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      /  THEA500 Mini is coming!
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PosterThread
Hammer 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Aug-2021 3:06:55
#41 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4270
From: Australia

@g01df1sh

Quote:

g01df1sh wrote:
Does this mean the court case with Hyperion and CLoanto has been sorted. If they have a full license then who is issuing the license ???

Hyperion is not required for AmigaOS 1.3/3.X.

From https://retrogames.biz/thea500-mini
Amiga ROMs and Workbench: 19851993 Cloanto Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Furnished under license from Cloanto Corporation. Cloanto is a trademark owned by Cloanto Corporation throughout the world and registered in the United States and internationally. WHDLoad is a trademark of WHD Llc.

Last edited by Hammer on 12-Aug-2021 at 05:03 AM.

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Nonefornow 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Aug-2021 5:08:58
#42 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2013
Posts: 154
From: Greater Los Angeles Area

@

Difficult to make a decision with the limited information that was provided. $140 (which will be more than $150 after sales tax) seems high just to play 25 games. Granted you can add your own, but it could have more to start.

But what really put me off is their tag line - Now other classic consoles are just toys! -
This is from the makers of the C64mini and THEC64.

P.S. Why do we have two threads on the same topic?

Last edited by Nonefornow on 12-Aug-2021 at 05:11 AM.

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Rose 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Aug-2021 17:27:36
#43 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 927
From: Unknown

@fishy_fis

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Aug-2021 17:29:58
#44 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@thread

Newish unbiased vid on topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj1STR9dAHc&ab_channel=OldStyleGaming

#6

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Aug-2021 17:41:55
#45 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@Hammer

I agree, but nevertheless others are trying to get a piece of this.

When the issue first appeared in forum discussion on Atariage the CEO of Intellivision stated:

and following posts

However, after the issue drew more attention through discussion he posted today:

Quote:
As mentioned by Nick, mulitiple companies who claim to own the Amiga trademark have reached out to us wanting our help to resolve.

Source

Let the guessing begin on who the multiple companies are.

In an attempt to correct what I saw as misinformation in reporting in many places, I started my own thread:
Amiga/Amico and the trademark objection

I believe post #10 to be an easily understandable timeline and will serve to assist future claims. At least I hope so.

#6

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-Aug-2021 15:05:57
#46 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@thread

Just thought I'd post one company response to an often asked question here and on other websites:

Quote:
Will it work with a joystick or just with the gamepad


Quote:
Various controllers and joystick should be recognised. Note that the supplied games have functions mapped to many controller buttons. If your joystick has just two buttons, you'll need a solution to access the other function.


And I think we all knew part of this was an information gathering procedure.
So, for example, when asked about buying the tank mouse seperately they responded accordingly. If the demand is there...

https://www.facebook.com/THEC64andMoreByRetroGamesLtd/posts/2635855706719654

#6

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bison 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-Aug-2021 16:10:24
#47 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1879
From: N-Space

@thread

Has anyone discovered anything at all about the hardware and system software? This might just be an RPi in a plastic case.

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Dave73 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-Aug-2021 18:46:07
#48 ]
Member
Joined: 21-Sep-2016
Posts: 36
From: Toronto, Canada

@AmigaOldskooler

Yep, I'm definitely going to get one. And then when the next model comes out with a working keyboard I will get it too I bought both TheC64 Mini and TheC64. Now that I have the full-size TheC64, it gets all the use and the Mini is a nice shelf decoration.

I might actually make a 3D printed Amiga 1000 case to put the A500 Mini in, since I will need an external keyboard.

For everyone who will say "get a Pi", I have a couple of Pi's too. But I really like a having a "turn key" experience. So my Pi's are set up for easy console and arcade emulation. Amiga emulation is a PITA, so I would much rather have a polished commercial-ready solution like TheA500.

Final point --- I LOVE that they did a USB tank mouse. (Sure, I'd love a USB "pregnant" A3000 mouse even more, but that's wildly unlikely.) I've had a terrible time looking for a *beige* mouse to go with my retro beige mechanical keyboard ... so I might pick up at least one spare USB tank mouse. (I'm sure they will be available, as RetroGames also sell spare joysticks for TheC64.)

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-Aug-2021 19:33:39
#49 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@thread

Perhaps only of interest to those who remember Jeri Ellsworth and the C64DTV but still:

Quote:
Darren Melbourne Co-creator of the C64DTV direct to TV C64 games console, and has held senior positions in many game development and publishing companies such as Square Enix and many more. Darren has extensive knowledge in game licensing and production.


Source: https://retrogames.biz/about

Same fellow

#6



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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-Aug-2021 21:36:18
#50 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1654
From: Cheshire, England

@bison
Quote:
anyone discovered anything at all about the hardware and system software?


In this tear down video of the c64 mini
https://youtu.be/k6QANcHKQzQ
Its simple a arm chip all winner a20, with 256mb ram and 256mb storage running linux and a c64 emulation.

