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PLAION Announces the 400 Mini


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Hot on the heels of the 2600+, PLAION announces the Atari 400 Mini.

Retro Games Ltd. and PLAION are happy to announce The 400 Mini, a half-sized modern replica of the classic Atari 400.

The 400 Mini is fitted with the CXSTICK offering an enhanced and updated version of the classic CX40 Atari joystick boasting an additional seven seamlessly integrated function buttons and USB connectivity.

Modern features have been enabled with The 400 Mini such as the ability to side-load games via a USB stick, Rewind and save states for games, HDMI output at 50 or 60hz, and emulation support for the whole 8-bit Atari range from the 400 to the 800XL, and the Atari 5200 home console.

The system is preloaded with 25 retro games for enjoyment right out of the box.

The 400 Mini is launching on March 28 for $119.

 

Edited by Sabertooth
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I'm a little underwhelmed that this doesn't have a cartridge port the way the 2600+ does. I've been hoping to see Atari develop an "Atari XE+" with a 4/5 or 3/5 scale Atari XE that incorporates two cartridge ports into the top of the machine - one for Atari 8-Bit Computer cartridges, and the other for Atari 5200 cartridges. I would love that.

Otherwise this looks like a nice product and I hope Atari does well with it.

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24 minutes ago, Justin said:

I'm a little underwhelmed that this doesn't have a cartridge port the way the 2600+ does. I've been hoping to see Atari develop an "Atari XE+" with a 4/5 or 3/5 scale Atari XE that incorporates two cartridge ports into the top of the machine - one for Atari 8-Bit Computer cartridges, and the other for Atari 5200 cartridges. I would love that.

Otherwise this looks like a nice product and I hope Atari does well with it.

The cart ports would be pretty awesome for sure!  It does have the ability to run images from a USB memory stick though.  Just like the C64 and Amiga versions.

It is also missing a real keyboard, but that is solved by attaching a USB keyboard.  Not ideal, but it does work.  (And there is also a virtual keyboard). 

The other real con with this is that you *must* use that controller it includes to get access to all the features (like virtual keyboard).  Although other USB controllers will work, the button mapping is hit and miss. 

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15 minutes ago, RickR said:

The cart ports would be pretty awesome for sure!  It does have the ability to run images from a USB memory stick though.  Just like the C64 and Amiga versions.

It is also missing a real keyboard, but that is solved by attaching a USB keyboard.  Not ideal, but it does work.  (And there is also a virtual keyboard). 

The other real con with this is that you *must* use that controller it includes to get access to all the features (like virtual keyboard).  Although other USB controllers will work, the button mapping is hit and miss. 

My hope is they move enough units to create a fully functioning MAXI version as they are doing with the C64. The ability to side-load is good enough for me at this price point. And the 400 is my favorite in terms of design. It's achingly 70s.

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49 minutes ago, socrates63 said:

Preorders are handled exclusively by Amazon.co.uk --> https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0CRYXTL82/

The item listing shows the price of 99.99 pounds but when I added it to the basket, the price dropped to 89.90 pounds. Shipping is 19.70 pounds.

Also, it will be available on Amazon and Atari.com in North America. They just don't have it up yet apparently. I typically go through Atari but given the delays with my 2600+, I think that I'll go through Amazon so I get it at launch.

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I’m sharing the link to the Atari U.S. site where the 400 Mini can be located: https://atari.com/products/atari-400-mini

I have to say I’m a bit mixed about this one.  I’d have chosen the 800 personally.  And even when this does emulate it I would have rather seen a stand alone 5200 recreation than have it a part of another system.  I know the 5200 was a consolized 400, I get it, but still.

The price is much higher than I would have expected, too.  $80 would have been average. At $110 that keyboard better work.  Some games used that keyboard to access some features.

Regardless of my feelings of this I like what Atari is trying to do and I like how they are returning to their roots.  Just as long as they don’t mess up the open source development that helped make the A8 machines so popular.

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On 1/11/2024 at 12:24 PM, Justin said:

I'm a little underwhelmed that this doesn't have a cartridge port the way the 2600+ does. I've been hoping to see Atari develop an "Atari XE+" with a 4/5 or 3/5 scale Atari XE that incorporates two cartridge ports into the top of the machine - one for Atari 8-Bit Computer cartridges, and the other for Atari 5200 cartridges. I would love that.

Otherwise this looks like a nice product and I hope Atari does well with it.

Even if it only had the A8 cartridge port that would be enough.  The A8 line has loads of cartridge games that would keep anyone from getting bored.

If Atari really wanted to they could design a single board and use it for both an XE+ and a 5200+.  The size of the port used determines what machine is being emulated.

I really doubt Atari would do a modern 5200 mostly because of its history for the company and the controller design alone.  Even if it did receive some of the best arcade ports of the time I really believe Atari isn’t going to consider a stand alone 5200 revamp.

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2 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Even if it only had the A8 cartridge port that would be enough

I would like to see a cartridge port for both A8 and 5200 so that everyone feels covered. There's going to be someone out there like you, with very fond memories of the 5200 - except they never got into the A8, etc. It would be nice for them to be able to play their cartridges and homebrew releases on a new system with HD output.

I feel like if Atari is going to do this the right way - the way they did the 2060+, that's what they would need to do.

I also hope one day we will see an FPGA-Based 2600+ in a 7800 shell. They could call it the Atari 2600 Pro.

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1 minute ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

That would be cool.  I’m surprised that the XEGS didn’t get picked for something like the 400 Mini.  I wonder why that model over the XL or the 800?

I was wondering that too. Maybe they're saving it for later. Maybe they believe the 400 has the most recognition, similar to the 2600. Maybe they think people identify Atari most with the late 1970s and are branding things along those lines. I wonder if they will overlook the 5200 entirely.

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Just now, Justin said:

I wonder if they will overlook the 5200 entirely.

The 5200 cost Atari literally millions of dollars.  It nearly took the entire company down with it.  As much as I love the 5200 it had a dark side not many people know about.  I really doubt Atari would want to repeat history.  At least if they did with an HDMI system we won’t have to worry about that RF spark again.

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Just now, Atari 5200 Guy said:

The 5200 cost Atari literally millions of dollars.  It nearly took the entire company down with it.

You could make that case for the 2600 as well. We're in a different age now and a different market. The 2600+ and this new 400 mini are not competing as industry leaders the way PS5, Xbox and Switch are today.

That's also why I thought it would be far more economical for Atari to roll their modern support for the 5200 format into a new A8+ product.

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22 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I wonder if those usb ports offer keyboard support?  If so the 400 Mini could possibly be used for programming.  That’s what made me want an 800 in the first place was because I loved programming in BASIC and Atari had its own BASIC language.  

Yes it does.  As mentioned prior.  USB keyboard support is there, and also a virtual keyboard.  You can load basic and program as you see fit.  However, it is not known if you can save or not.  My guess is yes, but it will be a bit convoluted.  You'd load a DOS image from the USB memory stick and be able to save to that. 

If I recall correctly, the C64 mini allowed this (the ability to save to a disk image on USB). 

Edited by RickR
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