Ready to revamp a 1980 game console and bring it to the market, famed English entrepreneur and inventor, Sir Clive Sinclair, has teamed up with Retro Computers Ltd. to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise £100,000 for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega. Within less than 48 hours, nearly 375 backers helped raise £45,000 towards the project.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega, which was developed by a former ZX Spectrum games developer Chris Smith, is described as a new low cost games computer that is based on Sir Clive’s highly successful Spectrum products of the early 1980s. It takes advantage of major advances in technology to achieve big cost savings by replacing most of the electronics in the earlier computer products. The system uses a low cost micro-controller with a piece of software in order to run all 14,000 or more game that were developed during the years when Sinclair Spectrum was being sold.
The new system is as simple to use as any of the popular game consoles, but considered far less expensive. It plugs directly into a TV, so no computer monitor is necessary, and comes complete with around 1,000 games already built in. Games load automatically, taking you directly into the game play mode. When you wish to play another game, simply press the centrally placed reset button and this takes you back to the main menu. Vega has sufficient memory to allow the user to download additional games that will be made available from time to time free of charge.
The organizer of the campaign revealed,”The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is being marketed by Retro Computers Ltd, a Luton-based start-up in which Sir Clive’s company, Sinclair Research Ltd, is a shareholder. The development and marketing of the Sinclair Spectrum Vega is under license 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.”
Currently, 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 company’s Chairman, Dr David Levy, had his life saved by the hospital when he was diagnosed with meningitis when he was a child.
All funds collected by the crowdfunding campaign will help manufacture the first 1,000 units of the Vega within the UK and to prepare the team for the second production run. Once the first 1,00 Limited Edition Vegas have been manufactured and shipped, the team will move on to the next 3,000 unites and thereafter to batches of 10,000 or more. The retail price of the Vega will then reduce.
Explaining the inspiration behind the project, the team revealed, “The Vega is a culmination of many years of work and perseverance by our team, who have come together to create something special that resonates with those who grew up with the original Sinclair Spectrum, as well as being accessible to today’s gamers who are looking for some nostalgic game play while having the ease of use of modern technology at an incredibly low price. For enthusiasts who would like to know more about the project you can pledge to receive, as one of the perks, the book ‘Creating The Sinclair ZX Vega’ which has been written by the team about our journey to create the Vega.”
Sir Clive Sinclair has been dubbed as one of the most famous British born inventors of all time. As an expert at miniaturization, Sir Clive is known for bringing to mass market more than 100 highly innovative consumer products through various companies such as Sinclair Radionics and Sinclair Research.
Sinclair Spectrum Vega’s crowdfunding campaign is set to close on January 30th.
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