In brief: Atari is launching the AtariXP program in which the retro gaming company will be selling unreleased 2600 games like Aquaventure, Saboteur and Yars’ Return in cartridge format. These games will be available as a standard edition for $49.99 and a collector’s edition priced at $149.99.
Back in the 70s and early 80s, the Atari 2600 was one of the most popular domestic game consoles around, offering a variety of games for all tastes, such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders, E.T. and Asteroids. This lineup, however, could have been even bigger if not for a few games that were canceled during development.
Now, Atari will launch some of those unreleased games through AtariXP, a new publisher dedicated to rare and unreleased Atari games in physical format from the 1970s and 1980s. Besides completed games that were never officially launched, AtariXP also plans to publish games that were launched in limited quantities, are hard to find in physical format or are worthy of being updated with improved graphics and controls.
For now, only Aquaventure, Saboteur and Yars’ Return are available for pre-order and will include the classic-style game box, an instruction manual, a poster, and a hardcover art book.
AtariXP will only produce 1,500 standard edition cartridges and 1,983 collector’s edition units of each game. Standard editions are now available to pre-order for $49.99, with an expected shipping date of December 13. Collector’s edition units go for $149.99 and should ship in early 2022.
The retro gaming trend is here to stay, and as time passes, more games and systems start to fall into this category. For example, when retro gaming started booming in the 2010s, a PS2 was just 10 years old, but today, as a 20-year-old console, gamers now see it as a retro system.
If you enjoy playing old games, there are tons of alternatives. The most obvious are emulators, but there are also retro gaming-dedicated consoles like the Atari VCS, which is now available at retail, the Panic Playdate, and various Analogue consoles, such as the Pocket and TurboGrafx. Moreover, you can also acquire accessories that make it easier to read old cartridges, like the Epilogue GB Operator.