If you grew up in the UK in the 1980s, chances are you came into contact with the much-cherished 8-bit PC, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Maybe you were lucky enough to own one, or maybe a friend of yours did. Or maybe you had an older sibling who would be so kind as to let you watch them play, for hours, games like Manic Miner or Bomb Jack.
For a lot of people, it was not just their first contact with gaming, but also home computing and coding, too (you could code your own rudimentary games using the keyboard). And, like any good piece of gaming equipment, it had a nemesis and rival in the form of the Commodore 64. But over time the Spectrum won the nostalgia war in our hearts, minds, and thumbs and now, 33 years after it was first released by British inventor Sir Clive Sinclair's company, Sinclair Research, it's back.
The original. Sinclair 48K ZX Spectrum computer (1982). Image via
You can thank crowdfunding, fanboys and girls, and our love for all things retro for that. Due for release on August 24, and priced £99.99 ($154.73) this resurrection will be known as the ZX Spectrum Vega and look pretty similar, though not identical, to the version that came out in 1982. It will come with 1000 in-built games, many of them classics from the 80s, as well as new additions too—the full list here—and players will be able to add more.
While the reboot keeps the iconic black design with rainbow-stripe branding it unfortunately doesn't have a physical keyboard like the original (which is a shame because the rubber keys were awesome and gone is the ability to code). It just features a simple plug-in and play setup, meaning no cassette tapes that take forever and a day to load (although the sound they made while loading do hold some memories), so you can get straight down to the business of beating games from your childhood.
Sir Clive Sinclair, who earned a knighthood for his services to British industry and who backed the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, isn't directly involved with ZX Spectrum Vega, but one of the developers from the original ZX Spectrum, Chris Smith, is. He's part of the team at Retro Computer who have been producing it.
"There are a huge number of people from the 1980s who played the Spectrum, enjoyed it, and want to have the same experience again," David Levy, CEO of Retro Computers, told AFP. "And quite a lot want their children to see what they were enthusiastic about 30 years ago."
Click here to learn more about rebooting the ZX Spectrum.