Atari to release "new" hardware - the 7800!

From: Chandra Bajpai <>
Date: Tue Sep 7 18:39:06 2004

For those of you who were at VCF/East and saw the talk from the
developers of the Atari 7800..while they may have been disappointed the
7800 wasn't smash hit in may be in 2005! Atari (Infogrames) is
releasing a miniaturized 7800. I wonder if any of the original
developers will see any cash from their efforts 20 years ago.





Atari to Reissue Scores of Old Games






AP Entertainment Writer


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Atari wants to take you back in time, and to get
there, you can ride a "Centipede" or an "Asteroid," or bounce back and
forth between the pixilated paddles of "Pong."


The video game company told The Associated Press on Tuesday it plans to
reissue scores of its classic titles from yesteryear on a single disc
that can be played on the game consoles Xbox and PlayStation 2.


"Atari Anthology" will feature 85 games and is scheduled to go on sale
in November at a cost of about $20.


But it's only one of the nostalgia projects Atari will push into the
market then. The second is Atari Flashback, a slightly miniaturized
version of the old Atari 7800 from the mid-'80s. It will have 20 games
built into it, including "Breakout," "Solaris," "Crystal Castles" and


Flashback will sell for $45 and include a pair of old-school joysticks.


Atari isn't expecting its decades-old games to compete on a technical
level, like "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," "Halo" and "Madden NFL 2005"
that feature colorful realistic graphics, fast-moving 3-D action and the
freedom to roam at will.


Instead, the company is aiming at the nostalgia market.


"It's a time machine. You go back to your childhood and you play," Atari
chief executive Bruno Bonnell said.



And for gamers who weren't even born when the first PlayStation


"The kids will think this is quick, this is fast to understand, and we
don't need a manual to understand it," he added. "We're going after two


Even "Pong," perhaps the most primitive of the games with its simple
white square bouncing across the screen, may still have some appeal.


"The more primitive the better. It shows that video games are not just
about high-end graphics or sophisticated representation. It's about the
game-play, the challenge to the player," Bonnell said.


The "Atari Anthology" disc will offer new twists on the games, too:
"trippy mode," which renders the graphics in psychedelic colors, and
"time warp" and "double speed," which can alter the pace of on-screen


Besides its array of classic Atari 2600 and 7800 titles, the Atari
Flashback console will include one previously unreleased game:


Reissuing classic games in the modern consoles has become common over
the years. "Sonic the Hedgehog" and its sequels from the early 1990s
turned up on Nintendo's GameCube, and the old martial-arts challenge
"Street Fighter" series returned on PlayStation 2.


But those titles still look like science-fiction dreaming compared to
the jumping dots and boxes of the old Atari games.


Still, there is a market for even those old games, and the Internet
proves it: Countless sites offer free downloads of the programs for
playing on PCs - leading to rampant bootlegging.


But Bonnell downplayed the impact bootlegging could have on sales for
"Atari Anthology" and the Atari Flashback console.


"You're right to say that a lot of them are bootlegged, and the code is
not the right code, and the color is not the right color. But here we're
offering them ... and you don't go through collecting the games on the
Internet and being scared of the viruses that are going to pollute your
computer at some point."


Despite their simple appearance, the games can be very difficult, he
added - especially for people who are two decades out of practice.


"They are not easy to master," Bonnell said. "Some people believe that
because they are old games they will finish them very soon. But I think
people will be sweating to finish."

Received on Tue Sep 07 2004 - 18:39:06 BST

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