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Sir Clive Sinclair kick-started the U.K. gaming industry in the ’80s with his ZX Spectrum computers, and now he’s back with a defiantly retro games console.
Start-up Retro Computers and Sir Clive Sinclair are bringing the ZX Spectrum — the main competitor to the Commodore 64 in the U.K. — back to life in the form of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega. It’s a microcontroller computer that will have 1,000 games preinstalled and will plug straight into your TV. The Vega doesn’t come with a keyboard, using a custom joypad instead. Retro Computers is using crowdfunding site Indiegogo to secure £100,000 ($157,000) to make an initial production run of 1,000 units, which it’s looking to ship in April 2015.
With games getting ever more complicated and realistic, the industry is seeing a big wave of nostalgia for the trailblazing titles of the ’80s, exemplified by the huge number of current indie games using retro 8-bit style graphics. Retro Computers is looking to tap into that nostalgia while leveraging the huge back-catalog of over 14,000 Spectrum games, most of which should work on the console.
Development of the console is complete, and Retro Computers is now making contact with the original developers of the games to secure permission to use them. A combined royalty payment will then be made to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in London.
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You can only get one of the first wave of 1,000 Vega consoles by pledging £100 ($157) at Indiegogo, but Retro Computers says the cost will come down as production ramps up.
With no keyboard included, though, many gamers will wonder how they’ll play some of the classic Spectrum titles, which relied on more than just directional inputs and four buttons.
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