The Commodore 64 was unveiled to the public in August, 1982 by Commodore Business Machines. It offered previously never seen graphics and sound performance for $595, which amazed even their competitors at the time. The graphics and sound chips were originally intended for a next generation game console, but the company’s president Jack Tramiel cancelled it in favor of using them for a new computer with 64k of ram, which was Double the amount of comparative machines in the 80s.A large amount of software was made for the system. It was the best selling computer model of all time, having sold 17-25 million units before it’s production ended.
The design team was given two months to have a prototype running for the 1982 Consumer Electronics Show. They managed to meet the deadline, and the model left industry competitors from other companies sitting at the booth marveling at the price and features themselves. The cost for Commodore to build the computer was significantly less due to having their own integrated circuit subsidiary, MOS Technology, and it allowed the Commodore 64 to literally outclass it’s competitors.
The system came with an MOS Technology 6510 or 8500 microprocessor which ran at around 1.023mhz, and 64kb of ram, an extravagant amount for the time. It also used MOS’s own video technology capable of 16 colors at 320×200. It also boasted their proprietary sound technology as well which had 3 channels, an advancement for it’s time because of the ability to use several different waveforms, ring modulation, and filter capabilities. The system also led Commdore to build the first full color portable computer, the SX-64. The Commodore 64 was discontinued in 1993, but was resurrected later as a 64-bit desktop computer.