Atari Resurrects the 2600 for Modern TVs (Yes, It Runs Cartridges)

Atari is again testing how many times users are willing to pay for that nostalgic, faux woodgrain-paneled game console, this time coming out with what seems like the most detailed recreation of its original Atari 2600 console since it first debuted close to 46 years ago. The recreated console will even play the old cartridges you still have boxed up in your attic from back in the day.

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The legacy game publisher announced Tuesday it had worked with European game developer PLAION to create the Atari 2600+. The $130 recreation is slightly smaller than what debuted in 1977, but it resembles the old console down to the “Power,” “TV Type,” “Game Select,” and “Game Reset” toggles.

Better yet, it can actually play old Atari 2600 game cartridges as well as later games released on the 7800, but you won’t have to jump through any hoops to get the console to support a modern TV. The console comes with HDMI output and a widescreen mode that should make it seamless to hook up to any modern screen. The device is up for preorder and is set to launch on November 17th.

There are a few other modernizations, including a USB power outlet and a choice for multiple screen resolutions. It comes with a single CX40+ joystick controller and a single game cartridge. The cartridge itself contains 10 games, including early classics like Adventure, Combat, Yars Revenge, and Missile Command. The system is packing hardware that might seem relatively old now but is miles beyond what was possible pre-1980.

Unlike its previous attempt at emulating the old feel of old consoles with the streaming-centric $300 Atari VCS, the legacy game maker promised the new console won’t just have the same look, but the same “feel” as the 1980s 2600 down to the joystick and metal switches. The 2600+ is running on a Rockchip 3128 SOC and contains 256MB of DDR3 RAM, more than enough to power any of the 2600’s game lineup. It also contains 256MB of internal storage.

Still, the new console comes with fewer control options than the system first shipped with. What was once referred to as the Atari Video Computer System came with two joysticks and two paddle controllers. To be fair, that original system shipped for $190 in 1977, which back then was equivalent to more than $990 in today’s money.

There is still a port for an additional controller, but Atari is selling an additional CX40+ separately for $25 while the CX-30 paddle controllers will go for $40 a pop. However, the new console uses the same 9-pin connection ports to the controllers, so you could plug in any old controllers you still have lying around. Atari is also selling other launch titles like Mr. Run and Jump and Berzerk Enhanced Edition will sell individually for $30.

Other attempts at 2600-likes like the Gamestation Plus have tried to modernize the old design for about $100, but the 2600+ could still be a good deal for those wanting to play old titles. On eBay, you can find old 2600 consoles selling for anywhere between $60 and $150, depending on how many games come with it. You’ll also need to have a TV with the old RCA cable input or work out some sort of conversion setup. At that point, the 2600+ actually seems like a fair deal if all you want is to play the old games in as nostalgically pure a way as possible.