The ‘The 64’ IndieGoGo campaign seems to be doing very well, reaching 30% of the target and with 30 days left. There is also some coverage by the “non-retro” news outlet which certainly helps to make some noise.
The team behind the project has posted new updates about the machine, stating that it, in fact, will be based on a CPU ARM Cortex SoC, therefore relying on emulation. The CPU revelation is a bummer to a lot of C64 enthusiasts, but I honestly don’t think it should be any different than that. FPGA-based projects tend to be expensive to sell, and dedicated hardware might be too costly to plan and build.
To be a bit blunt, you are paying USD150 for a Raspberry PI in a C64 case – not that the device is simply a PI (there is no information it is one), but in the sense you could get the same by using one. The price seems high to a lot of people, but I can see others finding a fair price for such nice gadget.
There is another unanswered question about the console capabilities as a computer. Will it be a game console with a custom menu to start games or a fully-featured Commodore 64 with the BASIC interpreter out-of-the-box?
Even if it is not, I guess that, since it will allow you to run games you download from the Internet, it might be possible to add the C64 ROMs yourself. That is not mentioned anywhere, though.
Considering the campaign targets the general public, not the retro enthusiast, it is a very attractive product. The C64 “purists” out there, however, won’t be satisfied with emulation and as far I can see, they are not super excited about the ‘The 64’.