Released in 1987, the Amiga 500 was Commodore’s best-selling home computer and an incredibly popular product in European markets. Now, Retro Games LTD is gearing up to release a modern version of the classic console, dubbed the THEA500 Mini, in early 2022.
While the “THEA500” name may suggest that this is an unlicensed product, it’s actually totally legal. Commodore went bankrupt in the 90s due to mismanagement and dissolved into a confusing mess of trademarks and IPs, all owned by different groups, companies, and individuals. It seems that whoever owns the Amiga 500 name would not license it to Retro Games LTD, for whatever reason.
But Retro Games LTD managed to secure the licenses for 25 games, including Simon The Sorcerer, The Chaos Engine, and Worms: The Director’s Cut. Like other mini consoles, the THEA500 Mini presents these games in a carousel with save states, optional CRT filters, and other goodies. And don’t worry, if your favorite title isn’t included, you’re allowed to add on new games with a USB drive.
Unfortunately, the THEA500 Mini doesn’t come with a chunky computer monitor, and the console’s built-in keyboard is just for show (though you can plug in an external keyboard). But Commodore fans will be happy to know that an original 2-button mouse and new 8-button precision gamepad (based on the Amiga CD32’s gamepad) are included in the box.
Retro Games LTD says that the THEA500 Mini features perfect emulation of the original Amiga 500, plus the Enhanced Chip Set of the console’s later models and the Advanced Graphics Architecture of the Amiga 1200. Launching early 2022, it will cost around $140/£120/€130. If you live in the UK, you can sign up for pre-order alerts on Amazon.