ZX Vega+ News

(Unauthorised and Unofficial)

Vega+ Shipping Dates

  • End of September 2016
  • October 2016
  • In time for Xmas 2016
  • February 2017
  • A "few weeks" from March 10th 2017
  • Summer 2017
  • 8 weeks from August 9th (October 4th, 2017)
  • Mid October 2017
  • April 2018
  • May 8th - 12th 2018
  • May 12th 2018
  • May 31st 2018 (Indiegogo deadline)
  • June 15th 2018
  • July 6th 2018

World of Spectrum

Searchable threads in one long post:

All 2016

Jump to latest blog entrytop

Sunday 3rd January, 2016

Chris Smith takes various photos and videos of his prototype Vega+, and also records a full boot-up video.


Monday 15th February, 2016

The Vega+ Indiegogo campaign opens, hoping to raise £100,000 to manufacture the first 2,500 units in the UK from a complete development of the Vega+:

Retro Computers Ltd

Our Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the first 2,500 or more units of the Vega+  in the UK, and to prepare us for the second production run.

Current Status

The development of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ is complete, and we have a fully working prototype waiting to go into production in the UK. Production and shipping of the first Vega+ games consoles are planned for late summer 2016. Given the chance, and with encouragement from all our supporters, we will reach our funding goal quickly and perhaps be able to improve on this delivery date.

— Retro Computers Ltd

Campaign goal and status

Sunday 27th March, 2016

The Vega+ Indiegogo campaign closes, having raised £366,655 (367% of the product’s goal).


Friday 8th April, 2016

Directors Paul Andrews and Chris Smith resign from Retro Computers Ltd.


Saturday 9th April, 2016

Lady Angie Sinclair resigns as a director from Sinclair Research Ltd.


Wednesday 13th April, 2016

Retro Computing News reports that Paul Andrews and Chris Smift have left.

Andrews UK sends a notice out to games rights owners informing them to contact RCL for payments and questions.


Friday 15th April, 2016

RCL post an update on Indiegogo, stating that Janko Mrsic-Flogel and Suzanne Martin are joining the company:

Retro Computers Ltd

Retro computers Limited are delighted to announce two outstanding additions to our company's management team, with immediate effect: Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel and Suzanne Martin.

With the additional expertise and energy that these two will be bringing to the company, Retro Computers Ltd will be moving rapidly forward to put the Vega+ games console into production.

— Retro Computers

Tuesday 19th April, 2016

Janko Mrsic-Flogel and Suzanne Martin illegally appear as directors for Retro Computers Ltd on Companies House. The shareholders agreement states that 75% of shareholders must agree before appointing new directors, but half of the directors (Paul Andrews and Chris Smith) never agree to this.


Friday 22nd April, 2016

RCL post an update on Indiegogo:

Retro Computers Ltd

Four Weeks after Mammoth Crowdfunding Campaign Sir Clive Sinclair’s Second Crowdfunded Project – The Vega+ Pushes the Button on UK Production

Dr David Levy, Chairman of Retro Computers Ltd, said: "All of us at Retro Computers Ltd are absolutely over the moon at the great response we've received to our latest Indiegogo campaign and the turn around time. It proves that Sir Clive's Spectrum computer is very much alive and well in its latest incarnation”

Craig Taylor, Finance Director, SMS Ltd said, “We are delighted to be working with Retro Computers Ltd on the Vega+ following the success of the Vega last year. We look forward to working with Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel and the team to develop this exciting new product. This continued partnership will see the Vega+, like the Vega, designed and manufactured in the UK – reflecting Sir Clive Sinclair’s policy of British companies bringing his products to market. This is a great boost for UK manufacturing.”

Chairman, Dr David Levy said "We are delighted to be working with SMS Electronics Ltd once again, to bring the Vega+ games console to the market with the same high quality production as SMS deliver for the original Vega product. We have found SMS to be very supportive of our products and our company's longer term goals, and they take the manufacturing headaches on their own shoulders, which makes our own lives so much easier."

The Vega+ hand held games console is the second retro product from London-based start-up Retro Computers Ltd.

Retro computers Limited are also delighted to announce two outstanding additions to the company's board, with immediate effect: Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel and Suzanne Martin.

With the additional expertise and energy that these two will be bringing to the company, Retro Computers Ltd will be moving rapidly forward to put the Vega+ games console into production.

— Retro Computers Ltd

Monday 25th April, 2016

Lee Fogarty (director of Creative Spectrum) posts a reply on World of Spectrum, claiming that manufacturing is full steam ahead (and if you are blocked from viewing, try this archived post).

