Commodore 64 DTV


Right now, I envy people living in NTSC-land. The Commodore 64 DTV is the reincarnation of the Commodore 64, bundled inside the sturdiest joystick of the era, containing 30 classic C64 titles (although, there are some missing). Some of the notable titles are:
* Summer Games
* Winter Games
* Uridium
* Pitstop 1 & 2
* Impossible Mission 1 & 2
* Speedball (Which I actually know better from the Amiga era).
As for the joystick the C64 DTV is based on, I believe it was sold under quite a few different names, one being Kempston Competition Pro 5000. It was always able to take some heavy-duty abuse while playing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon (which is sadly absent from this version).
The Competition Pro Joystick was also able to take some heavy-duty abuse when someone went ballistic because they lost. I distinctly remember both me and the neighbor kid jumping on it, throwing it around, trying to break it. We were totally unable to. My own joysticks were still alive when I sold my Amiga in 1993-1994, and for all I know, they may still be working.
As for the C64 DTV, I only know that I want a couple of them as soon as the PAL version ships. Why do I want more than one? Well, there are already some “impressive hacks”:http://www.rant-central.com/nudge-nudge/s-video for it, adding S-Video, keyboard and disk interface, and I want to apply more than one of these hacks. Then I want a few to give away. I have a three-year old son, and what better way to introduce him to gaming than with classic 8-bit games.
Right now, the “C64DTV is $19.99 at Amazon.com.”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000701CSM/ref=ase_virtuelvis-20/103-0228572-9614238?v=glance&s=videogames – at that price, it’s actually cheaper than the joysticks were back in the eighties.
And when we Europeans get lucky, my hopes are that they’ll produce a ZX Spectrum version as well. Preferably with Saboteur on it.

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8 Comments

  1. Yes, it’s really neat. I have one, of the NTSC kind, unfortunately neither of the TVs I’ve tried it out on supports NTSC, so all I get is black and white. Still, it’s great fun to have one. Commodore shop sells them for 24.95 euro, if you don’t want the hassle of ordering from the US. Also, the number one place for info on hacking the DTV is dtvhacking.info. There are a lot of nice stuff to be found there.

  2. Thanks, Peter. The dtvhacking site was a fantastic resource for C64DTV hacks.
    How long will it take before someone stuffs the C64DTV into a PSP-like case with a small LCD?

  3. Maybe you should ask this guy (featured in the latest issue of Retro Gamer)…

  4. bq. And when we Europeans get lucky, my hopes are that they’ll produce a ZX Spectrum version as well. Preferably with Saboteur on it.
    Oooh! And Manic Miner, and Atic Atac…

  5. Andy, not to forget “Way of the Exploding Fist”. I always thought that the ZX Spectrum version was much more fun than the C64 version. (Incidentally, it was also much harder)

  6. Anders Carlsson

     /  2005-03-11

    Gossip says that other vendors are looking into the underlying technology used in the C64DTV – which is different than the other plug-n-play joysticks and games on the market in that it has a hardware logic implementation (call it hardware level emulation if you wish) rather than the rather poor simulations (games rewritten) seen in Atari Flashback etc. It is likely that the next generation of various direct-to-TV devices will try the C64DTV approach, now that it is proven to be somewhat cost-effective in production once the logic R&D for each system is figured out.

  7. My DTV 64 is in Black and White!

  8. Robin: If you have bought your DTV from the US and you’re located in Europe, it might be that your TV is not fully NTSC compatible.