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Commodore 64 retrospective - Virtual Console

In 1982, TIME magazine named the home computer as its annual "Man of the Year". It was a non-specific award, given to home computers in general, but looking back, it could be argued that the Commodore 64 deserved the accolade more than most; although TIME had no way of knowing it back then, the C64 went on to become the best-selling home computer ever, with about thirty million units sold.

The machine's unprecedented success came as a result of a number of factors, including clever construction, aggressive marketing and of course, sheer luck. Commodore always had a habit of packing their machines full of custom hardware, which helped to give them an edge over their competitors back in the days when there was far more choice than just PC or Mac. In the case (literally!) of the C64, this clever custom hardware came in the form of advanced graphics chips and the now-legendary SID sound chip. Such advanced technology was, as it is today, expensive to produce, but as Commodore owned the company that produced their high-tech chips, production costs could be kept down, making the C64 far more advanced than its price point suggested.

Commodore also took an aggressive approach to the marketing of their machine, selling it not only through specialist computer retailers, but in department stores, toy shops and other high profile areas where the average person on the street could walk in and buy one. The C64's ability to display via a normal home television set also helped it to gain an edge with average folk, few of whom owned, or wanted to buy, the dedicated monitor so many other computers demanded.....

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