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Down Home Gamin': Unboxing the Atari 400 Mini

On 03/31/2024 at 12:47 AM by SanAndreas

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Mini-consoles have been a thing for well over a decade now, thanks in large part to the Atari Flashback and all those ATGames Genesis consoles. Mini-consoles experienced a huge surge in popularity with the success of the NES Classic and SNES classic in 2016-2017. Suddenly, everybody was putting out mini-consoles - the PlayStation Mini, two interations of mini Genesises (the OG Genesis and the 1994 revision that came with Sega CD games), and even a TurboGrafx-16 Mini. 

Other than picking up a SNES Classic at Toys 'R' Us when they were in the process of liquidating their stores in 2018, I mostly skipped the mini-console craze. Most Genesis games are available in collections, Nintendo has its own games on Switch, and the PS1 Classic was rather baffling, plus, the PS1's signature game, Final Fantasy VII, is also widely available. The TG-16 might have been interesting if they'd had some of the Japanese titles like Far East of Eden, and the Genesis 2 should have had Lunar and Popful Mail on it.

But when Atari announced a 400 Mini, I was excited, especially when I found out that it would support the entire Atari 8-bit line, which also includes the 5200 (which was based on a simplified version of the A8).  The Atari 8-bit computers were, after the NES, my favorite 1980s gaming machines. So many great games.

So I bit the bullet and bought one. Was it money well spent? In a word, yes.

Here's my video review of it. Like and subscribe if you enjoy it!



Cary Woodham

04/01/2024 at 10:50 AM

I have a lot of the mini consoles.  Famicom, NES, SNES, Genesis 1 and 2, and TG16.  The Atari 400 didn't have any games on it that jumped out at me, so I probably won't get it.  Same reason why I didn't get the C64 Mini.  Since the Atari 5200 is kind of the same as the Atari 800 computers, if they made a mini of that I might look into it since the 5200 was the first video game console I owned.  I wonder if they'd ever make an Apple ][ Mini since that was the first gaming PC I had as a kid.

I liked your barnyard background.  I was thinking you should have a barnyard animal puppet like a pig or a cow to talk to you, but that would probably be too silly!


04/03/2024 at 01:39 PM

I thought about the TG-16. The Japanese version had a lot neater games than the US version (which was also true of the Sega ones). Maybe if they'd had some of the PC-Engine CD games included on it i would have gotten it, auch as the first Legend of Heroes game, which was fully localized in English for the US market.

In addition to the fact that the Atari 8-bit games aren't widely available (with the exception of a couple that appeared in the recent Atari 50 and Llamasoft collections), the Atari 400 was designed out of the gate to allow you to import your own Atari 8-bit titles into it, as it includes a USB port specifically for a USB thumb drive and can recognize Atari ROMs. It even has a full version of Atari BASIC which you can type programs into. When I'm feeling more ambitious, I might try typing in a couple of games from archived ANTIC Magazines. Early computer magazines generally included type-in BASIC listings for games and such.


04/05/2024 at 01:51 PM

Interesting about Basic and games you could type into it. I saw Basic on the C64 Mini and wondered why it was there. Now I want to type in a game like they used to do. 

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