Difference between revisions of "Post-obsolescence Commodore 64 projects"

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Advertising? The Commodore 64 computer was produced from January 1982 to April 1994, and was already quite outdated in 1994. By modern standards, the Commodore 64's 64KiB of RAM and 1MHz CPU is ridiculously underpowered compared to a modern computer's gigabytes of RAM and gigahertz multicore CPU. However, in recent years there has been a trend to create new games, demos, and hardware for the platform, as part of the nostalgic retrogaming phenomenon.

News media

Indie Retro News are extensively covering Commodore 64 news.[1]

The web site The New dimension is running a news website for C64 news.[2] They have also been making a disk magazine (C64 disks with mostly scene news articles) since 2001; as of 2019, there are 28 issues, the last in 2018.[3]

The C64 Portal runs a news feed.[4]

The C-64 Scene Database is very active, and the database seems to include most new events and releases.[5]


There exist many Commodore 64 emulators, with the most prominent probably being the free and open source VICE. These are able to run Commodore 64 disc and cassette images on modern hardware.


Hardware disk emulators, which plugs into the physical disk port of a stock Commodore 64, have been developed. Most notable SD2IEC, which is a development of MMC2IEC originally developed by Lars Pontoppidan in 2007.[6] Other projects include the 1541-III and the 1541 Ultimate.

Two full new hardware implementations have been sold. The C64 Direct-to-TV was a complete Commodore 64 miniturized into a single ASIC designed by Jeri Ellsworth, which was produced in 2004. The whole computer, and build-in games, was built into a joystick which could be connected directly to a TV. The C64 Direct-to-TV sold around 600,000 copies.

Another complete reimplementation was 2018 THEC64Mini; it included a mini C64 with an cosmetic non-function keyboard, build-in games, and a USB-connected joystick. The mini uses the VICE emulator running on Linux on an ARM CPU; the emulation led The 8-Bit Guy to complain about input lag compared to an old "real" Commodore 64.[7] The makers of THEC64Mini are also working on a full-size version with a functional keyboard, which will be named THE64.[8] THEC64 is been announced to come out sometime in 2019. According to Retro Games Limited says that the full size version is to be announced by the end of June 2019.

The MEGA65 is a Commodore 65-inspired design, a complete new 8-bit computer in the Commodore 65 form factor with modern ports like USB. It includes a Commodore 64 mode.[9] It is still under development, and while the design and software is open source, it is not available for sale as a finished product as of 2019.

A new version of the Commodore 64 main board hard been developed, build using FPGAs.[10] Another version, the C64 Reloaded and C64 Reloaded MK2, relies on the user supplying original socketed chips to put into the new motherboard.[11]

New C64C cases have been produced via a Kickstarter project.[12]

At least 2 hardware designs have been created to connect a Commodore 1541 disk drive to a modern PC: ZoomFloppy[13] and MiniXum[14].

New games


New Amiga games can often be meaningfully categorized. There are of course original games, that while they might fit into a genre, are as original as any game in that genre ever was. There are the unofficial ports of games from the Commodore 64 time period that for whatever reason was never released on the C64, such as Super Mario Bros. 64 and Bomberman C64. There are the improved arcade ports, where especially the Nostalgia group have created updated versions of e.g. Ghosts 'n Goblins and Commando with bugs fixed, extra levels which were missing in the original port to C64 from the arcade original, and other new features. There are sequels to prominent old games, such as Bruce Lee II, Bruce Lee - Return of Fury, and Guns 'n' Ghosts.

There are the demakes, where a relatively modern game is ported to the C64, shedding various features in the process; e.g. Portal and Farming simulator. Some modern games such as Minesweeper, 2048, and Flappy Bird are so simple that they have been ported to the C64 basically feature-complete. Some new games are of types which did not exist in the C64 period, for example the real time strategy games Planet X2 and the online multiplayer game Netracer.

A lot of mostly low quality new games are made using the 1987 Shoot-'Em-Up Construction Kit (SEUCK). Quite a lot of new releases are Boulder Dash levels, presumably made with Boulder Dash Construction Kit.

While many of the games are free downloads, many of the games are sold for profit, and come in classic old-style boxes with diskettes, tapes, and/or cartridge. Companies which publish Commodore 64 games include Psytronik Software, Protovision, RGCD, and itch.io[15].


Commodore 64 demos have continued to be released after the Commodore went out of production. Demoparties and websites sometimes hold competitions for the best new Commodore 64 demo. Demoparties with Commodore 64 competitions include X, The Party (1991-2002), and Breakpoint (2003-2010).

The C-64 Scene Database keeps a database of Commodore 64 scene events.[16]

One demo subcategory is space-limited games, where the size of the game on storage medium can be no bigger than an artificial limit. Typical limits are 512B, 1KiB, 2KiB, 4KiB, or 16KiB. After participating in a space limited game competition, an enhanced unlimited version of the game is sometimes released.


The Commodore 64 was especially noted for its SID chip sound synthesizer, which was far ahead of its time. Hence there is strong nostalgia for the characteristic and interestingly technically limited (by modern standard) sound produced.

There is an active scene producing C64 music.[17] This includes both wholly original music, and demakes of welknown music such as e.g. pop songs or the Star Wars music (seen in the 2018 Star Wars Demo by Censor Design. In addition to pure music releases, C64 music is also released as parts of games and demos. Some people have modded their C64 to use 2 SID chips to produce stereo sound.[18]

Parts of the SID chip used analogue electronics to produce sound, which makes copying or emulating the chip much harder than reproducing a purely digital chip. Original SID chips often sell for $50 (to e.g. replace a broken chip). No modern production of exact copies of the SID chip has been done, but one project implements the digital parts using a FPGA, while emulating the analogue parts.[19]

External links