Lee Fogarty claims manufacturing is full steam ahead
And when another member highlights problems, Lee Fogarty again re-iterates there's no problem:

Lee Fogarty again says there is no problem, manufacturing is full steam ahead

Wednesday 27th April, 2016

Lee Fogarty posts on World of Spectrum, confirming that the Vega+ is in production (and if you are blocked from viewing, try this archived post).

Lee Fogarty confirms the Vega+ is in production

Tuesday 24th May, 2016

The former directors Chris Smith and Paul Andrews are given a bank statement for the month after they left showing that within a period of nine days (16 to 24 May 2016) consultancy fees of £42,056.40 were paid to Mr Levy, £10,000 to Sir Clive Sinclair, £12,000 to Mr Mrsic-Flogel, plus £1,176.68 to Ms Martin. So in just 9 days, a total of £65,233.08 was paid out.


June 2016

RCL post the following message to re-assure backers that everything is going well for the September delivery:

"We delivered last year, and we will deliver in September as promised to you and 3500 happy customers, and we plan on keeping them that way. We are sorry we haven't updated you, but that is because we are busy working with Rik Dickinson and in fact we are further ahead than we were at this point last year. We have a great team of programmers, and they are doing a cracking job. And the best bit of news - we have some new games - ones that we didn't have last time."

We will deliver in September and are further ahead

Tuesday 21st June, 2016

MCV (the Market for Computer and Video Games) publish a statement from Chris and Paul. The article is called Chris Smith and Paul Andrews step down from Retro Computers and confirms the pair stepped down from the firm due to "irreconcilable differences" between them and the last remaining director, David Levy.


Wednesday 13th July, 2016

George Cropper releases the ZX Vega+ Scandal video on Youtube, suggesting the project is heading into troubled waters and that backers should start applying for refunds.

Cornerstone Media International posts the following on Twitter:

Cornerstone Media International Ltd the Company behind the national sales release of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega would like to confirm that the contract between itself, and Retro Computers Limited the company behind the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Vega Plus has been terminated. Cornerstone Media became aware of issues and disputes within Retro Computers Ltd original management structure, and the subsequent on-going legal disputes between the various parties including the ownership of the IP on both the Vega and Vega Plus. Due to terms in the contractual agreement between Cornerstone Media, and Retro Computers Ltd, Cornerstone had no alternative but to suspend sales until the matter had been resolved and the console remains unavailable, unfortunately Retro Computers Ltd, decided that this course of action was not warranted and breeched its contractual agreement with Cornerstone Media International Ltd. Cornerstone would like to confirm that at no point has it had any financial dealings with the crowd funding monies raised, or paid to Retro Computers, or subsequent press releases by said company Cornerstone Media due to legal reasons, are unable to comment further on this matter currently, and any dispute, questions or matters relating to the Vega, Vega Plus console, IP, Crowd funding monies paid or anything else will need to be made directly to Retro Computers Ltd. and its directors or Solicitors.

Suzanne Martin - Managing Director

— Cornerstone Media

Cornerstone Media International suspend sales of the Vega

In response, Suzanne Martin issues the following statement (archived backup):

Convicted criminal and fraudster Suzanne Martin

Following advice from our legal and financial advisors Retro Computers Limited terminated it’s contract with Cornerstone Media International Limited more than two months ago. We would not normally comment on such matters but following the factually inaccurate statement that appears to have been released today by Cornerstone International Limited and it’s principle Mr Nick Cooper we seek to clarify the misinformation. We cannot comment further on the factual inaccuracies as Retro Computers Limited are currently taking legal action against Cornerstone Media International Limited and this matter has been in the hands of our solicitors for sometime.

Retro Computers Limited 13th July, 2016

— Suzanne Martin

Thursday 14th July, 2016

Retro Computers Ltd release a statement (credited to Lee Fogarty) claiming new features will be added to the Vega+ including a brighter screen:

Retro Computers Ltd

New Features Added to Vega+ Spec Including Play and Keep Function

Retro Computers Ltd has today confirmed that the company’s development team will be delivering a number of important new features for the Vega+ games console, which is in the advanced stages of software development on the hardware produced by SMS Electronics Ltd. There is a much improved virtual keyboard (see attached photo). Other significant new features and improvements include the ability for users to store a video of their game play and download it to the micro-SD card from where it can be sent to friends. The screen image on the Vega+ is also significantly brighter than on the company’s original Vega product, as can be seen from the image.

