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The Atari 400 Mini is a cute little slice of video game history

A promotional photo of the Atari 400 Mini.
Image: Atari

Now that the miniature game console trend has already covered most of the biggest devices from Nintendo, Sega, and Sony, we’re starting to enter more niche territory. The Atari 400 Mini isn’t a rerelease of the company’s most recognizable console (that’d be the 2600). And it isn’t full of household names. But that’s also part of what makes it so interesting — the little gadget is a cute, playful way to explore a very specific and formative niche of video game history.

Like its contemporaries, the 400 Mini is a shrunken-down version of the original. That means a small box in a very 1970s shade of beige plastic, with a keyboard and cartridge slot that are purely ornamental. I appreciate just how retro this thing looks; even the included…

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