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This classic computer is making a return as a smartphone

Anyone want to play some Elite on the Commodore 64?

Image: Commodore 64

THOSE OF A certain generation will remember the Commodore 64. The device was for many their first introduction to computers and games.

Now the 1980s device is making a return in a more portable format, specifically a mid-range smartphone, called the Commodore PET, a name shared with one of Commodore’s other iconic PCs.

According to WIRED, the smartphone was the work of two Italian entrepreneurs,  Massimo Canigiani and Carlo Scattolini, who registered Commodore Business Machines Limited in the UK and are using it to launch a smartphone.

The specs for the device are decent. Running on a custom version of Android Lollipop, it has a 5.5-inch screen (think of the Samsung Galaxy Note series and you’re on the right track), a 1.7 GHz processor and a 3000 mAh battery. The basic version comes with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, increasing to 32GB and 3GB of RAM, and has a 13MP camera.

But the biggest draw is something you can’t do with other phones (legally): play old Commodore 64 and Amiga games on it. The smartphone comes with two pre-installed emulators allowing you to play titles from the two classic computers.

While they’re not officially finished yet, the company released two videos showcasing demos of them in action: Turrican II on the Amiga 500 and Ghosts n’ Goblins for the Commodore 64.

Source: Commodore Business Machines/YouTube

Source: Commodore Business Machines/YouTube

And that’s only touching the surface of it. While it’s aimed at a niche market, for many, the thought of playing Lemmings, Sensible Soccer, Xenon II, or Lotus Turbo Challenge II (just for the theme tune) while on the go will certainly be tempting for those who grew up with either .

According to WIRED, the PET will initially be available in Italy, France, Germany and Poland, but there are plans to add more countries in Europe in the near future. The two versions of the PET will cost roughly $300 and $365 (€273 and €332) respectively.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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