New Commodore 64 Replica: Retro Casing – Modern Specs

Just moments after posting an article on the new MacBook Air refresh for 2011, I am so feeling my age! When I first heard about a new Commodore 64 replica I fondly remembered it from the first time around. On looking further into it, the first information I read was written by somebody who said they weren’t born in time for the first Commodore 64 in 1982. Getting past that though this new Commodore 64 has retro casing but modern specs so the exterior still offers us…ahem…older people, a touch of nostalgia.

If you remember the first Commodore 64, no doubt you too have fond memories of what now seems like a rather clunky and solid system. Who could forget that beige casing with its 1.023 MHz MOS microprocessor, huge 64KB of RAM and stunningly impressive display with a resolution of 320 x 200 pixels, all for $595. How that pales into insignificance now though with the new Commodore 64. Looking the same on the outside and starting at the same price of $595 fully-assembled, the internals have been somewhat upgraded.

Over on PC World, Sarah Jacobbson Purewal gives us the new Commodore 64 details. It has a Dual Core 525 Atom processor, with an NVIDIA Ion 2 graphics chipset and a slight increase in RAM to 2GB, upgradeable to 4GB. There’s also a hard drive of 160GB, build-in Wi-Fi, a total of 5 USB 2.0 ports, and DVD slot, upgradeable to Blu-ray. It’s possible to install Windows but comes running Linux.

At Information Week there’s also a look at this retro Commodore 64 and a quote from Barry Altman, president and chief executive of Commodore USA. Altman said that on buying the Commodore trademark last year there were no initial plans to bring out a replica Commodore 64 but the company started to receive a lot of email from enthusiasts. Altman said, “We sort of dismissed it as a silly notion that didn’t have much legs to grow on. The more we were in this and the more we had a presence online, (we saw) the demand was there.”

It’s possible to purchase the Barebones package which is simply the case, chassis, keyboard and card reader for only $250, the Basic package mentioned earlier at $595, then a couple more options before the Ultimate package at $895, which includes Blu-ray drive and 1TB hard drive. You can check out the details and order through the Commodore USA website here. What are your thoughts on the new Commodore 64? Could you be tempted to a retro exterior and revamped interior? Let us know with your comments.