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AtariAge News Archive

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Retrogaming Times Monthly - June 2010
June 7, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Retrogaming Times Monthly - June 2010The June 2010 issue of Retrogaming Times Monthly is now available. In this month's issue you'll find the following features:
  • Happy 30th Birthday Pac-Man!
  • Hack The Pac: Explaining/Modifying The Code of Google Pac-Man
  • My Mid-Life Crisis Is Sponsored By The Sega Master System
  • Atari 5200 Zone - Super Pac-Man
  • Apple II Incider - Ms. Pac-Man
  • Dual Perspective - Mega Man 3
  • A Timely Time Soldiers Review (SMS)
  • The Champ Of Champ-Games - Pac-Em
  • Mutated Output: Less Evil Than The Competition
  • The Homebrew Sleuth: Atari 2600 Dungeon
  • A Pixelated 21st Century!
  • Behind The Pixels - Paperboy
You can read these articles and more inside the Retrogaming Times Monthly, now running 153 months in a row! You can also browse the RTM archives to catch up on past issues.

Discuss in our Forum with other visitors...

JagFest X - Retro Revival
May 26, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

JagFest X - Retro RevivalThe United Kingdom's biggest Atari show is back for 2010 with the announcement of JagFest X - Retro Revival, scheduled to take place September 24th - 26th at the Thistle St Albans in Hertfordshire, England. Originally envisioned as an Atari-centric event, JagFest has now expanded to become an all-systems multi-format gaming event.

This year's event will feature:
  • Gauntlet 2 - Full 4 Player experience!
  • The Atari Owl Project - See how the Jag's most exciting new game is progressing!
  • Multi Format Gaming - Including all the Atari machines along side Sega, Nintendo, Philips and even modern consoles!
  • Gaming Tournaments - Win lots of prizes!
  • Coders Corner - Speak to real programmers and get the insight on all their projects!
  • 16/32 Systems Webshop - A host of great Atari items you can buy at discount prices!
  • Jaguar VR - A chance to experience this lost wonder!
  • Some very special guests - TBA!
  • Limited edition T-shirts
  • Secret Projects - Now that would be telling!
You can learn more by visiting the official JagFest X Site.

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Atari Lamp Version 3.0
May 6, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Atari Lamp Version 3.0What classic gamer wouldn't want an appropriately-themed lamp lighting their game room? AtariAge user Cebus Capucinis has created a working lamp fashioned from an Atari 2600 console and a stack of Atari 2600 cartridges. The colorful lampshade consists of box artwork from a variety of 2600 titles and complements the 2600 console and cartridges perfectly.

This is the third iteration of Cebus' Atari lamp (Atari Lamp 3.0), and for this model a dead Atari 2600 6-switch is used as the lamp base. This model features an in-line "hidden" light switch in the back of the Atari for easy switching on and off and a nice stack of cartridges up the middle with an improved pipe core to keep the stack complete. The wiring for the lamp itself runs out the RF hole from the Atari so it looks just like an actual Atari would.

Here's a video of the lamp in action:



You can read more about the Atari Lamp in our Atari 2600 Forum, which has more details about the production and a large assortment of photos. Cebus also started another thread where he sold a small run of lamps and lampshades, with the intent to sell more in the future.

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May Retrogaming Times Monthly - Issue #72
May 2, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

May Retrogaming Times Monthly - Issue #72The May 2010 issue of Retrogaming Times Monthly has been published and is available online. Features from Issue #72 include:
  • A Cryptic Telegram
  • The Champion Of Champ-Games
  • Mutated Output: Atonement By A Heretic At The CoCo Altar
  • Dual Perspective - Pac-Man
  • NES'Cade - Tiger-Heli
  • The Homebrew Sleuth: Atari 2600 Mean Santa
  • Modern Retro - Gunstar Heroes
  • What Is The Meaning Of Three?
You can read these articles and more inside the Retrogaming Times Monthly, now running 152 months in a row! You can also browse the RTM archives to catch up on past issues.

Discuss in our Forum with other visitors...

Stella 2600 Emulator Version 3.1 Released
April 23, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Stella 2600 Emulator Version 3.1 ReleasedVersion 3.1 of the popular, multi-platform Atari 2600 emulator Stella has been released. Among the many improvements, this new version includes several enhancements to the debugger, as well as fixes to help prevent lockups and crashes. The OS X version of Stella has received additional attention to bring it more in line with other systems as well as Apple's application standards. To view a detailed list of all the changes, as well as discuss the emulator with Stella's primary developer, please visit our Emulation Forum.

