New Commodore 64 is Finally Here--For Real!

[Photo: Commodore]
I wasn't born when the first Commodore 64 came out--in 1982--but I can still appreciate some good ol' vintage computing. And apparently Commodore thinks other people can appreciate this too, because they're re-releasing the Commodore 64 with modern specs and retro casing.

For real, this time.

The new Commodore 64 is, like the old 64, an entire system inside a (rather thick) keyboard. The old Commodore 64 originally cost $595 and featured an MOS Technology 6510 microprocessor, an impressive 64KB of RAM, and VIC-II graphics that supported a screen resolution of 320 by 200 pixels.

The new system, which also starts at $595, is a little more modern: it's got a Dual Core 525 Atom processor, an Nvidia Ion2 graphics chipset, 2GB of RAM (upgradeable to 4GB), a 160GB hard drive, and built-in Wi-Fi. On the left side of the keyboard there's a slot or tray-load DVD (upgradeable to Blu-ray), and on the right side there's a multi-format card reader, along with a USB 2.0 port. The rear features four additional USB 2.0 ports; mouse and keyboard PS/2 ports; DVI, VGA, and HDMI ports; Ethernet; and support for 6-channel HD audio. It runs Linux, but you can install Windows if you like.

Pretty cool for a computer that looks like it's from the 80's. Of course, if you just want the look--and you want to throw your own stuff inside--you can also order the "Barebones" package on the new Commodore 64 Website. The Barebones package costs $250 and gets you the case, chassis, keyboard, and multi-format card reader with USB 2.0 port. On the other hand, if you'd like to go all out, there's also an $895 "Ultimate" package that includes a Blu-ray drive and a 1TB hard drive.

The new Commodore 64 begins shipping at the end of this month, but you can order yours now--go get your BASIC on!

[Commodore via New York Times and Gizmodo]

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