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      /  Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
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BigD 
Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 15:20:20
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

Can I ask why we think Retro Games Limited and Koch Media/Plaion have lifted their foot off the gas regarding courting the retro market to push THEA500 Mini?

Some thoughts:

1) I haven't seen them in attendance at any of the recent Amiga shows to sell these boxes to enthusiasts!
2) They have been reluctant to work alongside the Pandory and AMiNIMiga 'soft modders' to even unofficially get full Amiga functionality to the masses. (The firmware updates clamped down on exploits that were relied on under the Pandory V1 soft mod).
3) They have balked on their original plan to launch a THEA600 Maxi-type machine (I feel that an A500 model would be too expensive)!

So why haven't they been selling at shows directly? Do these things now just sell themselves on Amazon without the need for us to demo them? Koch Media/Plaion easily have the budget for posters, banners, balloons and maybe another bundled game pack as an option but it seems it is left to Amiga Goups to explain what these little machines can do!

I haven't even seen them offered as raffle prizes at ANY of the recent show! That may mean that show organisers have stopped communicating with them! Is there any particular reason?! I can't see ANY YouTube videos taken at the recent Zzap! Live show that even cover the fact that at least three units of this currently available Amiga were present and being demoed that day! We as Amigans, seem overly interested in RBG colour schemes and plexi-glass cases for old A500s and A1200s while we've left this little gem that COULD build our community rot as far as I can see!

IMHO once the momentum is lost on this product we likely won't get a 2nd wind! The A1222+ is not the follow up product and neither is Stephen Jone's fancy monitor! Even the PiStorm32 has a limited market due to the price of A1200s! RGL/Plaion need to do better to keep this party going!

Last edited by BigD on 15-Aug-2023 at 03:56 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 15-Aug-2023 at 03:46 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 15-Aug-2023 at 03:45 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 15-Aug-2023 at 03:28 PM.

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amigakit 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 15:41:23
#2 ]
Amiga Kit
Joined: 28-Jun-2004
Posts: 2532
From: www.amigakit.com

@BigD

It is not suprising. The profit has been made and the money has been extracted from our community. For generic retro companies, it is time to move on with another project based on some other platform.

Amiga-centric companies take their revenue and reinvest it back into new community projects and products. They are in it for the long haul, invested in the future of the Amiga. They attend and sponsor Amiga events year after year. They continue to produce updates for their software and hardware, supporting their customer base.

Vote with your wallet what you may prefer.



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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 16:02:38
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@amigakit

While I value your continued support for the platform, it has been a breath of fresh air to have THEA500 Mini product that feasibly belongs in the living room of EVERY old A500 user from the 80s and 90s. There is a level of sheen and professionalism that we have been unable to reach with our small community. RGL/Plaion are part of the retro resurgence NOT a parasite as you seem to be suggesting! Just saying!

P.S. Any news on the availability of your CD32 compatible joypad/mouse adapters? The community sourced one I have been using isn't very reliable and is not fully CD32 compatible other than for Ultimate Body Blows CD32 for some reason!

Last edited by BigD on 15-Aug-2023 at 04:02 PM.

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Templario 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 17:03:52
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2004
Posts: 3665
From: Unknown

@amigakit
You have write a big true, but this problem started 13 years ago, but nobody want see it, only the Amiga fan want news, promises, etc., but no a project a long term, only fast, now, fantasy, and leaving aside the serious projects, companies, fans, etc.

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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 17:13:19
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@Templario

Hard to make out I'm afraid.

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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 17:16:37
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@Templario

If you mean that THEA500 Mini is a "flash in the pan" one off from a greedy corporate company then it's the best "flash in the pan" to befall us...EVER! Let us enjoy our one last chance to get new and old 80s/90s users into our community because it's just yellowed plastic and bit-rot from here on out!

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Templario 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 18:01:47
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2004
Posts: 3665
From: Unknown

@BigD
The people who have joined? Most of the people who bought the THEA500 Mini were already Amiga users and bought it because it was labeled as an Amiga. New, well that where you can see that you have brought new users, also forget that the main commercial hook is to be able to use all the Amiga games... legally? Who is going to invest money in developing new games if you have hundreds of them "legally", apart from the fans of course, who invest our time and money in making new games?

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Templario 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 18:03:11
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2004
Posts: 3665
From: Unknown

@BigD
I think Epic games seeing the huge amount of THEA500 Mini sold and the legions of new users is going to make Amiga games again.

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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 15-Aug-2023 19:02:31
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@Templario

I'm still struggling to understand you. I personally wouldn't use sarcasm (I think I detect it) until your English is a little clearer for basic communication!

As stated, I have at least two old Amiga users/retro games fans that are interested in investing in THEA500 Mini. There were a further two complete strangers that I met at Zzap! Live who I explained THEA500 to who were strongly considering the purchase! These are not Amigans in the classical sense but people trapped in the orbit of our fun community who want to find the easiest, cheapest and friendliest point of entry.

