technology

Three consoles in sight to (re)discover Atari

From the early 70s until the late 80s, Atari was one of the big names in the video game market. The company created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney is notably at the origin of the famous pong, and also distinguished itself on the home console market by releasing the Atari 2600, 5200 and 7800 but also the Lynx (the first portable console with a color LCD screen, all the same) and the Jaguar, a monumental flop. For the oldest, who remember the good times spent in the company of Centipedeof Lunar Lander or of Missile Commandor those who would like to discover this (more or less) glorious page in the history of video games, the manufacturer Dreamgear has unveiled three game consoles entirely dedicated to Atari.

Dreamgear Atari Micro Player

Introductory price 49 €

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The first takes the form of an arcade cabinet, much like the SNK Neo Geo Mini. Two buttons, one stick, it probably won’t take much more for the vast majority of games available. On the other hand, purists could be disappointed not to find the sensations of the famous Missile Command which was played with a ball to move the cursor on the screen.

Atari Pocket Player

Missile Command lost the ball.

© Dream Gear

If the Atari Micro Player is based on the same architecture as the other Micro Player console models, it can operate with four 4 AA batteries or be connected to the mains via a USB-C cable. A headphone jack will also be there to enjoy the magnificent chip-tune melodies so eighties.

Dreamgear Atari Pocket Player

Introductory price 49 €

Dreamgear Atari Pocket Player

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More discreet (and therefore perhaps less attractive), the Atari Pocket Player should carry the same games as the Micro Player in a slightly more nomadic format.

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Atari Pocket Player

A tiny screen for big pixels

© Dream Gear

It is also powered by 4 AA batteries, but the USB-C connection does not seem to be planned, unlike the headphone jack.

Dreamgear Atari Gamesstation Plus

Introductory price €99

Dreamgear Atari Gamesstation Plus

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Finally, the Atari Gamestation Plus is more mysterious. If we rely on the different visuals, we understand that it must be connected to a television. On the other hand, we do not know much about the catalog of games available, and we do not know if it will be possible to add them by downloading them for example. The console interface itself is limited to two keys: one to turn on the device, the other to access the home screen. The controllers are very similar to the joysticks of the Atari 2600 console, except that they have three action buttons (including two on the handle) instead of one and three navigation keys. We notice USB-C sockets on the front of the Gamestation Plus, presumably to connect the controllers, but the latter should also work wirelessly. Will the manufacturer provide other peripherals such as sliders pong or the ball of Missile Command to push the similarity with the original machines a little further? Nothing is less certain, but it would be a good idea.

atari-gamestation-plus

The Atari Gamestation Plus is played on the TV.

If the nostalgic fiber is likely to vibrate among the most experienced gamers, the success of these new consoles is likely to be much more limited with the new generations. Although they laid the foundations of today’s video games, the gameplay often simplistic Atari titles of the time quickly becomes boring. Difficult to fight against the competition of the other mini-consoles when they can count on still largely playable hits like Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Ridge Racer type 4 or Garou: Mark of the Wolves.

For the moment, we do not know precisely the price of the Atari Gamestation Plus, the Atari Micro Player or the Atari Pocket Player. However, for the latter two, the entry ticket should be around 45 €.

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