Ed Fries, who was vice president of game publishing at Microsoft during much of the Xbox's lifecycle and helped in the acquisitions of Ensemble Studios, Rare - and perhaps most importantly - Bungie Studios, has developed the unexpected--a version of the latter's hugely popular Halo series for the legendary Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS). Fries' recounting of the story is copied below. For more details, see the thread on AtariAge, where you can download the ROM for use in your favorite emulator or for transfer to your favorite flash cart for play on the real thing. There's also a browser-based emulator available, as well as an official Facebook page.
In this episode, Howard and I talk about what it was like working for Atari in the post-Bushnell Kassar years. Did you know that most of Atari's games were reviewed by the MRB--and you'll need to watch the video to learn what that means!
#2 Combat, #3 Video Pinball, #4 Kaboom! (Atari 2600)
1970's TV games allowing the family to play Pong was one thing, the Atari 2600 was something different altogether. It still delivered the "family playing together" experience (indeed many first gen titles have no 1 player mode and quite a few offer 4 player modes) but now there was a whole library of games to choose from. It was the first truly programmable console and required you to plug in a cartridge - each one delivering a unique game (at least in theory!) The early days of the 2600 were about the family playing together - and nothing like it was really seen again until the Wii came along.
Bill Martens of Virtual Apple (Apple II and IIgs) fame sent word that his latest project, Virtual Atari, is now open. There are currently over 550 Atari 2600 VCS games on the site, all running in the JStella emulator in Java. Another great site to add to the master browser emulator list!
The ninth of nine free online bonus chapters that are in addition to the 25 chapters found in our book, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time, available at booksellers worldwide, including Amazon.com, is now available. Head on over to Gamasutra to read Star Raiders (1979): The New Hope. This concludes our experiment in providing a true value add for readers of the book, content that could never fit in a reasonably priced mass market publication. Hopefully this convinces the last of the fence sitters to buy the book! Don't forget there are well over 100 bonus images not found in the book or in the online bonus chapters, available here. Want to know what others' think of the book? Check it out here. Between all of the free online content and the content in the book, it should keep you busy for quite some time. It looks like there is also a good possibility for fully translated special editions of Vintage Games for other territories, starting with an Italian Edition. We'll let you know as this news develops.
Our next book out should be Wii Fitness for Dummies, which will be released in early 2010, followed by an amazing feature film documentary on the history of videogames through Lux Digital Pictures. Keep checking back at Armchair Arcade for the latest on these and other exciting projects!
My latest MaximumRD video lol!
Shaky cam, my thumb in the way at first, and horrible sound levels but that is the price for throwing togehter a video so quickly lol! My Quick and Dirty look at the unboxing of the SEARS VIDEO ARCADE II.........
A MaximumRD video on YOUTUBE.
Hey guys! I JUST posted this video I finished last night. I wish I had more time to work on these but anyway here is a 10 minute look at the Atari flashback II, I hope you enjoy it! THANKS, any feedback/comments welcome............
Gamasutra has posted the latest book excerpt, this time on the Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS), as part of their "A History of Gaming Platforms" series.
From the article:
In a record store (there's an anachronism for ya), I would call it the cutout bin. I guess at Toys R' Us it could be called the same. I laid out the $9.99 for Atari Anthology for PS2. Is it worth it? I'm not sure.
I never had the Atari 2600, having only played it at friend's houses, until I got my Atari computer, but I always remember looking at the JCPenney catalog each year at the screenshots of the games and circling which ones I would get if I actually had an Atari. This is back when the JCPenney in East Brunswick, NJ still had a cafe and I would eat the blueberry cheesecake with my older sister, who worked in the catalog department.
So tonight, I tried a few of these games, in lieu of a few extra hours of sleep, job hunting, paying bills, or whatever else folks do at night when they're not playing video games (yeah, I could think of a few others).