Atari 2600+ sees its future in retro gaming — and maybe in a handheld too

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The Atari house online game system took the late1970s and early Nineteen Eighties by storm, full with fake wooden paneling and a basic joystick with an enormous pink button. Rival programs finally surpassed the video-game pioneer however its iconic standing, and followers, remained.

Atari has been working to rebuild numerous goodwill amongst these followers and inside the broader online game business ever since its new CEO Wade Rosen got here on board in 2021.

Centipede - Atari 2600 VCS Videogame

With Rosen on the helm, the corporate is taking a more in-depth have a look at its personal historical past to chart its future, releasing remastered or reimagined variations of its classics like “Missile Commandand “Centipede,” producing the critically acclaimed “Atari 50” interactive documentary, and introducing its soon-to-be launched retro console the Atari 2600+.

“I believe the 2600+ has legs as a result of there’ll be new content material, new video games popping out but additionally further methods to play these video games and to make them accessible to bigger communities,” Rosen advised CNN. “Do I believe this stuff are going to switch trendy consoles? Completely not. There’s like no approach that might occur, nor would they should. They’re radically various things.”

The retro console arrives in November at a $130 worth level and in a extra compact model. Whereas it comes packaged with 10 video games in a single cartridge, the console may even play new titles and work with unique Atari 2600 and 7800 sport cartridges.

Atari is reimagining the classic

In accordance with Rosen, retro video games complement the instances and reimagined Atari titles like “Haunted Home,” arriving in October, or new, unique video games like “Days of Doom,” accessible now, mirror a speedy, pick-up-and-play type attribute of the early days of the passion.

For example, the remastered “Haunted Home” is an elaborate stealth sport the place gamers evade colourful ghosts and monsters – but it surely retains the exploration mechanics of its namesake that merely featured floating eyes roaming a darkish, 2D maze.

What folks need in video video games has modified radically, Rosen famous, explaining that these experiences “are designed for an age of complexity,” he mentioned. “Again once we had simplicity, I needed 200-hour video games with big quests and branching narratives and all this stuff, and now I’m like: ‘I can do a few these a yr, however life doesn’t enable for it very a lot.’ “

In this photo taken on August 12, 2017, a visitor poses with a T-shirt depicting an Atari 2600 video game console from the early 1980s, during the Retro.HK gaming expo in Hong Kong.

The corporate’s Atari Recharged line additionally takes classics like “Yar’s Revenge” and spruces them up for a contemporary viewers. And its acquisition of Nightdive Studios earlier this yr added new franchises to Atari’s steady of remasters like “Turok” and the upcoming “System Shock.”

The current “Atari 50” launch truly did one thing completely different whereas mining nostalgia — it established the style of the interactive online game documentary. The corporate checked out many years of its historical past, and invited viewers of the doc to develop into gamers.

“As we come to view video games as artwork, increasingly more, I believe folks need to perceive all of the items that went into that and all of the historical past round it, however but the medium is video games so we in all probability ought to work together with it another way,” Rosen famous.

Whereas not within the firm’s plans as but, the Atari CEO additionally confirmed enthusiasm for a hypothetical handheld system that may play its retro video games on the go like a Nintendo Change.

“I assume quick reply, yeah, if there’d be an urge for food for it. I’d fear the cartridges can be a little bit too massive. That may be actually enjoyable,” he mentioned.

Because the successor to Atari’s house console crown, Nintendo, pushes ahead with its Change system, and newer gamers like Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 5 visitors in blockbuster, Triple-A video games this vacation season, the Atari 2600+ retro console (however not a handheld but) will be part of the scrum. It’s set to launch November 17.

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