Its highly likely the A500 mini will be roughly the same setup, maybe just slightly higher specs given that amiga emulator is a little more resource heavy.

I really wish they did partner with the Pi foundation to make this, it be so much cooler and offer much more support, I guess a arm board is a arm board at the end of the day.

But its pretty clear you should only be buying this if your after the cases / accessories, really have low experience of setting up / building computers as a Pi setup would highly likely be better and cheaper, or just want something that plug in and works and all legal.

Last edited by amigang on 13-Aug-2021 at 09:43 PM.
Last edited by amigang on 13-Aug-2021 at 09:42 PM.

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-Aug-2021 22:10:24
#51 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@amigang

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlYYTdOxlow&ab_channel=amigang

#6

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bison 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 4:26:38
#52 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1879
From: N-Space

@amigang

Quote:
Its highly likely the A500 mini will be roughly the same setup, maybe just slightly higher specs given that amiga emulator is a little more resource heavy.

Yes, you're probably right. Looking at the port layout on the back of the case in the video posted by @number6 pretty much eliminates the possibility that it's an RPi.

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 13:00:49
#53 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@thread

Some more responses from Retro Games Ltd.

Since not everyone has facebook access and the site setting seems to have changed today to require joining to read...

The following vid from this morning has some interesting info about sales % of the mini vs maxi from their prior C64 project. Obviously this is in response to the questions about whether THEA500 mini might lead also to a maxi.

In addition they show rankings of preorders on Amazon U.K. for PC and video games chart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaToUoa3lwY&ab_channel=DVDfeverGames

#6


Last edited by number6 on 14-Aug-2021 at 01:17 PM.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 20:54:05
#54 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1148
From: Kansas

#6 Quote:

Some more responses from Retro Games Ltd.

Since not everyone has facebook access and the site setting seems to have changed today to require joining to read...

The following vid from this morning has some interesting info about sales % of the mini vs maxi from their prior C64 project. Obviously this is in response to the questions about whether THEA500 mini might lead also to a maxi.

In addition they show rankings of preorders on Amazon U.K. for PC and video games chart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaToUoa3lwY&ab_channel=DVDfeverGames


Considering the lack of Amiga branding, not so cheap price and cheap ARM emulation, it is surprising that THEA500 is number 5 in the UK Amazon pre-order chart in its category.

Quote:

Currently on #Amazon #UK - #THEA500 is the FIFTH best selling/pre-order on the PC and Video Games chart...

Number 1 - is the PlayStation 5
Number 2 - Playstation top up card
Number 3 - Xbox top up card
Number 4 - Playstation Digital Edition Console
Number 5 - THEA500 mini


This is just a cheap and dirty ARM eye candy box. CBM was able to bring the cost of the Amiga 500 down to $200 in 1987.

Jeff Porter Quote:

We got the cost of the A500 down to $200. So we could sell it for $400 to the retail channel and then mark it up to the retailer for $600 and everyone was really happy. In fact, someone asked me today, "Why do we call it the Amiga 500?" I said, "Because that is what it is supposed to sell for." It's supposed to sell for 500 bucks. If you can make a computer for 500 bucks vs a computer for 600 bucks, you'll sell twice as many at 500 as at 600. There is just some magic price points in the world. And every time you take another 100 bucks out you double the volume. It's pretty amazing there that if you can get the right price points you can move a whole bunch of these things. So we did that and in January of 1987 we had the first Amiga 500 prototypes in plastic cases. I think our tooling had just come in. And I still remember Winfried Hoffmann coming in from Germany and he looked at that and it was running Defender of the Crown, it was running Deluxe Paint, it was running all these famous Amiga titles and it looked like a Commodore 64 and his eyes just lit up. He said, "Jeff, I know exactly what to do with this and by the way I'm taking that one. It's going with me. I'm hand carrying back to Germany. There is no way this one is going back to Pennsylvania. Sorry." I said, "Please, and by the way I have another one here, do you want two?" "Yes Please, and I have a third one from the guy in the UK."


https://youtu.be/otuQq4iqFgg?t=1029

The price of electronics have dropped significantly since 1987. THEC64 uses an ARM SoC chip which is available in low volume for $7. The majority of the chip logic is for a 3D GPU which isn't even used. A custom 68k Amiga SoC which is much more powerful than any 68k Amiga should require less logic than this ARM chip and could be produced cheaper if mass produced. As I have stated before, the opportunity is available to create a quality low priced mass produced Amiga which competes with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino and gets the Amiga back into hardware production. I believe the Amiga has a better chance of competing in the low cost computer hardware manufacturing market than as a software only AmigaOS producer competing with free operating systems. Why use a 1 GHz ARM SoC chip to emulate a 7 MHz Amiga when a 1 GHz 68k Amiga SoC chip can be produced for the same price?

Last edited by matthey on 14-Aug-2021 at 09:12 PM.
Last edited by matthey on 14-Aug-2021 at 09:11 PM.

