Indiegogo Calls Time On The ZX Vega

It has been an exciting time to be a retro computer enthusiast in recent years, and the availability of affordable single board computers, systems-on-chip, and FPGAs have meant that retro hardware could be accurately reproduced or emulated. A host of classic micros have been reborn, to delight both the veterans who had the originals, and a new crop of devotees.

Today we have news of the impending demise of one of the higher-profile projects. The ZX Vega+ is a handheld Sinclair Spectrum console bearing the Sinclair name that came with an impeccable pedigree in that it had the support of the man himself. It seemed like a good proposition on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, and when it made its debut there in early 2016 it attracted over half a million pounds worth of backing in short order. Things soon went sour though, with reports of a falling-out within Retro Computers, followed by multiple missed deadlines and promises undelivered over the last couple of years. With little sign of either the money or the console itself, it seems Indiegogo have now lost patience and will be sending in the debt collectors to recover what they can. Whether the backers will see any of their money is unclear.

It’s fair to say that the ZX Vega saga has been a tortuous and rather sordid one, out of which few players emerge smelling of roses. In a way though it is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the 8-bit era, as the period from the late 1970s onwards was littered with the financially bare corpses of dubiously run companies in the home computer industry. Meanwhile if you are hankering for a Vega it should be easy enough to create one for yourself, as Retro Computers Ltd admitted that under its skin was a copy of the FUSE software emulator. We suspect that most Hackaday readers could take a Raspberry Pi and a suitable LCD, pair them with a 3D-printed case and an 18650 cell, and be playing Manic Miner in no time. Far simpler than this convoluted Spectrum project!

15 thoughts on “Indiegogo Calls Time On The ZX Vega

    1. Dont even need the hack skills, there are one-click programs out for the PSP/PS-VITA/PS3 that do it all for you, how ever if you do want to stretch your hacking skills into un-discovered country why not look at which uses the tegra’s alt boot mode (something i covered in my acer iconia 10″ thread on XDA) , currently it’s a new scene and new things are being found all the time. And for really retro I would love to see a speccy emulator running on the CP2 boards now they can desuicide them , home brew for Original arcade machines FTW.

    2. What a waste of a psp, the psp is pmuch a ps2, while the pi can hardly play ps1.
      Your better off flashing custom firmware and getting some emulators for that :)

      1. 333 mhz, if the software is setup to clock the cpu that fast (unless you set it, the cpu defaults to 166mhz) and 32 megs of ram vs a pi, I would take the pi

        even with cfw the psp struggles with later 16 bit games via emulation

  1. Much-hyped kickstarted for extremly ambitious electronics project fails to deliver on time, shady finances and refund requests ignored – more at 11, after this piece on “bear shit found in woods”.

  2. £512,790 converts to about $US 688,000 in today’s funny money. It was probably somewhere north of three-quarters of a million dollars back then.
    You British suffer from the exact same malady we yanks do–no will, no spine when it comes to swift justice for con artists and thieves.

    1. They don’t, they never have. Once they’ve got their slice of the pie the backers are on their own.
      Just look at the comments on the Vega+ scampaign, backers complaining to IGG that RCL are ignoring their refund requests… and IGG just reply with “please contact the campaign owners to resolve your issue”.
      FFS, that shows how little they’re prepared to do for backers. “ask them again”.

      And when they don’t get anywhere with this they ask IGG on Twitter, only to find IGG have blocked them.
      All IGG are doing now is a bit of lip service to make it look like they’re doing something.

      IGG have a reputation for as the place for crowdfunding ideas that are too scammy even for Kickstarter, they really need to start doing something other than just saying “meh, we’re just a facilitator, we’ve got our cut, tough titties” otherwise their reputation is just gonna sink even lower with this RCL farce.

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