Those who follow my Twitter already know my stance on the NES and SNES Classic. While I’m happy for those who are able to get a hold of them at retail price, they’re not something I’d end up buying. I have a Retropie build with both the entire NES and SNES library on it (not to mention a ton of other retro systems), so to me, they simply don’t hold a lot of appeal.
Following suit of the “making miniature versions of retro game consoles” trend that seems to have consumers by the ball, Commodore has announced that it is bringing out a miniature version of its beloved Commodore 64 computer. It is set to have 64 built-in-games and while no release date other than 2018 has been stated, the price is set to be $95. This makes it the most expensive of the “mini” systems at retail, beating out the SNES Classic by $15. In this case, I’m actually pretty excited for the thing.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I didn’t buy into the NES and SNES Classic craze was because not only did I already have access to all the games on both units (and everything else), but I had these systems as a kid (and a ton of games for them, since retro gaming in the early 2000’s was affordable and nobody had a wild hare up their ass when it came to selling). You might argue that it would make me the ideal candidate for both, but in all honesty…I just don’t see the point in buying things for nostalgia’s sake very often. And, if I did, I’d be more apt to just go buy those systems and the games again (given that the SNES Classic is being scalped to death on my local Craigslist page, I’d be better off).
In the case of the Commodore 64…I never owned this one when I was younger and as such, am vastly unfamiliar with its library of games. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the library and find some titles to enjoy and talk about (despite being completely illiterate when it comes to vintage computing…emulating it on the Pi has given me a hell of a lot of trouble), and I think this would be a great way to discover ground I haven’t already tread a dozen times before. With 64 games “built in”, hopefully I’ll be able to hop right into some C64 titles with relative ease. No command prompts, no long loading times or other hang-ups. At least, I’m hoping Commodore will put a simple menu in just to access games for those who want it. It would make it a very easy sell for me (and I’m sure others), even if it is more expensive than a SNES Classic (at retail). I also think it’d make a quick sell to others whose PC gaming career started and possibly even ended with Space Cadet and Solitare on a Windows 98 that want the easiest way possible to play retro computer titles.
What are your thoughts on the C64 Mini? Do you think it’ll pave the way for micro versions of other home computers over the years? Also…do you think they should simplify the process of booting up games to make them more accessible to audiences who didn’t grow up with them (or simply stuck to dedicated consoles)?