Atari’s New Replica 2600 Console Can Play Classic Cartridges

Today, in the Year of our Lord 2023, you can pre-order an Atari 2600 replica that Atari calls the Atari 2600+. Slightly smaller than Atari’s original 1977 console, and using modern connections like HDMI and USB-C, the Atari 2600+ will accept many original and recently released cartridges. And yes, it sports the same faux wood panels and red-button/joystick combo of the original machine.

The company currently named Atari—which after decades of mergers, buyouts, and shenanigans is a completely different corporate entity from the original—has sort of been in a messy situation in recent years. Its AMD-powered 2021 Atari VCS microconsole failed to achieve anything of note, and the company has been facing ongoing financial struggles. Its 2021 issuing of new 2600 cartridges was neat, though you would, of course, still need to have an actual Atari 2600 lying around in working order. That might be a bit easier now, as starting in November, you’ll be able to plug one of those carts (or some actual vintage ones for the original Atari 2600 or Atari 7800 consoles) into the Atari 2600+ for $130.

Read More: Porno Hustlers Of The Atari Age

Atari has released a PDF documenting the 2600+’s compatibility with classic cartridges; it looks fairly compatible, though we counted three “fails” and quite a few more games that were “untested.” The new 2600+ will ship with a “10-in-1 game cartridge” containing well-known classics like Adventure and Missile Command, among others. The company is also starting to sell brand-new cartridge games, starting with a a new platformer called Mr. Run and Jump and an “enhanced” edition of the classic maze shooter Berzerk, both of which will run on the classic 2600 console or the upcoming 2600+.

Purists may note that the 2600+ runs on a typical smart TV CPU, so the new device is clearly just using software emulation instead of more sophisticated (and expensive) field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology that could potentially reproduce the 1970s machines to a more exacting degree. Software emulation runs the risk of introducing input lag, but then again, so do HDMI displays, which the 2600+ also requires. If you want more authenticity you’re probably already spending more for a MiSTer.

Read More: What if Pong, But Really Long?

So yeah, the Atari 2600 is back once again, plays those ancient carts you’ve got somewhere in the attic, and certainly looks the part. Shame it can’t play “Long” Pong though.

Atari’s Pong Sequel Is About The Ball Escaping The Paddles

Pong is one of those video games that I don’t need to explain. I say Pong and you can see it in your mind. But what if Pong was more? What if that ball you batted around for decades could escape and see the world? That’s the question asked and answered in Qomp 2, Atari’s upcoming, and odd, sequel to Pong.

Okay, I know I said I didn’t need to explain Pong, but just so everyone here is on the same page, here we go. Pong was developed and published by Atari in 1972 and quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, a massive arcade hit, and helped establish the video game industry. Featuring two paddles, typically white, on a black background, players control these digital paddles to bounce a white block, aka the ball, back and forth. If one player misses blocking the ball with their paddle the other player gets a point. Repeat for decades. That’s Pong. But what if when the ball was banked off your paddle, it kept going and going? That’s Qomp 2. 


Atari is calling Qomp 2 an “artful reimagining of Pong.” And I’d agree. In a new trailer released on August 29, we can see the strange sequel in action, with Pong’s iconic ball escaping and exploring new worlds and puzzle-filled levels. Players will use a simple two-button control scheme to explore and escape each area. Simply tap a button to change direction in 45-degree increments and then hold and release a second button to dash forward.

The Steam page for Qomp 2 indicates it will have 30 levels spread across four different worlds. The game will also include boss fights and what Atari’s calling an “enigmatic story” about “doubt, fear, and self-acceptance.” In other words, this ain’t your grandpa’s Pong, that’s for sure.

If Qomp 2 seems familiar beyond its connection to Pong, that’s because it’s a sequel to a smaller indie game, Qomp, released in 2021. That game had a similar concept but on a smaller scale, and was developed by Stuffed Wombat. This new, bigger follow-up isn’t being developed by Stuffed Wombat, but they seem happy about Qomp 2. 

Atari didn’t share a release date for Qomp 2 beyond coming soon. In the meantime, I guess you could play Pong while you wait.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.