What Is the A600GS and Could It Beat TheA500 Mini Amiga? [UPDATED]

What Is the A600GS and Could It Beat TheA500 Mini Amiga? [UPDATED]

Last Updated on November 26, 2023

Various new details have been provided about the A600GS, which we’ve added to the article.

I’ve been hearing whispers of a new Amiga-like system since returning from holiday, and finally managed to learn more about it thanks to the latest Amiga Addict. Unveiled at the Kickstart 01 event in June, the A600GS is a prototype or proof of concept (PoC) mini ARM-powered Amiga.

The Amiga Kit device is planned to be available in two models (GS and GS+), and according to the wiki, boast 2GB RAM/64GB storage (GS) or 4GB RAM/128GB storage (GS+). Both devices are set to ship with a joypad, while the GS+ will have a mouse. HDMI, Ethernet, and USB ports will be available, while the GS+ will have D-Sub ports for mouse and joystick. If no keyboard is attached, a software keyboard can be accessed.

A600GS desktop

The joypad boasts standard D-pad and 4 independent fire buttons, 2 shoulder buttons, and Start and Select buttons.

Apparently, the “GS” suffix refers to “Game System” and updates will be via AmiSphere. The A600GS+ is planned to feature some preinstalled applications: Personal Paint, Directory Opus 4 GPL, OctaMED, and Amibench. Other included software includes a software keyboard, and a “Pause Menu” provides screenshot, save state, and disk image swap options.

A website, www.a600gs.com, has been launched, but nothing is there (at the time of writing) aside from a splash page.

A report on the AmigaNG website/blog states:

“I also spotted a intresting little product from Amigakit, A600GS a prototype/proof of concept mini Arm / Amiberry computer, basically another A500mini type system, I did stop and talk to the dev who basically described it as much. The computer was just a very tiny, think more pi zero size motherboard in a super tiny case with Ethernet, 2*usb c, and one full size usb. I sure more details will come out later, the offical website…”

An image of this device accompanied the blog post:

A600GS

Note that while there is a menu item for the A600GS on the Amiga Kit store, the page remains unpopulated.

Is the A600GS likely to materialise?

Never say never, but I can’t see this device being viable. Even if it does enter production, the prospect of a Raspberry Pi 5 with eMMC storage means anyone can choose their own Amiga OS, select the game ROMs, and copy to the Pi 5 using just a USB cable. It would be as easy as copying MP3s to or from a phone.

The main complaint of the THEA500 Mini is the lack of a working keyboard. Demonstrating the A600GS at the Kickstart 01 event was a good idea, but overlooking a full Amiga-style livery with a working keyboard seems like a mistake.

Obviously the device is a PoC more than anything else, but even so, it lacks something in the presentation.

Ultimately, the A600GS looks like a cool DIY project, but going forward all it will take to blow it out of the water is for Retro Games Ltd to issue THEA500 Maxi… something they’re almost certain to do.

AmigaKit’s Matthew Leaman discusses the A600GS

An edition of The Retro Hour podcast from February 2024 features a lengthy interview with AmigaKit founder Matthew Leaman. The specifics about the device start at the 1 hour 21 minute mark.

The device is set to arrive in the next few months, with a price tag in the £120 mark. The interview makes no mention of the GS+ model, but does indicate that the GS will have 4GB/128GB, which suggests there is now just a single model.

But if you’re aware of some of the underlying technology of these things, information remains scant. While we know it is an ARM SoC, it isn’t clear what the board is (something custom, or a Raspberry Pi CM?) or what the underlying OS is (probably Linux, but information would be useful!)

With the A500 Maxi also expected in 2024, it’s looking like a big year for Amiga fans!

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