Commodore’s Amiga 500 was one of the most popular home computers in the era just before the PC swallowed the world. Now, thirty years and change since its heyday, Retro Games is making a “mini” version of the computer and games console. Much like Retro Games’ last machine, a “mini” version of the Commodore 64 that can’t use the Commodore name, this will be branded as THEA500 Mini.
Retro Games has said that the console will include 25 titles from the vast (and excellent) Amiga library including Another World, Worms, Simon the Sorcerer and The Chaos Engine. The full list of titles hasn’t been released, but if Bart vs. The Space Mutants and Dalek Attack aren’t on there, I will cry.
Much like pretty much every other retro console, a glossy software layer will smooth out the rougher edges of this software. Users will be able to save and resume titles part-way through play, and you’ll be able to side-load titles you (ahem) own over the included USB port.
Rather than simply emulating the vanilla Amiga 500, the hardware will also run the Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) layers found in the Amiga 500 Plus, a short-lived revision released in 1991. You’ll also be able to harness the advanced graphics architecture (AGA) of the much-pricier flagship model, the Amiga 1200.
Hardware-wise, it’s likely to be a similar sort of moulded-plastic-around-a-mini-board situation as found in THEC64 Mini. But on the accessories front, it’ll ship with the Amiga’s famous two-button mouse, and a joypad that, to my eyes, seems to be based on the Amiga CD32’s gamepad rather than the 500’s (which, to be fair, was more famously a joystick-led machine).
THEA500 Mini will launch at some point in early 2022, and is expected to cost $140 (£120, €130) when it arrives. The only misgivings I have at this point is that Retro Games’ previous work with the THEC64 Mini made that a hard product to love in several ways. Hopefully, however, many of those issues have been resolved for the new model, which was the object of lust for many people soon be knocking on 40.
Oh, and here’s the greatest advert for a computer ever made:
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