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The Commodore PET is back - as a smartphone

Barry Collins
15 Jul 2015
Commodore PET smartphone
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Just when you thought the Commodore brand had taken enough punishment...

The beleaguered Commodore brand has made more comebacks than Status Quo. Now the name is being given one more shove, this time on a smartphone that will contain both Commodore 64 and Amiga emulators. 

The Commodore PET, for those still young enough to get into nightclubs, was an all-in-one computer that preceded the VIC-20, Commodore 64 and the Amiga at the end of the 1970s. The name is now being revived for the 21st century equivalent of an all-in-one: the smartphone.

The phone has a pretty decent spec: a 5.5in Full HD IPS display, a quad-core 1.7GHz CPU, 32GB of onboard storage which is expandable to 64GB via the microSD slot, and 3GB of RAM. The PET supports 4G LTE, and has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a 13-megapixel snapper on the rear.

It runs a customised version of Android 5, but the feature that's most likely to appeal to retro gaming enthusiasts is the emulators. A Wired report claims the smartphone will ship with customised versions of the VICE C64 emulator and the Uae4All2-SDL Amiga emulator. The report claims the phone's manufacturer is working with software houses to bundle some 80s classics with the phone when it ships, although we've heard that before with similar initiatives to revive the Spectrum, which ended in legal disputes. 

The poor Commodore brand has been rehashed several times since the company went bust in the mid-1990s. The brand was acquired by Dutch PC maker Tulip, and used on a series of entertainment products. Seperately, the Commdore name was attached to a range of high-end gaming PCs in the late 2000s. Several other products - some legitimate, some not - have borne the Commodore name over the years. 

The Commodore PET smartphone will reportedly cost around $365 (£230) when it goes on sale in Europe this week. UK availability and pricing is uncertain at this point. You can sign up on the company's website for further details. 

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