The Amiga 500, also known as the A500 (or its code name 'Rock Lobster'), was the first “low-end” Commodore Amiga 16/32-bit multimedia home/personal computer. It was announced at the winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1987, at the same time as the high-end Amiga 2000, and competed directly against the Atari 520ST. Before A500 was shipped Commodore suggested that the list price of the A500 was 595.95 USD without a monitor. At delivery in 1987, Commodore announced that the Amiga 500 would carry a 699 USD list price.
The Amiga 500 represented a return to Commodore's roots, being sold in the same mass retail outlets as the Commodore 64 to which it was a spiritual successor, as opposed to the computer store-only Amiga 1000.
The original A500 proved to be Commodore’s best-selling Amiga model, enjoying particular success in Europe. Although popular with hobbyists, arguably its most widespread use was as a gaming machine, where its advanced graphics and sound for the time were of significant benefit.
In October 1989, the A500 dropped its price from 499 GBP to 399 GBP and was bundled with the Batman Pack in the United Kingdom. This price drop helped Commodore to sell more than 1 million A500s in 1989.
In late 1991, an enhanced model known as the A500 Plus replaced the standard A500 in some markets, it was bundled with the Cartoon Classics pack in the United Kingdom at 399 GBP.
The A500 series was discontinued in mid-1992 replaced by the similarly-specified and priced Amiga 600, although this new machine had originally been intended as a much cheaper budget model, which would have been the A300. In late 1992, Commodore released the “next-generation” Amiga 1200, a machine closer in concept to the original A500, but featuring significant technical improvements. Despite this, neither the A1200 nor the A600 replicated the commercial success of its predecessor as, by this time, the market was definitively shifting from the home computer platforms of the past to commodity Wintel PCs and the new "low-cost" Macintosh Classic, LC and IIsi models.
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