When it comes to the early console wars, most gamers only know one name and that is Atari. But there were other console manufacturers that made their mark on the industry before succumbing to the whims of the market or falling under the weight of their own irrelevance and these bits of kit deserve as much love and respect, if not more so, than those names we know and love.
Though Sega and Nintendo would later come to define the console wars and video game rivalry even unto today, the Commodore 64 not only presented a compelling alternative to Atari home devices but also produced a stable of classic games such as Bubble Bobble, Maniac Mansion, California Games, and Summer Games.
Not only that but the Commodore 64 introduced people to the idea of using a computer for a wide variety of daily tasks in addition to gaming.
The Commodore 64’s unassuming exterior
An 8-bit home computer that debuted in January 1982 at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Commodore 64 by Commodore International was the reigning king of the 8-bit computer market from its debut until 1986, capturing some 40 to 60 percent of the market in any given year and beating out competitive offerings from IBM, Atari, and Apple. The Commodore 64 was such a commercial success that it still holds the distinction today of being the single best-selling personal computer in history with estimated lifetime sales between 10 million and 17 million units. Part of the reason for the Commodore 64’s success was its wide distribution network which included vendors outside of the traditional electronics channel and truly brought the device to the greater masses. In addition, Commodore International instituted rigorous cost controls and moved the manufacture of many parts in-house in order to accomplish this goal.
Maniac Mansion on C64
With over 10,000