ScuzzBlog: Diaries March 2024

Entry 18th March 2024: Post 1: Commodore 64GS - All ahead backwards.

Commodore 64GS - All ahead backwards.

Commodore were often accused of not being forward thinkers. Their
engineers kinda had a better handle on where the kit should be
headed than the managers in charge. An example would be the mess
over the A570 being incorrectly badged and then issued at the very
time the computer it was designed for is discontinued.

I guess the most bonkers example of backward thinking was with
the C64GS or Games System. Launched as late as 1990 this little
beauty was intended I guess to be a console version of the C64.
The question that most asked at the time was ... er Why?

Whilst other consoles had developed their systems to be more than
just a console, poor old Commodore decided to strip their C64 to
just a cartridge slot and games controller. Amazing really.

Let us look at the Famicom launched on July 15 1983. The unit was
released one year after the Commodore C64. Recognising that their
user base may want littlea more from their product in 1984 Nintendo
released the Famicom BASIC keyboard and cartridge that allowed
users to program their system. They went one step further in 1986
when they introduced the DISK system so that programmers could
save to floppy.

Thing was that Commodore with the C64 already had a keyboard and
cartridge port in 1982. Soon they would have the various floppy
drives and datasettes plus even an OS 'clicky-pointy' OS with GEOS
to which the C64 supported mouse control. It was kinda dumb in
truth having so much kit under the hood that Commodore thought
they could milk this little baby one last time, and hope that
nobody noticed.

What this did was create a C64 console that is now quite rare. It
just never sold. And of all the machines I have it has been the
one I have had the most requests for high res images of the box.

Make of that what you will. Commodore had their winner back in
1982 and it didn't need loads of fancy add-ons to make it into
something it wasn't. It was always a computer and console, for
which we were very grateful.

Commodore 64GS - All ahead backwards.

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Last updated 18th March 2024

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