Thursday, 15 January 2015

Spectrum Vega

For a generation of kids growing up in the early 1980’s, the must have device for the bedroom was the ‘home computer’. Home computers were a new thing in the early 80’s and every home had to have one. The potential uses for them were massive, but as history has since shown, most were used to simply play games.

The two most popular devices at the time were the Spectrum 48k and the Commodore 64. Both boasted impressive graphics (for the time), sound and games play and at the time, the rivalry between the two manufacturers was a bit like the rivalry between the Beatles and the Stones in the 60’s. You were either in one camp or the other, and nobody was ever a fan of both.
As the decades and technology moved on, these relatively simple home computers were replaced by a multitude of gaming consoles, leaving them firmly in the history books…..
Or so they thought….

Whilst these 80’s home computers were very limited in terms of graphics, memory, sound and processing power, these limitations meant that the games developers had to do the best with what they had, and as a result the games had to be very playable and for the most part, ‘good’. As such, in many ways the games have stood the test of time, even if the visuals don’t jump out of the screen.

And so for that generation of kids who grew up with this technology, nostalgia has led many of them to maintain an interest in the technology which entertained them in their childhoods. There are websites which are dedicated to retro gaming, emulators for all the major home computers and just about every single game which was available at the time is now available to download, free of charge.

The emulators have been around for many years now, but there has been some criticism that they are not always easy to use and can often crash.

However, in December 2014, it was announced that Retro Computers in conjunction with SMS Electronics, would be developing a new version of the Spectrum 48k called the ‘Spectrum Vega’.

The device, a must have for nostalgia fans and those curious about home gaming history, is a stripped down version of the classic Spectrum 48k, and instead of having a full qwerty keyboard, it only has those keys which were used in the original game play. It also comes pre-loaded with 1,000 classic Spectrum games as standard, with at least 3,000 available on future releases.

The unit is provisionally planned for an April 2015 release, and will sell for around the £100 mark. The initial production run of 1,000 units were only available as a pre-order at £100 each. Unsurprisingly this offer was snapped up in no time at all and now the next batch are currently in production.

For more information on how to get hold of one of these devices then click here.

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