"Commodore USA" Makes Proper Use of the Name with New Version Commodore 64 PC

Bill Loguidice's picture

Though I've been highly critical of Commodore USA in the past for their questionable business practices and use of the Commodore brand, it looks like their latest project is actually a noble one--recreating the Commodore 64 as a modern day PC. While it's clear those are merely high quality renders, they did also post some prototype photos from a plastic printer. While Commodore USA does not have the scalability to offer reasonable pricing, I certainly commend their efforts this time around. As just one example of the usefulness of this forthcoming product, if you're a hardcore Commodore 64 homebrew programmer, there would probably be no better way than to run an emulator on this computer and hack away with a highly usable version of the original keyboard.

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Rob Daviau
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Well

That's more like it anyway. I admit their past attempt which was just a re-branding of an existing Keyboard PC at a higher price was just lazy and I pointed that out to people, at least this is closer to what I had in mind. Sure it will be likely over priced for what you are getting but if your using the Commodore name and attempting to appeal to the fans then there needs to be a point to it and this at least seems to reflect some effort on providing fan service, now if the would just bundle them with free version of C64 forever I would be really impressed.

You know I have seriously been considering building a dedicated PC for emulation ONLY from of course Commodore 64 to Amiga to old consoles and probably everything from 8-16bit system to MAME. Who knows this might be a very cool machine just for that!

UPDATE: I should of read more before commenting, so they ARE including some emulation built right in it seems, OK I am liking it more.

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Bill Loguidice
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C USA
Rob Daviau wrote:

That's more like it anyway. I admit their past attempt which was just a re-branding of an existing Keyboard PC at a higher price was just lazy and I pointed that out to people, at least this is closer to what I had in mind. Sure it will be likely over priced for what you are getting but if your using the Commodore name and attempting to appeal to the fans then there needs to be a point to it and this at least seems to reflect some effort on providing fan service, now if the would just bundle them with free version of C64 forever I would be really impressed.

You know I have seriously been considering building a dedicated PC for emulation ONLY from of course Commodore 64 to Amiga to old consoles and probably everything from 8-16bit system to MAME. Who knows this might be a very cool machine just for that!

Yeah, I assume they'll bundle it with C64 Forever. That's what most others do like the MCC, either that or Amiga Forever depending upon the hardware in question.

The issue with THIS as a general purpose emulation box is the keyboard. It's too C-64-specific. While I think you could do well with PET, Vic-20 and C-64 emulation, I think the very specific keyboard wouldn't work too well.

What would be neat is if they took this design and offered a relatively low end option and hit an ~$200 max price point. Basically just enough power to run C-64 emulation at 100% speed. That would be kind of a nifty option.

In any case, personally I already have an MCC with C-64 keyboard stickers, so I'll be sticking with that in any case. Nevertheless, if I had access to unlimited funds, I'd certainly be up for this offering from Commodore USA as a neat and usable collectible.

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msimplay
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Problem with C64 forever

I have C64 forever but the main problem I find with it is that you near enough have to create all the RPM files yourself.
It would be good if there was a prepackaged repository around.

The best way to make this C64 successful IMO is if people made "new C64" games on it being able to make use of the new hardware.
I think it's a nice little machine with backwards compatability

Bill Loguidice
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C USA's PC
msimplay wrote:

The best way to make this C64 successful IMO is if people made "new C64" games on it being able to make use of the new hardware.
I think it's a nice little machine with backwards compatability

Not sure what you mean, msimplay? This Commodore 64 device is just a PC. The hook is the design and the standard C-64 keyboard feature. The only way to make it a C-64 is to run an emulator, otherwise any new game you wrote would work on any PC and have no connection to a C-64.

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msimplay
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New C64
Bill Loguidice wrote:
msimplay wrote:

The best way to make this C64 successful IMO is if people made "new C64" games on it being able to make use of the new hardware.
I think it's a nice little machine with backwards compatability

Not sure what you mean, msimplay? This Commodore 64 device is just a PC. The hook is the design and the standard C-64 keyboard feature. The only way to make it a C-64 is to run an emulator, otherwise any new game you wrote would work on any PC and have no connection to a C-64.

