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 were sold during its retail lifespan, and 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The system was not superseded by another system directly.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 Commodore’s 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. Take a look at our quick start guide for RetroArch which can get you up and running in 5 minutes.
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.
|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|
A lifelong avid gamer and computing enthusiast, Matt has decades of Retro Gaming experience. Now over 40 years old, Matt now even considers himself retro, but fortunately, nobody has developed a Matt emulator (not yet at least!).