– Improved display brightness
– On-screen menu with virtual keyboard support
– Improved game start-up speed

Dr David Levy, Chairman of Retro Computers Ltd, says: “While developing our own software to supersede that of the original Vega product, we have taken a “clean sheet” approach and are introducing several new features prompted by user feedback and product reviews of the Vega. We feel very confident that our new software will be even better received by consumers. We will be announcing more new features from time to time between now and when we launch the Vega+.”

PS We know there is a crack in the screen – but that is how tough our testing is….

— Retro Computers Ltd

David Levy claims crack in screen is due to toughness of testing

August 2016

A backer asks for something of substance from RCL:

"With under a month to go to shipping the 1st units you must have something of substance to show us by now! If you are, as you say "are further ahead than we were at this stage last summer". Don't get me wrong I think this will be a great product and clearly so do a few thousand others, but all you have is a prototype with a cracked screen and some painted buttons?"

RCL re-assure everyone that shipping is still on track for September:

"We are due to ship mid to late September. Next week we will be at Games Con and will have something to show then."

We will be at Games Con 2016

Later on during the month when RCL are called up on not being at Games Con, RCL say: "We are sorry that you misunderstood or misinterpreted our comment that we will be at Gamescon to mean that we would have our own stand."

You misinterpreted us having a stand at Games Con 2016

Tuesday 2nd August, 2016

RCL announce a Vega+ Game Coding Competition, "designed particularly to stimulate the growing interest in coding amongst the current generation of schoolchildren, and thereby to create a similarly enthusiastic generation of coders for the UK in the coming years." There are 2 age categories (under 16 plus an open section) with prizes offered in both categories and "the best games will be available for free download for owners of the ZX Vega+ and its predecessor the ZX Vega". RCL promise that "the software utilities necessary to create games for the Vega+ (and the Vega) will be available from the Retro Computers Ltd web site at the beginning of September, together with full rules for the competition."


Monday 8th August, 2016

RCL tweet that "We are in production and very happy to be..."

We are in production

Tuesday 9th August, 2016

Dr David Levy, Chairman of Retro Computers Limited issues a statement on the RCL website claiming that RCL are investigating financial irregularities and that RCL are pursuing legal proceedings to recover funds.

(This statement turns out to be completely untrue, as the BBC will later investigate and find no proof of any of these claims. The statement is later deleted from the RCL website, but the original post has been archived).


Wednesday 10th August, 2016

Chris Merriman posts an article on The Register called Specwars: Accusations fly as the world of retro ZX Spectrum gaming gets ugly. Highlights of the article:

  • "Former directors from Retro Computers Ltd distance themselves from [the] company they founded." Well, as you can imagine, we love a tasty bit of industry goss. We discovered that Paul Andrews and Chris Smith, the founders of the company that brought us the ZX Spectrum Vega, one of two recreations of the seminal 1980s home computer the ZX Spectrum that were in high demand last Christmas, actually left the company in April.
  • So why were they telling us now? Apparently, it is because they had been repeatedly asked about the timescales and progress of the forthcoming Spectrum Vega+ and had not received the information they needed to give an informed answer.
  • The statement said: "As a result of enquiries received and their concern for the backers of the project, several weeks ago Smith and Andrews (via their solicitors) posed multiple questions to the current directors of Retro Computers Ltd (through their solicitors), including as to the status of the proposed Vega+ project (preparation, software, production, time scales, etc) and the financial resources of the company to meet the expected costs of development and production, and so on.
  • "Sadly Retro Computers Ltd has failed to respond at all to these requests (or indeed to earlier similar requests) and have not provided any information or answers to Andrews and Smith.
  • "Andrews and Smith therefore feel they have no choice but to publicly distance themselves from Retro Computers Ltd, and make it very clear that, as they have no knowledge, control or say in anything that has happened in the company since they resigned on 8th of April 2016, they are unable to answer any questions relating to the company or its projects."
  • And, in fact, shortly after we went to press, Andrews and Smith released a follow-up statement entitled 'A Request for Openness from the Directors'. This refers to a number of "factual inaccuracies" in the statement from Retro Computing which they believed served to "deflect focus from our key message".

Thursday 25th August, 2016

RCL announce the "bar of soap" update with "Rick Dickinson Designed Vega+ Model Images Revealed For The First Time".

Bar of soap life sized model

Thursday 1st September, 2016

The software utilities promised for the Vega+ Game Coding Competition fail to materialise.

