Atari is easily best known for its 2600 console launched in 1977. The $200 price tag would be equal to about $800 in today’s money, but it was worth it for gamers who wanted to enjoy some of their favorite arcade titles from the privacy of their home.
The company sold 30 million units (2014) while the best-selling game was “Pac-Man” (7 million units). Atari launched other consoles after the 2600 but none of them achieved the same retail success as 2600. It was also a major upgrade from Atari Pong. By today’s standards, the 128 bytes of RAM is a drop in the bucket compared to today’s gaming systems. However, four decades ago it was quite innovative and helped to make video game systems more mainstream.
Atari is now reportedly preparing to return to the hardware business by launching a wearable device. UberGizmo recently reported that Atari is teasing a new wrist wearable gaming device. The teaser images show the Atari logo on a wrist and a logo for “GameBand.”
The image is from an Atari newsletter. The headline of the image is “Brand New Gaming Hardware from Atari.” It explains that the company is preparing to announce “new tech.” It will allow people to play old-school Atari titles in a new way. It also states that the official launch of the product will be February 1.
Atari produced a GameBand product in the past. This helps to explain what Atari fans can probably expect. It released a Minecraft GameBand that included a portable copy of the sandbox game. It also included mod launchers that could be plugged into Windows, Mac, or Linux computers in order to play the game. The wrist wearable GameBand also includes messages/images that can be played on the tiny LED display.
The Atari version could include a plug and play system that is probably for various computers including Mac and Linux. That would allow gamers to play their favorite classic Atari games on any device. The teaser image seems to show that Atari seems to be trying to earn revenue from its old gaming system instead of developing game-changing hardware.
However, the wrist wearable would also help to meet the demand for old school games. Recently there has been various Atari 2600 emulator launched, which allow gamers to play some classic games from the makers of the 2600 system. One of the most popular ones is Stella. It’s a multi-platform Atari 2660 VCS emulator. It was developed originally for Linux.
Since the original release of the emulator, the developer team has grown to port it to other operating systems including Linux, Mac, Windows, Unix, and others. Atari fans can visit the official site to get information about how to download, install, use, and enhance Stella. There’s also some interesting information about Atari 2600 emulation.The software is now “DonationWare.” Donating to the cause can help to continue development of Stella.
There are various other Atari 2600 emulators available so it’s something you might want to consider if you’re a hardcore Atari fan.