After Hours

Commodore shows its price advantage

One of the reasons the Commodore 64 was so successful against other computers of the day was its price advantage. This commercial shows how much power came in the C64 at a low price compared to the competition.

One of the reasons the Commodore 64 was so successful against other computers of the day was its price advantage. This commercial shows how much power came in the C64 at a low price compared to the competition.

—————————————————————————————————————————————

The Commodore 64 was one of the most successful computers ever made. Commodore shipped over 20 million units in the time it was being sold. It seemed like when I was growing up, everyone had one. My father-in-law still has his, I think, gathering dust somewhere.

One of the major reasons why the C64 was so popular was because Commodore packed a lot of power in the box for an amazing price. As the commercial points out, the C64 came with 64Kb of RAM for only $595.

In 2007 dollars, that's the equivalent of over $1,250. That may sound like a lot now for a pretty weak machine, but compared to what other machines cost at the time and the features they had, it's a great price.

Interestingly enough, the commercial shows an Apple II for $1,530. Translated to 2008 dollars, that's over $3,200. That means that a Macintosh today is an even better bargain than an Apple II was 25 years ago.

The bottom line is that Commodore's bottom line is what made the machine so popular. The C64 was a classic case of supply and demand. Over time, the C64 even became more affordable. By the mid 1980s, it cost only around $200.

By then, it was hopelessly obsolete, but Commodore had firmly affixed its place in computer history.

Editor's Picks