As readers of Armchair Arcade know (see Matt Barton's "The Rise and Fall of Game Audio"), the Commodore 64 (C-64/128) is a unique sound machine, not out of place itself as an instrument with its powerful SID chip. The Prophet64 has finally been released and it looks to help take the venerable Commodore system to a higher level of audio integration in today's world (click here to see another interesting modern C-64 sound integration option).
From A2 News and Notes May, 2006:
* Old Hardware Made New, Redux
* Hardware-emulated Apple II
* Apple II Internet
* CFFA News
* Moving In Reverse
* Making Music
* VGA Support
* Software News
* Emulation News
File this one under "surprised". It seems that RasterSoft has developed and released Frog Feast on cartridge for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive compatible), which is also available on Sega CD, SNK Neo Geo CD & MVS, IGM PGM and Capcom CPS-1 formats. Other versions planned include Commodore Amiga CD32, FM Towns Marty, Philips CD-I, NEC Turbo Duo and Atari Jaguar CD, though all of those have preview versions already available for download. RasterSoft has also seen fit to release the source code to several of the versions.
It seems the game was inspired by Mattel's original 1982 classic Frog Bog, which also spawned an Atari 2600 version called Frogs and Flies. It seems though that Mattel itself was inspired by Gremlin's 1978 arcade game, Frogs, which utilized a background overlay. While is some ways Frog Feast is actually graphically less rich than the Mattel version(!), it's refreshing to see a homebrew game inspired by something a bit different than the norm.
Over at The Vintage Computer Forums, user "billdeg" posted about the current availability of his new poster, which was three years in the works, "History of Commodore Computers". While it's not really all-inclusive, it's apparently of a very high production quality, hits the important points and would be a nice addition to any enthusiast's collection. Of course, it also gives me an idea to put something similar together for my 200+ system collection, but since that would probably take me years to get to, I suggest you plunk down the money ($19.99 plus shipping and handling, which is not bad for a "homebrew" full-size poster) for this Commodore-specific one now... ;-)
I've been speculating for some time that the next logical entry into the portable gaming market would be from Apple (particularly in an editorial response to Gamasutra about six months back) and it looks like other industry analysts are starting to catch wind of the idea as well, for instance in this piece from GameDaily BIZ Newsletter, here.
Apparently, just for registering your free copy of Microsoft's Visual Studio Express at this Website enters you into an interesting drawing for a full-size Namco Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga anniversary arcade machine, t-shirt or Atari TV game. The intent seems to be to spur "arcade game" development.
According to the Website:
These guys make and distribute some of the most exciting new products for the classic Commodore computer lines. I'm a particular fan of the MMC64, which is an invaluable flash memory card adapter for the C-64/128. Here is their latest news, direct from the source:
30.05.2006: New C64 cartridge cases, special prices for clockport-hardware
New C64 cartridge cases
Our cartridge cases for Retro Replay, MMC64 and other standard C64 cartridges enjoy great popularity, therefore we have made a new production run with a few improvements. The cases that we delivered previously were made out of the fairly soft plastic polystyrene.
Our friends at Old-Computers.com have updated their wonderful worldwide computer, videogame and Pong resource with the following:
Anyone who has read my past writings knows that I'm a big collector and a huge fan of playing original games (or code) on original hardware. There are countless solutions for various computer and videogame systems for doing this, and one of the systems that has become particularly robust in its offering of late is the Apple II-series of computers. Between compact flash adpaters, disk drive adapters and countless other often manual and complicated transfer methods, it looks like Brendan Robert has created one of the easiest and cheapest systems to date. While I highly recommend both the Apple II compact flash adapter (dreher.net/CFforAppleII/) and the SVD (www.thesvd.com/ - which is particularly good for multi-system collectors), Brendan's solution seems particularly elegant, though I have yet to try it for myself.