The Commodore 64 vs The ZX Spectrum

The Commodore 64 vs The ZX Spectrum

Before the Xbox 360 vs the PS3, before the PlayStation vs the Saturn, before the SNES vs the Megadrive, there was the Commodore 64 vs the Spectrum. Here in Australia it was barely a competition, but I remember fist fights kicking off in the playground over this debate. Now, thanks to Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, the arguments are over!

I’m a big fan of Digital Foundry. Sure the in-depth results of game performance are usually used to fuel pointless my console’s better than your console debates, but I find the analysis worth reading. Particularly in this instance, when it’s attempting to settle a debate that has raged since I was seven years old!

Just for the record, I am — and was — a Spectrum fan boy. The results of this testing shook me to my very core.


Face-Off: ZX Spectrum vs. Commodore 64 [Eurogamer]


  • C64 ALL THE WAY! sorry mark. But i learnt to program basic on the c64 at 4 years of age, and it’ll eternally be the better system in my mind if only for nostalgia points!

  • Seriously – this issue was settled the day International Soccer came out on the C64 😛 C64 wins by a mile. Sorry, Mark.

  • Love the C-64, but Ive gota say, the Spectrum has been getting alot of interest from me in the last few years. Out of all the ol’micro computers, the spectrum and all its add-ons, are beautifully designed and would love to have them in my collection just for the asthetics! Really is the best looking of all the micro computers. I still cant believe how small the ZX80 actually is, considering the size of the C-64 (allthough I really love the design of the white model C-64 – iconic)

  • ZX spectrum was bloody hopeless. I had one when I was a kid. Even though I didn’t know there was an alternative I knew it was terrible. Which in hindsight is a good thing. It meant I spent most of my time playing outside.

    It wasn’t until I got an Amiga A500 that my short-sightedness began to take root. I will not hear a bad word said about that system

    • Mmmm now you’re talking. I’m sure they’ll follow up this article with an Amiga v Atari ST comparison at some point.

  • What about the Microbee?

    I remember the war between the Microbee and Commodore 64.

    With the Microbee, we had all the machine code hacking and breakout kits to play with, while the C-64 had the games.

  • The mighty Wednesday old timey gaming timeline.
    1986: Inherited a Philips Videopac (still have it to this day.)
    1989: NES for my birthday.
    1990: See a friends C64 (it confused me)
    1991: IBM 286 (First sex ed lesson with Leisure Suit Larry)
    1993: SNES
    Nothing to do with the article, sorry. Just curious to see if others had a similar timeline.

  • Im with mark. My vote is for the good ol’ Speccy. Skooldaze, cobra, lunar jetman, attic atac…. It just had a better feel to it.

  • A couple of my school friends had a C64, I’d never seen a ZX Spectrum and by the time I was buying video game mags they were all about Amiga and Atari PCs (I would usually get em for the console sections at the back – was way into NES at the time)

  • In France, it was more of a C64 vs Amstrad CPC war, with the Spectrum watching from the sidelines with no real chance of competing. I remember reading game reviews in Tilt Mag and the Spectrum version always got the tiny, little side-bar review, usually giving it thumbs down over the graphically superior CPC and C64 versions.

    The C64 usually came out on top but it didn’t matter to me, because the CPC versions of Renegade and Barbarian reigned supreme over all others 🙂

  • Speedball 2 and The Incredible Machine on the C64 ftw! And who can forget Great Gianna Sisters or Pinball Fantasies?

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