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Commodore 64 TV Game for Sale 371

KodaK writes "The Commodore 64 Direct to TV is on sale at QVC. QVC bought all available units (250,000 or so) so, for now, this is the only place you can get them. This is a full C=64 in a joystick form factor with 30 games included, meaning you can hack this sucker to add a keyboard and/or other IEC peripherials (like a disk drive). The full BASIC ROM is included. Buy one now and impress your friends. BTW, this was developed by Jeri Ellsworth, the engineer responsible for the C-One. Cool stuff." We mentioned the development of this earlier.
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Commodore 64 TV Game for Sale

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  • Rats (Score:5, Funny)

    by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:41PM (#10925871) Homepage Journal
    You mean my Vic-20 based games console is already out of date? But it had "Blue Meanies From Outer Space" on it!
  • Bah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThesQuid ( 86789 ) * <a987 AT mac DOT com> on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:42PM (#10925874) Journal
    I feverishly search the list of included games.... No M.U.L.E.?!?!! Useless!
    • Re:Bah! (Score:2, Informative)

      by phaln ( 579585 )
      I'm assuming it's because for years, an update to the original has been in and out of the works. Mot of the games likely come from now-defunct authors, such as Epyx [i.e., Winter Games]. M.U.L.E. enjoys no such freedom at the time being.
    • Where is this list? I've trawled around and can't find it...I am being dim.
      Does it have Spy VS Spy? And if so, have they reinforced the joystick to cope with all that side-to-side stick-killing motion? :)
      • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Horse Rotorvator JAD ( 834524 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @02:25PM (#10926232)
        Included Games
        * Bull Riding * Championship Wrestling * Cyberdyne Warrior * Cybernoid * Cybernoid 2 * Eliminator * Exolon * Firelord * Flying Disk * Gateway to Apshai * Impossible Mission * Impossible Mission 2 * Jumpman Jr. * Paradroid * Pitstop * Pitstop 2 * Rana Rama * Silicon Warrior * Speedball * Summer Games * Super Cycle * Sumo * Surfing * Sword of Fargoal * Tower Toppler * Uridium * Winter Games * World Karate Champion A * World Karate Champion B * Zynaps
        • Hrmm... I notice no Apache, my all-time favorite game on that C64. Too bad!

          I distinctly remember snapping the neck off a couple C64 joysticks when I was a kid out of frustration. I wonder if I'd stop doing that with this...

          • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Funny)

            by mollymoo ( 202721 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:47PM (#10927453) Journal
            I distinctly remember snapping the neck off a couple C64 joysticks when I was a kid out of frustration. I wonder if I'd stop doing that with this...

            It looks remarkably like a Competition Pro 5000. I had one of them (it's probably still in the loft somewhere) and they are built to take some serious punishment. You'd have a job breaking the steel shaft on one of those suckers!

            In those heady days only the better joysticks had such advanced features as auto-fire and microswitches. My current joystick is wireless, has 472 buttons, 16 degrees of freedom, four throttles and a Mini-George grill with bun warmer.

        • by professorhojo ( 686761 ) * on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:08PM (#10926946)
          stay awhile..... staaaaaaay foreeeeeveerrrrrrr!!!!

        • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fz00 ( 466988 )
          What?!?! No Archon?!?!
        • Re:Bah! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:08PM (#10927226) Homepage
          Wow.... that list sucks. Only good ones there are Fargoal, jumpman jr and speedball... I have dim memories of Apshai.

          Where are the real games? Archon (1/2)? Space Taxi? Racing Destruction Set? Way of the Exploding Fist? Beach head II? Quest for Tires? Cosmic Tunnels?

        • Flying Disk (Score:3, Funny)

          by gotem ( 678274 )
          all this time I tought AOL created that game
    • More Games (Score:5, Informative)

      by aoteoroa ( 596031 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:54PM (#10925990)
      Other classic consoles are also available including Atari, Activision, Nameco [jakkstvgames.com].
      • When are they going to make one universal one that you can put an 8mb smartmedia card (or something similar) in and let you use one interface for all of them? There must be room in those big controllers to put more than one system's chip on the board... or else you could use a daughterboard design and have that interchangeable as well...

        And when will they have a TI/994A one so I can finally get rid of my old cassette tapes...?
      • Re:More Games (Score:3, Insightful)

        by soft_guy ( 534437 )
        I wouldn't exactly call the C-64 a "console". It was a real personal computer in a sense that the Atari 2600 wasn't (but the Atari 800 was).

    • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Funny)

      by TommydCat ( 791543 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @02:24PM (#10926223) Homepage
      After years and years I finally managed to get that song out of my head.

      Gee, thanks...

    • I believe M.U.L.E., Archon and others aren't included because... well, it's ONE joystick, right? So, no 2-player games.

  • by bob beta ( 778094 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:43PM (#10925887)
    Can you really 'add a keyboard' and 'disk drive', etc?

    To do that, I would think this device would need a lot of exposed I/O hardware, i.e. pins, etc.

    I suspect that rather, this is all embedded in some sort of an ASIC or FPGA.

    Can anybody add more info?
  • by Rigor Morty ( 149783 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:44PM (#10925893) Journal
    After all, MAME cabinets are a pain to build, and are limited to a few free designs. With this, and a switch box, I can legally play all of my favorite arcade games from those arcade-in-a-stick controllers, and now all of my C64 favorites. Here's to hoping that they do the same for the Apple IIe series, because I can't wait to play Wizardry again "Jump down, turn around, and kill a bunch of wights"...and so on.
  • by theparanoidcynic ( 705438 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:45PM (#10925895)
    Without that I'm not interested. Playing a game where you get to be a pigeon that shits on cars was the best part of my childhood.
    • I remember Potty Pigeon had a wonderful adaptation of Chopin's Funeral March when your pigeon dies. Night falls... the chicks in the nest are left without a parent... I think I'm gonna cry...
  • OMG (Score:5, Funny)

    by Karma Sucks ( 127136 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:46PM (#10925906)
    Jeri is a girl [c64upgra.de]! A girl made this? I'm in love...

    Extra hot grits, please.

  • by dgrgich ( 179442 ) * <.drew. .at. .grgich.org.> on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:47PM (#10925913) Homepage
    Impossible Mission is just crying out for a modern day remake. Excellent game that was ahead of its time. Highly recommended if you have the patience for yestertech graphics.
    • It's unfortunate that they went out of business shortly after Atari bought the rights to the Lynx from them. They were a great company back in the day, and still underrated today for their contributions in the past.
    • About remakes I will just say one word; Rampage.

      C'mon now.. you know you want it... side scrolling. Network and local multiplayer. Screen shakes, lush explosions and crisp new soundfx. Screen after screen of greater and greater buildings; mobile homes, apartment complexes, skyrisers, churches, Wallmarts ;-), bridges, etc.

      Since you can only play three 'monsters', you could have a "multiplayer-lobby" where everyone else gets to play a poor little foot soldier, shooting their pea-guns at Ralpie et.al ....

  • why no AC power? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BobWeiner ( 83404 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:48PM (#10925922) Homepage Journal
    Nice idea. Too bad you can't use an AC adaptor in place of batteries. Any idea what the battery life on these units are anyway?

    • Apparently pretty good. Robin (the lead programmer) hasn't worn out his batteries yet :) It would be easy to drill a hole and solder a connector for a wall wart though.
  • Winter Games (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Smiffa2001 ( 823436 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:48PM (#10925923)
    Problem I see with this is that if you break the unit by 'waggling' to much, you've got a heftyish replacement fee. Maybe that's why QVC are sellin em in packs of two.

    On the hardware front, hope it is hackable to a degree, I'd like to see some of the Rowland Twins (or ACP) masterpieces like Creatures, Creatures 2 (LOVE those torture chambers) and Mayhem in Monsterland.

    And Park Patrol and Wizball and.....snip!
  • Has anyone hacked the Atari-in-a-joystick version? I want a level editor for Adventure!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:50PM (#10925945)
    Now there's been plenty of ads disguised as stories on slashdot before, but actually including the text Buy one now and impress your friends is a little ridiculous.
    • Now there's been plenty of ads disguised as stories on slashdot before, but actually including the text Buy one now and impress your friends is a little ridiculous.

      The sad thing is my friends are the kind of people who WOULD be impressed by this.
    • For the record: I'm not a shill. I submitted this story because I think this is a kick ass piece of hardware, both from the hackability aspect and I think it's good to support hackable hardware. I have no financial interest in this device, nor does anyone that I know on a personal basis. I am familiar with the developer, but only inasmuch as I read comp.sys.cbm and lurk on the #c64friends chats every once in a while.

      Sorry it took so long to reply to this accusation, I was out of town for Thanksgiving (
  • Can someone post a link to the keyboard hack and any others that are avaiable?
  • If I cant start loading raid on bungeling bay before dinner, go have some food with mom and dad, then come back in, cross my fingers, and hope its ready to play... I dont want it!
  • by technopinion ( 469686 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:52PM (#10925961)
    Archon, M.U.L.E., Bruce Lee...

