Commodore 64

YEAR: 1982

INITIAL PRICE:  $595,  $1,477 in 2016


The C64 dominated the low-end computer market for most of the 1980s. Part of the Commodore 64’s success was its sale in regular retail stores instead of only electronics or computer hobbyist specialty stores. Commodore produced many of its parts in-house to control costs, including custom integrated circuit chips from MOS Technology.

The Commodore 64, also known as the C64[n 1] or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International (first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, January 7–10. 1982).[5] It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time,[6]with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units.[3] Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595(equivalent to $1,477 in 2016).[7][8] Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes (65,536 bytes) of RAM. It had superior sound and graphical specifications compared to other earlier systems such as the Apple II and Atari 800, with multi-color sprites and a more advanced sound processor.

In Europe, the primary competitors to the C64 were British-built computers: the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the BBC Micro and the Amstrad CPC 464. In the UK, the 48K Spectrum had not only been released a few months ahead of the C64’s early 1983 debut, but it was also selling for £175, less than half the C64’s £399 price. The Spectrum quickly became the market leader and Commodore had an uphill struggle against it. The C64 did however go on to rival the Spectrum in popularity in the latter half of the 1980s. Adjusted to the size of population, the popularity of Commodore 64 was the highest in Finland where it was subsequently marketed as “the computer of the republic”.

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