On the back of the modest success of the Indiegogo campaigns for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega and Vega Plus, a new Spectrum model has been announced at Play Blackpool this weekend. The ZX Spectrum Next.
The ZX, for me and like many others, was one of the first gaming experiences I ever had. Setting up the tape deck and waiting, wondering nervously whether Horace Goes Skiing or Chuckie Egg would load up or not is a memory that will stay with me forever. And whilst I consider the Sega Master System to be my first gaming love, there was something about the ZX that I always went back to. Sure, the games were primitive but as I got older I realised that here was a machine that I could not only play games on but could also practice coding with and I even used one to trigger MIDI sounds on one of my college music tech projects just because I could. I couldn’t do that with just a games console. It was inspirational for it’s time and arguably it still holds some of that charm now.
The ZX Spectrum Next website doesn’t give too much away as to what this new machine will offer but as ever it’s latching on to those nostalgic heartstrings of every Speccy fan out there revealing that “The Spectrum Next is a reimplementation of the original at hardware level” whilst at the same time being “totally open source, so the community can expand, improve and take it into the future.”
Whether this machine will offer enough new features to be more than just an emulator remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, it will almost certainly have enough of it’s ancestors’ DNA in it to get even the slightest Spectrum fan buzzing.