Atari is about to have a renaissance.

Today’s unveiling of the new Ataribox jolted the gaming world wide-awake this morning, stoking feelings of nostalgia in both the middle-aged fans of the original Atari 2600 console and newer fans of retro games.

SEE ALSO: I haven’t owned a game console in 30 years, but I want the Ataribox

The 8-bit games of the Atari 2600 were often a memorably basic experience. The console was notably weaker than its contemporaries, the Intellivision and ColecoVision, so gameplay tended to be simpler, more direct, and lower-resolution

But that didn’t mean the games were bad. On the contrary, the sparse memory available for Atari games and the large catalog meant game developers needed to be clever and innovative in other ways. A tiny block could represent an entire character. Simple physics like bouncing a ball against a wall were realized in dozens of different ways. In the race to stand out, the most mundane things — frogs catching flies, for instance — could be re-interpreted as games. …

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