Sinclair fans rejoice: ZX Spectrum Vega+ to launch October 20

Dead-flesh keyboard not included

Ageing fans of 1980s home computer games will soon be able to get their hands on Sir Clive Sinclair’s rebooted ZX Spectrum device, which is now set to be launched in October and available just in time for Christmas.

The eagerly awaited Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+, which was bankrolled via crowdfunding site Indiegogo, is to get an official launch on October 20th, as detailed in an official release from Sir Clive’s Retro Computers outfit.

Andy Maddock, chief executive of SMS Electronics, the firm manufacturing the Vega+, enthused that “we are excited that the project is going ahead and will soon be in volume manufacture.” The firm said that the device will be available in “selected online retail sites in time for Christmas 2016.”

The Vega+ takes the form of a hand-held games console with a colour LCD screen so it can be used anywhere, but can be connected to a TV for home use, just like its predecessor. It is claimed to be compatible with “every Spectrum game that exists,” and will ship with 1,000 licensed games pre-installed.

Official pricing for the Vega+ has yet to be disclosed, but Retro Computers said that it isn’t too late for eager contributors to pledge on Indiegogo to secure a classic black Vega+ while the crowdfunding campaign is in the InDemand phase. Earlier limited edition versions in red, white or blue are no longer available.

The hardware and software for the Vega+ have been designed and developed by a team of techies led by a former ZX Spectrum games developer. The team has focused on delivering maximum compatibility with previous generations of the Speccy.

However, it is based on modern hardware, and includes features such as support for micro SD cards to enable preferences, and game-saves to be stored for later recall, as well as future firmware upgrades to be delivered.

It also features switchable Kempston or cursor key joystick emulation, plus access to programming mode via the familiar BASIC commands.

Here at The Reg, we’re hoping that the ZX Spectrum Vega+ lives up to its promise, as we are looking forward to picking up where we left off with Manic Miner and other 80s classics like Elite and Chuckie Egg. ®

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