As the C128 maintained nearly full hardware compatibility with the C64 architecture, most software companies continued to release programmes for the C64, and developing a scarce few business-oriented applications for'128 mode'. This relegated the native, performance-modes of the 128 essentially null, and certainly those who were looking for business systems at the time usually skipped the 128, in favour of the Amiga, or gazed out toward the Macintosh, and IBM PC platforms. The main problem, being that the 128-mode was seen as an enhancement, rather than a proper native operation mode by both developers, and consumers. In fact, Commodore often pushed the C64 backward-compatibility of the 128 in their advertisements, only further driving the nails into the coffin of its advanced features.
Commodore tried to stress the business nature of the C128 architecture with their 128D, and 128DCR models, but this was only a further commercial disaster. Although competition against companies such as Nintendo, and Sega put the C64 into third place, third place at the time was a very solid market.
In fact, its easily noted that self-competition of Commodore products was a chief component of what created so many of their later problems. Trying to simultaneously develop four main platforms, and market all four, was not a sound policy on their part; and their utterly ineffectual marketing of the PC-XX series systems, pitted up against companies such as Compaq, was not working; whereas the production cost of these products was a devastating loss, that bogged down their resources, leading to their ultimate financial downfall. It is imperative however, to remember that Commodore was able to do all of this multi-platform development due to owning MOS, and fabricating all of their products, from the plastic casing, down tot he semi-conductors, internally. This allowed Commodore to experiment with ideas readily, and experiment they did.
Thus, the 64DX was born, from the minds of engineers Fish and? This time, instead of making a product that ran a native'fast' mode, and had full hardware backward-compatibility with the C64 chipset, the native mode would be 16-bit, with advanced colour graphics; that while not nearly as impressive as the Amiga systems, would be a decent competition for a gaming system, comparable to the Sega Mastersystem. This 16-bit machine would support legacy software via an emulation mode , with far less strict compatibility, but old programmes that did run, would do so without the user needing to select a mode on boot-up: the system only had a single native operational mode, and would detect when older programmes were loaded.The emulation mode was intended to make the system more roust, at less cost; but may have actually led to its demise , as many popular games would fail to run on the system without full hardware-compatibility, due to the manner in which developers commonly utilized (system-illegal) tricks to squeeze more out of the C64s aging hardware. Such operations would not have the same effect on the C65, as it did not facilitate these out-of-boundary memory areas, or other undocumented instructions, that worked on C64 and (usually on) C128 systems. In theory, the system architecture would make it easier to port software from 8-bit to 16-bit, and the product would be a bridge between the C64, and the Amiga series, however, the development cycle dragged on, into 1990, and 1991. By 1991, the world of console and computer gaming had radically changed: The Super Famicom (Super NES, or SNES) and the Megadrive (Sega Genesis) had again revolutionised video games in the home, re-instilling the feeling of then-current arcade games, such as Capcom's' Ghouls and Ghosts', into the minds of home gamers. Surely, the C65 could never compete with this trend, and only the Amiga at the time, had a ghost of a chance to stand side-by-side with the then-generation of console systems. Commodore had already tried to compete with the big boys, by launching the C64GS Game System (in very limited quantities), in 1990; and the Amiga CDTV, in 1991 ; and would again attempt to enter the console market with the CD32 in 1993. Thus, the development of the 32-bit game systems, including the very successful A1200, and the development of the C65, were happening around the same time. To the bean-counters, it was clear that the development, production, and more importantly, the marketing costs were outweighing the benefits of producing so many products, especially as they would be in direct market competition with the A1200, which at this time, was Commodore's most advanced'home' computer, slated for release around the same time as Commodore expected to release the C65.
It is true, that the 65C816 was a very successful form of the 6502 for the 16-bit SNES, but the graphical capabilities of the C64DX, by this time known internally as the C65, would never compete with that platform, and would only be instantaneously overshadowed by the rigorous graphical capabilities of the AGA chipset. All of these factors combined, coupled with the extremely slow development cycle for the C65a backburner project, with little funding by 1991led to the eventual cancellation of the entire system. This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of those engineering prototypes.The remainder, Commodore stored in warehouses, and managed to leak into the public interest when Commodore liquidated their warehouse stock in 1993. Grapevine, and C65 Consumer Sales Some of you may know that C65 developer systems did eventually make it onto the market, and the hands of consumers. Fast forward (or re-wind) to 1993 , when Grapevine procured a majority of the physical assets of Commodore Business machines: The company, Grapevine Group, Inc.
Those rights were split off to Tulip, and Escom, in 1994, after Commodore declared bankruptcy. Instead, Grapevine wished to sell the massive inventory from the liquidation quickly , and easily, and they advertised the C65 as a usable product that people could order. Upon finding approximately 100, possibly 200, of the C65 Developer Unit packages in this inventory, and not knowing what else to do with them, Grapevine advertised them in various magazines, such as Compute's Gazette , for a somewhat high, but affordable sum, despite their own misunderstandings of exactly what they had in their stock.
They claimed the system to be an upgraded C64 architecture, but as few people in the market had ever heard of the C65, and as no dedicated C65 software existed, the units were slow to sell, and most ended up as curiosities. Grapevine also had considerable trouble fulfilling orders, or answering questions regarding these unusual units, and in 1993, many people questioned if the entire C65 advert was no more than a mere hoax. Today , any and all C65 systems, and related materials, are exceedingly rare , desirable, and quite costly. The item "Rare Commodore C65 64DX System Schematics Developer Manual Prototype 65" is in sale since Thursday, December 15, 2016.This item is in the category "Computers/Tablets & Networking\Vintage Computing\Vintage Manuals & Merchandise". The seller is "fishpond1000" and is located in Phoenix, Arizona. This item can be shipped to United States, to Canada, to United Kingdom, DK, RO, SK, BG, CZ, FI, HU, LV, LT, MT, EE, to Australia, GR, PT, CY, SI, to Japan, to China, SE, KR, ID, to Taiwan, ZA, TH, to Belgium, to France, to Hong Kong, to Ireland, to Netherlands, PL, to Spain, to Italy, to Germany, to Austria, RU, IL, to Mexico, to New Zealand, SG, to Switzerland, NO, SA, UA, AE, QA, KW, BH, HR, MY, BR, CL, CO, CR, DO, PA, TT, GT, SV, HN, JM.