They’re stylising the name as “THEA500 Mini” but it’s stupid, so we’re not doing that. May we humbly suggest that you don’t, either.
Mini consoles – the plug-and-play ones pre-installed with games, not the Analogue, play-your-original-cartridges variety – are big business these days.
Nintendo has made some very good ones, but they’ve been artificially scarce. (Bad Nintendo, stop doing that.) Sega has made some… less good ones, or at least, its licensed partners have. There’s even been a PlayStation with a really mixed selection of games. And then there are a bunch of third parties, knock-offs, etc, and that really weird massive Capcom fight stick?
But the majority of the market has focused on those big console players, not the weird “home computers” we enjoyed in the 80s and 90s. Following on from the success (we presume it was a success?) of the C64 Mini, then, Retro Games Ltd and Koch Media have today announced The A500 Mini, an Amiga 500 mini console.
The A500 Mini will come pre-loaded with 25 games. Those announced so far include Another World, Simon The Sorcerer, Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, The Chaos Engine, and Worms. Oh. And Zool, for some reason. You’ll also be able to side-load games via USB, which is a neat feature you don’t get on those very locked down mini consoles. (Can you remove Zool by the same mechanism, we wonder?)
It will come with a traditionally styled two-button mouse, an 8-button gamepad, and you’ll be able to connect a standard PC keyboard via USB to “compliment [sic.] the on-screen keyboard” which… sounds a bit weird for a device that appears to have a built-in keyboard on top?
We reached out to PR for clarification, to see if that mention of an on-screen keyboard means that the “keyboard” built into The A500 Mini chassis is purely decorative. We’ll update this news story when (or if) we get a response.
The A500 Mini is expected to launch in “early 2022” and carry a suggested retail price of GBP£119.99/ EUR€129.99/ USD$139.99/ AUD$199.99.