Standard emulation is one way to enjoy your favourite old systems, but throw it all into a virtual reality system and suddenly you’re back in the past. That’s the idea for this Commodore 64 emulator that runs in a VR environment on Android with an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset.
Essentially, the VICE64 emulation software runs in a virtual environment, one designed to faithfully resemble a breadbin C64 and 1541 floppy drive. To run this you’ll need a suitable Android device and Oculus Quest, and have a choice of sideloading over ADB or installing from SideQuest.
While the emulator requires a physical game controller, everything else is virtual:
- Point and index-click to grab disks, insert disks into drive & press certain buttons on the keyboard
- Press back to switch viewpoint
- Turn a disk 180 degrees before inserting into the drive to access the B side
- Press F1 to boot disk in drive (top right button on keyboard)
- Press the power button on the monitor to reset
- Connect a real keyboard to type real text, or a gamepad to play games
As yet there is no PC version of this for the Oculus Rift or any other desktop VR system, although it seems this is on the roadmap (watch the video to the end to learn more). Could this save money on seeking out and buying physical retro hardware? We doubt it, but this is a great project that is drawing some attention.
Learn more about this virtual Commodore 64 emulator by visiting the VRC64 project page on GitHub.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.