Lee Fogarty tells George Cropper "they are still on track for shipping to backers end of sept"

Lee Fogarty confirms they are on track for shipping September

Friday 2nd September, 2016

Confirmed reports that the BBC remove the lies from David Levy that legal action in progress to recover funds from Paul and Chris, as BBC investigated and no proof of these lies/claims are offered by Levy or RCL.


Monday 26th September, 2016

RCL release a small promo video of the Vega+ prototype and announce the launch date has moved to the 20th of October, 2016:

Retro Computers Ltd

Only Six Months After record-breaking crowd-funding campaign Sir Clive Sinclair backed ZX Vega+ announces Launch Date

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ to give it it’s full name, comes complete with 1,000 licensed games built-in and is currently available via the InDemand phase on Indiegogo, will launch on the 20th October.

A launch event, for selected backers, supporters and media is planned to take place at SMS Electronics, in Beeston Nottinghamshire. SMS are the manufacturer of both the original Vega and the new Vega+ products, on behalf of Retro Computers Limited. Andrew Maddock, CEO of SMS Electronics Ltd said “We are excited that the project is going ahead and will soon be in volume manufacture.”

The team behind the hugely successful Vega+ also plan to launch on selected online retail sites in time for Christmas 2016 and will soon be announcing their new sales and marketing partner who won the account after a lengthy 4-way selection process.

Sir Clive Sinclair and the team at Retro Computers raised £366,655, which was 367% of their original campaign target, in 40 days, making this one of the most successful Indiegogo Campaigns of all time.

Dr David Levy, Chairman of Retro Computers Ltd, said: “For the past five months our company’s new management team has spared no effort to bring the Vega+ into production under very difficult circumstances, and to secure Vega+ a sales and marketing agreement with a substantial company in the consumer electronics field. We are very confident that with the manufacturing strengths of SMS and the worldwide reach of our new sales and marketing partners, the Vega+ will be a huge and long-lived success.”

Contributors can still pledge to secure a classic black Vega+ now that the Indiegogo campaign is in the InDemand Phase. The limited edition versions – with bases available in red, white or blue – are now no longer available.

The Vega+ is based on his hugely successful Spectrum products of the early 1980s. The Vega+ is the only games console that exists with 1,000 licensed games already included and with an LCD for you to use on the go. This launch follows the huge public and media support for the initial Vega product last year and is the next step in the evolution of the Vega.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ to give it its full name takes advantage of major advances in technology to achieve significant cost savings by replacing most of the electronics in Sir Clive’s earlier computer products. Instead, the Vega+ uses a low-cost micro-controller and some innovative software to enable the Vega+ to run all of the games, 14,000 or more of them, developed during the years when some 5 million of the original Sinclair Spectrum were sold. A full technical spec is available via the company's website www.retro-computers.co.uk

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ is marketed by Retro Computers Ltd, the London-based start-up in which Sir Clive’s company Sinclair Research Ltd is a shareholder and director.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ is as simple to use as any of the popular games consoles, but far less expensive. It has a colour LCD so the user can play it anywhere. Additionally, it can be connected to a TV so the user does not need a computer monitor, and it comes complete with 1,000 licensed games built-in.

Dr David Levy, the company¹s Chairman, is President of the International Computer Games Association and has been responsible for the development of more than 100 consumer electronic products since the late 1970s.

Sir Clive Sinclair says that the success of the original Spectrum was because: “it was adaptable, approachable, very easy to program, and simple to use”. Of the Vega+ Sir Clive says: “The present surge of interest in retro products inspired me to plan the Vega+ as a handy games console which can be played anywhere.”

Released by and for more information, images, footage or interviews please contact:

Suzanne Martin 07971 300326 or Suzanne@suzannemartin.com

— Retro Computers Ltd

RCL extends launch date out to October 20th 2016

Tuesday 27th September, 2016

Chris Merrimen aka ChrisTheDJ posts an article on The Inquirer called ZX Spectrum Vega+ defies naysayers with confirmed launch date. and a sub heading Game over for the haters. Lowlights from this incredible work of fiction:

  • Retro Computers has confirmed that the much anticipated ZX Spectrum Vega+ handheld console will arrive on 24 October.
  • SMS Electronics has confirmed that it is all systems go for the launch. Andrew Maddock, CEO, said: "We are excited that the project is going ahead and will soon be in volume manufacture."
  • As it is, the device, with its 1,000 preloaded ZX Spectrum games, will launch just three weeks after the end of September estimate, which is an acceptable margin of error in anyone's books.
  • Mr David Levy said "We are very confident that with the manufacturing strengths of SMS and the worldwide reach of our new sales and marketing partners, the Vega+ will be a huge and long-lived success."
  • Online retailers should also have the product in time for Christmas, although it was always going to be too late for bricks and mortar retailers.
  • The Retro Computers team is able to give out an almighty 'told you so' as its handheld launches in just three weeks' time.

