Sir Clive Sinclair has today announced the launch of a new low-cost games computer based on his hugely successful Spectrum products of the early 1980s. The Sinclair Spectrum Vega takes advantage of major advances in technology to achieve big cost savings by replacing most of the electronics in his earlier computer products. Instead the Vega uses a low cost micro-controller and a clever piece of software that enable the Vega to run all of the games, 14,000 or more of them, that were developed during the years when some 5 million of the original Sinclair Spectrum were being sold.
The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is being marketed by Retro Computers Ltd, a Luton-based start-up in which Sir Clive¹s company Sinclair Research Ltd is a shareholder. The development and marketing of the Sinclair Spectrum Vega is under licence from Sky In-Home Service Ltd, who inherited the intellectual property rights to the Spectrum computers from Amstrad. Development of the product is complete, and a fully-functioning prototype is ready to go into production.
The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is as simple to use as any of the popular games consoles, but far less expensive. It plugs into a TV so the user does not
need a computer monitor, and it comes complete with around 1,000 games built-in. The user will also be able to download additional games from the thousands that are available free of charge on the web, so there is no need for users to pay any more than the cost of the basic product, which will be well below £100 from the company¹s web site.
The Vega has been developed by Chris Smith, a former ZX Spectrum games developer who is the world’s leading expert on Sinclair Spectrum technology and author of the definitive technical book “The ZX Spectrum ULA: How to design a microcomputer”.
Paul Andrews, Managing Director of Retro Computers Ltd, is a lifelong fan of Sir Clive¹s products, and has himself worked within the games and media publishing market for many years.
David Levy, the company¹s Chairman, is President of the International Computer Games Association and has been responsible for the development of more than 100 consumer electronic products since the late 1970s.
Retro Computers Ltd is making arrangements with the owners of the software rights to Spectrum games to donate a combined software royalty to a charity Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. The royalty will be 10% of the selling price per Vega computer. This charity was chosen because David Levy had his life saved by the hospital when he was diagnosed with meningitis as a 3-year-old.
Sir Clive Sinclair says that the success of the original Spectrum was due to the fact that: ³it was adaptable, approachable, very easy to program, and simple to use²
Retro Computers Ltd has today launched its first round of financing via the Indiegogo crowdfunding web site. The funding will be used for the
manufacture, in the UK, of the first 1,000 Sinclair Spectrum Vega computers, and to provide the initial funds for the company¹s running costs, PR and marketing activities. A range of limited edition Vega computers and other related exclusive items are being offered on the site. Following the sale of the first 1,000 computers the company will scale up its production according to demand, and will be seeking marketing arrangements, both in the UK and internationally, with distributors of consumer electronic products