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The new series included the C16, C116 and Plus/4. Commodore used the 264 series label for three computers: 232 (low-cost version), 264, and 364 (with voice synthesizer for speech output for the first time). The 264 was the base model. It had 64 Kbyte RAM memory and 32 Kbyte ROM. It came with user-selectable software, such as a word processor and spreadsheet. All three computers used the TED chip for graphics and sound. The CPU was the 8501 from MOS Technology.
The founder of Commodore, Jack Tramiel, initially intended the 264 series to capture the low-end market from companies like Sinclair. The cheap TED chip allowed Tramiel to bundle multiple features into one chip, cutting production costs drastically and lowering the overall price to as little as $50 for the cheapest model. This would have allowed it to compete against computers such as the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum, both of which had been wildly popular in Europe.
Management interference meant that Tramiel’s original vision was thwarted, with only the C16, C116, and Plus/4 (with software package 3+1) models being released – and at a much higher price: now $200 more expensive at $299. Thanks to this price hike, the range sold poorly, and the unsuccessful project eventually contributed to Commodore’s decline.
Later, to clear unsold stock, Commodore dropped the price back to the original $99, which resulted in reasonable sales in European countries such as Germany and Hungary.
|series Wikipedia: Commodore-264 series|
- "Die Neuen - 264 und 364" (64'er issue 4/April 1984, S. 9-11) at zock.com
- Commodore 264 series at Commodore Info Page
- "Commodore 'TED' 264 Series: The Beginning of the End" at commodore.ca
- "The 7501s: The TED Developer Prototype, 116, 116 Portable, Book 116, 232, 264, Canadian Plus/4, 364" at floodgap.com