Remember the once fashionable ZX Spectrum, Acorn Electron and the Commodore 64? Well, if you thought they'd all fallen off the computer catwalk like other out-moded technology then you would be wrong. The Commodore 64 really is coming back, at least if you believe Belgian company Web Computers International. It has employed the original team to develop a home computer based on AMD's Elan 400 486 chip. To be branded the Commodore 64, the device, which can plug into a TV, will offer a 56K modem with Netscape's Email and Navigator browser, Lotus' AmiPro word processor, 1-2-3 spreadsheet and Organiser. It will also include a Commodore 64 emulator for the games market. Corne Klerks, product manager at Web Computers, said the new Commodore 64 would be priced at #299, targeted at the youth market via retail outlets and ISPs. Klerks compared the appeal of the Commodore 64 to that of the VW Beetle, and said the new version would be small enough for school children to carry around. Jamie Snowden, analyst at research firm Input, scoffed at the resurrection of the Commodore 64, calling it a ridiculous idea. "There are 1,000s of Commodore 64 games fans out there and most already have emulators on their PCs," he said. "If you just want a basic PC connected to the Internet then you can pick up a second hand 486 with a modem and a browser for about #90." Snowden said that in the games market, the new Commodore 64 could not compete with the Nintendo 64 and the Sony Playstation, which is now available at #99. "No one with any sense is going to buy it. This kind of thing has never worked in the past," he claimed. So, like most fashion revivals, the Commodore 64 renaissance may be sweet but short.
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