Friday 30th September, 2016

The September shipping date is officially missed.


Saturday 1st October, 2016

Lee Fogarty posts saying that the Vega+ is now going into manufacturing:

Lying Lee Fogarty

"Busy few months ahead. Vega+ moved from production to manufacturing, new software to be released in the new year, and some funky new clients on board! So I take a night off lol"

— Lee Fogarty

Lee Fogarty Vega+ moved from production to manufacturing

Tuesday 11th October, 2016

Lee Fogarty posts the final date available for having your name added to the honour roll. RCL also confirm that they plan to have the Vega+ in online retail stores in time for Christmas. Highlights from the post:

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ to give our product its full name, comes complete with 1,000 licensed games built-in and is currently available via the InDemand phase on Indiegogo, will launch on the 20th October. Shortly before that, on the 19th October, the Roll of Honour will be frozen, and you will no longer be able to pledge to have your name or the name of a loved one permanently etched in retro computer gaming history. You will still be able to purchase a Vega+ via the IndieGoGo InDemand phase, but from the 19th October onwards we will no longer be adding names of backers to the list.

The team behind the hugely successful Vega+ also plan to launch on selected online retail sites in time for Christmas 2016 and will soon be announcing their new sales and marketing partner who won the account after a lengthy 4-way selection process.


Saturday 15th October, 2016

The campaign receives "Arrow certification":

Arrow certification

On the World of Spectrum forums, a member asks who is in charge of the the World of Spectrum twitter account that has been posting abuse. Richard Chandler confirms that Lee Fogarty is in charge of the account. (A full backup of the Don't Panic thread is online).

Lee has sole responsibility...

— Richard Chandler

Lee Fogarty has sole responsibility of the World of Spectrum twitter account

Wednesday 19th October, 2016

Mark Greenshields had generously donated the royalties for the game Kick Off to charity. David Levy emails Mark Greenshields claiming that RCL have already paid the royalty for the game KickOff to Great Ormond Street Hospital:

Beige jacketed cloud headed fraudster David Levy

We have removed the game KickOff from the Vega+ collection.
We have paid the royalty for that game to GOSH.
Please do not contact us again.

— David Levy

David Levy lies about paying the Kick Off royalty to GOSH

Solicitors Teacher Stern also email to back up the story. Clare Toomer writes:

Royalties in relation to Kick Off have been paid.
We ask that you direct any future queries as to royalties / any other operational matters etc to the Company directly.
Yours faithfully
Teacher Stern LLP

— Clare Toomer (Solicitor)

Solicitors Teacher Stern lie about the Kick Off royalty payment to GOSH

Thursday 20th October, 2016

Launch party. People that attended had to sign a non disclosure agreement, and many people that paid for this perk were not invited.

Launch party

RCL release (and later delete) the following update:

Retro Computers Ltd

Well what a day - we've had a manic week and yes today IS our launch day for the much anticipated Spectrum Vega - we've posted twice already today and for some strange reason none of our posts made it. We don't know why or what happened - but we're trying one more time - so fingers crossed we are third time lucky. Here we go!! Today IS our big day and we cannot believe we had computer issues today of all days, we have to see the irony in this. We have a few of our brand new consoles with some specially chosen celebrities, not least the very lovely Dermot O'Leary who was a huge fan of the original Spectrum, and we're hoping he likes his new one (with his name on) just as much. Re the practicalities many of you have been posting and messaging about, we will be contacting backers directly about the delivery schedule, so please hang fire for that. If you are a backer, please make sure your address is up to date and accurate. We are about to switch off the Roll of Honour, so make sure your name is correct on lndiegogo too. More than anything, thank you one and all for joining us on this journey which has been exciting, sometimes challenging, but always worth it - as all the best journey are :) And apologies for it taking so many attempts to get today's message out to you all - and those of you never waivering in your faith, the biggest thank you of all. We would not be here without you.

