The ZX Spectrum is coming back – and this time it’s a lot smaller and it’s got 1,000 games crammed inside.
Yes, it’s the Sinclair Spectrum Vega, a games controller with ZX-inspired retro styling and the backing of original Spectrum inventor Sir Clive Sinclair. And we mean that literally: Sir Clive is a shareholder in Retro Computers, the Luton-based startup responsible for manufacturing and marketing the Speccy clone.
Made in Britain
And they’ll be doing said manufacturing right here in the UK. Retro Computers today announced that it has contracted East Midlands firm SMS Electronics to build the Vega. Which feels right, given the essential Britishness of the Spectrum.
The Vega is essentially a five-button gamepad that connects directly to your TV (via HDMI). It will come with around 1,000 classic Spectrum games built-in, with further titles available to download free-of-charge after launch. Retro Computers says the device will cost around £100 at launch, which is scheduled for April 2015.
We haven’t used the Vega, but looking at it some potential criticisms do arise. The price could be seen as a little high, given the quality of the games you’ll be getting (once you take off the rose-tinted spectacles, many Spectrum games are pretty dire compared with what’s being released nowadays). And the lack of a full keyboard means games that require lots of text input – something like The Hobbit, for instance – will be essentially unplayable.
The Spectrum Vega’s makers are currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for production, but even pledging £100 won’t net you a Vega come launch day – it appears they’ve sold out months ahead of launch. Looks like the initial production run of 1,000 models might need bolstering. In any case, the campaign has already hit its funding target, so you can expect the Vega to emerge as a real product in the coming months.
[Source: Retro Computers]