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Feb 22, 2016 4:36 PM ET

Archived: The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega Plus Console: The world’s only hand-held LCD games console

iCrowdNewswire - Feb 22, 2016

The world’s only hand-held LCD games console with 1,000 licensed games inside that can also connect to your TV!!

Concept design by Rick Dickinson, who created the industrial designs of all of Sir Clive Sinclair’s ZX computers.

The Vega+ is a new low cost hand-held games console with a colour LCD screen and 1,000 licensed games already installed. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+, to give the product its full name, is based on Sir Clive’s hugely successful Spectrum products from the past – the early 1980s – and incorporates all the features of the ZX Vega and more, including stereo output for great reproduction of gaming sounds and music. It is the only games console that exists with 1,000 licensed games already included and with both an LCD for anywhere use and the capability to connect to a TV for home use.

In this new conception of what a games player wants from their games console, our design team has taken advantage of major advances in technology to achieve big cost savings, by replacing most of the electronics in the early Sinclair computer products. Instead we have chosen a fast but low cost micro-controller with software designed and developed by a leading world expert on Sinclair Spectrum technology. Our software is used in clever ways, allowing us to build this exciting product which can run every Spectrum game that exists, 14,000 or more of them from the past, most of which were developed during the years when some 5 million of the original Sinclair ZX Spectrum were being sold. And the low component cost means we can afford to keep the price of the Vega+ very affordable, especially for a product with 1,000 licensed games inside for you to play as soon as you open the box. 

The Vega+ project will be marketed by Retro Computers Ltd, a Luton-based start-up in which Sir Clive’s company, Sinclair Research Ltd, is a shareholder. The development and marketing of the Vega+ is under license from Sky In-Home Service Ltd, who inherited the intellectual property rights to the Spectrum computers from Amstrad.  Development of the product is complete, and a fully-functioning prototype is ready to go into production.


The Sinclair Spectrum Vega+ is very simple to use, and far less expensive than the most popular games consoles of today. The main difference for the user between the Vega+ and other games consoles is that it comes complete with 1,000 licensed games built-in, and has sufficient memory to allow you to download themany thousands of additional Spectrum games available free of charge on various web sites. You can play the games anywhere using its LCD, and another option is to plug it into a TV (PAL or NTSC).

The Vega+ hardware and operating system software have been designed and developed by a team led by Chris Smith, a former ZX Spectrum games developer who is the world’s leading expert on Sinclair Spectrum technology and author of the definitive technical book on the original Spectrum:  “The ZX Spectrum ULA: How to design a microcomputer”.

The concept design of the Vega+ is by Rick Dickinson, one of the UK’s leading industrial designers, who designed Sir Clive Sinclair’s ZX computers in the 1980s: the ZX 80, ZX 81 and ZX Spectrum

Our Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the first 2,500 or more units of the Vega+  in the UK, and to prepare us for the second production run.

Supporting this project will allow you to be one of the first to own a Vega+. All supporters who have pledged £100 can choose to receive a Vega+ from our first production run. With its 1,000 licensed games built-in, the Vega+ represents a huge saving over what it would have cost to buy the original Sinclair Spectrum together with 1,000 of the original Spectrum games. That would have cost you thousands of pounds back in the 1980s, but is now available for a tiny fraction of that amount.

There is also a range of other exciting perks, including: signed limited edition concept art originals and Spectrum computers signed by Rick Dickinson, copies of the book about the creation of the Vega+, and an invite to the Vega+ launch party and factory tour at the SMS Electronics factory where you can meet some of the team.

 In addition, all supporters who have pledged £10 or more will have their names added to the “Digital Role of Honour” which will be embedded into the memory of the Vega+ , displayed on our web site (unless you choose to be anonymous) and can be displayed on the LCD or TV when using your Vega+.

Current Status 

The development of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ is complete, and we have a fully working prototype waiting to go into production in the UK. Production and shipping of the first Vega+ games consoles are planned for late summer 2016.  Given the chance, and with encouragement from all our supporters, we will reach our funding goal quickly and perhaps be able to improve on this delivery date. 

Inspiration for the Sinclair Spectrum Vega+

Sir Clive Sinclair says: “The present surge of interest in retro products inspired me to plan the Vega+ as a handy games console which can be played anywhere.”

