Commodore 64 Game System

Commodore 64 Game System

3rd Generation Competitors
Atari 7800 Famicom / NES Amstrad GX4000 Sega Master System
Region Release Date Discontinued Lifetime Sales
Japan NA  NA  NA
North America Dec 1990 1991
Europe Dec 1990 1992

Commodore was a huge player in the 8 bit computer field but when Nintendo and Sega started to make huge in-roads into homes they realised they had to do something to fight back.

Unfortunately, this didn’t happen until 1990, at this point the Amiga, Commodore’s 16 bit computer, was already out and doing well in Europe (not quite so well everywhere else), but Commodore decided to use their 8 bit Commodore 64 machine as the base for the console, in a similar move to Amstrad with the GX4000.

In fact, the C64GS is just a 64 with all the ports covered up and a new ROM in place.  If you open it you can see all of the tape connectors and keyboard points are on the motherboard.

The problem is that by the time the 64GS was released it was already facing the 16 bit consoles, a machine that would barely have the power to face the 8 bit ones had no chance with the 16 bit versions.

On top of that there was very little software, not all existing cartridges would work because there was no keyboard, indeed at least one title that claimed to be compatible wasn’t because it needed keyboard input to start.

The Game System was a huge flop, and it caused Commodore to step away from the console market for too long.



Processor MOS 8500 @ 0.985 MHz
RAM 64k
ROM 20k
Custom Chips SID sound chip
Video MOS 8509, 16 colours, 320×200
Audio 3 Voice ADSR
Removable storage

Commodore 64 GS