Commodore 64: the 8-bit computing king

It was 1986 when I got my grubby mits on the new, sleek and all beige Commodore 64. Like numerous others around the world, I affectionately called it the C64.
The pack it came in was the ‘America’s Cup’ edition. It included various peripherals and games to get started in 8-bit computing and gaming. I truly thought this was gaming nirvana (and a much better option than the Atari 2600).


The C64 was a versatile machine – it could load games via cartridge, cassette or 5 1/4 diskettes.

Loading games on tape wasn’t fun – they took ages to load, and there was a propensity for them to fail. Nothing drove me insanely mad than having to rewind and reload a game and wait another 30 minutes for it to load. Oh well, it was one way of ensuring we got to play outside while we waited for the games to load.

The best way to experience games was either on cartridge or floppy disks. The majority of games were available on both cassette and disk. Cartridges were too expensive to manufacture and limiting when compared to tape or disk.

The C64 enjoyed many arcade conversions and film tie-in games, like Robocop and The Untouchables. Unfortunately, many of the other film tie-in games were sub-par or completely crap. Nevertheless, the trusty C64 had plenty of great games to satisfy everyone’s taste.

In 1987, when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released, I had thoughts about selling the C64 and shelling out for the shiny new grey Nintendo shoebox. Finding it hard to part with the C64, I ended up keeping it and also buying the NES.

After all these years, I still have my C64. It has lost some of its beautiful beige colour, but it still looks good to me. It has aged gracefully. The NES on the other hand was traded back in the day, for the Sega Megadrive, but it too has found itself back in my collection.

The Commodore 64 had a number of peers in the 8-bit computing market, namely the Amstrad CPC464 and the ZX Spectrum. But at the end of the day, enjoying total global dominance, the C64 was ensured the 8-bit computing throne and its place in retro gaming history.

 

Comments

  1. Father R.O.B. says:

    I’m glad to see you finally got this post up. The C64 was never something I played growing up and I’m forced to experience it vicariously through others. One day I wouldn’t mind getting one, but it’s way down on my list of collections.

    Do you own everything in those pictures? I’m assuming so, but just checking.

    • ausretrogamer says:

      I would be honoured to enrich your C64 experience 🙂 When you come around to my place, we will need to spend weeks going through all the games – there are litterally thousands of them (obviously not all are good, but 80% of them are excellent).

      I like to use my own stuff in photos, it makes it more personal. So yeh, what you see is what I have.
      So, when are you coming down under ?

  2. This was my introduction to the C64 as well! I remember there was a cricket game that also came in the America’s Cup pack, you don’t happen to remember the name of that game, do you?

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