Hands up who’s old enough to remember the ZX Spectrum? I am, just about. One of my friends had one in the late 80s or early 90s and I remember going to his to play Skool Daze on it. I tried to convince him to dig it out a few years ago but his mum had given it away, shame.
It seems Sir Clive Sinclair is to revive the ancient beast, albeit in handheld form. the ZX Spectrum Vega Plus is to be made by Retro Computers Ltd, a company of which Mr. Sinclair is a stakeholder. They’re based in Luton in the UK, and the device is actually going to be made here too apparently.
The hardware has been designed by Chris Smith, a former ZX Spectrum games developer, but specifics on what is powering it are not available as far as I can see. I would assume it is all done in emulation since it would only take a very low power processor to run any of the ~10,000 ZX Spectrum games freely available to download. The device comes pre-loaded with 1000 games, but you can load your own to the machine at will via the SD card slot.
According to the Indiegogo campaign page the console is ready and prototype units are about to go in to production. For £100 (~$150) you can have your very own in a choice of colours, and you’ll only have to wait until September this year for it to be delivered. This is how a crowd sourcing project should be done! Though I guess that’s easy to say when the founder already loaded…
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone though that this era of games is already playable pretty much flawlessly on a ton of handhelds already released. Even the GP32 released in 2001 does a pretty good job. There’s about a month left on the campaign and it has so far raised about half of the £100,000 requirement, so it looks as though enough people are interested in this thing for it to go ahead anyway. Yay, I suppose?!