Atari announces new Atari 2600+ console that can play original Atari 2600 and 7800 cartridges
Atari is at it again. The company just announced the Atari 2600+, a modernized take on the company's first game console.
The 2600+ (or 2600 Plus) looks like a faithful recreation of Atari's 1977 console, the 2600. However, it's a bit more compact than the original 2600, coming in at about 80% the size of its older brother. The 2600+ retains the same black, red, and yellow color scheme with a wood strip across its front and the same power, color, game select, and reset switches.
Powering the 2600+ is a Rockchip 3128 and 256 MB of DDR3 RAM, meaning that it is essentially an Atari-on-a-chip and that gameplay is being emulated. The Console has 256 MB of eMMC storage. Video output is handled via HDMI, and the console has a USB-C port for power. There are two serial ports on the back for controllers, and Atari says the console supports the original joystick and paddle controllers.
The selling point of the 2600+ is nostalgia. Atari states that the new console is compatible with "most 2600 and 7800 cartridges." A full compatibility list can be found here. It appears that Atari has tested most of the libraries for both the 2600 and 7800, though there are some untested games. Certain games, such as Super Cobra and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, are confirmed to not work with the new console.
While the exact method of how the console plays the original cartridges is unknown, it's likely that the 2600+ will work similarly to other retro consoles like the Retron 5 in that it will probably dump the contents of a cartridge into RAM and then emulate the cartridge via software. Atari has not commented on how the console handles physical cartridges beyond the aforementioned compatibility list.
Atari also announced new versions of the joystick and paddle controllers, dubbed the CX40+ and CX30+, respectively. Both controllers look like faithful recreations of their original counterparts. The CX40+ is available for pre-order for US$24.99, while the CX30+ is available as a bundle for $39.99 (pre-order) that includes two paddle controllers and a 4-in-1 game cartridge with Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Night Driver, and Video Olympics.
The Atari 2600+ is available for pre-order for US$129.99. It is expected to begin shipping on November 17, 2023. The console is being sold with a CX40+ joystick controller and a 10-in-1 game cartridge that includes Adventure, Combat, Dodge 'Em, Haunted House, Maze Craze, Missle Command, Realsports Volleyball, Surround, Video Pinball, and Yar's Revenge.