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Atari 400 Mini Brings Modern Features to Retro Gaming

Atari 400 Mini Brings Modern Features to Retro Gaming - Hero

Time travel back to the early days of gaming with the Atari 400 Mini, a retro console based on the 1979 original.

In 1979, Atari launched the Atari 400 and 800 home computers. These were consoles that doubled as fantastic (for the time) gaming systems. They were, for all intents and purposes, the very first gaming PCs. Millions of people love the old-school gaming experiences, as evidenced by a resurgence in refreshed retro consoles. Then of course there are countless ways to emulate things like the Nintendo 64 on an Android device.

For those who relish those retro games of the past, the Atari 400 Mini promises to bring that to your HDTV, along with other modern features. Forget just going back to the days of 3D Pinball Space Cadet — we’re talking Centipede, Missile Command, and more.

THE400 Mini
THE400 Mini
Choose from 12 attractive frames to surround gameplay; Rewind gameplay by up to 40 seconds
$119.99 Amazon Prime

Amazon.com Price updated on 2024-05-25 - We may earn a commission for purchases using our links: more info

All About the Atari 400 Mini

Imagine taking the original Atari 400 and shrinking it by 50 percent. That’s exactly what you get with the 400 Mini. The developers have taken a page from the NES Classic Edition in bringing the Atari 400 Mini to life: take the aesthetics of the original, shrink the console down to an adorable size, then modernize everything for today’s TVs.

Atari 400 Mini

Image credit Atari.

This means the console can emulate the entire 8-bit range of Atari consoles. Not just the 400/800, but also the 5200 SuperSystem, the XL, and the XE. It comes with 25 games preloaded, but you aren’t limited to those. No, in fact, one of the modern features included is a USB port you can use to play additional games beyond those preinstalled.

USB Ports on 400 Mini

Image credit Atari.

It also offers an HDMI port for connecting to your TV, outputting at 720p. Retro Games, the company that partnered with Atari to bring the 400 Mini to life, has also equipped the console with 4 additional USB ports for controllers.

Modern Controls With a Retro Look & Feel

Speaking of controllers, the Atari 400 Mini works with a recreation of the original CX-40 joystick. Called TheCXStick, it’s said to look and feel just like the original, but it features a 1.8m USB cable and features we just didn’t have in 1979.

For one, the ring around the joystick is actually a button ring that allows you to quickly access game functions. Additional action and function buttons are discretely placed on the side of the joystick’s base, in the corner and rear.

Atari 400 Mini Joystick

Image credit Atari.

The 400 Mini comes with one TheCXStick, but you can also buy them individually and connect up to four to the console.

Back to the gaming experience itself, the 400 Mini offers the same retro look as titles like Asteroids, Berserk, or Centipede. The twist is now you can save, pause, or even rewind your game. The console includes 25 classic games, but you can load and play any compatible titles you already own on a USB thumb drive. The pre-installed games include:

AirballAsteroidsBasketballBattleZoneBerzerk
Boulder DashBristlesCapture the FlagCentipedeCrystal Castles
ElektraglideEncounterFlip and FlopHenry’s HouseHover Bovver
LeeMillipedeMiner 2049erMissile CommandM.U.L.E.
O’Riley’s MineSeven Cities of GoldStar Raiders IIWavy NavyYoomp!

Pre-Order and Availability

The Atari 400 Mini starts shipping on March 28, 2024. It’s available for preorder now on Amazon with free Prime shipping.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Steve Krause

    March 26, 2024 at 3:50 pm

    Atari was my first console back in 1981. I have no idea if it was the 400 or the 800, but it was probably the less expensive of the two.

    I remember riding my bike every day to our local Sears to check if the game Defender had arrived.

    The crazy part is, I have no idea why my parents bought that first Atari for us kids. They both hated video games. Anyway, grat memories.

    • Jeff Butts

      March 27, 2024 at 10:40 am

      I had an Atari 2600, but not the 400/800. At school, though, we had a couple of Atari 800s that I got to play around with and start developing my love for all things computers :-)

      And yes, Sears…that Christmas catalog was one of our favorite things growing up. My brother and sisters and I would spend hours poring over that thing!

      • Steve Krause

        March 27, 2024 at 9:00 pm

        Well… for the record, I just went through a few images and we had the Black and Brown Atari. SO yeah, probably the 2600 also…

        • Jeff Butts

          March 28, 2024 at 9:46 am

          Yep, sounds like it. I think that was their biggest seller, anyways.

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