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C-64 Mini Coming Soon...


atarifan88
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So when will the C64 Mini be available? A launch date hasn’t been specified, which is a bit concerning. The console’s creators, Retro Games Ltd., appear to be the same people behind a clone of the Commodore 64 that hit the crowdfunding site Indiegogo a few years ago. That hardware venture, THE64, hasn’t shipped to backers yet, despite a promised delivery of December 2016. And the updates to that project seem to indicate that it won’t ship until the after the C64 Mini does, assuming it successfully manages to make its way into the hands of consumers eventually.

 

 

Will this even come to market???

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I'll admit the selection of games is horrible, but with a USB port, hopefully they will make some way to load more games through a USB stick.

If not, this is just a cute doorstop or Christmas ornament to me. That's it! Offer a reduced cost, empty shell so we can hang it on our trees. It'll get more use out of the year that way. :lol:

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The games selection reminds me of the C64DTV and C64D2TV. Bill L has elsewhere mentioned that it is really hard to come up with locating IP owners and licensing the most famous games on the C64, and that was one of the reasons AtGames so far haven't gone forward to make a C64 Flashback. I understand that Mammoth Toys got to license what they could find for the C64DTV and it kind of looks like THE C64 has went the same route. There are a couple of companies which each hold a significant amount of good IP to approach, but perhaps not all of them are easy to work with or are excpecting ridiculous amounts of money up front to release some titltes commercially.

 

That is where e.g. Nintendo has a huge benefit. They own the rights to most of their blockbuster games, so it is just an internal decision which ones to include. As you may have noted on both the NES and SNES Mini, there are very few or no 3rd party titles. I'm unsure what the status is on similar Atari Flashback and Sega Flashback units, but I think the libraries on these also boils down to just a few IP holders and just 1st party content. This is where it gets tricky with the C64, not only is there no real Commodore to ask for rights, and even if there is one party that owns the brand, they don't have any worthwhile software IP to include. In order to put together a decent C64 games device that contains legally licensed games, I think the minimum is to ask 3-4 different IP holders and those need to be picked carefully. Some might not even be interested.

 

But yes, if you can use a USB stick or a SD card, you can fill it with all the files you possibly can download, no matter who owns the rights. Obviously the manufacturer can't sell something like that.

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If not, this is just a cute doorstop or Christmas ornament to me. That's it! Offer a reduced cost, empty shell so we can hang it on our trees. It'll get more use out of the year that way. :lol:

 

If alternate games can be loaded via USB or SD, load the old Christmas demo and hang it from the tree. 8-bits Christmas graphic with nice tune.

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I'm looking forward to this -- just saw an article on it today -- although I really am not familiar with many of these games (I had a friend who had the computer, and we mostly confined our use of it to playing Jeopardy, which was a lot of fun, and we also enjoyed Contra and some others).

 

Will this be sold in retail stores? And someone mentioned about the list of games being bad. I can see that. However, are there any gems on there that are similar to other famous games, maybe even something that almost clones a fun platformer?

 

And on the issue of rights -- yeah, that's always the sticking point. I assume it boils down to the advances that the rights holders demand. If a company could get around the need for an advance and just go to a royalty-only situation, then I assume that would open up the trend to more licensed games.

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Well, how about some Lemon64 scores? All those are in the range of 1-10.

 

Alleykat: 7.3

Anarchy: 6.8

Armalyte: 8.5 (it says Competition Edition, whatever it means)

Avenger: 7.2

Battle Valley: 6.9

Bounder: 7.2

California Games: 8.5

Chip's Challenge: 7.7

Confuzion: 6.8

Cosmic Causeway: 7.7 (personally I had preferred the prequel Trailblazer)

Creatures: 8.5

Cyberdyne Warrior: 7.6

Cybernoid: 7.5

Cybernoid II: 7.5

Deflektor: 7.8

Everyone's a Wally: 7.4

Firelord: 7.0

Gribbly's Day Out: 7.8

Hawkeye: 7.7

Heartland: 7.3

Herobotix: 5.9

Highway Encounter: 7.2

Hysteria: 7.3

Impossible Mission: 8.7

Impossible Mission II: 7.8

Insects in Space: 7.8

Mega Apocalypse: 8.0

Mission A.D: 6.6

Monty Mole: 6.7

Monty on the Run: 7.8

Nebulus: 8.0

Netherworld: 7.2

Nobby the Aardvark: 8.0

Ranarama: 7.8

Robin of the Wood: 6.6

The Arc of Yesod: 6.9

 

4 out of those 36 games are present on the Lemon64 users' top 100 list with a cut-off at minimum 50 votes. Personally I have ever played 12 of them, of which I'd go as far as claiming 5 are favorites and another 5 I would consider playing again if those were my only choices. That leaves 24 games that I've never tried, and certainly there may be gems among them, but for someone who has been playing games on the C64 for 30 years, I must admit the selection is a bit like beggars aren't choosers.

