The new Atari 2600 Plus will play your old cartridges

by The Insights

Atari has announced it’s relaunching its most well-known console as the Atari 2600 Plus on November 17th for $129.99, with preorders open now. It’s a fully functioning, 80 percent scale, HDMI-outputting version of the console that comes with a 10-in-1 game cartridge. Atari says it even supports both 2600 and later 7800 game cartridges and will work with the original joystick and paddle controllers.

Aside from being a little smaller and gaining HDMI and USB-C ports, the 2600 Plus is mostly unchanged. The front bears a strip of wood paneling with a light-up Atari logo, while four toggle switches flank its cartridge slot. Atari says the cartridge socket is a little bigger to help with sticking cartridges. On the back by the HDMI and USB-C outputs, you’ll find two serial ports like those used on the original system.

Here’s a video with some nice close-up pans of the system:

The Atari 2600 Plus is powered by a Rockchip 3128 SoC, a low-power quad-core chip that’s been around for more than a few years but should prove more than enough to run old Atari games so you can relive the endless frustration of Pitfall! Naturally, it also supports that Mr. Run and Jump cartridge Atari released for the 2600 earlier this year. If you want to add more controllers, the company is also selling the CX40 Plus joystick and the CX30 Plus replica paddle controller.

Here’s what the Atari 2600 Plus looks like in the packaging.
Image: Atari

This isn’t Atari’s first run at capitalizing on the nostalgia-ware trend Nintendo popularized with its NES Classic. In 2021, Atari released the befuddling Atari VCS — a combo console and TV streaming box — for the price of an Xbox Series S. But a better price and compatibility with hundreds of old Atari game cartridges probably gives this one more of a fighting chance.

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