Commander X16

Discuss anything not related to the current Uzebox design like successors and other open source gaming hardware
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danboid
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Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:14 am

Commander X16

Post by danboid » Sat Sep 10, 2022 11:00 am

I suspect many of you will already know about the Commander X16. The physical machine isn't available yet but it sounds like it could be by the end of the year as they seem to have solved the final hardware issues, three prototypes later. I hope so as I've had a go with the emulator and I think it'd make for a great retro games platform and tinkerers computer, especially for those who want to learn assembly.

The Commander 16 is basically a souped up C64 / Vic20, based on a WDC 65C02S @ 8 MHz and using a FPGA to provide GPU and sound because there was no other viable, in budget option for the graphics. It's C64 inspired and uses lots of its code but it doesn't aim to be C64 compatible, which I think is good. It is a new Commodore related platform. The FPGA GPU/audio hardware code, VERA, has already been released under the MIT license and it is expected that the rest of the X16, like the MEGA65 and Spectrum Next, will also become open source hardware. I'd hope so but that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me even they didn't open its design. It'd be weird if they didn't.

You can see the full spec here:

https://www.commanderx16.com/forum/inde ... about-faq/

I think its a good sign that there have already been about 60 simple games and 20 or so tools already written for a platform before its available. There will be many more devs who will be interested in the X16 as soon as the hardware becomes available, not at least because the 8-bit guy has a massive audience.

The MEGA65 is cool but there's no way I'm paying £700 for a toy computer. If they can get the X16 board out for under £200 I'm sold.

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danboid
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Re: Commander X16

Post by danboid » Wed Oct 12, 2022 1:32 am

A nice update on the state of the X16 and bit of a demo of its BASIC features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcWqMGju7fk

I love that its got 2 sound chips. I want one!

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danboid
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Re: Commander X16

Post by danboid » Wed Oct 12, 2022 6:46 pm

X16 is like a hybid of a C64/Vic20, a Uzebox and a X68K. It shares a sound chip with the X68K and is of similar spec, it uses SNES joypads and is an open design like the UB but its mostly a Commodore-esque machine.

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