The C64 mini is a tiny, retro-console, in the same vein as devices like the NES and SNES Classic Editions and the Sony PlayStation Classic. The C64 mini, of course, is designed to mimic the beloved Commodore 64, which was the best-selling, single model personal computer, of all time – but in a much smaller package.
After a couple of firmware updates, the C64 mini has generally been well received. The diminutive system includes a host of games and offers the ability to program or run your own as well. The keyboard on the mini is not functional, however, so you’re forced to plug in a USB keyboard, and figure out which keys are mapped to some of the original Commodore 64’s proprietary buttons if you want to do anything the required keyboard input. The makers of the C64 mini, Retro Games Ltd., made it known that they intended to also build a full-sized version of the C64 mini, dubbed “THEC64”, which would have a fully functional keyboard, but details have been scarce on the project. Today though, the company posted the first photos of working prototypes that just came off the assembly line.
“We are so excited to finally reveal to you the first photos of the full-size pre-production prototype of ‘THEC64’, complete with a fully functional integrated keyboard, giving you a taster of what’s coming in 2019.”, the company says in a Facebook post.
In a couple of the shots, THEC64 prototype is shown alongside The C64 mini for a sense of scale. THEC64 essentially looks just like a classic “breadbin” Commodore 64, though the coloring and branding and clearly off. The keycaps have funky coloring as well, though we suspect these minor cosmetic issues will be worked out before final production begins.
With the additional real-estate available, Retro Games is likely to incorporate some new things into THEC64, but the company is being tight-lipped for now. “We aren’t revealing the full and final specification quite yet, as we don’t want to spoil all the surprises. For a variety of reasons, we also can’t yet confirm the delivery date, but it will be as soon in 2019 as can be achieved.”, the post also said.
We won’t speculate as to what Retro Games has planned in terms of upgrades, but we suspect more games and more storage are a given, and perhaps wireless networking for easy updating and transferring files. We’ll know for sure in the months ahead.