If you’re at least in your early thirties and from the UK, chances are you’ll rememeber the the technical wonder that was gaming on a ZX Spectrum (unless you had a Commodore 64 in which case you can take your extra colours and far superior ports of Outrun and shove em where the sun don’t shine).
With its 3.5 Mhz, processor, whopping 48k of Ram and inbuilt cassette tape deck, it truly was a marvel…that it could actually run anything at all.
In hindsight, having to wait up to ten minutes for it to load a game – in which time it would make a series of guttural, digital noises at you that sounded like it was in great amounts of pain – only for it randomly crash because your brother bumped it a bit when he plugged his joystick in, probably wasn’t the best thing in the world. In short, I got a lot of reading done, at least until I got a NES.
Despite these issues, it’s hard not to get misty eyed for the likes of School Daze, the early work of the Stamper Bros (who would go onto found Rare) and the seminal classic How to be a Bastard.
Taking my rose tinted shades off for a sec, Sinclair are back, and have revealed a new modern handheld version of the ZX Spectrum: the Spectrum Vega+.
The new handheld console sports a rather sleek looking design from Rick Dickinson, who designed the original systems back in the 80’s, with an LCD screen, more than enough buttons, and the ability to plug the thing into a TV if you want via the audio jack. The best part of all is it’ll come with 1,000 licensed games already installed and a micro SD slot for running any other games you want to play that aren’t included, which you can find online. Since the Vega is an official Sinclair product, it is compatible with the 14,000 games that have been made for the Spectrum since its launch in 1982.
It also won’t take ten minutes to load a game and crash every five minutes. This is certainly an improvement.
If you want one, you can currently secure the Vega+ in a choice of three colors for £100 towards what pretty much amounts to a preorder now over on Indigogo. The machine has already reached it’s backing goal of £100,000 in just under 48 hours.
Any other old buggers tempted by the Vega? Think that kids these days don’t know how good they have it? Let those ignorant whippersnappers have it in the comments section below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all things single player.