Following on from the success of their previous systems recreating classic retro 8-bit Commodore computers, Retro Games Ltd have announced their latest system in partnership with Plaion. There has been speculation in recent weeks what this may have been since the company unveiled their roadmap detailing their hardware plans for the next 18 months, but they have now proudly confirmed their next release is a mini recreation of the Atari 400, first released in 1979.
About The Atari 400 Mini
As with the previous TheC64 Mini, it comes complete with a selection of pre-installed games and a modernised version of the classic Atari CX40 Joystick. Set for a global release of 28th March 2024 it is available for pre-order at Amazon for £99.99 (€119.99 / $119.99)
Size wise, it’s 50% smaller than the original machine, with a non-working keyboard and five USB ports for joysticks, a full sized keyboard, and a USB stick to run additional games. Not only can it run games written for the Atari 400, but the entire 8-bit Atari range ensuring that it will appeal to as many Atari enthusiasts as possible.
The new update of the CX40 Atari joystick features a USB connection, as well as additional buttons to control the console’s menu features. For those who prefer a different design, the system is compatible with the Gamepad and Joysticks previously released by Retro Games Ltd for their other sytems giving you maximum choice and flexibility.
What The Creators Say
“We have a rich history in creating re-imagined, iconic home computers, and we very much hope that THE400 Mini will become an important part of that legacy. The original home computer was a gaming hero to many, and it’s important to us to re-create the machines that helped define the video games industry and are thus worthy of preservation. We believe that serious collectors and retro gaming fans will love what we’ve done, and should take the time to discover the odd Easter Egg or two as they embark upon a journey into 1970s and 1980s gaming”, said Paul Andrews, Managing Director at Retro Games Ltd.
Stuart Chiplin, Head of Commercial Evaluations at PLAION said “We’re excited to be working with Retro Games Ltd. to bring back an iconic machine that meant so much to so many. Cherished memories from the past must be treated with respect, care and attention – THE400 Mini has been designed to retain the look and feel of the original home computer, while benefitting from robust design and manufacturing and an obsession with attention to detail.”
- A half-sized version of the distinctively styled Atari 400, emulating the whole 8-bit Atari range from the 400 to the 800XL, and the Atari 5200 home console.
- Also included is a recreation of the classic Atari CX40 joystick, with an additional seven seamlessly integrated function buttons.
- The ability for players to side-load their own games via a USB stick, with support for cartridge, disk and cassette ROMs.
- Players can rewind time and save their games.
- HD TV output via HDMI, with 50/60Hz compatibility.
- 5 USB ports which allow for the addition of a modern keyboard, extra joysticks and more.
- Look and feel of 1979: THE400 Mini has been lovingly crafted using modern technology, from the hard-to-match colours of the original machine to the authentic textures of the plastic casing and membrane keyboard, no compromise was made relative to the iconic 1970s look and feel of the original Atari 400.
For more information on THE400 Mini visit: http://retrogames.biz/links/the400-mini
For those who read my posts regularly, you’ll know that I grew up primarily around Commodore systems. I didn’t get a ZX Spectrum until a few years ago, and while I used an Atari 800 that belonged to a friend while I was at school, I didn’t own one of my own until about 4 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely loved playing games on it, but I found that it had one major drawback. Loading games from cassette were an absolute nightmare. So much so that it was probably only used a handful of times before I sold it on to a new owner.
The real downside to Atari computers was its horrrendous loading times when using cassette. Cartridges were great, and most people used disk which were a joy to use, but tapes really made the system frustrating, especially with tapes that were prone to failure.
But The 400 Mini is different. And to be honest, it’s got me interested in diving back into Atari gaming again. While I probably would have preferred the sleeker look of the 800XL personally, this is certainly going to deliver on the gaming front and it’s already made its way onto my Amazon wish list. Definitely one to look out for.
Watch the announce trailer here: https://youtu.be/-kr4s_YDJgg