Thoughts on Revive Machines new Atari 800XL

There’s been a lot of positive feedback from fans of Retrogames’ TheC64 and A500 Mini machines which had taken Commodore’s classic computers and brought them to a new generation wanting a taste of nostalgia. Having classic games available in a nostalgic, modern way was a big winner. While Atari fans have been blessed with plenty of peripherals to keep their old machines accessible, there’s not been anything at a level that takes into consideration the computer platform as a whole. This however appears to be changing thanks to an announcement by Revive Machines of a new version of Atari’s most popular 8bit machine model, the 800XL.

FPGA based, the RM 800XL is being touted as a complete hardware replacement to the original 1983 model. Users with original peripherals and games will still be able to use them as the machine includes the original SIO (Serial Input/Output) and joystick ports. The cartridge slot will happily accept your games and the PBI (Parallel Bus Interface) is there too on the back of the machine. If it wasn’t for the additional USB and HDMI ports on the machine, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. How both the old and new combine is going to be the real question for most people but if I can plug in my old carts and use my SIO2SD drive while plugged into my big TV it might be all I need. Additionally, if the keyboard is decent quality and the internals support some of the more recent memory and display enhancements, those looking for upgrades and expansions may find this a better option rather than risk damaging your old machines.

Details can be found here. Information is VERY light right now and Revive Machines Twitter account has targeted 2024 for release so it’s hard to know yet where this will ultimately go, but the Atari community have provided impressive support for the platform over the years. I’m keeping an eye out for this one and am keen to see if it might make for a great alternative to my old machines.

Images via the Revive Machines website.

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