Various mini Nintendo consoles, loads of mini Sega and Atari Consoles, even mini 90’s video rental stores – everything retro is better in miniature form. However, 80’s home PC’s have been, for the most part, left out of this (somewhat) cultural phenomenon. But, that is all set to change with the announcement of the fully licenced THEC64 Mini which is, of course, based on the much-loved Commodore 64 home computer from 1982.
THEC64 Mini has been in development for a while, however, a new promo video was released a few days ago hinting that the release date will be the 29th of March. Keen observers will also notice some text hidden away on the ‘About’ page of its website that suggests a recommended retail price of “£69.99/$69.99/€79.99.”
An apt 64 games will be included, and by all accounts, they seem to be classics. You can see a full list here, but some examples include Monty Mole, Trailblazer, Deflektor and Chips Challenge. There is no shovelware here, unlike another recent mini adaption that will not be named. And like all the others, a save function will also be built into the console.
Other features include a HDMI-out that supports 720p, although a 4:3 aspect ratio will be used (hurray!), the usual filters, as well as both US and Europe display modes – which I assume, means PAL and NTSC refresh rates.
The console its self is a 50% scale replica of its origin, and while it comes with a joystick, the keyboard is just for show. However, that useful unread ‘About’ page also hinted at a “Full sized, fully working version also coming in 2018” – so stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, though, the version that is about to released includes two USB ports. These can be used for additional joysticks and firmware updates, but the coolest feature by far is the fact that you can plug in a keyboard and program your own games within the included C64 BASIC! Pull out your old issues of Compute! Gazette, because it’s time to type-in some games!
Suffice to say, this is looking to be quite the release. The inclusion of BASIC is a fantastic idea but the games included also set a high watermark of quality that hasn’t been since Nintendo’s own official efforts. Bring on March!