The Vega+ is a culmination of many years of work and perseverance by our team, who have come together to create something special that resonates with those who grew up inspired by the original Sinclair Spectrum. As well as being accessible to today’s gamers who are looking for some nostalgic game play, the Vega+ delivers the ease of use of modern technology at an incredibly low price. For enthusiasts who would like to know more about the project you can pledge to receive, as one of the perks, the new edition of our book “ Creating The Sinclair ZX Vega and Vega+ ”  which has been written by Sir Clive and the rest of our team, about our journey to create the Vega+ and its forerunner, the ZX Vega. 

Sir Clive Sinclair talks to David Levy about the original Spectrum –


Development of the Vega+

The Vega+ technology has been designed and developed by a team led by Chris Smith, who is the world’s leading expert on the technology behind the Sinclair ZX Spectrum range of computers.

The concept design of the case is by Rick Dickinson, who also designed the Sinclair ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum and QL computers.


Features of the Vega+

The Vega+ is very simple to operate. Just switch on and start to play, either on the built-in colour LCD or plug in a suitable cable and connect it to your TV (PAL or NTSC). The 1,000 licensed games are easily accessed through a menu based system and load immediately and automatically, taking you directly into the game play mode. When you wish to play another game, simply press the reset button and this takes you back to the main menu. Nothing could be simpler.

About us – The four partners in Retro Computers Ltd

Sir Clive Sinclair – is one of the most famous British born inventors of all time. His first invention was when he was still at school – he designed a one-man submarine when he was only 12. He launched his first mass-market consumer product in 1962. An expert at miniaturization, Sir Clive has brought to market more than 100 highly innovative consumer products through various companies such as Sinclair Radionics and Sinclair Research. Examples of his famous products include the world’s first pocket television in 1966, the world’s first pocket calculator in 1972, and of course the Spectrum – what was the UK’s best-selling home computer of all time in 1982.

Chris Smith – is a former ZX Spectrum games developer who is the world’s leading expert on Sinclair Spectrum technology. Chris is also the author of the definitive technical book “The ZX Spectrum ULA: How to design a microcomputer”.

Dr David Levy – is a British International Master of chess who is noted for his involvement with both computer chess and artificial intelligence. He is President of the International Computer Games Association and the founder of the Computer Olympiads as well as the Mind Sports Olympiads. David has also written more than 50 books on computer games, A.I., and robotics. He is not only interested in computers and games, he also adores cats.

Paul Andrews – Is a producer and businessman who has worked extensively within the media industry, including games development companies and book publishing and distribution. He has been involved with retro computer games for many years, as well as with mobile phone and console games.

Manufacture of the Sinclair Spectrum Vega+

We already have fully functioning prototypes of the Vega+. You can see a game running on a Vega+ here –

We have selected an outstanding UK company for manufacturing the Vega+ , SMS Electronics Ltd of Nottinghamshire. Following our initial production run for those of you who choose a Vega+ perk in this campaign, we plan to increase production steadily. Everyone who has pledged will receive update emails over the next few months, telling them about our progress through the various stages of manufacture. Your funding will help us to make the launch of the Vega+ a reality, and your continued interest in our progress will be rewarded by randomly timed opportunities to receive free bonus perks such as an invite to the launch party and a tour of the factory to see the Vega + assembly line in action for some lucky backers!

All those who have pledged and selected the Vega+ as one of their perks will receive theirs from the first production run. Subsequently our initial sales will be via our web site and various on-line retailers such as Amazon, and through marketing arrangements with High Street distributors and retailers in the UK, USA and elsewhere.

As a special once-only limited edition offer we will be manufacturing a number of units with three different coloured bases: red, white and blue, in addition to the regular black base.  These coloured versions are only available through this Indiegogo campaign, and will never again be made after the campaign closes. We will build the exact number of each colour, according to how many of you choose of these limited edition versions.


Delivering the Vega 

All pledgers of £100 or more in support who chose a Vega+ perk, will receive their  Vega+ from the first production run.

Risks and Challenges

We have worked very hard to minimize the risks and challenges to this project. We have contracted with Sky In-Home Service Ltd to ensure the correct hardware permissions are in place. We have permissions from the software rights holders to incorporate their games. Members of our team have many years of experience in creating, developing, and selling electronic products, as well as experience in publishing and retail sales.

In the very unlikely event that we do not raise sufficient funding to commence manufacture of the Vega+, all the pledged money we receive will be returned to the backer. Minor details of the Vega+ may vary in the final delivered model.



Contact Information:

Retro Computers

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