For the record, the AMiNIMiga and Pandory communities on Discord are some of the friendliest and most helpful people I have EVER met in tech virtual space. They put this place to shame most of the time where we just bicker and spout conjecture about when Hyperion will go bust or when the next AmigaOne will materialise. These people care, actively help where they can and do this all in their spare time for a donation towards a coffee from time to time! AmigaKit seem to want to asurp them and charge for the privilege IMHO!

Last edited by BigD on 15-Aug-2023 at 07:09 PM.

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Templario 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 16-Aug-2023 11:05:46
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2004
Posts: 3665
From: Unknown

@BigD

Well, my english is no so good but the Google translator, no unsuspicious to be spanish, translate worse that my bad english.
Yes, the second post is with sarcasm.
But also you have wrote a big true in this forum since 5-6 years only there is post to destroy the Amiga hobby, and sometimes threads of people or companies sell us smoke not vaporware, smoke, they come make their money and close the bussiness and you have understand the Amikit point of view, they try earn money regardless of damaging the companies of a lifetime, because this companies jump to other product, examples, remember the Linux top boxes label as Commodore, where they now?
And yes, there is other forum more positives where the people speak without problem of censure and trolls.

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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 16-Aug-2023 19:32:21
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@Thread

The machine is still getting publicity in the mainstream!

Tell your friends!

https://metro.co.uk/2023/08/16/a500-mini-amiga-console-is-now-less-than-90-on-amazon-19343035/?ico=mosaic_gaming

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amigakit 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 16-Aug-2023 19:38:24
#12 ]
Amiga Kit
Joined: 28-Jun-2004
Posts: 2532
From: www.amigakit.com

@BigD

In retail they call this "reduce to clear"

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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 16-Aug-2023 20:55:55
#13 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@amigakit

If that's true their clearance sale will likely shift more units than your lifetime run! Think on!

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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 16-Aug-2023 22:18:48
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@amigakit

Good luck getting the A600GS on GINX!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utftDnL2A3Q&t=16s

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BigD 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 16-Aug-2023 22:32:00
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7332
From: UK

@amigakit

Also, sadly for you, RGL have confirmed an Amiga Maxi is on the drawing board and is definitely planned to be released, just not as their next product! They will not phase out the Mini if they have a Maxi coming IMHO! Your competition with the RGL products will be on-going!

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DOXWmbEU7lYg&ved=2ahUKEwjO35Omj-KAAxX87rsIHbFeBOkQwqsBegQIDxAG&usg=AOvVaw2k4KZ-pxVEr7FmAa4juIUY

Last edited by BigD on 16-Aug-2023 at 10:32 PM.

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matthey 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 16-Aug-2023 23:23:25
#16 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 2085
From: Kansas

BigD Quote:

If that's true their clearance sale will likely shift more units than your lifetime run! Think on!


I agree and doubt THEA500 Mini is in the "reduce to clear" stage. I wouldn't be surprised if the 2nd half of this year has more unit sales than the 2nd half of last year because of the lower price even though the total profit may have been higher last year due to the higher margin. Retro Games plans for several stages of price reductions which are still profitable before reaching the "reduce to clear" stage. A good example is THEC64 Mini which also saw another price reduction announced in the last article you linked despite being on the market for much longer and having many more price cuts. THEA500 Mini is approaching the price point where impulse buying is greater than hesitation for a toy. There is value in the Amiga tank mouse and CD32 controller which are cheap but better than the C= originals and should be usable with other Amiga related hardware with USB ports. I doubt any competitors will be as easy to use out of the box or have as good of game library included. Copycat products like the A600GS will likely be late to the game and appeal to a niche of a niche market while prices will be higher due to lack of mass production. Without mass production, a custom board like the A600GS uses increases the cost compared to higher production products like THEA500 Mini and Raspberry Pi SBCs which could have been embedded in a custom case. Is there a killer feature that justifies a custom SBC or is this "Good Stuff" a gimmick that acts like a dongle?

It is certainly possible to offer a product with more value than THEA500 Mini but it would require more investment. The current legal situation is an impediment and likely even endangers an Amiga Maxi followup, at least as good of one as possible. Greedy Amiga people have carved out their niches in the Amiga market and fragmented it. These ARM boards using emulation are the low end of the Amiga market. FPGA Amiga users (MiSTer, MiST, Vamp/AC), x86-64 UAE users, original hardware Amiga users and even PPC AmigaNOne users likely have a better experience at least some of the time compared to cheap ARM emulation. ARM emulation may offer some value due to cheapness but will never replace better Amiga hardware and unify the Amiga again. Its obvious that the only way to offer value that destroys all the competition and unifies the Amiga again is with the 68k and Amiga custom chips in real silicon as a single chip SoC. A 68060+AGA chipset uses fewer transistors than the U.S. $1 RP2040 SoC chip which likely costs a fraction of that to mass produce. The Raspberry Pi foundation can make a complete wedge computer for $70 too. Maybe they will be able to push down their price more as they design more advanced SoCs and benefit from vertical integration. C= had vertical integration also but they lacked the leadership of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Retro Games Ltd. Trevor is probably looking for more PPC chips in a trash bin and Matthew is playing follow the leader in a niche of a niche of a fractured Amiga market using cheap ARM emulation while RGL keeps demonstrating Amiga mass production is possible. If you can't beat the competition then smear their competing product with "reduce to clear" sales rumors.

