Why it matters: The Commodore 64 Mini is set to arrive in the US this October. With 64 pre-installed titles and the ability to add more, the machine could top many retro fans’ must-buy lists. But reviews have been pretty average, so is this a case of rose-tinted nostalgia getting the better of us?
Thanks to all the success Nintendo had with its Classic Mini NES and SNES, other companies have been entering what is a lucrative retro gaming market. Sega is trying to jump on the nostalgia-powered bandwagon with the Mega Drive Mini—a miniature version of the Genesis—while Atari and Intellivision are also looking to enter the arena. But it’s not just consoles that are getting a modern-day revival: the best-selling computer of all time, the Commodore 64, is also coming back in a ‘mini format.’
News of the Commodore 64 Mini, which comes from Retro Games, first arrived last year. It’s been available in Europe for a couple of months now, meaning any US residents have been forced to import the machine. But it’s been announced that the 80s throwback will officially hit American shores on October 9th.
The Commodore 64 Mini comes with 64 pre-installed games, including California Games, Winter Games, Boulder Dash, Impossible Mission II, and the excellent Speedball II: Brutal Deluxe.
The machine features two USB ports for connecting an extra joystick, allowing users to experiencing some multiplayer action. You can even plug in a keyboard (the one that comes with it is just for show) and use the C64 BASIC language to create your own software.
Engadget wasn’t the biggest fan of the Commodore 64 Mini; it took issue with the joystick and the difficulty in adding new games. Still, it might be an easier, if more expensive, way to enjoy retro titles compared to using an unofficial emulator.
No word from Retro Games on how much the Commodore 64 Mini will cost when it reaches the US, but it’s expected to retail for around $80.