Launched as the first Amiga ‘Home Computer’ and was to compete directly with the recent Atari ST. Commodore released the Amiga 500 in April 1987, the month after the Amiga 2000.
The Amiga 500 is the system that really defined the Amiga as a gaming powerhouse. Far outperforming many other systems at the time, it’s custom chips delivered superior graphical and sound capabilities. Shipping with a Motorola 68000 and 512kb as standard. Expanding the Amiga 500 beyond it’s 512kb of RAM was no problem with the trap-door expansion board. This was easily accessible underneath the A500 where the expansion card would simply slot on the board directly.
Thanks to superb marketing and negotiating efforts by David Pleasance of Commodore UK, the Amiga A500 enjoyed huge success. The 1989 Batman pack included the new Batman game by Ocean, exclusive to the Batman pack for a period of time. Although bundles had been a part of the strategy prior this package, the Batman pack set new standards.
How to Emulate this system?
Amiga 500 emulation is reasonably well catered for, so it is not that hard to find a good Amiga 500 emulator. We recommend taking a look at RetroArch if you are seeking an all in one solution. RetroArch emulates a large number of systems including the Amiga 500. RetroArch is a front end that utilises emulator ‘cores’, it is reasonably easy to use and has lots of good supporting documentation on how to use it. RetroArch is available across a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and many consoles. Take a look at our quick start guide for RetroArch which can get you up and running in 5 minutes.
The king of Amiga emulation has long reigned in the form of UAE. UAE provides emulation of all variances of the Commodore Amiga (including the CDTV and CD32). It allows emulation of all original stock hardware, but also of additional hardware such as hard drives and accelerator cards.
It is the most complete, all in one Amiga 500 emulator you will find.
There are a few flavours of UAE available. Depending upon your platform and also skill level, you will find something that suits your needs.
The most configurable and advanced Amiga emulator. Recommended if you want to play around with depth settings and recreating your old Amiga set up more accurately. Check out WinUAE here.
This package is very much focussed on gaming and has a much more accessible interface. Definitely recommended if you want to primarily play games with minimal fuss. Check out FS-UAE here.
A really good all in one solution to experience the Amiga on your Windows PC. The package contains all you need to get running out of the box. This is the best plug and play Amiga 500 emulator if you are not confident with setting up emulators. Check out Amiga Forever here.
A UAE port for Android. Provides a very good level of emulation of all stock Amiga hardware. But, can be used on the go on your mobile device. Check out UAE4ALL here.