— Retro Computers Ltd

Launch day with Dermot O'Leary

Tuesday 25th October, 2016

RCL release update 24 with a bizarre apology from David Levy for not wearing a jacket:

Retro Computers Ltd

We will be issuing an update regarding delivery in the very near future. We are waiting for confirmation from one person and then we will be able to give you a more accurate date.  We are sorry that there has been a delay and we are doing everything we can to get your Vega+'s  out to you asap.  We are filming the Vega+ this week, and we hope you will be delighted with what we are able to reveal.  For now here is a picture of the Chairman Dr David Levy with a first run Vega+. (He apologises for not wearing a jacket in the picture - but it was very hot in the factory)

— Retro Computers Ltd (update 24)

Failed businessman David Levy apologises for not wearing a jacket

Thursday 27th October, 2016

As shown in the camera metadata, photographer A.J.Levy takes photos of the Vega+ components that will be used over the coming days to pretend these were taken at the launch party, 7 days earlier.

Fake launch party photos

RCL post a tweet, claiming to have been filming the production line and to ignore the clueless trolls!


Monday 31st October, 2016

The October shipping date is officially missed.

October 20th launch date missed!

Wednesday 2nd November, 2016

RCL publish a news article on their website confirming that their lawyers received a request from Darren Melbourne to remove his game Hades Nebula from the Vega+.

Darren Melbourne's request to remove Hades Nebula from the Vega+

Thursday 3rd November

The RCL team are at Wired 2016. RCL release a short 17 second video of the game Cray 5 running on a Vega+.


Friday 4th November, 2016

Paul Andrews uploads a series of photos from the original ZX Spectrum Vega launch party to Flickr.


Saturday 5th November, 2016

The RCL team post that they are at the one day Wired 2016 Next Generation event, where 12-18 year olds will be able to try out the Vega+. RCL say that "the big surprise hit of the day so far has been our very own Spectrum Vega+ and right now we are staggered and moved to see the powerfully positive reactions from a whole new generation of Spectrum fans".

This is the day that RCL will later claim that children found a problem with the Vega+ buttons.


Wednesday 9th November, 2016

RCL release an update saying that they intend to release the highest quality Speccy product, and they were invited to be be part of the Test Lab with Telefonica - "one of the most exciting and innovative elements of WIRED2016 and WIRED NEXT GENERATION 2016". RCL also say "WE WILL come back to you with our more precise delivery plans very soon".

This update fails to mention the faulty button problem.


Wednesday 16th November, 2016

RCL contradict themselves by claiming they haven't given Vega+'s to anyone before backers. On October 20th they claimed they had given one to Dermot O'Leary at the launch party. This was their exact message:

"We were really lucky to be invited to #wired2016 but we haven't given Vega+'s to anyone before backers. The Vega+ got a lot of love..."

No Vega+'s before backers


Sunday 20th November, 2016

Backer Daniel Newby asks RCL what has happened to the launch video, and RCL claim online bullying has forced them to remove it. (Note: RCL have deleted this post and their reply).

Daniel Newby: Has anyone seen rc's video of the launch event is it on another website anywhere was a month ago I think.

Retro Computers: Daniel a number of people who attended the launch have been subjected to online bullying. We do not wish them to be bullied further and so this video will not be shown for the foreseeable future. We will be releasing more footage of the unit but not with images of people who backed the campaign.

RCL claim launch party attendees bullied so video taken down

Friday 25th November, 2016

Almost 3 weeks after the Wired 2016 event, RCL release the following news regarding the button:

Retro Computers Ltd

Assembling and playing with these first units we identified an improvement we believed was essential to the Vega+ gaming experience. An improvement that would make the feel of the product far better, including a correction in the design of one of the buttons making it more robust and able to withstand the rigours of extended game-play.

This change has caused a brief delay while we improved the product and we have now completed the necessary revisions. We have also produced the first batch of custom made modified buttons and will be spending the next few days manufacturing units, using the already completed electronics and the newly modified buttons. As soon as we have completed the necessary tests to ensure that the revised Vega+ is now perfect, we will be able to announce our delivery schedule.

So to be clear the product and gorgeous designs that you have already seen remain unchanged. It is purely to do with the response time and durability of one of the components. We know that you all want to know a delivery date and we really want to ship to you - but the most important thing to us is making sure that the Vega+ is as brilliant as you deserve it to be.

