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Commodore 64 makes comeback for retro-gaming thrills

The legendary Commodore 64 is making a comeback. The beige box that stole your heart in the '80s is once more on sale, but with a thorougly modern PC inside.

Charles Kloet
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The legendary Commodore 64 is making a comeback. That's right, retro-gaming fans -- the beige box that stole your heart in the 80s is once more being sold, staying true to the aesthetic of the original machine but packing updated components. 

The new machine is essentially an Ubuntu-flavoured Linux PC that runs a Commodore 64 emulator. You can also install Windows 7 on it, so you can actually get some work done. Basically, it's a proper computer with a charming retro twist. 

It's substantially more powerful than the original C64, with the basic configuration packing a dual-core, 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 chip, an Nvidia Ion 2 GPU, 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. You can upgrade those specs if you like, and you also have the option of adding Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, as well as a DVD or Blu-ray drive. 

Other mod cons on the new C64 include five USB ports, a multi-format memory-card reader, and an HDMI port for 1080p video playback. Alas, the tape deck has been jettisoned. We miss waiting for games to load -- such periods afforded a good opportunity to put a cactus in a sibling's welly boot or go out in the garden and feed jam to the ants. 

Children of the 80s can thank new company Commodore USA for giving them the chance to relive their youth. You won't be able to get your hands on a new C64 just yet, though. The first batch sold out within 24 hours last week, and now pre-ordered machines aren't expected to ship until May or June. You'll have to cough up at least $565 (£365) for the basic configuration too.

Would you buy a new C64? Or would you rather stick with an emulator on your mobile device of choice? Which C64 games hold a special place in your affections? Get all nostalgic in the comments section below or on our Facebook wall. Below is a video of Ghouls 'n' Ghosts to help you get started, and you can click through our photo gallery to see the new C64 from more angles. 

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Behold the DVD drive.
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You can whack your memory card into one of those slots.
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There's an Ethernet jack on the back, along with a host of other ports.

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