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Announced at this years Cebit the brand name Commodore has risen from the ashes to title a range of some rather high speced PC's. These machines are aimed fairly and squarely at the PC gamer.

Amongst the distinguishing features of these PC's is the option to chose a different piece of art-work for your case called a 'C-Kin'. The art-work is very contemporary in style and ranges from recent game-titles to street art  from simply garish to - not '3' bad.

The PC's themselves have the highest speced graphics cards, processors and memory chips currently available but the real crunch point will be how much it costs and pricing is as yet this information is not currently available.

Obviously this company has only bought the brand but the word Commodore does indeed spark more that an ounce of nostalgia from many a Geek as a Commodore computer was their first introduction into the world of computing. Indeed my first computer was the humble VIC 20 in 1982 for £300 (a lot of money then and a lot of money now), with it's mighty 3.5K RAM, my Dad was quick to spot the flaw and quickly bought a 16K 'RAM-PACK'. On this machine I discovered BASIC and my fate of becoming a 'Computer Programmer' was sealed, funny how no-one has that rather naff job title anymore but then it meant a great deal, it meant you had made it. Looking back, it's funny how commands such as POKE 36879,255 can be nostalgic.

I did get a C64 and then an Amiga 500, then the story ended with the purchase of a 386SX25 for my college degree as the free C compiler I needed for my course wouldn't run on my trusty Amiga and my assignments had to be submitted in Word Perfect format. So for 10 years of my life which included some of my most formative, Commodore dominated, PC's and Microsoft were stuffy tools for business with their place firmly in the office. Abit like Apple is trying to make out the PC is today with that naff range of FUD self congratulatory adverts from Mitchell and Webb. With the ludicrous statement of 'being more fun', when arguable the main genre of fun is games where the Mac does firmly lag behind. Are well, it's nice to see that even cool Apple can make a right tit of itself every now and again.

The 80's were great times to get into computing as real competition between Atari, Amstrad, Acorn, Sinclair & Commodore and others kept us on the curve of innovation and the prices of these machines attainable. I remember mainstream high-street retailers where selling these machines next to Microwaves and toiletries. 

With difficulty of continued innovation and pressure on profit margins and the onset of an economic downturn meant decreasing markets spelled the end of this era in computing where only the more stable companies survived.

So what about the future of the risen Commodore brand? Well the present owners have clearly done their homework, every Commodore owner loved to play the odd game or two and why not? There were so many to pick from and plenty of the them where very good and of a high quality so would have been silly, even rude not to indulge so a strong gaming legacy and an ability to trade off the nostalgia element. So more success at aiming at the games market which is currently a multi-trillion dollar industry globally so why not have a percentage even if it is small, the timing is perfect because of Vista, DX10 and the legion of mouth-watering peripheral that will take advantage are here. So PC gaming is on the brink of a resurgence which is even more impressive considering that it hasn't really fallen to far off the pace. Perhaps not surprising as the I.T. industry behemoths all wanting to keep the pace up and won't let the format fail in the gaming market.

As for the humble punter well he/she (ok, so we can debate the gender but I think it will be mostly guys) is going to be a bit like me, a 20-40 something with a bit of cash behind them, looking for that new machine to run Vista on. So the C-kin may be a bit cheesy for a 36 year old but I would actually have one. In conclusion then, the timing is perfect, but only if they get the pricing, marketing, quality, service and continue to sit on top of the high-end spec curve will they enjoy success, after all, it is a proven business model, just look at Alienware or Scan.

So what of the Amiga then as the technology and the brand parted company from Commodore a long while ago? Well after a quick search I came across this the Amiga.com website were I learnt that AmigaOS version 4.0 is now a PowerPC chip operating system with it's own range of computers. The company has also diversified into other device markets such as set-top boxes and mobile phones. I wish them well.

It seems funny looking back, that I realise I've never really had it so good. Computers these days are much friendly and reliable beasts than they were in the past and getting better performance out of your programs no longer means learning machine code (Gosh I can hear some uber geek disagreeing with me on that point) The games are challenging to play and stunning to look at and the future looks bright for the PC but I can't help think that the real power of the PC success has been it's like 'Trigger broom' every part is replaceable and will do intime and tapping into that very human emotion of just a bit more power with perhaps just a little less regard for the cost, so a graphics card is going to cost more than a PS3 but who cares when the machine at the end of the day will be superior in everyway? Hmmm perhaps us gamers are just simple fools with our money but it does give us so much pleasure.

Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 12:57 AM Main | Back to top


Comments on this post: The Commodore Brand Sparks a Nostalgic Return.

# re: The Commodore Brand Sparks a Nostalgic Return.
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The irony of the whole thing is that Commodore originally pitched the Amiga as a business machine, aiming for both the Mac and PC with the Amiga 1000 - it was only when the Amiga 500 came along that they went for a home machine to go after the ST, and of course they maintained their business PC range alongside the Amiga pretty much until the end. The Amiga of course then went through multiple owners until the current situation where it is very much a niche, and is lacking part of what made it stand out - the advanced hardware.
Left by Richard on Mar 17, 2007 3:20 PM

# re: The Commodore Brand Sparks a Nostalgic Return.
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I'm not sure that is 100% right Richard. The introduction of the Amiga was as the next logical step it intent wasn't only as a business machine but as a leading all-rounder, right from the start Commodore like to demostrate the Amiga's abilities with Games.
Left by Dave Oliver on Mar 18, 2007 7:54 PM

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