The Commodore 65 was a planned upgrade for the famous and successful Commodore 64 from Commodore. There are only a few machines around because it never actually reached the production phase.

It featured:

  • a 65CE02 CPU with 3Mhz clock,
  • an integrated disk drive,
  • 128k integrated RAM that could be expanded up to 8M (and please note it was still a basically 6502-based 8-bit machine!)
  • 128k ROM
  • a special VIC-III graphics chip that could deliver all standard C64 video modes plus added bitplane resolutions up to 1280x400,
  • a memory/video copy blitter chip,
  • double SID chips for full stereo sound.
The project was cancelled in 1991. It was meant to be some kind of a super Commodore 64, offering a C64 "compatibility" mode so that it could leverage on the existing base of already developed C64 software, plus a native mode making full use of the added hardware. The problem was that C64 software was heavily related to the hardware, so that even very little incompatibilities or slight differences in timing could break existing software (mostly video-timing-bound games). This is probably why the project was cancelled, and only a few development units are left of this strange computer.

A preview of this machine appeared on Zzap! in December 1991

Jope adds (and I agree with him): "Another reason why the C-65 was canned was, because the Amiga was becoming popular at the time and management saw that there was going to be overlaps in their product portfolio".