The ZX Spectrum is being relaunched as a handheld games console, shipping with 1,000 games built in.
The Vega+, currently on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, is a follow-up to the ZX Spectrum Vega released just over a year ago. Whereas that was a plug-in controller to work with a TV set, the Vega+ is a fully-contained handheld device along the lines of the Sega GameGear or Atari Lynx. However, although it has a screen, the new machine can also connect to a TV.
The look and feel of the handheld console is remarkably close to the iconic Spectrum, largely because the concept design is by Rick Dickinson who designed the original computers.
As with the Vega, the Vega+ is a licensed device and Spectrum pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair is among the shareholders in the company manufacturing the new machine. It will include 1,000 licensed games and has also been designed to be compatible with the files used on PC emulators via a Micro SD slot. It’ll be up to players to source games online and there are no plans for the manufacturers to sell games.
Final pricing isn’t confirmed, but pledgers can get one for £100 (approx US$150). The finished model will be the same black as the original Spectrum, though pledgers can choose limited edition copies in black, red or blue. It’s a flexible funding model, meaning the project goes ahead regardless of how much money is pledged.
The device is at the fully working prototype stage and delivery is planned for September.