The retro remake ZX Spectrum Next Issue 2 is almost at their final kickstarter funding goal with four days remaining
The original ZX Spectrum issue 2 was an 8-bit home computer released in 1982 and manufacturing continued for ten years before being discontinued in 1992. Specifications were relatively good for a home PC of the time, with a 3.5 MHz processor and 16 – 128 KB of memory. The ZX Spectrum is sometimes referred to as the British Commodore 64, owing to being one of the most famous Commodore 64 alternatives and its high popularity in its UK/EU home market. Five million units sold over its 1982 – 1992 lifetime.
The ZX Spectrum Next team says that the Spectrum platform is popular enough that users are still developing new games and applications for it today. The biggest problem with old hardware is the reliability of ageing electronics and capacitors or brittle plastic that cracks easily. This ability to continue running an old platform on new hardware is why the ZX Spectrum Next is such an exciting project. The goal here is to keep full backwards compatibility with the Spectrum 48, 128, +2, and +3, despite the newer components and more powerful internals.
Specifications include a Z80n CPU at 3.5 MHz plus 7, 14, and 28 MHz turbo modes. The base 1 MB RAM is being increased to 2 MB on all units thanks to reaching a stretch goal. The video outputs have been updated with VGA and HDMI, although the resolution can’t extend beyond 640 x 256 with 512 colours. Modern touches include storage handled by an SD card and a Wi-Fi module. A Raspberry Pi Zero is available as an optional accelerator card to add 3D functionality and ARM support, both things not available with the contemporary ZX Spectrum.
The ZX Spectrum Next issue 2 is available to back for a short time longer on Kickstarter, with pledges starting at £300 for one unit without an accelerator card. The team behind this project have previously delivered a fully funded project in 2017.