BBC Micro

Released in 1981, the BBC Micro is a series of computers developed as part of the BBC Computer Literacy Project by Acorn Computers.

Article Contents

System Overview
BBC Micro on eBay
Best BBC Micro Emulators
Raspberry Pi BBC Micro Emulation

System Overview

This is the system that a generation first experienced computing on, usually at school.

Acorn’s BBC Micro is considered their first big success. This was an important milestone for Acorn, whose founder Chris Curry, once a Sinclair employee, found himself in direct competition with his old boss, Sir Clive Sinclair. They enjoyed a turbulent and competitive relationship throughout the 1980s which certainly helped drive the industry forward.

Its technical specification varies depending upon which variant you look at. The Model A and Model B variants are based around the MOS 6502. The Model B+ variants utilise the MOS 6512A CPU. In terms of RAM, this ranged from 16k to 128k from the base Model A to the Model B+ (128k version).

Many peripherals were developed for the BBC Micro, most with learning at their core. A large percentage of software was developed as more education focussed. This was not to suggest that games were not readily available, many classics found their way on the BBC Micro, such as Elite, Chuckie Egg, Tempest and Lode Runner.

BBC Micro
The BBC Micro


How to Emulate this system?

Due to the BBC Micro being more niche than many popular systems, emulators are a little harder to come by. This is especially the case when looking at all in one solutions such as RetroArch. There are however options available to allow you to emulate the BBC Micro and relive those memories. Take a look at the options below:

Emulator Description Platform
BeebEm BeebEm is primarily a Windows based emulator for the BBC Micro and the BBC Master 128 systems. They also include links to ports of BeebEm for Mac & Linux. Windows / Mac / Linux

Raspberry Pi BBC Micro Emulator

The Raspberry Pi is a compact single board computer which has become very popular for emulating retro computers and consoles. You can buy the Pi very cheaply and has a whole community supporting and building accessories and applications that are compatible with.

Significantly, for Retro Gaming enthusiasts, the Raspberry Pi offers fantastic all round emulation of many systems. It offers the ability to play BBC Micro games on HDTVs via HDMI or older CRT TVs via composite outputs. Combining the Raspberry Pi with Retropie, you have a device capable of emulating anything from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PlayStation.

Check out the different Raspberry Pi packages you can pick up on Amazon using the button below.

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