Atari and Retro Games Ltd have announced the glorious return of one of the most iconic home computers in the new ATARI 400 Mini. The legendary 1979 home computer which, appropriately for our inclination, was primarily used as a home video game console is making a comeback in miniature form, and we couldn’t be happier about it!
Sure, you could have used an Atari 400 to type up your midterm paper or grocery list. But most buyers brought one home to enjoy some of the best Atari 2600 games like Pitfall, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Frogger, and Donkey Kong.
Having a built-in game cartridge slot and controller ports certainly made Atari’s intentions clear when launching their 400 computer.
Needless to say, it is a very pleasant surprise to see Atari team up with Retro Games Ltd to bring back this classic for a contemporary audience. So let’s take a look.
ATARI 400 Mini – A Legend Returns
The Atari 400 Mini is described by Retro Games Ltd as a half-sized version of the classic 8-bit personal computer.
The 400 Mini will emulate the Atari 8-bit range, including the 400/800, XL and XE series, and the Atari 5200 home console.
The use of the word ’emulate’ in their marketing makes us very curious about the actual internal hardware and the software solution being used. But these details were not outlined on the Retro Games Ltd website.
We do know that the new 400 Mini will feature some contemporary quality-of-life features like save-game slots and a rewind mode.
And the 400 Mini will come with 25 built-in games, which obviously does not sound like a lot by today’s standards. Especially when we consider that the My Arcade Atari Gamestation Pro retails for less and comes with over 200 games.
We are a bit bummed on the severe lack of content packed into the Atari 400 Mini, but we understand that we’re paying for the unique hardware and that nostalgia tax.
And Retro Games does indicate that you can also load your own games. They describe the process as “the ability for players to side-load their own games via a USB stick, with support for cartridge, disk and cassette ROMs.”
So it does look like we’ll have some options to get more content onto our Atari 400 Mini.
Updated Control Sticks For The New Generation Of Gamers
The new Atari 400 Mini will come with an updated CX40 joystick called “THECXSTICK”, which connects via USB. You can pick up additional THECXSTICKs to play with friends, as well.
There are 5 USB ports on the 400 Mini to allow for those extra joysticks, current generation USB controllers, and external keyboards.
And the Atari 400 Mini connects up to your television via HDMI and outputs at 720p at 50 or 60Hz.
Overall, this thing is looking gorgeous, and nearly identical to the original.
Except, this mini console is much more economic in its physical size and has all of the current generation ports to make it much easier to use in our current setup.
The ATARI 400 Mini is now available to pre-order and those orders are set to begin fulfillment starting on March 28th, 2024.
Surely we will need to update our article for the best mini games consoles after that time.
The retail price of the Atari 400 Mini is £99.99 / $119USD, which does sound like quite a bit for a mini console with only 25 games. But again, we know that Atari is hoping that we’re willing to pay that nostalgia tax.
So, if you’re somebody who was lucky enough to own an Atari 400 back in the golden era, or would like to get a feel for what that would have been like, then here’s your chance to get a miniature version of the iconic personal computer.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.