15th March 2018 - Retro Gaming.

I was thinking about this recently when watching a YouTube vid about the new Commodore 64 Mini. I was tempted to buy one, and for around 80 they are relatively cheap, but the more I learnt about it the less I felt inclined to do so. I wasn't sure why I no longer wanted one. I always loved the Commodore 64 range of computers. I had a Vic 20, a Commodore 64, a Commodore 64C, and a Commodore 128. They were brilliant computers with their own unique style and feel to them. Yet I didn't feel the same passion for the Commodore 64 Mini. Then it suddenly hit me. The reason why I don't want one. It's a games console. It's a new Commodore 64 computer I want, with a proper working keyboard, not a prop that plays video games via an emulator. I can to that on the PC anyway.

I own a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega which is similar to a Commodore 64 Mini in that it's a games console rather than a fully working computer. It's convenient in that I can play old Spectrum games on a large screen TV but that's all it's good for. I still own my old ZX Spectrum +3 which I connect to a modern TV using a scart lead adaptor. It's brilliant.

I think the point I'm making is that if you want real retro then it's best to stay with the real thing. Get a real Commodore 64 or Spectrum or whatever it is that you're into. Modern reproductions of old computers often contain lots of conveniences, such as memory card access and HDMI connections, but they miss the point about it being a computer rather than a games machine.

There's another ZX Spectrum in the works called the ZX Spectrum Next. That one looks interesting in that it appears to be a proper computer containing no built in games whatsoever. This one is something I'm tempted to buy.

It looks nice but the keyboard is pretend.

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