It’s time to dust off your old Atari cartridges as the company again tries to tap into gaming nostalgia with an updated version of its iconic Atari 2600. The upcoming Plus model has the same look as the 80s classic, and will ship with a 10-in-1 cartridge but also supports legacy 2600 and 7800 game cartridges.
The Atari 2600 Plus is the result of a partnership with game developer Plaion, and the console shapes up at 80% of the size of the original, and has been designed to resemble the four-switch model released in 1980.
“For gamers who remember the thrill of playing arcade games at home for the very first time, the Atari 2600+ will take you right back,” said Plaion’s Ben Jones. “For everyone else, the offer is one of timeless fun and the chance to experience a golden age of video games in a way that could only come from Atari.”
Other design changes include an increase in the cartridge socket size to minimize sticking issues and the brand’s logo illuminating when powered on. It ships with a joystick controller that’s reported to be the same size and sports the same layout as the original 2600 joystick, and is packaged with a multi-game cartridge that includes such 8-bit classics as Missile Command, Adventure, Haunted House and Video Pinball.
The Plus is also backwards compatible with original Atari 2600 and 7800 cartridges, meaning players can relive their youth with Space Invaders and Pac-Man or introduce a new generation to the nostalgic charm of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial or Street Racer.
The system features Rockchip 3128 processing brains, has been updated with HDMI and USB-C ports that sit beside DB9 connectors around back, and now supports multiple screen resolutions, including a new widescreen mode.
“Preserving classic games is a priority for Atari, and the release of the Atari 2600+ will make the hundreds of Atari 2600 and 7800 games that have been released over the last 50 years universally accessible,” said company CEO and chairman, Wade Rosen.
The Atari 2600 Plus is up for pre-order now at US$129.99, with the worldwide launch pegged for November 17.
Additional CX-40 joystick controllers can be had for an extra $24.99 a pop, and a CX-30 paddle controller is also up for grabs at $39.99. Cartridges for other launch titles such as Berzerk Enhanced Edition and Mr. Run and Jump are priced at $29.99 each. The video below has more.
AN ICON RETURNS: The Atari 2600+
Product page: Atari 2600 Plus