine -- dubbed the Commodore C64x -- is externally similar to the old machine, clacky retro
keyboard and all, but the internals are all new.

Rather than the original machine's 1 MHz processor and 64KB of memory, the C64x's retro
exterior hides a machine that's comparable to a modern netbook PC -- a 1.8 GHz
Atom dual-core processor, nVidia graphics hardware, up to 4 GB of memory, and
even an optional Blu-Ray optical drive.

By our (very) rough calculations, that ought to make it several thousand times more powerful than the original Commodore 64. While it's more than capable of running the latest version of Windows, it's also being shipped with a Commodore 64 emulator,
meaning -- if you want -- you can boot it up straight into the original Commodore
operating system. An as-yet-unspecified range of classic C64 games will be
coming to the machine after launch.

It'll cost $595, an amount which, in what we're sure is anything but a coincidence, is precisely what the C64 cost at its 1982 debut.  Pre-orders are available now, and buyers can expect delivery around early June.


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