Commodore Plus 4

System Overview

Released in 1984, the Commodore Plus 4 is a system very close to the Commodore 16 in terms of specification. The Plus 4 name derives from the fact it has 4 built-in applications on ROM. These are a Word Processor, Database, Spreadsheet and Graphing applications.

Much of the software is cross-compatible between the Plus 4 and the Commodore 16.

One of Commodore’s issues at this time is that they released a number of different systems and variants on specific systems. Most of these systems and peripherals are not cross-compatible with one another. For example, VIC-20, C64 and Plus 4 software and most peripherals are not cross compatible. These 3 different system families were all released within a 4 year period. This meant retailers felt frustrated when it came to selling the products to their customers.

Shipping with 64k of RAM and utilising the MOS 8501 processor, the Plus 4 actually had a reasonable specification. The 8501 is clocked at 1.76mhz, pretty much 75% higher than the C64 and VIC 20.

Only around 400,000 systems sold during its retail lifespan, the Commodore 16 is the more popular variant of this system family. Especially in terms of clock speed compared to the C64 and Vic-20.

The system was not superseded by another system directly. By the time of its demise in 1985, the C64 become Commodores lead product.

How to Emulate this system?

Commodore Plus 4 emulation is reasonably well catered for, we recommend taking a look at RetroArch if you are seeking an all in one solution. RetroArch emulates a large number of systems including the Commodore Plus 4. RetroArch is a front end that utilises emulator 'cores', it is reasonably easy to use and has lots of good supporting documentation on how to use it. RetroArch is available across a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and many consoles.

Check out RetroArch here

The king of Commodore emulation has long reigned in the form of VICE (the Versatile Commodore Emulator). VICE provides emulation of pretty much all of Commodore's systems except the Amiga.

It is the most complete all in one Commodore system emulator package available. We definitely recommended VICE as a single point to emulate most Commodore systems.

Emulator Description Platform
VICE The most configurable and advanced Commodore emulator, emulating a number of Commodore systems including the Commodore Plus 4. Certainly recommended if you want to play around with more in depth settings. Windows / OSX / Linux / Android

Emulating the Commodore Plus 4 using a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a compact single board computer which has become very popular for emulating retro computers and consoles. You can buy the Pi very cheaply and has a whole community supporting and building accessories and applications that are compatible with.

Significantly, for Retro Gaming enthusiasts, the Raspberry Pi offers fantastic all round emulation of many systems. It offers the ability to output games on HDTVs via HDMI or older CRT TVs via composite outputs. Combining the Raspberry Pi with Retropie, you have a device capable of emulating anything from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PlayStation.

Check out the different Raspberry Pi packages you can pick up on Amazon using the button below.

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