The re-release of classic gaming consoles as mini-consoles has taken the market by storm. Nintendo has been making gobs of money on re-releases such as the NES Classic Edition and SNES Classic Edition, and now another company is getting in on the digs starting next year, with a mini version of the Commodore 64.
Over on the official C64 website, it was announced that the C64 Mini is currently in the works and will be released as a re-imagined mini-console starting in 2018 for $69.99.
The site reveals that the upcoming system is based on the original 1982 release of the Commodore 64, complete with color graphics and synthesized sound. The C64 Mini is scaled as a replica at 50% of the size of the original machine. The new mini-console, however, features many of today's upgrades and updates that weren't available 35 years ago. For instance, the device sports accurate C64 operation but will do so with the ability to utilize common-day features present in emulators such as pixel filtering for sharp resolutions, scanline options, or CRT rendering to give the game that old arcade-style look.
Additionally, you will be able to play through and save your games, just like in standard Commodore 64 emulation, which sports save and reload states for gamers to use in addition to standard in-game checkpoints and save spots. Unlike the old Commodore 64 units with the 9-pin parallel port openings and the serial plugs located on the side of device, the C64 Mini sports two USB ports for either additional gamepad or keyboard support.
The whole package comes with the C64 Mini, an old-school USB joystick, an HDMI cable you plug into your TV and the game manual.
Of course, most of you are probably wondering what sort of games are included? I mean, what's the purpose of a retro console if it doesn't have games?
Thankfully Retro Games Limited will be packaging in 64 different C64 games that came out during the 1980s. This includes classics like California Games, Impossible Mission II, Creatures, Paradroid, Pitstop II, Monty on the Run and Netherworld.
I imagine most youngsters have no clue what any of those games are because they're old and are only played via emulators these days. However, I'm sure a lot of parents who grew up on C64 titles are probably interested in introducing their kids to the classics that they originally grew up playing.
I'm not too surprised that the Commodore 64 is getting the retro reboot treatment in the form of an emulated mini-console. After the success of the NES Classic Edition and the huge wave of interest in the SNES Classic Edition, expect more companies to take a swing at re-releasing other classic gaming devices as well. I'm a little shocked that we haven't had news about an Amiga mini-console yet.
Recently Atari decided to get back into the game with a crowdfunded project called the Ataribox, which will not only play older games but also some newer PC titles as well.
Not every retro console that's been rebooted has fared well on the market, though. The Sega Genesis mini-consoles are plagued by bugs, glitches and a lot of shovelware, so hopefully Retro Games Limited can avoid the blunders of some of the other units when it launches next year.