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Atari 400 / 800 Mini Possibility?

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#1 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:55 AM

With the C64 Mini coming online (very, very soon) and the ZX Spectrum Next now in production, I am wondering if there would be any interest in a mini Atari 400/800.  It seems to me that while the 2600 will live on, Atari's 8 bit line (400, 800, XL, XE, 5200) seems to be lost in the shuffle despite the longevity of this line.  I just wonder if AtGames or any other retro company would be interested in doing something like this?  Heck, if the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum can come back to life in new, modern iterations (C64 Mini and ZX Spectrum Next, respectively), then why can't the Atari 400/800.  Thoughts?  Opinions?



#2 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:07 AM

The ZX Spectrum Next is some next level stuff with a great FPGA design, but I'm pretty sure the C64 Mini is basically just software emulation in a fancy case. I think the latter approach would be rather straightforward to put together, i.e., you just decide on what platform (Pi, Odroid, etc.) and then how you're going to design the case. The one catch is that Atari seems rather litigious these days and I suspect would be all over a project like this, particularly in light of their Ataribox initiative, so crowdfunding probably wouldn't be an option like it was for The64. Of course, a pitch to Atari might work if the right business plan were put together (and the licensing rights were reasonable) and it was demonstrated how this would steer clear of Ataribox.



#3 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:30 AM

The ZX Spectrum Next is some next level stuff with a great FPGA design, but I'm pretty sure the C64 Mini is basically just software emulation in a fancy case. I think the latter approach would be rather straightforward to put together, i.e., you just decide on what platform (Pi, Odroid, etc.) and then how you're going to design the case. The one catch is that Atari seems rather litigious these days and I suspect would be all over a project like this, particularly in light of their Ataribox initiative, so crowdfunding probably wouldn't be an option like it was for The64. Of course, a pitch to Atari might work if the right business plan were put together (and the licensing rights were reasonable) and it was demonstrated how this would steer clear of Ataribox.

 

Thanks for the expert input Bill.  Too me, it just seems obvious to me that something along this line should be done.  I know that the 2600 will continue to have an infinite number of lives beyond the original hardware, but considering the 8-bit line existed in some form or fashion from 1979 to 1992 I would think someone would try to do something like with what is happening with the C64 Mine and/or ZX Spectrum Next.  Maybe the Ataribox will address the 8-bit line as games haven't been fully addressed yet.  Still, I think it would be a good idea personally as the retro-gaming scene is (seemingly) growing and becoming more mainstream each passing month, especially with high profile products like what AtGames is doing and the Nintendo mini products.



#4 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:50 AM

I agree there's a lot of potential there and I'm surprised no one has attempted something quite like that yet.

 

In terms of AtGames, we've certainly considered dipping into the Atari 8-bit series, but the available games are mostly the same type of games you find on the Atari 2600. The Atari 8-bit series on its own is just not enough to carry a product, so it would need some high profile games of its own to help. People know "Atari" and "Atari 2600" as well as select arcade games - nothing else really registers with the general public.



#5 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:00 AM

I agree there's a lot of potential there and I'm surprised no one has attempted something quite like that yet.

 

In terms of AtGames, we've certainly considered dipping into the Atari 8-bit series, but the available games are mostly the same type of games you find on the Atari 2600.

 

Lot of potential.  But, like you said, a lot of the noted titles for the system are really just upgrade ports of noted games.  That is (one major factor) that killed the 5200, and the 7800 to some degree.  However, maybe someone will take this idea and run with it.  I think it would work and be a successful project not unlike the C64 Mini, ZX Spectrum Next, and/or ZX Spectrum Vega.



#6 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:04 AM

Well, technically it has been done with EclaireXL and 1088XEL, but these are homebrew hardware, I presume you are hoping for a real licensed product, which would potentially have a wider distribution.

#7 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:43 AM

Well, technically it has been done with EclaireXL and 1088XEL, but these are homebrew hardware, I presume you are hoping for a real licensed product, which would potentially have a wider distribution.

Yes, something along the lines of the C64 Mini and/or ZX Spectrum Next.  I know that the 2600 will continue on, but it just seems logical (to me at least) that the 8-bit Atari line should be revived somehow, especially since it was in production in some form or fashion 10+ years.



#8 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:52 AM

Well, technically it has been done with EclaireXL and 1088XEL, but these are homebrew hardware, I presume you are hoping for a real licensed product, which would potentially have a wider distribution.

 

That's exactly how and what would need to be done. All that's missing is a fancy case. Unfortunately, there's likely no mainstream market for this, so it's unlikely any of the mainstream players would get involved (and I doubt Atari would either).



#9 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:16 PM

 

That's exactly how and what would need to be done. All that's missing is a fancy case. Unfortunately, there's likely no mainstream market for this, so it's unlikely any of the mainstream players would get involved (and I doubt Atari would either).

 

An awesome product like ZX Spectrum Next (huge kickstarter success), designed by one of the threee original Atari designers, would be nice.

A8 sold more of less as much as ZX Spectrum.



#10 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:35 PM

With the C64 Mini coming online (very, very soon) and the ZX Spectrum Next now in production, I am wondering if there would be any interest in a mini Atari 400/800.  It seems to me that while the 2600 will live on, Atari's 8 bit line (400, 800, XL, XE, 5200) seems to be lost in the shuffle despite the longevity of this line.  I just wonder if AtGames or any other retro company would be interested in doing something like this?  Heck, if the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum can come back to life in new, modern iterations (C64 Mini and ZX Spectrum Next, respectively), then why can't the Atari 400/800.  Thoughts?  Opinions?