 

Many of the top 100 games are titles from Lucasfilm, Electronic Arts, Microprose, Origin, SSI, Activision etc, which is thought to be IP that is hard to obtain licensing for. Since they've got some Hewson titles there, one could've wished for Paradroid.

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No idea. It might be related to volumes, market impact, pricing and so on.

 

Sorted by publisher, it becomes even more obvious which libraries of games they got access to:

 

Hewson/Rack-It (13): Alleykat, Anarchy, Battle Valley, Cyberdyne Warrior, Cybernoid, Cybernoid II, Firelord, Gribbly's Day Out, Herobotix, Insects in Space, Nebulus, Netherworld, Ranarama

 

Gremlin Graphics (7): Avenger, Bounder, Cosmic Causeway, Deflektor, Monty Mole, Monty on the Run, Highway Encounter (Vortex Software, but I clearly remember this one was included on a Gremlin 10 games collection already in the late 80's so I think it is handled by whoever acquired the rights to Gremlin Graphics' IP)

 

Thalamus (4): Armalyte, Creatures, Hawkeye, Nobby the Aardvark

 

Epyx (4): California Games, Chip's Challenge, Impossible Mission, Impossible Mission II

 

Odin Computer Graphics (4): Heartland, Mission A.D, Robin of the Wood, The Arc of Yesod (Thor Computer Graphics, but I think they renamed or merged as Nodes of Yesod is an Odin title)

 

The rest (4): Confuzion (Incentive Software), Everyone's a Wally (Mikro-Gen), Hysteria (Software Projects), Mega Apocalpyse (Martech) - some of those might be managed by the IP holders of the above companies.

 

Since Epyx seems to be owned by System 3, one could also hope that you could cherry pick most of the other System 3 and Epyx titles like something from the Last Ninja series, more events from the Summer/Winter/World Games series, Jumpman and Pitstop series, Flimbo's Quest etc. Though I understand that not all games once published by a company may still be available for them to license.

 

In February, I made a pretend list that included System 3 (including Epyx) but also all the rights supposedly held by Infogrames (Microprose, Firebird, Ocean) as they seem to be somewhat cooperative when it comes to the Atari Flashback units at least. Some of the 50 games on my list were movie licenses or arcade conversions that may not be available but if most of those titles were possible to include, we could have a set of 30-40 games where all are solid 8/10 or higher, and a far greater amount of what people consider are true C64 classics.

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The box says 64 games already installed:

AlleyKat, Anarchy, Armalyte: Competition Edition, Avenger, Battle Valley, Bounder, California Games, Chip’s Challenge, Confuzion, Cosmic Causeway: Trailblazer II, Creatures, Cyberdyne Warrior, Cybernoid II: The Revenge, Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine, Deflektor, Everyone’s A Wally, Firelord, Gribbly’s Day Out, Hawkeye, Heartland, Herobotix, Highway Encounter, Hunter's Moon, Hysteria, Impossible Mission, Impossible Mission II, Insects In Space, Mega Apocalypse, Mission A.D, Monty Mole, Monty on the Run, Nebulus, Netherworld, Nobby the Aardvark, Nodes Of Yesod, Paradroid, Pitstop II, Rana Rama, Robin Of The Wood, Rubicon, Skate Crazy, Skool Daze, Slayer, Snare, Speedball, Speedball II: Brutal Deluxe, Spindizzy, Star Paws, Steel, Stormlord, Street Sports Baseball, Summer Games II, Super Cycle, Temple of Apshai Trilogy, The Arc Of Yesod, Thing Bounces Back, Thing on a Spring, Trailblazer, Uchi Mata, Uridium, Who Dares Wins II, Winter Games, World Games, Zynaps.

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Ok, those are more than what the website lists. The additional titles look to be mainly Hewson, Epyx and Gremlin Graphics titles which is not so strange since those are the companies they obtained licenses from in the first place.

 

Perhaps if this one is successful, EA will agree to release a Gold Edition similar to how the Atari Flashback will have a special Activision edition, except that Activision perhaps was stronger tied to the 2600 than Electronic Arts ever was to the C64.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Whoa, on the website in the "about" section it says "PLUS – Full sized, fully working version also coming in 2018 as well!" :lust:

 

https://thec64.com/about/

 

Can't wait to see what that full sized version will end up being. Hopefully not vaporware :ponder:

 

Update:Also saw in the press release "THEC64® Mini will hit the shops in 2018 with a suggested retail price of £69.99/$69.99/€79.99 and will be followed by other models later."

 

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/314040/Two_classics_from_the_80s_the_classic_Boulder_Dash_video_game_and_the_retro_THEC64_Mini_join_forces.php

 

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Edited by Pink
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If it goes to production and distribution, major kudos for that even if it isn't a product that adds much for die-hard users.

 

*sigh* Fine, I will give some points for not being vaporware but I still think this is little more than brand vampirism, in particular since the C64, disk drives and emulators, and games are still so plentiful. As with the Genesis HD, the one thing for which I can give credit is the native HDMI output as very few, if any, plebs have composite or s-video monitors, and certainly a lot of elites have moved on -- I hover somewhere in-between.

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