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 21:08:10
#55 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@matthey

Quote:
The price of electronics have dropped significantly since 1987


Another video expressed the price of an Amiga500 using google to translate 1987 dollars for the unit he detailed into 2020 dollars (because there was no 2021 option).

It was 4 figures, so depending on your perspective, you can present the value different ways.

In addition sure...I've seen the comments about "should have been a rasp" in many places.
But unless you can elicit a public statement from Eben Upton on this that's all we'll keep hearing.

#6

Last edited by number6 on 14-Aug-2021 at 09:20 PM.

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bison 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 22:08:09
#56 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1879
From: N-Space

@number6

Quote:
But unless you can elicit a public statement from Eben Upton on this that's all we'll keep hearing.

Maybe after all the legal issues are sorted out (if they ever are).

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 22:21:46
#57 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1148
From: Kansas

#6 Quote:

Another video expressed the price of an Amiga500 using google to translate 1987 dollars for the unit he detailed into 2020 dollars (because there was no 2021 option).

It was 4 figures, so depending on your perspective, you can present the value different ways.


The $200 in 1987 would be roughly $481 today when adjusted for inflation.

https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

The price of electronics are a tiny fraction of what they were in 1987. Plastic and keyboards are also a fraction of what they were when adjusted for inflation.

The cost to bring out the Amiga in 1985 was ~$55 million dollars (Jeff mentions in the video @12:18) which is ~$140 million inflation adjusted. The Amiga was state of the art technology then and Ron Nicholson in the video was still laying out and measuring the Amiga chip transistors by hand. Today, all the Amiga logic and even advanced 68k CPU cores can fit in one FPGA which makes development much easier. Circuit boards can easily and cheaply be ordered as even THEC64 uses a custom circuit board. The plastic and keyboards are cheaper and easier to have produced today as can be seen by the THEC64 and THEA500 mini. It likely cost a few million dollars to bring out a product like THEA500 but a significant portion of that is inventory cost of high volume parts. Developing and producing custom 68k Amiga SoC chips would cost significantly more but also reduce costs in volume while greatly increasing the performance/price and competitiveness. I expect THEA500 mini sells hundreds of thousands of units and full sized THEA500 sells tens of thousands. A full sized Amiga 1200 with several times the performance of any Amiga ever made could likely be produced for less than the cost of THEA500 mini and out sell THEA500 mini. There is more risk but also more potential reward. The Amiga market needs volume sales to be revitalized so sacrificing some short term profits to lower the price and increase volumes is in order. Jeff Porter knew that the Amiga needed to be aggressively cost reduced and this is what made the Amiga take off. The same cost reduction needs to be done today and it doesn't require a large business like CBM. PA Semi was a very professional fabless semi conductor startup for $86 million of investment (bought by Apple for $278 million). An Amiga project would be much smaller, lower tech and cheaper.

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 22:32:12
#58 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11251
From: In the village

@matthey

Like I said, it was for the unit he detailed:
https://youtu.be/caG-03A3uO4?t=256

For those who don't do timestamps, at about 4:16.

Feel free to run over there and correct him. heh.

#6

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 14-Aug-2021 23:34:59
#59 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1148
From: Kansas

#6 Quote:

Like I said, it was for the unit he detailed:
https://youtu.be/caG-03A3uO4?t=256

For those who don't do timestamps, at about 4:16.

Feel free to run over there and correct him. heh.


The rate of inflation varies by country. The UK pound had higher inflation than the US dollar over this time period. If using the Zimbabwe dollar, the modern Amiga 500 equivalent in Zimbabwe dollars would likely overflow (prices doubled in about 24 hours in 2008). For our purposes, we want to know the general buying power of the currency at that time. Products which cost the same amount to produce today should cost the inflation adjusted amount today but instead electronics cost a fraction of that amount. In fact, they often cost a fraction of the amount they cost back in 1987 so a fraction of a fraction. The cost of the silicon for the Amiga 500 CPU and all the custom chips together in one SoC chip today would be less than $1 (at least before Covid). The Amiga 500 memory could be added to the SoC and it would still likely cost less than $1 to produce.

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ne_one 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 15-Aug-2021 19:08:23
#60 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Jun-2005
Posts: 898
From: Unknown

@matthey

Quote:
As I have stated before, the opportunity is available to create a quality low priced mass produced Amiga which competes with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino and gets the Amiga back into hardware production. I believe the Amiga has a better chance of competing in the low cost computer hardware manufacturing market than as a software only AmigaOS producer competing with free operating systems.


By "Amiga" I'm assuming you mean a venture in a parallel universe excluding parties currently involved in litigation? No one controlling this platform has had the wherewithal to capitalize on the brand in a market clambering for nostalgia.

In the last few years we've seen virtually every legacy consumer technology enjoy a renaissance. Some companies like Arcade1Up have produced millions of units selling at hundreds of dollars based on long-dismissed properties. PONG anyone?

It's easy to slag the A500 Mini for its cost or lack of capability (neither of which is relevant) but it appears that it will be an actual product and perhaps even a successful one.

Kudos to these guys for making something happen.

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