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Commodore 64
Hardware
Type Home computer
Release date August 1982 (1982-08)
Introductory price US$ 595 (1982)
Discontinued April 1994
Units sold 12.5 – 17 million
Operating system Commodore KERNAL/
Commodore BASIC 2.0
GEOS (optionally)
CPU MOS Technology 6510
@ 1.023 MHz (NTSC version)
@ 0.985 MHz (PAL version)
Memory 64 kB RAM + 20 kB ROM
Graphics VIC-II (320 × 200, 16 colors, sprites, raster interrupt)
Sound SID 6581 (3× Osc, wave, filter, ADSR, ring)
Connectivity 2× CIA 6526 joystick, Power, ROM cartridge, RF, A/V, IEEE-488 floppy-printer, digital tape, GPIO/RS-232
Predecessor Commodore VIC-20
Successor Commodore 128

The Commodore 64, also known as the C64, C-64, C=64, or occasionally CBM 64 or VIC-64 in Sweden, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595 ($1,313 in 2020).

The C64 dominated the low-end computer market for most of the 1980s. For a substantial period (1983–1986), the C64 had between 30% and 40% share of the US market and two million units sold per year, outselling the IBM PC compatibles, Apple Inc. computers, and the Atari 8-bit family of computers.

Part of the Commodore 64's success was its sale in regular retail stores instead of only electronics and/or computer hobbyist specialty stores. It has been compared to the Ford Model T automobile for its role in bringing a new technology to middle-class households via creative and affordable mass-production.

Approximately 10,000 commercial software titles have been made for the Commodore 64 including development tools, office productivity applications, and video games. The C64 is also credited with popularizing the computer demoscene and is still used today by some computer hobbyists. In 2008, 17 years after it was taken off the market, research showed that brand recognition for the model was still at 87%.

Software

In 1982, the C64's graphics and sound capabilities were rivaled only by the Atari 8-bit family, and appeared exceptional when compared with the widely publicized Atari VCS and Apple II. The C64 is often credited with starting the computer subculture known as the demoscene (see Commodore 64 demos).

Reception

BYTE in July 1983 stated that "the 64 retails for $595. At that price it promises to be one of the hottest contenders in the under-$1000 personal computer market".

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