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A500 Mini review – tiny Commodore Amiga is a robust piece of tech nostalgia

This miniature Amiga 500 comes with 25 games from a fertile period in video game history

Back when the console industry was still young, and the PC was an expensive business machine for grownups, the Commodore Amiga was one of the most vibrant and diverse gaming platforms available. Originally launched as the Amiga 1000 in 1985, its 16-bit 68000 CPU and array of graphics acceleration coprocessors promised a new era of visually and sonically advanced gaming – a prospect realised by the 1987 launch of the more affordable Amiga 500. Supported by an array of small, talented studios, and inspiring a vast community of demo coders, it was the home computer for a generation of players and creators. Now, following the success of retro consoles such as the SNES Mini and Mega Drive Mini the Amiga is back in the form of the A500 Mini, a teeny replica of the original Amiga 500 with 25 built-in games.

As with other machines in this growing category, the A500 is designed to be plugged into a modern LCD TV via an HDMI cable. Users can opt to run games in 50hz or 60hz depending on their display; they can also scale the image to fit, and there’s a decent CRT mode, which simulates the scan lines you’d see on an old cathode ray TV or monitor. However you set things up, what you’re getting is Amiga code running via an emulator rather than on the original hardware or an FPGA like the Analogue Mega Sg. However, the emulation is excellent and every one of the built-in games plays perfectly well, with no weird glitches or controller issues. The system also supports later iterations of the Amiga system, namely the Enhanced Chip Set and the Advanced Graphics Architecture of the Amiga 1200.

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