updated 07:05 am EDT, Thu April 7, 2011
Retro C64 features contemporary innards
Commodore USA has put its 21st Century take on the classic Commodore 64 up for pre-order, along with a more contemporary take on the same concept, the VIC Slim. The new C64 is fundamentally a retro nettop. Its external design matches in most respects the original design of the C64. However, instead of an 8-bit MOS Technology 6510 CPU, VIC-II graphics and 64KB of RAM, it now features an Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz dual-core CPU, NVIDIA Ion graphics, and up to 4GB of RAM.
The new C64 also comes equipped with a multi-card reader and the option to include 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, a DVD drive or Blu-ray drive and storage options up to 1TB. It ships with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS as its OS, although it can also run Windows if users opt to install it after purchase. Commodore is also planning on releasing a re-written version of the original Commodore OS 1.0 with emulation functionality and classic game package which will be mailed free of charge to users once it becomes available.
Also unveiled, is Commodore's new VIC Slim, which is a more contemporary take on the same concept. As it is a much slimmer design than the chunky C64, its specifications are not quite as impressive as its retro stable mate. It still incorporates the same dual-core Atom CPU, although is limited to Intel integrated GMA 3150 graphics. Memory is also capped at up to 2GB and the hard drive maxes out at 500GB.
Depending on spec, the C64 ranges in price from $295 for a Barebones version, through to $895 for the range topping C64 Ultimate. The VIC Slim ranges in price from $295 for a Barebones version through to $495 for the VIC Slim Deluxe.
Both are available for pre-order now.