    And it's been 20 years, and I still can't get that damn Forbidden Forest theme song out of my head.
    • As soon as I read the headline of the article, the victory dance song from Forbidden Forest started running through my head :D.
  • Game selection sucks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:52PM (#10925963)
    Damnit, it doesn't include the game I most wanted!
    There used to be an old Spy vs. Spy game for the commadore 64. (Yes the MAD magazine spy vs spy.) I used to LOVE that game. Its a shame this system doesn't have it. I also had frogger for the commadore 64. Its missing too.
    • There were three (?) Spy vs Spy games, I can only remember two of them distinctly though..

      The 64 had plenty of kick ass games. Hmm, let me think..

      Choplifter: First game I got, I had one of the first 64s shipped to canada, and had this on cart. Didn't get a disk drive for a couple years. Absolute classic title.

      Archon, Archon II - Adept: Chess meets arena battles. Kicked ass.

      Project Firestart: Ahead of it's time, IMO, a 4 disk scrolling adventure with a plot similar to "Alien".

      Ghostbusters: I ai
    • Spy vs Spy was GREAT! I knew every map in that game, and back then I had a near photographic memory for crap like that. So I could set booby traps and totally destroy my friends, but I could also be watching their screen and know exactly where they had left traps for me. I never lost!

      Pity I didn't apply those sorts of memory, attention and study skills in my algebra class at the time...

    • by jamiefaye ( 44093 ) <jamie@nospAm.fentonia.com> on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:00PM (#10926899) Homepage
      I ran into Jeri at a conference recently and we talked about why certain games are available (or not).

      Its often an archeology problem - figuring out who owns the copyrights and getting them to respond.

      For example, most of the Bally/Midway games that I was involved with at DNA (Dave Nutting Associates) are in this limbo. My contract with Midway had the game rights reverting to me, and we think that Dave's contract with Midway has the same thing, but he lost all the paperwork, so he does not know for certain. Thus we cannot assure potential distributors that the title is clear. (I actually kept my contract in a file box I was able to dig out, so MAME has Robby Roto).

      Its too bad - because we would love to see Gunfight (the first game on a frame-buffer system), Sea Wolf, Gorf, Wizard of Wor, and a host of other titles available on MAME and neo-retro systems like Jeri's.

      -- Jamie
  • by Lieutenant_Dan ( 583843 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:53PM (#10925973) Homepage Journal
    I believe by making the C64 and its SID audio chip open source it would benefit a lot of households in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Iceland that do not have a home computer.

    With the dedication, foresight, and marketing-savy of the Open Source Developer Community they could create new custom applications for the C64 such as HDTV media centers, 24-track mixers, webmail appliances, state firewalls, and of course bioryhthm generators. These are elusive markets that have escaped Microsoft, OS/2, United Linux and the fairly-sucessful BeOS.

    By using the powerful processor and the ability to POKE and PEEK values in the registers directly, highly efficient code could be generated which would allow us to wrestle away from the stranglehold that Gateway and Alienware have on the blade server market.

    Which is nice.
  • Paradroid, Impossible Mission... good. No Raid on Bungling Bay? Not sure if I can justify the purchase.
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @01:59PM (#10926026) Journal
    It need's to be in a Wico Command Control, or "the Boss" to truly recreate the experience.

    Anyone remember those sticks? Solid steel shaft, heavy duty construction, bad-ass leaf switches inside. They were every bit as durable as an arcade stick, hell probably moreso.

    Hell, I still have a Command Control that's going on 25 years old. Still as good as the day I got it.

    Compare to those "arcade sticks" they sell for PS2/XBox, etc. Cheap plastic pieces of shit that are broken inside a couple weeks. Look inside and see the cheapest microswitches Radio Shack can offer.

    I know there are a couple on the market that are made with real arcade components, but they cost a bundle.
    • The best C64 joystick that I ever used was the Epyx one. It was gripped perfectly to fit your hand, with the fire button being where your trigger finger was. Granted, it only worked if you held the unit in your left hand, but that wasn't a problem for me.

