Boot up your Commodore once again with new branded smartphone

15 Jul 2015

It appears to be the ‘rise of the phoenix’ for the iconic gaming brand Commodore, which has announced that, from next week, the brand name will return to the marketplace in the form of a new smartphone.

It’s been a number of years since the name Commodore has hit the shelves as a mainstream product (bar an attempt to re-launch the console as a retro gaming device in 2013); the Commodore 64 was considered one of the most iconic gaming consoles of all time when it was launched in 1982.

17m units later, however, the company failed to keep up with the likes of Nintendo and eventually crashed out of existence in 1994, where its name appeared to be left on the scrap heap with various people claiming ownership of it.

But now, under the tutelage of two Italian entrepreneurs, the name is being reborn as a smartphone, the Commodore PET, which features a variation on the Android operating system.

According to Wired, which got its hands on one of the first devices, the spec of the phone appears to be rather impressive, with a 5.5in screen with a 1920x1080p resolution that uses Gorilla Glass 3.

Commodore phone

Image via Commodore Business Machines

In terms of processing power, the Commodore PET will feature a 1.7GHz Mediatek 64-bit octa-core processor, a powerful ARM Mali t760 GPU and a hefty 3,000mAh battery.

Photography appears to be one of the features the Italian company is looking to promote, with its 13MP Sony camera that can take hi-res images of 4096x2304p and 1080p video, with an additional 8MP selfie camera.

Of course, all anyone who would want this phone wants to know is whether it is, in fact, a capable retro gaming device?

Well according to the designers, the phone at launch will come with two emulators that will allow the user to play Commodore 64 games and even Amiga games, while the company has also been working with gaming developers to bring more nostalgic joy to its owners.

So for those interested in picking up one of these phones, you’ll have to be, at least initially, in Italy, France, Germany or Poland where it will launch in two versions: one with a 16GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM at around €270 and a 32GB one with 3GB of RAM at around €330.

Commodore 64 cassette console image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic