The ZX Spectrum returns as a Plug-and-Play console

Like the Atari, Intellivision, and Sega Genesis before it, the ZX Spectrum computer has made a comeback…and now ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is plug it directly into your television WITHOUT inserting games! The popular ZX Spectrum series of microcomputers has been resurrected as a crowdfunded plug-and-play console that is being produced in a collaboration between Sinclair Research founder Clive Sinclair and tech startup Retro Computers.

And now, A HISTORY LESSON! The ZX Spectrum was a low-cost home computer that proved especially popular among game developers and hobbyists in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s. I suppose the best way to compare it is to look at the ZX Spectrum as the UK’s equivalent of the US’s Commodore 64. This Indiegogo-funded Sinclair Spectrum Vega mimics the design of the Spectrum, but is a handheld games controller with five buttons and control pad. Gone is the tape and the full keyboard, but the tinny speaker and coloured stripes remain. The Vega includes over 1,000 built-in games, and additional titles will debut as free downloads following the console’s launch next year. Plus, players can even add their own games to the Vega’s library through the system’s included SD card slot.

Here’s the original, for the sake of comparison…

Backers who pledge £100 or more to the campaign will receive one of the first 1,000 Sinclair Spectrum Vega consoles to enter production, as shipments are scheduled to start in April, 2015. The 10% software royalties owed to the Spectrum game developers will be paid to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

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