It has come to our attention that C64 USB sticks of Commodore 64 games, complete with “TheC64” label, are available to buy on AliExpress and eBay.
It should go without saying that these should be avoided.
Boasting over 5000 games, these devices are typically described as “USB Stick Adapter For C64 Mini Retro Game Console” and require you to update The64 or TheC64 mini before inserting the USB stick and seeing the new additions to the carousel. (Note that they differ from the officially licensed “TheC64” blank USB sticks in that they’re full of games and the licensed sticks are, well, blank.)
You may well think that having 5000+ games sounds great, but of course, it’s not. Here is a brief but compelling list why you should not use a C64 USB fully loaded ROM device from Alibaba:
- You’re getting a sub-quality USB stick (generic Chinese brand rather than, say, SanDisk)
- The games have been downloaded illegally
- Potential for malware on the C64 USB sticks is high
- If you don’t already own the games, you’re breaching copyright
- This is basically piracy
So, what should you do? Well, instead of a C64 USB stick of games, take the time to find the titles you own already and download those ROMs from the usual resources. If that sounds a bit “goody-two-shoes” for you and there is no realistic way that you could have ever owned the old C64 games you want to play, then at least curate your own collection, legally or otherwise.
But don’t give these scammers – selling other people’s intellectual property without license or payment – a single penny of your hard-earned cash.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.