— Retro Computers Ltd

Monday 28th November, 2016

Chris Merriman posts an article called ZX Spectrum Vega+ production is delayed but RCL 'hopes' for pre-Christmas rollout in The Inquirer. Chris talks to Suzanne Martin asking to clarify some of the burning questions from backers. The article explains that there will be a further delay to the Vega+ after playtesters had identified a problem with one of the buttons. RCL can no longer promise Xmas delivery, but confirm that backers' money has been ringfenced. Suzanne also confirms that they have been deleting comments on the Indiegogo campaign, and that they will not be giving any delivery dates unless they are 110% certain. Suzanne also says that the project is a "labour of love", which is interesting considering they have half a million pounds from backers. Quotes from the article:

Retro Computers Limited (RCL) has confirmed that there is to be a further delay to the ZX Spectrum Vega+, the handheld version of last year’s ZX Spectrum Vega, a recreation of the iconic 8-bit computer.

The problem was revealed on Friday night on the project’s Indiegogo page. The team explained that playtesters had identified a problem with one of the buttons in the small production run that had already taken place, which led to the decision to pause the full-scale production, pending a change to the component. RCL will also retroactively fit the new button to consoles already manufactured.

Does that mean Christmas delivery is off the table?

"We still hope to get some units out before Christmas, but being completely honest, we can’t promise that until we get the test results back this week."

But what about customer money?

"It’s safe. It was ringfenced from the beginning and anything you hear otherwise is completely untrue. The disputes are about the proceeds from the original Spectrum Vega. Retail of the Vega+ will happen after all the backers have their machines."

One other matter of concern is that when there have been problems, comments have been deleted from your Indiegogo page. Generally, that’s not the done thing.

"True. It’s not something we do lightly. Much of what has been deleted is rude, multiple posts (sometimes over 100), attacks on other backers and offensive. Some of it comes from elements that are not only known to us, but to Indiegogo as trollers and spammers."

"We’ve worked closely with Indiegogo over what we should do and are only deleting posts that break their community guidelines, after confirming with Indiegogo that it was the right course of action."

The main complaint is the lack of communication over a delivery date. What do you say to those people?

"We've opted to stop giving delivery dates until we are 110 per cent certain that we are going to meet them."

"We will deliver. It will be brilliant. In the meantime, don’t believe everything you read elsewhere on the internet. This remains a labour of love for all involved and we are passionate about exceeding your expectations."


Thursday 8th December, 2016

RCL force-refund backer Peeto against his will. Peeto had been asking questions about the campaign, and to remove him from the comments section, RCL simply marked his contribution as refunded to silence him.


Wednesday 14th December, 2016

RCL release an update called A Pain in the Buttons, featuring a video of a Vega+ being assembled and the infamous "labour of love" comment:

Retro Computers Ltd

We had hoped to post an update a few days ago. Unfortunately, we have been swamped working on the improvement to the Vega+ we previously told you about. The testing has proved to be slightly trickier than previously suspected and the new buttons caused all sorts of additional issues - they really were a pain in the buttons!

We now believe we have finally solved most of those problems and we have a series of production meetings between now and next Tuesday to confirm this, once we have attended all of those meetings, we will be able to come back to you with a clearer delivery schedule.

We have faced a number challenges over the last few months, and each time we have overcome whatever challenge has come our way, and we will continue to do so no matter what anyone puts in our way. We have said it before, and we will say it again "We will deliver. It will be brilliant. In the meantime, don’t believe everything you read elsewhere on the internet. This remains a labour of love for all involved, and we are passionate about exceeding your expectations."

— Retro Computers Ltd

A 1 and a half minute video is released which includes footage of a Vega+ being put together. At crucial spots in the video (47 seconds), the footage is suddenly sped up, and when the technician attempts to screw the screws down, they do not seem to be grabbing onto anything. As the second screw is being screwed in, the first one pops completely back up!


Tuesday 20th December, 2016

Backer Richard Ratcliffe releases a 41 minute video The Evidently [Vague-A] Plus on YouTube, detailing how he was forcibly refunded after RCL confused him with somebody else. The video contains screenshots from the campaign, an email trail, a look at the company house records and much more. Suzanne Martin refunded Richard's pledge without his permission, then as a gesture of goodwill for their cock-up, RCL said that the "refunded" status of his order would be undone (meaning he would be sent a Vega+ unit anyway). He was also told he would be invited to the launch party. (The launch party invite never materialised, and he has been abused for months in the Indiegogo comments, saying that he is not a backer.)

Paul Andrews and Chris Smith release a statement to confirm that they left RCL before any funds from the crowdfunding campaign was received. The statement confirms that the remaining directors and employees of RCL have been creating a smear campaign and spreading lies. The full statement is available but a part of it has been reproduced here:

Sadly we have been forced once more to issue an immediate statement with regards to the company we founded but resigned from on the 8th of April 2016. To confirm we still remain joint 50% shareholders of Retro Computers Ltd.

