Sinclair ZX Spectrum to return thanks to Elite Systems

If you’re the type of person who’s all misty-eyed about the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and yet you’re not all that impressed with emulator software because the hardware rather than the software is what captured your imagination as a child, then you’re in luck. The ZX Spectrum is being revived thanks to gaming firm Elite Systems, who just need to raise £60,000 by the end of January to bring their Kickstarter project to fruition.

Elite are aiming to release a Bluetooth version of the famous rubber-keyed Spectrum keyboard which will be compatible with smartphones and tablets. The new device will have a “Game Layer” mode as standard so that the “Bluetooth ZX Spectrum acts as a controller for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum running on iOS / Android (and later Windows) phones and tablets. In this mode it offers authentic, rubber-key play control over the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum apps.”

An optional Qwerty Layer mode will be available so the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum device can be used as a conventional keyboard for Emailing and playing games and apps on a Mac or PC. When the original was released more than 5 million units sold over a 10 year period. In those days you could pick one up for £125 but we’re expecting the new device to be cheaper than that as it should retail for £40 to £50.

If you’re thinking that there’s no need for the system to return as Sinclair ZX Spectrum games were rubbish then you’re missing the point. The small price for a slice of nostalgia will be paid by a lot of gamers over the age of 30 who remember the device and want to relive the earliest days of gaming. Steve Wilcos, the co-founder of Elite Systems said that the games were “always very simple. It was just about the best possible game play. My favourite game, Manic Miner, is taught to undergraduates now as a way of getting the most gameplay into the simplest technology.”

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