The C64 Mini is an engaging little device that brings the world’s best-selling home computer back into modernity. Featuring its half-pint size and nostalgic joystick as well as modernised features.
Nintendo-led efforts at recreating vintage gaming hardware with universal connections and improved quality-of-life improvements such as faster load times are leading to its recreation.
If you miss the days of gaming-focused 80s home computers, then the C64 Mini may just be for you. Following recent trends of recreating vintage hardware in smaller form with universal connections and improved load times and save game saving functionality.
The Mini is an attractive reproduction that feels and looks authentic, right down to its mechanical keyboard. Packed with classic titles from both console generations, and easily expandable via SD card expansion – depending on its capacity you could potentially take an entire Commodore 64 Gamebase/Tosec Collection on trains and flights to visit family – playing Sanxion or Bomberland along the way!
Commodore revolutionized home computers by realizing they could serve a dual role: spreadsheets and databases as well as entertainment devices. At the time, their only true competitors treated gaming as an afterthought; with Commodore placing gaming at the core of its offering.
Although not as flexible or advanced as modern PCs, the C64’s BASIC was still an exceptional programming language. Easy to pick up compared to its peers, BASIC allowed programmers to easily build sophisticated graphics routines using very few lines of code. Furthermore, this computer had an amazing audio synthesizer with several built-in effects for even further customizability.
Of course, the Mini isn’t perfect: its lack of a data cassette drive limits what games can be played (only those included with its preinstalled library work properly). Additional games may be sideloaded via USB; however, at present it only recognizes one ROM at a time so any time you want something new you need to copy-paste and rename on a computer before using your Mini again.
Overall, however, the C64 Mini is an excellent addition to the expanding field of retro gaming remakes. While not quite as nostalgic as an original, this capable and functional machine will transport many back to a happy memory of home computing from their past.
Commodore 64 Emulator
Are You Missing Out on C64 Memories? Check Out This Mini Computer
The Commodore 64 was an iconic computer from the ’80s, holding a special place in millions’ hearts. Although its successors included Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Acorn Archimedes were similarly beloved machines, Commodore 64 reigned supreme for many years – serving as their introduction to personal computing for many young users.
To create an accurate replica of a Commodore 64 computer, a computer must contain both a MOS6502 CPU chip and memory bus to connect memory-mapped peripherals. Furthermore, it requires a VIC emulator for graphics processing; CIA emulator for controlling keyboard/floppy drive interaction; SID synthesizing sound production; as well as various ROM/RAM blocks with kernel data for kernels/character data synthesis/synthesis of sounds etc; it must also feature power LED indicator as well as output S-video output capabilities.
Another key feature is keyboard mapping mode. By default, symbolic mapping ties all characters on your keyboard directly to their Commodore counterparts; alternatively you may opt for positional mapping which shows where each key should appear when it has been mapped.
Although the Commodore 64 Mini does have some issues, it remains an excellent way to enjoy classic ’80s games. With its small footprint and VICE emulator, which supports emulation of C64, 128, VIC-20, PET 8-bit and CBM-II computers. Furthermore, its file formats match those found on an actual C64 making game transfer between these devices seamless and smooth. Unfortunately however, input lag and joystick stiffness hinder navigation; hopefully these issues will be addressed through firmware updates in due course.
Miniaturised versions of gaming-focused 80s home computers like the Commodore 64 must meet two key criteria to be truly worthy of their name: they must feature working keyboard and joystick; that is precisely what the C64 Mini does, following Nintendo’s recent trend towards recreating vintage gaming hardware on a smaller scale with universal connections and onboard software to replace messy cartridge/disc swapping, faster load times and savegame support – in essence designed so middle-aged people can keep treasured relics from their childhood without taking up precious cupboard space or needing so many cable adapters in doing so.
This well-made unit looks authentic, featuring a chunky body in multiple shades of brown with an authentically bubbly display screen. The USB ports look just like their real life counterparts and the power button works despite lacking writing on it, as does HDMI (although there is now only a button rather than switch). Furthermore, its developers promise future firmware updates will support multi-ROM support.
This system begins as a menu-driven experience, with lower and upper windows showing box art for each game selected. When clicking a game to play it, a still image or footage from it appears on the left while its synopsis appears on the right – an effective way of presenting games that should feel familiar to anyone who was around during that era; but don’t expect its polish and scale of an modern NES game!
The C64 Mini’s OS has been carefully created to mimic its original counterpart, making it possible for you to plug a USB keyboard and use it like a fully functional home computer running Commodore Basic with access to its BASIC interpreter. Or connect one of two USB controllers and enjoy playing games – plus it supports four save states so you can pick up where you left off on next visit!
The Commodore 64 Mini follows in the footsteps of Nintendo Classic Editions SNES and NES consoles by recreating vintage gaming hardware on a smaller scale with modern features, including more universal connections, on-board software that doesn’t require cart swapping and quality of life improvements such as save games and faster loading times.
Regarding HDMI output, the new device boasts full HDTV capabilities with 720p at 60Hz, US/Europe display modes and CRT filter for that old school look. There’s also support for Audio Return Channel (ARC) as well as auto lip sync which synchronizes video and audio together for seamless playback.
As opposed to its predecessor, which featured an external power supply unit that was vulnerable to failure, the Mini has all of its power requirements built-in, which should help lower both cost and cable usage requirements for operation. There’s even an SD card slot built into it for game data storage!
As for audio, the Commodore 64 Mini attempts to emulate its computer’s sound chip as closely as possible; however, since there have been multiple revisions over time on its sound chips there will always be subtle variances between versions in terms of sound emulation.
One other unique feature is the inclusion of an RCA composite video output, compatible with most televisions that still use this type of connection. This makes connecting your mini to their TV easier than using an HDMI-RCA converter.
The Commodore 64 Mini can currently be purchased in Europe for approximately $70 and should eventually become available in the US as well. It features an impressive array of pre-loaded games as well as user additions through USB drives; however, its only drawback lies in not including an integrated keyboard; however it does support an external USB keyboard for use alongside it.
Retro Games Ltd, the creators of The Commodore 64 Mini, announced in an Indiegogo update that they plan on returning to work on creating a full-sized Commodore 64 replica system, called THE 64 and featuring working keyboard. That system should become available sometime during 2018.