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Hardware : The A500 Mini

Introduction

Within the retro scene their has been a rise in replications of retro machines, the most popular of these was the mini nes by nintendo, they soon followed that up with mini snes, then the market saw sega and sony also release mini retro consoles. This also brought about full size replicas as well. It was only a matter of time that the market would shift to other platform beyond just the reto consoles and bring back retro computers. The Commodore C64 mini arrived and was also successful, it shortly followed by a full size C64 replica.

The A500

Retro games ltd on 10th August 2021 has announced a new mini Amiga called the A500 Mini, however it supports emulation of A500, A600 and A1200 games, plus it also features a controller very similar to the Amiga CD32 controller. Picture below

It been announced that 25 games will come with the system, Alien Breed 3D, Another World, ATR: All Terrain Racing, Battle Chess, Cadaver, Kick Off 2, Pinball Dreams, Simon The Sorcerer, Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, The Chaos Engine, Worms: The Director’s Cut, Zool: Ninja Of The ”Nth” Dimension.  Additional games will be announced at a later date.

The system also features, 3 USB ports, HDMI port and a micro usb power connection. The keyboard is just for show and will not be functional, it also comes with a 8 button controller similar in style to the CD32 controller and a optical mouse in design like the one that would come with a orginal A500 Amiga.

It outputs at 720p 50/60Hz with multiple scaling options and CRT filters.

Software appears to be not lockdown and will support WHDLoad files on USB stick. It supports A500, A600, A1200 & CD32 games, its currently unclear if a full Amiga Workbench set up will be included, however the product does have a partnership with Cloanto, so likely includes all Kickstart chips and software necessary to run classic games and software library of the Amiga 68k platform.

Its currently on a number of sites for pre-order and due for release on 31st March 2022 for £119.99 in the UK.

Also announced is the accessories will be available to buy separately, the mouse for £19.99 and the GamePad £19.99, interestingly the Gamepad will be in CD32 colours.

A trailer has been made for the machine too, https://youtu.be/yKUgEOpr4Qs

A products like this is usually a ARM based system, this is the same company behind the C64 mini & C64 Maxi, which was powered by a A20 All Winner ARM chip at 500mhz with 256mb Ram. This would be just enough to run Amiga emulation but its likly/hoped it be packing a higher spec cpu.

This is nothing really new or revolutionary, a Arm based computer with Amiga emulation, its already happened, the Armiga was a small all in one device the size of a floppy disk drive that ran a Amiga emulator on a Arm board and allowed original Amiga floppy disk to run off it. ( more here https://amigang.com/hardware-emulated-amigas/ ).

Amiga community has also built Raspberry Pi based system in mini Amiga replica system

Amiga Mini / TheA500 Prototype

However the A500 is clearly a more main stream, more consumer friendly, better built case, and most importantly marketed in big retail stores that current efforts haven't quite achieved.

An important part of the Amiga over most of these past mini replica systems is it is much more complete and modern Operating System and has things like mouse support, internet support, hard drives etc, its not clear if your be able to access more advance feature like this on the new A500. I feel it would be a shame to admit the serious side of Amiga. Below is pictures of the OS.

The OS looks to be a simple GUI with the ability to save sate of the current game, also it looks like your be able to rank games. As well as have a number of scaling and display options. Its not clear weather games like Zool and Simon the sorcerer will be the OCS, AGA or CD32 versions of games or if your be able to select which version you want to play. Expect details to follow.