Heads Up, Nerds—The Commodore 64 Is Getting Re-Released

Published on July 4, 2019

Any video game fanatic will be able to tell you the significance of the Commodore 64 8-bit computer. The computer’s release back in 1982 launched it as one of the most successful computers in history, even with the $595 price tag (which was expensive at the time, especially considering tech wasn’t as much of a necessity as it is now). Now, to match the dozens of other retro products coming back on the market in 2019, the Commodore 64 is getting a fully functioning re-release to celebrate the return of Stranger Things on Netflix.

The Commodore 64 Returns

The re-release of the Commodore 64 brings back memories of old games from the 1980’s that are highly beloved among video game lovers around the world. Retro Games, which is releasing the new version of the classic computer, released a mini version of the computer last year. Now, it will release a full-sized version of the computer with a fully functional keyboard to celebrate the computer’s beloved past. The new computer will come pre-installed with classic, beloved games like Speedball and Cyberdyne Warrior. The computer will also come with a version of the original joystick to be used for game play.

When the original Commodore 64 was released in 1982 it became one of the first personal computers to change the technology industry for Americans. Retro Games has decided to bring it back, partly as a promotion for the new season of Stranger Things 3 that comes out this week on Netflix. The company released a video promotion for the re-release of the Commodore 64 using the theme song from the Netflix Original series as the soundtrack. 2019 is clearly the year of ’80s throwbacks, as Retro Games is only one of dozens of companies to re-release their products from that era in honor of the new season of Stranger Things.

Companies such as Burger King, Coca Cola, Mongoose bikes, and even Nike have released branded products in celebration of the new season of Stranger Things. Fans can do things like eat an upside down-themed burger, wear swag from Hawkins’ many businesses through Nike, sip on New Coke (a creation that came and went in the ’80s), or ride around on a Stranger Things-themed bike just like the shows’ beloved characters. The return of the Commodore 64 is just one of many promotional products to come out of the new season, but it won’t be available in stores until December.

The Original Commodore 64

At this point you would think that a version of Windows or a Mac Book would have earned the title of the highest selling computer model of all time, but the model that holds the record is actually the Commodore 64. The retro computer held over 30% of the U.S. market during its height in the mid 1980’s, as it was one of the only affordable computer models at the time. While an actual retro Commodore 64 hasn’t gained much value over time in the same way that other retro gadgets would have, it remains one of the most beloved devices in technology history—particularly among the gamer crowd.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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