Well, folks, we had the NES Classic. We’ve had the SNES Classic. If that wasn’t enough to empty your wallets long before Christmas, Retro Games LTD has decided to revive the Commodore 64 again, in trendy miniature form. The amount of cute can’t possibly translate through dull, 2D images. This is basically the original C64 slapped into a photocopier and downsized by 50%.
The C64 Mini is a fully licensed reimagining of the original console, with original versions of the Commodore ROMs, BIOS, the operating system, and the form factor licensed through a holdings company. Retro Games LTD has seen success before with The 64, a reimagining of the original Commodore 64, as well as a portable version of the same console, Nintendo Gameboy-style. However, those initial projects were put on hold for the Mini version, as Retro Games ran into issues with the keyboard design, delaying their Indiegogo campaign.
It runs on an unspecified ARM platform, supports HDMI 1.4 displays, and comes with two USB 2.0 ports for connecting peripherals. The console also comes with a joystick in the box, updated to support USB, which means you could buy the joysticks separately to play emulated Commodore 64 and Amiga games on your PC. Woohoo!
There’s also a promised roster of 64 games from the original Commodore 64 that will come pre-loaded on the device.
Like the original, the C64 Mini also allows you to program your own software on the device, and you can run programs in BASIC. In fact, since the operating systems are identical save for hardware support between the original 64 and the Mini, you can port over some software you might have written for the original hardware, and it should just work off the bat.
Retro Games cite this feature as one of the reasons for making these replicas – the Commodore community supporting these old machines that had critical functions for businesses is finding that replacement hardware is less and less common, and having a modern replica solves a lot of those issues.
The C64 Mini will be launching in the first half of 2018, with a launch price of £69.99 (approx. R1,200). Preorders will be accepted in the C64 shop once the Mini’s launch date is announced.