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Nolan Bushnell Appointed to Atari's Board of Directors
April 20, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Nolan Bushnell Appointed to Atari's Board of DirectorsIn a somewhat surprising move, Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell has been appointed to the Board of Directors for present-day Atari SA. Online business veteran Tom Virden has also been appointed to the board, while Phil Harrison and David Gardner have resigned their positions. Nolan Bushnell is most famously known for his association with Atari and launching the wildly successful Atari 2600 game console. He is also responsible for founding the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain and has started numerous other companies since then (most of which have not been successful).

Bushnell made the following statement regarding his appointment, "I am very excited to be reacquainted with Atari at a time when it is poised to make interesting strides in key growth areas of the games industry. The company and its iconic brands have always been important to me, and I look forward to further guiding them at the board level."

Reactions from our members have been mixed. Some feel that this is a public relations stunt and that Nolan rode the coattails of others to greatness and has no place being involved with today's Atari. Others welcome this change and believe that without Bushnell there would have been no Atari and that today's video game landscape might have evolved differently (or not at all). You can discuss this announcement in our Classic Gaming General forum with other AtariAge visitors.

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Air Raid Auction Update
April 16, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Air Raid Auction UpdateUnless you've been disconnected from the Internet this past week, you've certainly heard by now about the Atari 2600 Air Raid auction that ended for $31,600 several days ago. To our knowledge this is perhaps the single most expensive purchase price for a video game ever, even including the NES Stadium Events that ended at over $40,000 recently on eBay (the actual sale price of that Stadium Events was purportedly significantly less). The winner of the Air Raid auction is an AtariAge member well-known for his impressive collection of Atari 2600-related games and artifacts. The auction resulted in 52 valid bids, and in auction's final seconds bidding jumped from $17,528.28 to its final price of $31,600.

This auction generated quite a bit of publicity for the game's original owner, Tanman, with news of the "$31,000 Atari Video Game" spreading all over the web. CNN even had an Air Raid story linked from their front page and Tanman appeared in a television interview by a local Fox affiliate. Since the boxed Air Raid auction concluded, at least two loose copies of the game have popped up on eBay, including this cartridge being sold by AtariAge member HollowBeers, which is already at $1,525 with eight days to go until the auction's completion.

Discussion in our forum of this auction has resulted in a thread with over 1,600 posts. Thus far, no additional boxed copies of Air Raid have surfaced.

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Driving Crazy
April 13, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Driving CrazyAtariAge forum member Atari Smeghead’s debut novel has been published and is now available.

Award-winning author Randy D Pearson has written his first book, a humorous adventure about two lifelong friends who travel across the country to pick up a Crazy Climber machine. They find themselves in all sorts of trouble, and will have to rely on their luck and ingenuity if they hope to get this classic arcade game, and themselves, home in one piece.

According to Randy, this 262-page novel is filled with humor, drama, exciting chases and features many video game scenes, including such arcade classics as Galaga, Tempest and of course, Crazy Climber. Even the Atari Jaguar has a cameo.

Retail price for Driving Crazy is $12.99. For more information, including excerpts and deleted scenes, please visit www.randypearson.org or join the discussion in our Marketplace Forum.

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Retrogaming Times Monthly Issue #71
April 6, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Retrogaming Times Monthly Issue #71A new issue of Retrogaming Times Monthly has been published and is available to read online. Features from the April 2010 issue (#71) include:
  • The Cybernet Society 1995-1997 R.I.P.
  • Vectrexenstein - Pole Position
  • Apple II Incider - Mario Bros.
  • NES'Cade - 720 Degrees
  • All Eyes On...Super Hang-On
  • Dual Perspective - Final Fight
  • Mutated Output: Patsies, Pioneers, and Politics
  • The Homebrew Sleuth: Atari 2600 Cave In
  • Modern Retro - Spyro The Dragon
  • A Pixilated 21st Century!
  • Arcade Memories
You can read these articles and more inside the Retrogaming Times Monthly, now running 151 months in a row! You can also browse the RTM archives to catch up on past issues.

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Air Raid Box Discovered
April 1, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Air Raid Box DiscoveredAtariAge user Tanman has recently discovered he owns a previously unseen box for the extremely rare Atari 2600 game Air Raid, produced by a company called "Men-A-Vision". Less than 20 copies of the game are known to be in hands of collectors, and until now, a box for the game has never surfaced (although existence of such a box has been claimed in the past). Air Raid is a hacked version of Space Jockey and appears to have been produced in Taiwan. Tanman was the original owner of this copy of Air Raid, having purchased it in a Tuesday Morning store in Arlington, Texas in the mid 1980s. We had a chance to view the box in person and have no reason to doubt its authenticity. Scans of the box will be added to the AtariAge database soon, but you can view this thread (already up to 18 pages), which includes pictures of the box in the first post.

Tanman is selling this boxed copy of Air Raid on eBay and bidding for this Atari 2600 "holy grail" is already over $4,000 as I write this. You can view the auction here.

