MAD PROFESSOR and egg Sir Clive Sinclair has smashed through the Indiegogo target for his new recreation of the ZX Spectrum as a handheld console.
Last Christmas saw two rival machines: the ZX Spectrum Vega, endorsed by Sir Clive, and the recreated ZX Spectrum backed by seminal game maker Elite and Sky, the current intellectual property holder of the 1980s computer.
The Elite version with its full keyboard fared better in our review, but the Vega team has fought back with a handheld console version called, appropriately enough, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+.
The Indiegogo campaign that will fund the second production run smashed through the £100,000 barrier to stand at £164,338 from 1,534 backers as of midday Thursday. Despite reaching the goal, the campaign will carry on for a further 38 days with special edition versions of the console up for grabs.
Thankfully, unlike the Spectrum+, the handheld doesn't carry on its namesake's tradition of having a strange inverted-profile keyboard. In fact, it looks lovely.
This time, it's cordless, which was one of our big bugbears last time, and has been designed by Rick Dickinson who designed the iconic originals. It's been developed by Chris Smith, a leading authority on the Spectrum.
The Vega+ will have 1,000 games onboard, like the original, and will be compatible with the thousands of abandonware titles that are freely available on the interweb. It will also be possible to connect the device to a telly making it a full successor to the original Vega, but again this will involve a cable.
Retro Computers, which makes the device, is part-owned by Sinclair Research, and therefore by Sir Clive, who said: "The present surge of interest in retro products inspired me to plan the Vega+ as a handy games console which can be played anywhere."
The console will cost around £100 retail, and meanwhile, supporters can choose from a number of perks including red, white and blue special editions and even the chance to own the original prototype. All versions are being made in the UK in true Sinclair tradition. Expect to take delivery over the summer. µ
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