 

There's a miniaturized 5200 project in the 5200 forums that's worth checking out. Miniaturizing the A8 sounds like a fun project, but I'm not sure how much interest it would be to the general user base. That Tulip C64 caused a mini-miniaturizing craze about ten years ago, and I recall seeing units put into all sorts of crazy things, but full-sized units ultimately seemed to be much more sensible unless (like the C64 joystick) the project had a very specialized goal.



#11 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:48 PM

 

There's a miniaturized 5200 project in the 5200 forums that's worth checking out. Miniaturizing the A8 sounds like a fun project, but I'm not sure how much interest it would be to the general user base.

A 5200 mini project?  That sounds very cool.  I will have to dig for that, or if you can provide the page link, even better.  I, too, think a mini A8 or A4 would be a fun project.  I just don't know if any company would be interested doing something like that.  I would think there would be enough of a (former) user base that would like something like that.  Heck, the C64 Mini is all over the internet now with articles in Digital Trends and Engadget.  However, the Commodore 64 is highest selling individual computer system of all time, so a product like the C64 Mini is a no-brainer.



#12 Standard User OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:20 PM

:)

 

http://atariage.com/...?hl= mini 5200



#13 Almerian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:42 PM

There is no hurry.

 

I woud rather have an enhanced 8 bit Atari computer. So I don't think an 8 bit Atari mini console is a good idea. It would attract those interested in 8 bit Atari games.

That would leave a very limited market for an enhanced 8 bit Atari computer initiative, like the ZX Spectrum Next. Effectively killing it before it started.

 

Also, a computer is much more likely to get the blessing from any (Atari) rights holders. It doesn't compete directly with the mass games market.


Edited by Almerian, Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:43 PM.


#14 DrVenkman ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:57 PM

When I can buy working, vintage "real thing" hardware for under $100 all day every day on eBay, no thanks. :) 



#15 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 10:49 AM

When I can buy working, vintage "real thing" hardware for under $100 all day every day on eBay, no thanks. :)

 

True, I understand your point when bargins can still be had.  However, I would point out the same could be said for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.  Yet, we are getting new products for both of those machines.  Personally, I think a mini A8 or A4 would sell.  I just don't know if there are any willing parties, including the current 'Atari'.



#16 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 7:08 PM

Maybe it's time for something like this...

XE Stick.png

 

Edit: Nir has something very close to this if I recall correctly.

 

- Michael


Edited by mytekcontrols, Wed Oct 4, 2017 9:00 PM.


#17 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 10:42 PM

Forget the whole mini Atari idea; I say we start making them BIGGER, using a concept like this as pattern for the whole machine! Forget downscaling, let's upscale.

 

MOnSter 6502


Edited by MrFish, Wed Oct 4, 2017 10:44 PM.


#18 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 11:45 PM

Forget the whole mini Atari idea; I say we start making them BIGGER, using a concept like this as pattern for the whole machine! Forget downscaling, let's upscale.

 

MOnSter 6502

 

I saw that and it's creator at the VCF in Mountainview, CA a couple months ago. It was really quite amazing.

 

- Michael



#19 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 12:16 AM

Forget it... this thing currently only runs at a maximum clock rate of 60 kHz. A tad slow for any realistic application in an Atari machine.



#20 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 12:57 PM

I came across the Armiga (https://www.armigaproject.com/) today (see pic below).  If this is being produced and sold, along with the C64 mini coming soon, I would have to say that my mini 400/800 idea holds water.  However, I think if this project where to come to fruition, the 800XL design might be the way to go with a different color scheme.  Perhaps black, silver, and red as its colors?  Thoughts?

 

003_black_armiga-400x400.jpg



#21 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 1:14 PM

I came across the Armiga (https://www.armigaproject.com/) today (see pic below).  If this is being produced and sold, along with the C64 mini coming soon, I would have to say that my mini 400/800 idea holds water.  However, I think if this project where to come to fruition, the 800XL design might be the way to go with a different color scheme.  Perhaps black, silver, and red as its colors?  Thoughts?

 

 

Yes, and it's selling quite well, particularly the version with the floppy disk drive. There's definitely a market for an Atari one, but the catch is someone has to make it (and steer clear of present day Atari).



#22 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 7, 2017 1:52 PM

 

Yes, and it's selling quite well, particularly the version with the floppy disk drive. There's definitely a market for an Atari one, but the catch is someone has to make it (and steer clear of present day Atari).

 

Amen to that, especially when they have broken out the lawyers on some folks. 



#23 ClausB OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 5:40 AM

So call it "Artari" I suppose?

#24 Hwlngmad OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 8, 2017 10:23 AM

So call it "Artari" I suppose?

 

That's a good one.  It could be called the 'Artari 800XL'.  However, what about '800XL Classic', '800XL Mini', or '800XL Redux'?  Any of those work?



#25 ilaskey OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:39 AM

When I can buy working, vintage "real thing" hardware for under $100 all day every day on eBay, no thanks. :)

Depends on what country you're in. Here in the UK, a 400 is typically £350 upwards and I see 800s for £600+ Peripherals are rare and again, usually premium priced.







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