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David Crane's Technical Wizardry iPhone Apps
February 11, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

David Crane's Technical Wizardry iPhone AppsFormer Atari 2600 Activision programmer David Crane has published his second 2600-related iPhone app, Dragster Magic, volume two of his Technical Wizardry Series. David Crane has been developing games for over 30 years, getting his start writing games for Atari and later going on to found Activision where he created the venerable classic Pitfall! David Crane's Technical Wizardry Series beings with the 2600 Magic app, explaining the internal video circuitry of the Atari 2600 and how that hardware is used by programmers to write Atari 2600 games. Dragster Magic continues along these lines, detailing the obscure tricks invented to create Activision's first game, Dragster. If you're curious at all as to how the Atari 2600 ticks and you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, these apps are a great way to learn what's going on behind the scenes when you fire up your favorite Atari 2600 game. You can learn more about 2600 Magic and Dragster Magic in the iTunes Store.

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AtariAge/Digital Press "Retro Rumble" at CGE 2010
February 5, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

AtariAge/Digital Press AtariAge and Digital Press are proud to announce Retro Rumble, a joint venture aimed at joining retrogaming communities in a little spirited competition as well as co-op play. Retro Rumble will debut in Las Vegas at the Classic Gaming Expo 2010 on July 31st. The AtariAge and Digital Press exhibit areas will be mirror images with plenty of the great products you'd expect, but between the two booths will be a gaming area where various tournaments and challenges will be hosted throughout the 2-day event.

Are you the king of the road in Indy 500? Can you fend off the competition in a round robin Warlords tournament? Are you a better Mario in Mario Bros? Prepare to test your skills in an unforgettable union of gaming communities. Watch all THREE sites for more info and hints of what's to come: AtariAge, Digital Press, and Classic Gaming Expo in the days that lead up to the event.

Naturally, we'll see YOU there!

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Clear Classic USB Joystick
February 4, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Clear Classic USB JoystickAtariAge Forum member Gulag Picture Radio is better known as Bohuš Blahut, co-editor of retrothing.com. The madmen behind Retro Thing have teamed up with Legacy Engineering to come up with a limited edition product that's cool enough for serious collectors, but affordable and fun enough for anyone who remembers classic video gaming.

The Clear Classic USB Joystick is modeled after the iconic joystick from the 70's and 80's, but the similarity ends there. This joystick plugs into a USB port to play retro games on a modern PC or Mac. The stick is transparent plastic with a blue circuit board and a blue LED that illuminates the stick from within for a slick retro-futuristic look. The Clear Classic stick works with almost any emulator, so now you can play your Atari, Amiga and Commodore 64 favorites in retro style.

The stick is a limited edition item, and is bound to sell out fast. The complete package sells for $29.95 and includes the stick, numbered certificate of authenticity, USB cable, and a copy of the excellent Stella 2600 emulator on CD. You can learn more at Reflex Audio Systems.

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February Retrogaming Times Monthly
February 2, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

February Retrogaming Times MonthlyThe February 2010 issue of Retrogaming Times Monthly is now online for your viewing pleasure. Highlights from Issue #69 include:
  • Apple II Incider - A Tribute To Joe Kohn
  • Press Play On Tape - Please Wait 10 Minutes
  • The Homebrew Sleuth: Atari 2600 Seawolf
  • Mutated Output: Third CoCo The Charm?
  • All Eyes On...Columns
  • Dual Perspective - Street Fighter II
  • Modern Retro - Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
  • A Pixilated 21st Century!
You can read these articles and more inside the Retrogaming Times Monthly, now running 149 months in a row! You can also browse the RTM archives to catch up on past issues.

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Pre-Order New Flashback 2+ from Atari
January 22, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Pre-Order New Flashback 2+ from AtariYou're probably familiar with the original Flashback 2 console that Atari released a few years ago. It's basically a small Atari 2600 console with 40 built-in 2600 games and includes two 2600-compatible CX-40 style joysticks. The Flashback 2 has been out of production for some time, but Atari has just added the Flashback 2+ console to their website for pre-ordering. This revised Flashback 2 contains a slightly different assortment of games and features Atari's reversion to the original-style Atari logo that is now featured on their website. The box and manual have also been completely redone. Expected ship date is February 22, 2010 and the price is $29.99. Those who pre-order now will receive a free t-shirt that features a 4-switch Atari 2600 console with two CX-40 joysticks. You can learn more and pre-order the Flashback 2+ here.

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FailSafe 7800 Homebrew Label Contest
January 19, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

FailSafe 7800 Homebrew Label ContestThe War Continues...

After the successful elimination of the terrorists and their missile silo complexes, we have heard through various sources that they have relocated, and have doubled their security! Once again you must invade enemy territory and prevent the missile launching aimed at Washington D.C. and stop the terrorists once and for all!

