SMS Electronics’ latest venture with Retro Computing, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega finally launched on Monday 24th August. After a torturous 8 month wait, the unlucky majority who weren’t able to land one of the first or second runs of the much-anticipated console will finally be able to relive their childhood’s, with a dose of eighties nostalgia.
The revival was made possible by an online crowdfunding campaign selling the limited number of 1,000 first production run consoles in under 36 hours! For an extra £50 supporters were guaranteed one of the second batch of 3,000 consoles as well as a promise that their name would feature in a ‘roll of honour’ and they’d receive an eBook tracking the Vega’s development from infancy to production.
Starting their campaign in December 2014, incredibly, almost £150,000 was raised by the end of January, not only allowing the project to go ahead, but showing how much of an appetite for the revival there was amongst the gaming public.
The newest member of the Spectrum family was designed by Chris Smith, a Spectrum games developer and is still very much like its original forefather, only now it’s smaller and has a virtual keyboard, rather than an in-built one. One blogger described this new keyboard as ‘a genius way of typing’ despite not displaying a full Keyboard on screen like most consoles (Click here for more details).
It’s been announced that over 1,000 games will be pre-installed on the console after a surge of programmers revealed their willingness to provide permission for their games to feature in the revival.
What’s more, those who have already purchased a Vega will be able to download new (or are they old?) games free of charge. On top of this, the ZX Spectrum Vega will allow you to play games programmed by yourself on the original models as well as insert micro SD cards in order to load more games and install software updates.
The console will connect to your TV via an AV cable and not HDMI, a decision made intentionally. Developers said that this would make the console cheaper to produce, but also more practical, as displaying the now outdated pixelated graphics in HD would do little in the way of enhancing the quality of the visual and audio experience for gamers.
So, how much will it cost? Well, both SMS Electronics and Retro computers have said it’ll be £100. Which compared to the price of a console today and even to the price of the original ZX Spectrum back in the 80s is a bargain!
Playing Space Raiders on your new Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega is a definite WIN, getting caught in your Spandex on the other hand?..