Commodore 16 / Plus 4
The Commodore 232 was to be a 264 (Plus/4) with half the RAM, and the Commodore 364 was to be a 264 (Plus/4) with built-in speech capability (over 250 words), a 64K ROM and a 19-key numeric keypad. Both of these machines were never released - Commodore instead decided to keep just the C116 (later called the 16) and C264 (Plus/4).
Unfortunately, Commodore failed to notice that they would also be competing against their own very successful computer, the Commodore 64. Eventually, only two of this family made it into production - the C16 and the Plus/4. The Plus/4 had some advantages over the C64: BASIC 3.5 has real graphics commands in it, and it used a dynamic ROM banking scheme, so you got nearly 64K in BASIC (this was later used on the Commodore 128).
The Commodore 16
A slightly modified version of the Commodore 16, the Commodore 116, was released only in Europe in December 1984. This computer was essentially the same as a Commodore 16 inside (also with 16K of memory), but in a smaller case similar to that of the Plus/4 and with chicklet-style rubber keys. It was able to run all Commodore 16 software, and Plus/4 software if memory was expanded to 64K. The C116 was priced cheaper than even the Commodore 16 to try to attract newcomers to the budget home computing market. Commodore stopped sales of the 116 in 1985 after only 51,000 were produced. Approximately 44,000 of these were sold in Germany.
All computers in Commodore's 264-range used the same peripherals, which were different to the VIC-20 and C64 (although with adapters you could get them to work on the VIC and C64). The datasette model for the 264-range was VIC-1531, and the floppy disk drive was the VIC-1551.
By September 1986, the 264 line were in full liquidation, with the Plus/4 being sold for $79, with the 1541 floppy drives selling for $149 (down from their original price of $269), and printers selling for $119 (down from $200).
Using One Today
Making use of these computers today is made much easier through the use of the SD2IEC interface. SD2IEC emulates the basic functions of a Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive so you don't have to wear out your old original tapes and disks. Simply plug it into your Commodore's serial port, prepare an SD card with some menu software on it and you're ready to go! , It's as slow to load and save as the 1541 floppy drive, but does support fast loaders like JiffyDos, Final Cartridge III, TurboDisk and Epyx Fastload. It supports files in the following formats: D64, D81, D71, M2I, and PRG. Sadly it doesn't support tape image files, e.g. T64 or TAP. The device typically draws its power from the cassette interface port More info here.
Commodore 16 & Plus/4 News
21 August 2019New shooter, Alpharay from Psytronik
Psytronik Software have announced that pre-orders for the commercial release of ALPHARAY, their incredible new release for the Commodore Plus/4 and expanded Commodore 16 home computer, will be open this Sunday.
20 August 2019Commodore 16 Repair by Jan Beta
If you are into old computers, particularly Commodore, you will have heard of Jan Beta.
18 May 2019Review of Pets Rescue for the C16 and Plus4
Why would anyone try to write a new video game for a system so patently unsuited to the task?
11 April 2018Magic Blocks – A New Game for the Commodore Plus/4 and 128
Magic Blocks is a new game for the Commodore Plus/4 (also C16 with 64Kb) and the Commodore 128 where you play Archimedes, a sorcerer that needs to learn how to use the Magic Blocks to move around the mazes and find his way out.