FailSafe is a new Atari 7800 homebrew game by Bob DeCrescenzo (aka, PacManPlus), who has a stellar track record in releasing a variety of high-quality arcade ports under his belt. FailSafe is an unofficial sequel to Atari's original game Countermeasure for the Atari 5200. AtariAge and Bob DeCrescenzo are sponsoring a contest to create original artwork for FailSafe. This label artwork will appear on all copies of FailSafe, which will be made available for purchase in cartridge form after the contest has run its course. This artwork will also be featured on the cover of the manual created for FailSafe.

Click here to learn more about the contest!

We've extended the contest a week--it now ends February 7th, 2010!

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Retrogaming Times Monthly - January 2010
January 16, 2010
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Retrogaming Times Monthly - January 2010The first Retrogaming Times Monthly of the new year is now online! Highlights from Issue #68 include:
  • What's On Tap? Rec.Games.Video.Classic Is!
  • {ress Play On Tape: Denial Collection 3
  • Apple II Incider - Thexder
  • Obscure Output: The Rainbow Goes Digital
  • Dual Perspective - Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Modern Retro - Vagrant Story
  • Old Wine in New Bottles: Pinball Edition
  • A Pixilated 21st Century!
  • Video Game Tattler
You can read these articles and more inside the Retrogaming Times Monthly, now running 148 months in a row! You can also browse the RTM archives to catch up on past issues.

Discuss in our Forum with other visitors...

Atari Chips Reborn?
December 14, 2009
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Atari Chips Reborn?Curt Vendel of the Atari History Museum and Legacy Engineering has been hard at work reconstructing several proprietary Atari chips, including the GTIA (used in the Atari 8-bit computers and 5200), the MARIA (used in the Atari 7800), and the TIA (from the Atari 2600). There is great potential for creating new Atari machines in a variety of form factors, based on Curt's work. When asked about these new developments, Curt had the following to say:

"Many in the Atari community, myself included, have cobbled together one thing or another to keep our systems alive. A dream for everyone has always been the possibility of perhaps a new Atari 8-bit system. As many know, I have most of what was Atari's mainframe archives, among them are what are called "Tape Outs"--these are 9 track reel to reel tapes that in the 1980s and early 1990s would be sent from a chip design firm--such as Atari's "ASG" (Atari Semiconductor Group) to a place called a "FAB" which is a chip fabricator. The final layered data files are in a streaming binary format called "GDS" and this data instructs the FAB on how to process and create actual IC chips.

I've been spending a great deal of time as of late recovering the data from the tapes, having to massage them to process and create a viable GDS and/or DB file so that the actual chips could be plotted and tested with some software that I use. The effort has been successful for the most part and several of Atari's proprietary chips are coming back to life in simulation. Now we need to see if they can be recreated in a FAB at a reasonable cost. What is the potential of this? Doing the chips in smaller SMT packaging, and potentially bringing back to life some of the later CMOS designs of combo chips which could lead to a SoC - System on a Chip. This is all very early work, but the future just got a little brighter in terms of preserving and continuing the legacy of Atari's custom IC chips."


You can read all about Curt's hard work over in our Atari 8-bit Computers Forum. In addition to technical discussion (which includes Curt Vendel), you'll find various high-resolution images of the reconstructed chips.

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Mean Santa - New 2600 Homebrew Game
December 11, 2009
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Mean Santa - New 2600 Homebrew GameMean Santa has arrived just in time for the holidays! Created by John K. Harvey (Propane13 in our forum) and released by the 2600 Connection, Mean Santa is a new Atari 2600 homebrew game that reveals Santa’s dark side. Instead of delivering presents he’s taking them away! Mean Santa is being sold in a serially numbered limited edition of 100 copies. It comes complete with labeled cart, plastic case and manual.

As of this writing there are only about 30 copies left, priced at $25 each. Ordering information can be found at 2600connection.atari.org, and you can discuss the game in our Atari 2600 Forum.

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Panic Atari 2600 Box Retro Art
December 10, 2009
Posted by Albert Submit News | Archives

Panic Atari 2600 Box Retro ArtPanic, a longtime developer of popular Macintosh OS X applications, has unveiled a fun project they put together completely unrelated to their Mac development efforts. Apparently they are big Atari 2600 fans, as they commissioned artist Lukas Ketner to produce original artwork for four Atari 2600 Panic games, had Panic been around during that time. The resulting artwork mimics the style Atari used for many of their releases (examples here, here, and here). Not only did Panic commission this art, they have actually produced boxes based on this artwork and have made them available for purchase! To learn more about this wonderful Atari retro art, please visit the Panic Blog, which includes some backstory as to how these boxes came into existence. You can order these boxes, as well as posters adorned with the art, directly from the Panic Store. To discuss these creations please visit our Atari 2600 Forum.

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