Commodore 16 & Plus 4 Launch
Commodore's sidestep machines hit market
The Commodore 16 and Plus 4 used Commodore's new chipset, the TED, which housed all most of the machines major functions, right down to the joystick.
The development had been tortuous, starting out as a low cost micro to compete with the likes of the Timex Sinclair, and the expected influx of machines from Japan. In reality Timex left the market, and the Japanese invasion did not happen.
The Commodore 116 was the only original spec machine released, eventually being sold only in Germany, then its design being simplified, becoming the C16.
The C16 became the replacement for the ageing Vic 20, with 16K of RAM and in the UK a decent enough suite of education software, aiming the machine at the younger, first time computer owner.
The Plus 4 was developed out of a separate string of development, which included three machines, the 232, 264, and 364, none of which went into production.
The Plus 4 was taken from the 264, and is identical apart from some rudimentary office programs, it was then sent into market at far too high a price, competing with it's own sister machine the Commodore 64.
The Plus 4 was a huge flop in the USA and Western Europe, but after sending the remaining stock east to Hungary and other countries, it was very successful with software still produced to this day.
The C16 did much better in Europe, and even better as the Sigma C16 in Mexico, where it was sold until 1992.
See our C16 page here
See our Plus 4 page here
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