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C64 Mini retro console coming next year for US$70

Retro Games C64 Mini game console (Source: Retro Games)
Retro Games C64 Mini (Source: Retro Games)
Retro Games Ltd. has just revealed that its modern Commodore 64 compact replica is on its way to an early 2018 launch as the C64 Mini. This US$69.99 game console is expected to hit the market loaded with 64 licensed games such as Paradroid or Impossible Mission.

No less than 35 years ago, the Commodore 64 8-bit home computer arrived to change the tech world and managed to set a record that might not be taken down anytime soon. The Commodore 64, shortly known as the C64, is listed in the Guinness World Records as the best-selling single computer model of all time, although there is no accurate number of units sold. The estimates range between 10 and 17 million, including those that retailed as VIC-64 and CBM 64.

Thanks to the multi-color sprites and the more advanced sound processor than what the Apple II or Atari 800 offered at the time, the C64 became an iconic product for the gaming industry. In just a few months, gamers worldwide will be able to grab a licensed 50 percent scale replica of the C64 that promises to come loaded with 64 classic games, but it should also allow them to write some instructions in BASIC. However, a USB keyboard is needed to do that, but since the C64 Mini has two USB ports, it should not be a problem.  

The C64 Mini connects to modern TVs and monitors via HDMI and features pixel filter options such as pixel perfect, CRT and scanline emulation. It also has a save game function and can receive software updates via a USB flash drive. It might also be worthy to point out that the firmware used by the C64 Mini is apparently using a Linux kernel.

The standard retail package includes the console, one joystick, a USB charging cable, an HDMI cable, and a user manual. The rather long list of games to be pre-loaded is not final yet and includes titles such as California Games, Slayer, Winter Games, Trailblazer, Avenger, Insects In Space, Paradroid, Snare, Creatures, Uridium, and many others. 

Depending on the location, the suggested retail price of the C64 Mini is GBP£69.99, US$69.99, or EUR€79.99. The original C64 had an introductory price of US$595, which translates to more than US$1,500 as of 2017, and was finally discontinued in April 1994.

The C64 Mini could have arrived just in time to fill the gap left by Nintendo's questionable decision to discontinue the NES Classic Edition, but it seems that Retro Games missed that chance. Now, Nintendo has just introduced the Super NES Classic Edition and also promised that more NES Classic Edition consoles will be manufactured starting in mid-2018.


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Codrut Nistor, 2017-09-30 (Update: 2017-09-30)