ZX Spectrum Next Issue 2 blasts through Kickstarter goal

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The ZX Spectrum Next Issue 2Image source, Kickstarter
Image caption,
The ZX Spectrum Next Issue 2 is a fully redesigned version of the original computer from the 1980s

A new remake of the 1980s British computer the ZX Spectrum has soared past its crowdfunding target in just two days.

The ZX Spectrum Next Issue 2 has raised nearly £900,000 - far beyond its £250,000 goal - with 28 days of fundraising left to go.

More than 2,500 backers have chipped in to the project so far.

The Issue 2 is an updated version of an earlier ZX Spectrum Next, which was funded via Kickstarter in 2017.

More than 3,000 units of that version were made, the last of which were shipped earlier this year.

The ZX Spectrum Next Issue 2 is to include upgraded hardware such as a faster processor, twice as much memory and a high-resolution mode - though its computing power is closer to the original than modern high-end computers.

The remade computers allow players to use the original game cassettes if they want, rather than merely emulating the games purely via software.

Both the Next and Next Issue 2 models have been spearheaded by London-based developer Henrique Olifiers, co-founder of game maker Bossa Studios.

High demand

"I'm ecstatic, right?" Mr Olifiers told the BBC. "The crowdfunding goal was met within five minutes of the campaign going live."

He added that he was proud to be a part of the ZX Spectrum community, without whom, he said, the project would be merely "a pipedream".

Mr Olifiers said he hoped to sell at least 5,000 units of the new ZX Spectrum Next, and that he was confident the UK manufacturing facility contracted to produce the devices could handle an even larger volume of orders, if necessary.

Image source, Kickstarter
Image caption,
The remade computers are intended to have superior graphics to the original ZX Spectrum.

A community of developers has embraced the ZX Spectrum Next models, meaning new games for the classic computer continue to be made, says retro games enthusiast David Douglas, who runs the RoseTintedSpectrum YouTube channel.

Mr Douglas, who has backed the new Kickstarter project, said his fondness for the Spectrum was partly thanks to the unusual style and tone of the original games.

“A lot of the games were very British, which you don’t really get nowadays,” he said.

He added that he was inspired to shell out £325 towards the project to secure a slightly more advanced version of the ZX Spectrum Issue 2 himself, because he was aware of the success of the previous Kickstarter.

“There’s a lot more confidence this time round in what it’s actually going to produce,” he said.

Image source, Kickstarter
Image caption,
Game developer Henrique Olifiers has led the ZX Spectrum Next remake projects

Not all ZX Spectrum-themed crowdfunding schemes have gone so smoothly.

The Vega+ console, a separate project that was crowdfunded through Indiegogo, failed to meet expectations and the makers eventually lost the right to use the “ZX Spectrum” and “Sinclair” trademarks as a result.