Atari 2600+ sees its future in retro gaming

Atari announced pre-order availability for the Atari 2600+, a recreation of the console that first appeared in 1980. Atari announced pre-order availability for the Atari 2600+, a recreation of the console that first appeared in 1980.

The Atari home video gaming system, which featured faux wood paneling and a traditional joystick with a big red button, was extremely popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rival systems soon overtook the pioneer of video games, but its legendary reputation and supporters persisted.

Since its new CEO Wade Rosen joined the company in 2021, Atari has been putting a lot of effort into restoring its reputation among those fans and within the larger video gaming industry.

Centipede – Atari 2600 VCS Videogame

With Rosen in charge, the company is looking more closely at its own past to map out its future, releasing remastered or reimagined versions of its classic games like “Missile Command” and “Centipede,” producing the critically acclaimed “Atari 50” interactive documentary, and introducing its soon-to-be-released retro console, the Atari 2600+.

According to Rosen, “I think the 2600+ has legs because there will be new content, new games coming out but also additional ways to play these games and to make them accessible to larger communities.” “Do I believe that these items will displace contemporary consoles? Without a doubt. It is unlikely that would occur, nor would they have any need to. They differ greatly from one another.

The retro console will be available in a smaller, $130 edition starting in November. The console supports new games as well as the original Atari 2600 and 7800 game cartridges, and it comes with 10 games on one cartridge.

Atari is reimagining the classic "Haunted House" video game.Atari is reimagining the classic “Haunted House” video game.

Atari is reimagining the classic “Haunted House” video game

Adapted Atari games like “Haunted House,” which will be released in October, or brand-new, original games like “Days of Doom,” which are currently available, reflect a quick, pick-up-and-play manner typical of the early days of the hobby, according to Rosen.

For instance, the upgraded “Haunted House” maintains the exploration features of its namesake, which merely featured floating eyeballs roving a gloomy, 2D maze. Players must avoid colorful ghosts and monsters in this sophisticated stealth game.

According to Rosen, who remarked that these experiences “are designed for an age of complexity,” what people seek from video games has drastically altered. “When things were simpler, I yearned for 200-hour games with massive quests and branching narratives, but now I’m like, ‘I can do a couple of those a year, but life doesn’t allow for it very much.'”

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.

Classics like “Yar’s Revenge” are also updated for a contemporary audience by the company’s Atari Recharged line. And with the purchase of Nightdive Studios earlier this year, Atari gained access to new brands like “Turok” and the impending “System Shock.”

While tapping into nostalgia, the recent “Atari 50” release did something different by creating the interactive video game documentary subgenre. The business examined several decades of its history and asked viewers to participate in the game.

“As we come to view games as art, more and more, I think people want to understand all the pieces that went into that and all the history around it, but yet the medium is games so we probably should interact with it in a different way,” Rosen observed.

The Atari CEO expressed interest for a potential handheld system that can play its classic games on the go like a Nintendo Switch, even though it is not currently in the company’s plans.

 

 

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