It’s almost a measure of how long someone has been using computers: how the person reacts on hearing the name “Commodore.” Many of today’s computing professionals cut their teeth on Commodore’s C64—which remains the best-selling personal computer of all time—and the company went on to help redefine the computer graphics industry with its Amiga line—although by that point, the company was facing significant hardships.
Now, the name is back, with Commodore Gaming announcing plans to ship four gaming PCs to the U.S. market in the third quarter of this year, ranging from an entry-level system all the way up to a pixel-pumping powerhouse aimed at extreme gamers. The systems are already moving in Europe, and Commodore wants to bring them to the U.S. market in time for the Commodore 64’s 25th anniversary.
“The Commodore name means we have a lot to live up to but it is part of our ambition to uphold this industry defining legacy”, said Bala Keilman, CEO for Commodore Gaming, in a release. “The incredible heritage of Commodore in the U.S. market means we are proud and excited to offer these great systems. The interest and demand from the US has been a real motivator to realize this step only four months after our European launch”.
The four models—the G, GS, GX, and XX—will be offered online at first, with rollouts to brick-and-mortar retailers to follow. All the systems feature Intel Quad Core processors and DirectX 10-capable graphics controllers. At the high end, the XX model features an Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad Core QX6800 running at 2.66 GHz with 8 MB of cache, an Asus P5N32-E Nvidia nForce 680i SLI motherboard, two 500 GB 7200 rpm drives in RAID 0 configuration, 2 GB of Corsair Dominator Twin 2×2048-8500C5D memory on a 1066 MHz bus, an 850 watt power suppply, a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer audio system, Windows Vista Ultimate, and two Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra SLI graphics cards with SLI.
Systems can be customized to individual preferences; Commodore is also offering custom C-Kin cases with everything from high art and classy photography to street art and hard core gamer graphics—although we’re a little dissappointed that jaundiced beige of the original C64 isn’t available.
“Commodore Gaming will ensure customers that only the very best components are provided to deliver the ultimate PC gaming experience. We also bring new ideas such as the Ice Cube cooling technology, whilst our C-kin painting process brings a fresh approach to chassis design and the concept of a fully personalized system. No word on base pricing for these systems yet, but we’re sure more information will be forthcoming as the units get closer to market.
(Hey, irony check: Anybody else remember those old C64 advertisements featuring William Shatner, asking potential customers “Why buy just a video game?” No?)