I know it's a PC but the company is branding it as a C64 and it seems to have some standard specifications.
If I am correct then this could be a "new" C64 which is what that company is trying to do.
Unless of course they are not releasing a new platform just a PC in a C64 case.
With that aside I think it has potential to be the "new C64"

Rob Daviau
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Yes
Quote:

I know it's a PC but the company is branding it as a C64 and it seems to have some standard specifications.
If I am correct then this could be a "new" C64 which is what that company is trying to do.
Unless of course they are not releasing a new platform just a PC in a C64 case.
With that aside I think it has potential to be the "new C64"

Yes put simply it IS just a PC in a C64 case, they may be offering a dual boot option with commodore emulation but that is all it is, emulation and nothing more. The goal here is simply to offer a PC in a case that would appeal to original Commodore fans with the addition of an quick and easy emulation front end. At least that is how I see it. They have the Commodore USA brand name so they are appealing to original users, in no way is it a new platform though, just a cool conversation piece for the Commodore fanboy like me! I will keep an eye on this, would be nice to see them actually coming through on these, shipping and hearing people's opinions and experience with the product.

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clok1966
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this is a product for C-64

this is a product for C-64 Geeks.... Like how you can buy the Red Swingline stapler from Office Space. Now the question is... Price? Collectors aside, I cant see much market for this. Which means the price is going to have to be pretty ugly to tunr any profit at all. I like the idea, and applude the effort but I see doom and gloom for this venture.

Bill Loguidice
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Pricing
clok1966 wrote:

this is a product for C-64 Geeks.... Like how you can buy the Red Swingline stapler from Office Space. Now the question is... Price? Collectors aside, I cant see much market for this. Which means the price is going to have to be pretty ugly to tunr any profit at all. I like the idea, and applude the effort but I see doom and gloom for this venture.

Their past pricing on fairly generic zero footprint PC's was not particularly competitive, which is why I see this hitting anywhere from $299 - $499++. To me, they'd have to hit $199 to make it attractive, but I don't think that's likely, especially with all the unnecessary stuff they wish to include like the optical drive and what-not.

By the way, there's more info on this here, particularly in regards to the software: http://www.commodore-amiga.org/

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Bill Loguidice
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Yep, this is not a platform,

Yep, this is not a platform, this is a standard PC with off-the-shelf parts in a fancy case and with a C-64-centric keyboard, nothing more. I think where the platform inference lies is with this statement from their Website, "Play all your favorite 8-bit era games within seconds of turning the Commodore 64 on, by either selecting the C64 icon from the boot menu to run a C64 emulator directly, or from a media center program within our own Commodore Operating System, Workbench 5, which includes screenshots, descriptions and ratings." Sifting through the hyperbole, it's probably just a light Linux install with a mildly customized front end and pre-loaded C-64 images. There's no real way of knowing, though, until things are finalized. I seriously doubt they've bothered to do any new R&D on anything particularly new from an emulation/front end standpoint considering all the stuff already out there and their minimal resources, as well as their regular statements of utilizing "open source" materials. Heck, we don't even know what kind of mass storage they're talking about here. They infer booting from SD cards, but the hardware itself is capable of having standard hard drives.

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Chip Hageman
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Hmm.. so it's a PC in a

Hmm.. so it's a PC in a breadbox case.

I'd be more interested in someone re-producing the C64 with better fault tolerance (keyboard decoders usually blew out) and a better power supply (so did the PS). with user, cassette, iec, joystick and video ports fully implemented.. maybe add stereo SID support, frequency shift (for CPU and Video) to switch between PAL/NTSC on the fly, VGA out that up-samples to 75hz so both PAL and NTSC display correctly on modern flat panel screens (something the MCC-216 doesn't do).

I think this would go over better with the retro community than all of these franken-pc projects that keep getting produced.

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