We previously talked about the release of a Commodore 64 Mini that we were less than enthusiastic about at the time. It turns out the final release of that console was indeed somewhat disappointing as it didn’t even feature a fully-functional keyboard. Now, however, there is a Commodore 64 Mini alternative that may just fill the retro void.
Actually, it’s not entirely accurate to call this a Commodore 64 Mini. That was the name of the previous Commodore 64 release from Retro Games. This new release is, for all intents and purposes, much closer to a fully-function Commodore 64. Not only does that mean that it features an actual working keyboard, but it even comes with the BASIC operating system pre-installed and allows you to emulate the functions of the classic C64 or the Commodore Vic 20. Given that much of the retro charm of the C64 comes through navigating its unique interface and functionality, those features are welcome indeed.
This new Commodore (simply called “The C64”) isn’t a complete recreation of the original, though. In fact, it features an HDMI port that allows you to easily hook it up to modern TVs (but it will only support resolutions up to 720p) as well as a more modern joystick controller. That last edition is especially nice as one of the biggest complaints about the C64 Mini was that its controller was authentic to the point of being downright terrible.
The C64 features roughly the same collection of classic games featured in the C64 Mini, and it also allows you to upload your own C64 and other compatible ROMs.
That last feature is nice, but we’d be lying if we told you that the biggest appeal of this particular retro experience is the ability to play C64 games once more. The Commodore 64’s game lineup hasn’t exactly aged like fine wine. Fortunately, this particular model does recreate the experience of using the C64 which certainly goes a long way to recreating the experience of what we consider to be one of the biggest innovations in PC gaming history.
The C64 is expected to ship on December 5, 2019, and will retail for about $120.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.