Christmas 1990: Commodore 65… er no… Commodore 64GS.

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Dear Friends, here is a very sad story.

Read further and you will understand

Christmas 1990 was shot through with rumors that the release of the successor to the Commodore 64 was imminent. The Commodore 65 was peeping out in its prototype version in trade magazines and we all waited with anticipation.

Unfortunately, however, the project was delayed and burdened with several bugs that made commercialization impossible. In any case, the Christmas product was in demand and Commodore management decided on the (disastrous) surprise move.

The console market was raging and Commodore had not yet entered it so it was decided to put out a Commodore 64 disguised as a console. The Commodore 64GS (where GS stands for Game System) was nothing more than a Commodore 64 revision C with minor modifications to the boot ROM and motherboard to make it aesthetically a console.

The cartridge port was turned upside down, the connector for the keyboard and the keyboard itself was removed, the ROM was structured to present an animation at machine startup inviting you to insert a cartridge into the appropriate connector, and the Commodore 64’s other communication ports to the outside world were trivially covered from view by the compact (and in my opinion also pleasing to the eye) shell you see in the photo

The colorful sales package was actually a bundle with console, joystick, multi-game cartridge.

Everything beautiful? I mean.

A hardware dated 1982, though evolved and optimized in components over the years, could not hold a candle to (or rather, clash) with well-equipped consoles of predominantly now 16-bit competitors.

The poor attempt to enjoy Christmas sales foundered miserably.

Of the 80000 consoles produced only 25000 were sold. The remainder partly sold off in mega sales or withdrawn to be dismembered and salvage parts for the original Commodore 64s


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