This machine looks nearly identical to an original Commodore 64 but without the legacy ports that were on it. There is no Expansion port, RF modulator, Analog AV out in the DIN connector, IEC port, Tape deck or Userport. The traditional joystick ports are also absent on this machine. Instead, you have HDMI for video and USB ports for, well what you would use USB ports for. You can add controllers or storage devices. Even a USB 3.5″ floppy drive, if you so choose.
The bottom line up front. This is, quite possibly the best Commodore 64 gaming experience you can have. I will now justify this. You can also do some cool things with this hardware that isn’t exactly possible on the original hardware.
I do want to say that I absolutely adore my for actual Commodore 64s and get just as much joy from the 40 year old hardware as the 3 year old hardware, it’s just a bit different.
For starters, TheC64 is a great little ARM based Commodore 64 emulator that keeps hidden away some capabilities that make this machine a lot more useful.
I still think it would be great if this machine could run a simple FTP server or SSH server within it so that you could easily plop games onto the machine remotely. I know that RetroGames were interested in making a profit so adding these addition features for like… one dude… was probably not anywhere on their roadmap.
I am not an expert on hardware or even software hacking but my familiarity with Linux does tell me that such a thing could be possible. TheC64 does have the horsepower to run some kind of small service, like FTP and there is nothing actually stopping me from adding the necessary bits to allow some kind of network access for this machine. It is all a matter of how, really.