ZX Spectrum Next - A new era for the Speccy? (Big Feature!)

ZX Spectrum Next.... Ooh, if I wasn't already married..
'Another Spectrum?' I hear you say? Is there such a thing as too many Spectrums? In my book no, and I'm guessing that's the same for most other Speccy fans too. Of course, recently we've had the Vega and the 'recreated' ZX Spectrum along with the upcoming arrival of the Vega+ though, these were not real Speccies. When I say not real, I of course mean that these were not actual computers you could use or program, just a handheld console and a Bluetooth keyboard (yes, that's all it is!). Whilst I do have a fondness for the Vega (see my recent review), the Bluetooth keyboard seemed to me to be an empty shell, masquerading as a Spectrum. You'll have to do better than that to fool me, Elite!

Ooh, nice rear. Fnar!
With the recent announcement of 'The 64' project, it would seem that the Speccy community were slightly, umm, I hate say it but, jealous, I guess (don't hurt me!) as the specs quoted were exactly what Speccy fans wanted when the first Vega was mooted, but in a Speccy version obviously. Why can't we have a full keyboard on an actual computer, HDMI output, support for peripherals etc.? Well, it turns out someone was listening. Well, a few people were listening, namely Victor Trucco, Fabio Belavenuto, Henrique Olifers who have also got original Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson on board. Wow! Based in Brazil, the developers have been teasing us with pictures for a couple of months now and as you can see from the pictures, it looks very classy indeed. Rick Dickinson has still got it!

Nice bottom. Fnar!
So, what exactly do we have here with the ZX Spectrum Next? Well, since it's announcement at Play Blackpool, there has been much excitement as this seems to be what we all wanted when, as previously mentioned, the Vega was first announced. We get the full Speccy keyboard, HDMI output, but with more memory along with enough ports to plug in all your peripherals. Wow! On top of this, it will also feature the option to switch between different Speccy models 16K, 48K, 128K, +2, +3 etc., and will even offer the option of emulating different clones of the Speccy that are found in various countries. VERY exciting stuff, indeed!
Take my money!

In brief, the specs look like this;

SD Card slot

512kb RAM

Mic and Ear ports for tape loading and saving

Multiface support

PS/2 port

Kempston and external keyboard support.

HDMI on a Speccy. Never thought I'd see the day!
Other additional features include expanded video modes and colours along with the ability to switch between AY sound and FM sound. For those of you not aware of FM sound (myself included, until I read into it!) here is a sample of sound that the Next will be able to produce;

Oh my. Well, hello there!
Before we get too excited, the Next is of course in it's very early stages and the pictures in this article (taken from the official Spectrum Next Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/237301699960491/) are created for illustration purposes only. That said, I think it looks stunning. Similar to the original 128K model (the affectionately name 'Toastrack') though with some added class. That glossy finish, the Spectrum rainbow modified into the form of those four coloured stripes - beautiful. The keyboard - though looks similar to the original spectrum keys, the people behind the Next confirm that the membrane resembles that of which you would find a modern laptop so typing will be a breeze.

A white Speccy? What will they think of Next?

The project as mentioned, is still in it's infancy and we are still waiting for a date for the crowdfunding to be announced whilst various aspects of the machine are still being tested and ironed out, though all I can say is, I can't wait to see this machine up and running! If you look below, you will see the official website where you will find full details of the Next including a recent FAQ's section where many of the questions that have been asked get answered by the developers of the machine.


If, like me, you just want to see some Next action, look no further than here!

Ooh, naked Speccy Next....you dirty thing!

I may be repeating myself by saying how excited I am about this.... but I don't care! This is a simply an amazing prospect. Extra memory, the ability to load and save from tape, every edition of the Speccy available at your fingertips, stunning looks, I could go on but then I think the repetition may well be a bit too much!

I hope all you Speccy fans are as excited about this as I am, I'm sure you are and you can be sure as soon as any more development happens, we'll let you know about it!

Did I mention how excited I am about this?

Article by : @florinthedwarf

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