The aptly named company, Retro Games, released an interesting, but ultimately disappointing mini-reboot console last year called TheC64 Mini. Criticised for its weak joystick, unsatisfactory emulation and fake keyboard (which added even more difficulty for downloaded ROMs) Commodore fans were left with a product that felt like it was cashing in on the mini-console fad without much thought.
Well, it’s not too often that we receive a successor that aims to fix problematic products – especially from such a young company – but that’s exactly what Retro Games seems intent on doing. Releasing on the 5th of December, TheC64 Mini is being replaced with TheC64; basically, the same idea but this time full-sized and featuring a functioning keyboard. The joystick will be overhauled too, including microswitches.
TheC64 can be operated by three different modes. While there is a 2019-friendly UI interface called Games Carousel, there is a C64 mode where you can run games and program like the golden days, as well as VIC20 Basic mode. 64 games are pre-installed, but as a nice twist that usually isn’t a feature of these reboot consoles, extra ROM’s can be added with a USB port. Let’s hope that the emulation has improved since the Mini. This port can also be used for memory, either for save games or to code your own programs through the C64 mode and VIC20 Basic.
Games include classics such as Boulder Dash, Monty on the Run and California Games. But among the extensive list that is included, you’ll find games such as the shoot ‘em up Galencia that was actually coded and released in 2017. These will be outputted in 720p by HDMI, with either 50 or 60Hz display modes.
Sadly, pre-orders so far are for western Europe only, probably because Retro Games are a British company, and range in price from €119.99 to £109.99. TheC64 Mini did see a substantial international release, however, so hopefully, it retails in North American and Australia again in the near future. Otherwise, if you live in the appropriate locales, pre-orders can be done right here.