If there one thing to be said about computers from the 80s is how unfriendly they might look today. Compared to the simplicity of even the classic Atari VCS console, just stick the cart in and play, computers required you to learn commands before you could even load games. And if you miss those days, PLAION has something in store for you, with The 400 Mini announcement. Available in late March 2024 for around $120, PLAION, together with Retro Games Ltd, are not selling simply an adorable replica of a classic retro computer.
The mini will also ship with the CXSTICK, an updated version of the classic Atari joystick, now using USB connectivity, which also means you'll be able to swap it for another controller. It is also now possible to load games entirely via a USB stick, plus the Mini offers rewind and save states for games and HDMI output at 50 or 60hz.
The 400 Mini is indeed a half-sized replica of the classic Atari 400 computer. The original was released back in 1979, way before most of you reading were even born, we bet. It saw huge success in the United States, where such classics as Jordan Mechner's Karateka kept the computer alive and well for several years. In Europe, it was definitely, overall, less successful, because of Commodore and Sinclair already well established in the market.
But that's not all, most interestingly the computer also emulates the entire range of retro 8-bit Atari computers, as well as the classic (or perhaps, less so) Atari 5200 home console. This means that the range of games you'll be able to play is definitely quite chunky.
The system comes preloaded with 25 retro games, with the list including blasts of the past such as Berzerk, Millipede, Miner 2049er, M.U.L.E, and Star Raiders II. Pre-orders are already open, so if you want to experience the excitement of classic games from the past, you might want to open up that wallet. Look at the bright side, considering the Atari 400 launched for a price equal to $2200 of today, you're definitely getting a bargain.