Once again we have to draw people’s attention to the fact we left the company before any of the money from the Indiegogo crowd funding campaign for the ZX Vega Plus console was received by the company.

We have issued this statement as it has been drawn to our attention in both documented and verbal evidence that the current directors and employees of RCL (Mr David Levy, Ms Susanne Louise Martin, Mr Janko Mrsic-Flogel, and Mr Lee Fogarty) have been spreading lies and disinformation about us. This includes false allegations as to (non-existent) unaccounted funds, missing stock and also claims of fraud, allegedly prior to our resignations from RCL. This misinformation has been given to multiple people and companies, including employers, business contacts, and online social media outlets and so on, in what appears to be some sort of smear campaign, to what ends we do not know. For clarity RCL have been unable to actually identify any such unaccounted for funds or missing stock: all stock was held in high security and tracked storage facilities of a major distribution company which we had no physical access to and no stock was authorised to be sent (under our watch) to anyone but company approved retail agents.

On a personal note we wish to make it very clear that had we known of the past business records or interconnections of the current directors of RCL neither Paul Andrews nor Chris Smith would have become involved with them at all. We also wish to be clear that prior to our departure Mr Janko Mrsic-Flogel was not involved with the company in any way and Ms Suzanne Louise Martin had been no more than a part-time contractor PR consultant, not an employee or director. We also wish it to be known that they were appointed as directors of RCL without our consent and in breach of the Shareholders Agreement by Mr David Levy and that neither of those parties own any shares of RCL.

Vega+ backer Peeto posts on the Indiegogo comments section to say that he was force-refunded against his will:

Peeto: At least some honest update. But I am out/not by my wish/
Retro Computers: Peeto... do you want to come back? RCL
Peeto: yes. I know, what to expect and still answer is yes. What should I do? I would like to have same pledge with same amount. thx
Retro Computers: We'll contact you by email and see what we can sort out. RCL

Peeto forced refund

Friday 23rd December, 2016

The "In time for Xmas" deadline is missed. A VentureBeat article is published called Retro Sinclair ZX Spectrum handheld console to ship in February after series of delays. The final few lines of the article says:

In short, the company is now confident it will be able to dispatch the first units in February. How many that will be still isn’t clear, but if it fails to deliver this time around, there could be more than a few people asking for their money back.

George Cropper releases RCL's Christmas Carol - A Radio Play on his Funky Spectrum YouTube channel, a satirical look at the current state of the project.

RCL post an update on Indiegogo stating that there is a delay with the console due to a problem with one of the buttons, but the required modification is complete:

Retro Computers Ltd

New Improved VEGA+ Scheduled to Ship in February, 2017.

So the good news you have all been waiting for is finally here. We are delighted to announce that we will ship the first ZX Spectrum Vega+ ‘s in February 2017.

Following our appearance at WIRED 2016 in November, we identified an improvement we believed was essential to the Vega+ gaming experience. An improvement that would make the feel of the product far better, including a correction in the design of one of the buttons making it more robust and able to withstand the rigours of extended game-play. We also wanted to make sure we did justice to the Sinclair legacy.

This change has caused a brief delay and we are truly sorry about that, but we needed this time to improve the product and we have now completed the necessary revisions and we are delighted to announce that we will ship the first units in February 2017.

We would also like to thank our backers for their support, their patience and the hundreds of lovely emails we get from them confirming that they respect our integrity when we made the decision to make the necessary improvement to the Vega+

We have faced a number of challenges over the last few months. However, "We will deliver. It will be brilliant. This remains a labour of love for all involved, and we are passionate about exceeding your expectations." Suzanne Martin Managing Director Retro Computers Limited 23.12.16

— Retro Computers Ltd

Latest Funky Spectrum RCL Videos

Confirmation of the shilling that went on from certain individuals during this absolute scandal. What a disgrace!

Well it seems justice has prevailed for once and no surprises there to be honest what a ridiculous bit of behaviour !

Indiegogo Campaign

"Our Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the first 2,500 or more units of the Vega+ in the UK, and to prepare us for the second production run."

— RCL (15/02/2016)

Vega+ Status

  • All refunds processed:
  • Roll of honour email:
  • Address confirmation:
  • Battery specification:
  • PEGI certification:
  • Final specs released:
  • Games list released:
  • Finished box design:
  • Manual released:
  • Working website:
  • Final devices made: 0
  • Small claims victories: 0
  • Prototypes made: ~100-200