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Commodore Plus 4

The Commodore Plus/4 was a home computer released in 1984 The "Plus/4" name refers to the four-application ROM resident office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, database, and graphing); it was billed as "the productivity computer with software built-in". It had some success in Eastern Europe, after it had failed in Western Europe.

It was a total flop in the United States, where it was derided as the "Minus/60"—a pun on the difference between the Plus/4 and the dominant  Commodore 64.

The original idea of the 264 series was to provide Commodore with a cheap alternative to other machines already on the market such as the Timex Sinclair range. Jack Tramiel wanted a slice of the budget market, as he was sure the Japanese companies were going to destroy the American home computer market, as they had the audio and video ones.

The initial machine was the C116, supposed to he sold for less than $50, with a small case, and rubber keyboard, less than 50,000 were sold mainly in Germany, before it was replaced by the C16.

 Then after a rethink, along with the new C16, there were going to be two machines, the 232 and 264, the former had 32k of memory and was shelved before full production, while the latter became the Plus 4. According to one of the designers Bil Herd, it was a fight between the design team and the marketing department of the company - the price was raised above that of the C64, and with some already out of date office software added, this all but doomed the machine. Most were sold off cheaply to eastern European countries such as Hungary, where there is now a vibrant homebrew scene, converting many C64 classics to the Plus 4, and still producing high quality gaming software to this day,

Prototypes of a top of the range model, the V364, were also produced, just one complete machine was built, looking like a giant Plus 4 with added numerical keyboard, as well as a voice synthesis unit that could recognise 230 words. It was shown in the hands of Jack Tramiel at the 1983 C.E.S show, along with the 264.

 A YouTube video of a working V364 board once belonging to Bil Herd can be seen, and two other machines exist in very brittle plastic cases.

 The 264 series was a victim of timing, the expected influx of cheap Japanese micros did not materialise, and also Jack Tramiel who had been instrumental in the vision behind the series had been ejected from the Commodore board, this left the wrong people in charge of bringing the models to market, and instead of being cheap business machines, the 264 and 364 were scrapped, the former becoming the basis for the Plus 4, which was sent into market in direct competition with Commodore's own hugely successful C64.

The computers were also a great example of what damage can be done by a marketing department who have been left no clear idea of how to handle a new range.

Our model has the serial number 214173.

Has the ten introductory tapes, original inner box and plain brown outer box.

 

Manufacturer: Commodore
Date: June 1984



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Magazines RELATED to Commodore Plus 4 in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Practical Computing - November 1984 Nov 1984

Other Systems Related To Commodore Plus 4:

Item Manufacturer Date
Commodore PET 3016 Commodore 1977
Commodore PET 2001 Commodore June 1977
Commodore PET 2001 (Blue Label) Commodore June 1977
Commodore PET 2001-32 Commodore June 1978
Commodore PET CBM 3008 Commodore 1979
Commodore PET 3032 Commodore 1979
Commodore Pet 8032-32B Commodore 1980
Commodore PET 8032SK Commodore 1980
Commodore Pet 4032-32N Commodore May 1980
Commodore PET 4008 Commodore May 1980
Commodore SuperPet (SP9000) Commodore 1981
Commodore PET 8096SK Commodore 1981
Commodore VC-20 Commodore 1981
Commodore VIC-20 Commodore 1981
Commodore MAX Commodore 1982
Commodore P500 Commodore 1982
Commodore 64 Commodore August 1982
Commodore Pet 8296-D Commodore 1983
Commodore SX-64 (110v US) Commodore 1983
Commodore SX-64 (240V UK) Commodore 1983
Commodore 116 Commodore June 1984
Commodore 16 Commodore June 1984
Commodore 128 Commodore January 1985
Commodore 128D Commodore December 1985
Commodore Amiga A2000 Commodore 1987
Commodore Amiga A500 Commodore 1987
Commodore Amiga A500 Class of the 90s Pack Commodore 1987
Commodore PC-I Commodore 1987
Commodore 64 C German Commodore March 1987
Commodore 64 C Hollywood Presents Pack Commodore March 1987
Commodore 64 C Commodore March 1987
Commodore 64 C Terminator 2 Pack Commodore March 1987
Commodore Amiga A500 Plus Commodore April 1987
Commodore 64 G Commodore 1989
Commodore 64 C Light Fantastic Pack Commodore March 1989
Commodore Amiga 1500 Commodore 1990
Commodore C286-LT Portable Commodore 1990
Commodore C386SX-LT Commodore 1991
Commodore Amiga A600HD Commodore 1992
Commodore Amiga A600 Commodore March 1992
Commodore Amiga 4000 Commodore October 1992
Commodore Amiga 1200 Commodore 21st October 1992
Commodore Amiga 1200 Commodore 21st October 1992
Commodore Amiga CD32 Commodore September 1993

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH228. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Commodore Plus 4

  Games Archive   [137]
  Peripherals   [1]

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