If you were around in the 1980s, you will know how truly immense this news is. Sir Clive Sinclair is crowdfunding to create a new ZX Spectrum.
For those who don't, Sinclair was behind the Spectrum range – one of the first mainstream home computers in the UK, which rivalled the likes of the Commodore 64 and the Amstrad CPC.
Games included Pac-man and the somewhat similar Hungry Horace; Pimania!; My Name is Uncle Groucho, You Win a Fat Cigar; and Ah Diddums.
Yesterday, Sinclair, who was knighted in 1983 and has famously said in the past that he does not use the internet, unveiled plans to develop the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega. Sinclair and startup Retro Computers are crowdfunding the venture on Indiegogo, looking to raise £100,000 for the project before the end of January.
With that money Sinclair and Retro - which he has invested in through his company Sinclair Research - plan to build the first 1,000 units and prepare for a second production run.
Here's what the prototype looks like:
One of the reasons for the original Spectrum's success was its price point – it was the first mass-market computer, with the ZX80 available for less than £100. That is the same price as a limited edition Vega, and, as the economies of scale build, the team plans for the retail price to drop over time.
"But even at £100 the cost of the limited edition Vega, with its 1,000 games built-in, represents a huge saving over the cost of the original product plus the cost of 1,000 of the original Spectrum games," they said. "What cost thousands of pounds back in the 1980s is now available for around one per cent of that amount."
Here's the blurb:
“The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is as simple to use as any of the popular games consoles, but far less expensive. It plugs into a TV, so no computer monitor is necessary, and comes complete with around 1,000 games built-in. The Vega has sufficient memory to allow the user to download the many additional games we will be making available from time to time free of charge.”
This is your opportunity to be one of the first to own a Vega, as well as a range of other exciting perks. These include: concept art, signed by Sir Clive Sinclair, of our original concept designs; a copy of a new book about the creation of the Sinclair Spectrum Vega; an invitation to the Vega launch party next spring; and an invitation to ‘come to dinner’ and meet some of the Retro Computers Ltd team. In addition those who pledge £50 or more will have their names added to the ‘Digital Role of Honour’ which will be embedded into the Vega’s memory, displayed on our web site (unless you choose to be anonymous) and can be displayed on the TV when using the Vega.
The development of the Sinclair Spectrum Vega is complete, and we have a fully working prototype waiting to go into production within the UK. We are making contact with thousands of the original Spectrum game developers in order to secure their permission to use their games on the Vega, for which a combined software royalty will be donated to charity ‒ Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.
In the one day since the crowdfunding was launched, they have already secured nearly 25 per cent of the money needed.
Excited? Here's a video of the team from Retro showing off the prototype.