The Atari 2600+ looks the part, plays all the original carts, and hooks up to a modern TV

Originally published at: The Atari 2600+ looks the part, plays all the original carts, and hooks up to a modern TV | Boing Boing


shut up and take my money GIF by Product Hunt


256MB of RAM

That’s hilarious given that the Atari 2600 shipped with 128 bytes of RAM…


It merely means you can store darn near, if not all, the entire 2600 catalog of games!

(edit) …actually opens link…Holy Cow! That’s not super far off the original price!


Best to feed the Pac Man. The bytes add up!


Back when they only provided 128 the Pacs were painfully underfed. You’d really notice it with the new HDMI output, so they added in a few more for benefit of appearances.


I’m cautiously impressed.

And it only took a handful of decades and as many acquisitions/mergers.


I just looked up a romset on a “questionable” site and what may be the entire catalog clocks in at 9MB including emulator. Most games are 4KB.


Yeah, there were about 10 classic 2600 games, if we’re being generous.

Though it was really about the cartridges themselves, which normally held 4k. Which… is equally absurd in comparison.

Oh, most definitely the entire catalog - many times over, even. Looking it up, there were apparently only 470 games released for the 2600, and the standard cart only had 4k (though with “bank switching” a few managed up to 64k). If you include the games for the other Atari consoles, you’d still be able to fit the entire catalog in multiple times, as the standard cart for the 5200 was apparently a whopping 16k (but also only about 70 games), etc.

It’s actually more expensive. Granted, the “Atari 2600” was sold for some years as the “Atari VCS” for almost $200, but when they rebranded it the “Atari 2600” in 1982, it cost $125. It also only cost them $40 to make each unit. Now most of the cost of each unit has got to be the licensing for the name and look from Atari, with the hardware an almost negligible part of the price…


… and maybe enough time to pass that the chunky 8-bit graphics are nostalgia-inducing, rather than merely looking outdated.


I’d be very surprised if they had any hand in making these. As of a couple years ago, the company itself had like 3 employees. All the various “Atari” consoles and games, etc. of recent years were made entirely by third parties under license. Atari even called itself a game publisher, which was pretty nervy given how it actually worked was various developers produced and published the games on their own, using the names of old Atari games, and Atari did absolutely nothing but take a percentage of sales revenue in return.


I’m remembering my childhood and how happy I was to no longer have to beg for quarters, traded for a bad port of pacman, a damaged wrist, a dented palm, and a blister on that long run of skin between thumb and pointer, and the disappointment of getting the green light for a new cart but not having much luck finding good games to play.

Honorable mentions… the tank game was ok, asteroids absorbed a lot of hours for some reason. 3v3 soccer was fun for me, but most of the games were so blah that I didn’t even know how bad ET was until the documentary.


if the cover comes off and you have to play it with a naked plastic joystick, only then will be faithful to the original.



Awesome, yes, but I’m really holding out for the Intellivision remake.


I love that Atari decided the best way to appeal to the youth market was to add fake woodgrain.

1 Like

I don’t particularly care about Atari specifically but it’s great to see old technology resurrected with the same look and feel, with bonus quality of life improvements. I don’t think people should be forced to abandon old consoles or computers if they still enjoy them, merely because of decaying hardware that we easily have the technology to recreate.


Yeah, that’s not happening.

I really wish they’d give up on it and release a mini like everyone else has been doing.

I love how the joystick in your photo even has half the plastic lip at the base of the stick broken off. Super authentic.


It’s an emulator box. And it doesn’t play all the original carts. Given that it has no analogue output, you’ll likely have a better experience running an emulator on pretty much any computer built in the last 15 years or so. I really don’t see the point of stuff like this.

Looks like about $200 for the system, a second joystick (yeah it should have come with a second joystick already) and 2 paddles…

1 Like

I grew up with the 2600 as a kid and have fond memories. BUT, even then, it was obvious how simplistic it was. Surely some of the charm was having ‘game’ reduced to basically the bare minimum required to be functional, sort of like those WarioWare nano-games that pop up on screen for ten seconds with a frantic instruction only to “SHAKE!!!” What even did you do in Yar’s Revenge? You were a giant space mosquito? You had to destroy the Quotile? There was a bunch of noisy pixels in the middle of the screen?

Some games seemed to try and break out (hah) of the simplicity, such as Star Raiders, a game which was shockingly complex for the platform (and also unplayable if you lost the overlay plate you put on top of the keypad controller).

Ultimately though, it’s just So Primitive. Pac Man on the 2600 was a shadow of its arcade self.

The 5200 tried valiantly to improve, and failed under the weight of its power brick/RF breakout box and controllers that failed if you touched them. (the controllers had wow, many buttons, such membrane)

The NES by comparison started off with some pretty primitive games (SMB1) and ended with some bangers (The Games That Pushed The Limits Of The NES - RetroGaming with Racketboy).