Edit: I didn't see your new post before my last post BigD. I hope the Maxi is based on the Amiga 1200, has internet support and comes with the AmigaOS. Michele said the AmigaOS can be included now that the assets of Amiga Inc. have been acquired. The product could likely even be branded as an "Amiga" now although I wouldn't allow that for a product using cheap ARM emulation.

Last edited by matthey on 16-Aug-2023 at 11:49 PM.

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Rob 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 17-Aug-2023 0:57:46
#17 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6361
From: S.Wales

@matthey

Quote:
Michele said the AmigaOS can be included now that the assets of Amiga Inc. have been acquired. The product could likely even be branded as an "Amiga" now


If Cloanto/Amiga sell or license a device is called an Amiga where Amiga OS is exposed to the user it will be in breach of the 2009 settlement agreement. Not helpful to Cloanto while the legal disputes are ongoing.

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matthey 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 17-Aug-2023 3:38:35
#18 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 2085
From: Kansas

Rob Quote:

If Cloanto/Amiga sell or license a device is called an Amiga where Amiga OS is exposed to the user it will be in breach of the 2009 settlement agreement. Not helpful to Cloanto while the legal disputes are ongoing.


Michele said at the last big German show that he couldn't license the AmigaOS to Retro Games Ltd. at the time the contract was signed with them because Cloanto did not have the rights or the rights were in question to distribute the AmigaOS with THEA500 Mini. This has changed with the acquisition of the owner of the AmigaOS and additional Amiga IP. The "Amiga" brand and trademark were acquired also with only the "AmigaOne" portion of the name licensed for PPC hardware. This fits my understanding of the 2009 settlement agreement although it has been awhile since I read it. Recall that Hyperion went back and changed the copyright from "Hyperion" to "Amiga Inc." in the first release of their 68k AmigaOS, perhaps trying to avoid challenging ownership in the 2009 settlement agreement termination clause. Cloanto could already sell the 68k AmigaOS for some purposes and then the owner of the 68k AmigaOS and Amiga IP was added. Why do you believe the owner of the Amiga IP can't license it for other purposes that haven't been exclusively licensed like "AmigaOne" and "AmigaOS 4"?

Last edited by matthey on 17-Aug-2023 at 03:42 AM.
Last edited by matthey on 17-Aug-2023 at 03:40 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 17-Aug-2023 3:46:37
#19 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5398
From: Australia

@Rob
https://www.osnews.com/story/22360/hyperion-amiga-inc-reach-settlement-all-legal-issues-resolved/

Within the framework of the settlement agreement Hyperion is granted an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide right to AmigaOS 3.1 in order to use, develop, modify, commercialize, distribute and market AmigaOS 4.x (and subsequent versions of AmigaOS including without limitation AmigaOS 5) in any form, on any medium and for any current or future hardware platform under the exclusive trademark “AmigaOS” (Amiga operating system) and using other associated trademarks (such as the “BoingBall” logo).


Cloanto's "Amiga Forever" is a bootable Linux-hosted AmigaOS (similar Haage&Partner's AmigaOS XL) not just for the Windows platform.

On 1 February 2019, Amiga Inc. transferred all its IP (including Amiga trademarks and remaining copyrights) to C-A Acquisition Corp, owned by Mike Battilana (director of Cloanto, company behind the Amiga Forever emulation package), later renamed to Amiga Corporation.

Mike Battilana's Amiga Corporation has replaced Bill McEwen's Amiga Inc.

Last edited by Hammer on 17-Aug-2023 at 03:52 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 17-Aug-2023 at 03:49 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: Retro Games Limited - THEA500 Mini - Future?
Posted on 17-Aug-2023 3:59:19
#20 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5398
From: Australia

@amigakit

Quote:

amigakit wrote:
@BigD

In retail they call this "reduce to clear"

TheA500mini's ARM-based quad-core Cortex A53-based SoC package is priced higher relative to Raspberry Pi 3A+ Essential Kit.

Raspberry Pi 3A+ Essential Kit.
1. Raspberry Pi 3A+
2. Power micro-usb
3. HDMI to HDMI cable
4. 32G SD card preloaded with Noobs
5. SD card reader
6. Heat sink
7. Raspberry Pi 3A+ case

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