In January of 1984, Commodore announced the release of the Commodore 264 which was to be their new home business computer. Conceptually the 264 would come with home business applications pre-installed in ROM with the, at the time, cool bonus of being able to flip between apps and share data from one application to another. Further to this, buyers could select a model tailored to their needs; eg. more word processor or finance heavy.
In reality, it sucked.
Due to terrible management at the time and rushed release it was a box that could do great things but was incompatible with most of the software for the hugely popular Commodore 64 and only worked with a jumble of peripherals.
Then came the Commodore Plus/4. Basically a cut down version of the Commodore 264 but with only the '3-plus-1' software pre-installed in ROM. This was terrible to say the least. A forty character word processor, a tiny 999 record database app with only seventeen fields and a spreadsheet program allowing only fifty lines and seventeen columns. It also came with a graphics package but the less said about that the better.
To its credit the version of BASIC supplied on the Plus/4 was vastly improved and outshone that of the C64 but with no support for sprites and dated, VIC-20-esque sound capability it was shunned by game developers.
It was also an expensive option as an upgrade unit. If you had a VIC-20 and upgraded to a C64 you could use most if not all of the peripherals you already had. Buying a Plus/4 meant you had re-buy compatible peripherals.
They were small, black (black's cool right?) and a lot of people got a lot of use out of them, especially in Europe where they sold 'okay' compared to the sales flop in the US. But sadly, all up, it was a failed release.
|Unit pictured has been sold and its location is unknown.|