      That joystick was pretty much indestructible, and Epyx put a five year warranty on it, they were that certain. I remember when I brought it over to my friends' place, they were amazed (this after having actually broken a couple of Boss sticks playing Wo
  • Xbox all in one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pluke ( 801200 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @02:03PM (#10926057) Homepage
    I got fed up a few years back of the sheer amount of consoles i had sitting under my tv (nes, snes, mega drive, mastersystem, saturn, N64), the wires were getting some what cumbersome. These individual controllers go a long way to solving the problem but the best solution now adays seems a unit like the xbox or a tiny computer. to be honest i wouldn't play any new games on it, bit of a retro fan, i would mainly stick with emulators, offers a host more functionality, i.e. saving games, screen shots, four player support, and you can more or less drag and drop games as and when you like. For the moment my 300+ cartidges and cd's are very much retired to the loft. Is there really a need for these fancy game console controllers for anyone with a reasonable budget?
  • This is awesome because of the technical merits, but also because the developer isn't your run of the mill parent-mooching-freak.

    She's an attractive woman. [c64upgra.de]

    And, no, she doesn't want to date you.
  • by oexeo ( 816786 )
    I've been thinking about upgrading.

    The QVC sales guy says this will run Duke Nukem Forever, this is fucking awesome!

    It will take a NVIDIA GeForce 6600, right?

    This will be my last comment on ./ from my decrepit AMD Athlon(TM) 64 box (which I'm about to trash). My next comment will be from my super-ultra-modern-high-tech Commadore!!!!!!!111
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @02:17PM (#10926156) Homepage Journal
    Or did she do something else to create this thing?

    And are all the pins/ports available or is 'attaching a keyboard' just not an option here...

    Something like this could be put into a 1541 disk drive ..
  • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @02:18PM (#10926163) Homepage
    was Zork!

    Just kidding... if they have Raid on Bungeling Bay on this thing, I'm totally buying it!

  • by haggar ( 72771 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @02:18PM (#10926165) Homepage Journal
    Provided that these prove wildly succesful, the C-64 installed base will increase by a cool 1/4 million. I know there is still a lot of folks out there that use their C-64 on a regular basis, mostly for games (but not only).

    What are the chances that a small software company ("one-man band") will find some financial interest in developing C-64 software? Same goes for hardware: I guess you could make an adapter to hook your existing carts and C-64 periferals to this thingy.
    • There's at least one commercial software developer already out there and active: Maurice Randall. He's got a functioning shell interface, FAX application, and more (be sure to check out "Wheels") for GEOS on the C64/C128. His site can be found at: http://www.cmdrkey.com/ [cmdrkey.com]

      There are also a lot of open source developers out there. Craig Bruce comes right to mind; his site is at: http://www.csbruce.com/~csbruce/cbm/" [csbruce.com]

      There's been an amazing amount of high-quality software created for the C64 and (espe

  • One can only dream....*sigh*
  • When can we expect a version that comes with 30 different Linux distros preinstalled, so interested folks don't have to meddle with these live CDs anymore? Oh, wait, it would cost 30 x 699 US$ then, right?
  • Impress ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vulcann ( 752521 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @02:34PM (#10926288)
    Buy one now and impress your friends

    If you're friends get impressed with a Commodore you (and you're friends) need to get out more often. :D
  • Here is photo of Jeri [nyud.net] in homage to first love processor of many of the middle aged /.ers.
    Many more of Jeri [nyud.net] at amiga.org site.
    • I'd pit the awesome power of my OSI C1P against the Kim-1 anyday :-> Ah, retro nostalgia eh? I still have the book I bought to learn assembly for my C1P, and it was written for the Kim-1, but since they both used 6502 chips it was close enough to learn from. It's called "Programming a Micro Computer 6502" by Caxton C. Foster, and it's probably the only computer book I can't bear to part with because it represents the first steps to being a real programmer i.e. moving away from BASIC and into assembly. Wi
  • Paradroid! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Trust me, for Paradroid alone it's worth it. Or at least worth seeking out the rom and an emulator.

    Though Karateka and the Archons are sorely, sorely missed.
  • I find it interesting that QVC bought the initial run of these. It may be of interest to readers here that QVC Studios/HQ happens to be on the very sight where Commodore Business Machines was once based.
  • While I'm thinking of these things, if anyone wants to meet Jeri Ellsworth in person, try the C64DTV, have a chance to win one in a raffle and enjoy a blast from the past, come to the World of Commdore [icomm.ca]. Yes, the most important event on any Commodore geek's social calender is back after an unfortunate hiatus. December 4, 2004 in Toronto.
  • Sword of Fargoal! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gordgekko ( 574109 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:45PM (#10927115) Homepage
    Most of the games are dogs but Sword of Fargoal? Man, was I ever addicted to that game. I played it so long a few times that the C-64 was as hot as the power supply.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.