A big reason for the success of the C64 was a balance of great engineering and corporate management that were able to keep the manufacturing costs down on the unit. The system sold for $595 to start, but after only a few months it dropped in price due to the fact the system could be produced for a mere $135. This meant that stores like K-mart could sell the computer in the $400 range, and to make it even a better deal they offered a $100 rebate if you traded in your old video game console or computer. It was just too good to be true that you could own a real home computer for around $300 when other computer companies were selling a comparable machine in the thousand-dollar range.
The C64 had a few accessories as well including a tape drive, which was basically a tape recorder with some modifications. The tape held a program magnetically and loaded and saved to the computer from the tape drive. The more expensive 5.25 floppy disk drive was faster and an easier way to load and save games, which was standard after a few years from the system's release. The C64 also had ports that used Atari joysticks and other peripherals.
Even though the fearless Captain Kirk was still doing the galactic bidding for the Commodore 64 as a Home Computer, the core of the C64 was a game machine. Just like the Atari 2600, the C64 had a huge library of games that were for the most part easy to copy so they took the term "shareware" to the extreme. The C64 was a fantastic home computer and game machine and deserves its place in gaming history.
Commodore 64 ★★★★★ Retro Cool!
Retail: $595 to $99.99 (end of lifecycle)
Units Sold: More than 30 million
Lifespan: 1982 to 1994 (discontinued)
The Commodore 64 celebrated its 25th birthday in 2007 and still has quite a following. The systems lifespan ended in 1994, but people all over the world still have a soft spot in their hearts for this relic of the 1980s. There are websites like C64.com that allow you to download and emulate games. If you want your own C64 you can visit auction sites like EBay and get one for around $50 and sometimes in a bundle with a ton of games. The software is even easier to get, ranging from a dollar and higher depending on the obscurity of the title. With the interest in old school gaming, the Commodore 64 will never really be obsolete, just older and cooler to have.