Commodore MAX Machine

The Commodore MAX, also known as Ultimax in the U.S. and VC10 in Germany, was a computer that was designed and sold by Commodore International in Japan. In early 1982, he was a predecessor of the popular C64.

The unit had a membrane keyboard and had 4.0 kb of RAM and 0.5 kB color memory (1024 * 4bit ). The processor was a MOS Technology 6510 with 1:02 MHz. A television set was used for the display. The software was exclusively loaded by plug-in modules. The MAX itself had no ROM. Chipset and CPU ( 6510 ) corresponded to the C64, and MAX plug-in modules also work in C64. As an external memory a Datasette could be used. Connections for a floppy disk drive, a printer or a modem were not available. When programming the plug-in modules MAX BASIC ( 2047 bytes free and with LOAD and SAVE commands) and MINI BASIC ( 510 bytes free and no LOAD and SAVE commands) were offered.

The calculator should be sold for $ 200 U.S. dollars.

The MAX had better graphics and sound capabilities ( MOS Technology SID) as the available for about the same price Commodore VIC-20, but the latter was better expandable, had a much larger range of software and a better keyboard. Therefore, the MAX did not sell well, and the production was stopped quickly.

Although the C64 manual mentions the MAX name and indicates that Commodore intended to sell it internationally, but it is unclear whether it was ever sold outside of Japan. Also German magazine advertisements were connected as announcements for the device, called as sales start October 1982. Ultimately the device in Germany but was never sold. Today it is considered a rarity.


For the Max following titles were published:

  • Avengers
  • Billiards
  • Bowling
  • Clowns
  • Gorf
  • Kickman
  • Min Basic I ( do not run on the C64 )
  • Max Basic (not running on the C64)
  • Mole Attack
  • Money Wars
  • Music Composer
  • Omega Race
  • Radar Rat Race
  • Road Race
  • Slalom
  • Super Alien
  • Wizard of Wor

The software module that came out of this computer was also run on the C64. When the C64 that goes into Ultimax mode if such a module is inserted. The change caused some changes in the memory layout.