Infographic: The Evolution Of Controllers

I must admit, I am a sucker for infographics! I am a visual person and would prefer to see more pictures than words. Don’t get me wrong, a well constructed piece will hold my attention, but I get excited over pictures – the more of them, the merrier. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

You don’t need words to explain what you are looking at below – just click on the infographic and then zoom in and enjoy the visual ride!

game-Controllerssource: Pop Chart Lab

‘Atari: Game Over’ – Setting The Record Straight

Atari_titleWhen I first heard that Fuel Entertainment and Xbox Entertainment Studios were going to make a documentary about the so-called Atari landfill urban legend, I thought, “everyone knows that Atari dumped their stock in Alamogordo. So what?“. So what indeed. A lot of people still believed that it was an urban legend that Atari dumped millions of E.T. cartridges. Well, my scepticism about the documentary and how it would present the material was totally unfounded. My scepticism had been smashed out of the park. Take a bow Mr. Zak Penn.

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Atari_find_pinThe documentary interweaves two storylines within an hour of compelling viewing. There is the lead up to the Alamogordo dig and the rise and fall of Atari. The interviews with key Atari people, including its co-founder, Nolan Bushnell, former Warner Communications Inc. Co-Chief Operating Officer, Emmanuel (Manny) Gerard and Atari games developer, Howard Scott Warshaw, add that extra credibility to an already well produced documentary. (Ed: SPOILER ALERT!) There is an emotional moment in the documentary when Howard is asked by a media crew on how he felt about the dig. We promise you, you will shed a tear too.

Atari: Game Over sets the record straight about the Atari burial myth once and for all – do yourself a favour, and watch it right now!

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 Screenshots from Atari: Game Over

 

Old School Halloween Costumes

halloween_starwarsWith Halloween fast approaching, are you struggling to find a costume to scare the pants off your family and friends? These Collegeville Costumes from three decades ago would definitely scare the living daylights out of anyone that bumps into you while trick-or-treating.

If you are channeling Jason Voorhees, you may want to go as the Atari Asteroids man. Perhaps your friends could go as Missile Command and Centipede!

Damn these costumes are so bad, they are really cool!

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source: Plaid Stallions (via RediscoverThe80s.Com)

From Retro Gaming Cat Scratchers To Arcade Belt Buckles

Who said cats don’t retro game? Based on these video gaming inspired cat scratchers from If Industries, it is quite clear that felines enjoy some old school Atari and Nintendo action! Um, need I say more? Of course not! Scratch away baby!

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Don’t worry, those people at If Industries haven’t forgotten about you either. You can now hold up your pants in style with these awesome arcade belt buckles. They even light up! So, are you a 25c or a 50c kind of arcade gamer?

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source: if Industries

Celebrating the Atari Lynx

Atari_Lynx_piles_of_gamesIt may have started life on a napkin back in 1986, but it wasn’t officially released to the gaming public as the world’s first 16-bit colour handheld till October 1989 (Ed: the Atari Lynx was officially released on September 1 1989, but it wasn’t available for retail till October of that year). The Epyx Handy, which would eventually become the Atari Lynx, celebrates a significant milestone – it’s another year older and it is still kicking nostalgic goals!

The Atari Lynx may have been decimated in market share by the Game Boy juggernaut, but it’s place in history is undeniable. It didn’t bask in the same glory as Nintendo’s little pocket rocket, let’s face it, no other handhelds did, but with 16-bit colour graphics, support for hardware scaling, great arcade conversions and the ability to link up with friends, the Lynx was still a force to be reckoned with. With two system variants, the Lynx provided many hours of fun – as long as you were stocked to the teeth with AA batteries.

We wrote about the Lynx’s history (Ed: you can read that here), which in typical Atari fashion was quite colourful, with lots of twists and turns. This feature celebrates everything about the mighty 16-bit colour handheld – its hardware revisions, its awesomest games and some very interesting facts.

The Lynx was truly ahead of its time. Long live the Atari Lynx!

Hardware Comparison:
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Game Cards – Curled vs Flat:

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Awesomest Atari Lynx Games:
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Interesting Atari Lynx Facts:

  • It was initially going to be the Atari Portable Entertainment System. But once it was pointed out that the acronym would be APES, the name change was swift;
  • The Lynx was christened many names before Atari settled with the name we now know and love – it went from being the Epyx Handy, APES, Nuclear Toaster to finally, the Lynx;
  • The model name was chosen due to the system’s ability to link up with multiple machines. It wasn’t in reference to the big cat of the same name;
  • It was the first home system to support hardware scaling, just like After Burner and Pit Fighter in the arcades;
  • Mikey was the first sound chip in any console to provide specialist sampled sound support on all four channels;
  • Game cards could store up to a maximum of two megabytes;
  • The 8-bit CPU was paired with a 16-bit math co-processor – this took a lot of the cycle load off the CPU and allowed the Lynx to provide super fast game play;
  • It was the first colour LCD with a 16-bit graphics chip (Suzy) – providing 4,096 colours to choose from with a maximum of 16 per scanline.

 

Chubby Checker’s Dig Dug Dance

digdug_titleThere is something quite endearing about old video gaming advertisements – from daggy TV commercials to the advertising wars between the heavyweights of the industry!

Then there are the TV advertisements that were released, but not as originally intended. The unearthing of a cassette tape with Chubby Checker singing in Atari’s Dig Dug arcade commercial, has sent a buzz around the retro gaming community.

Just in case you weren’t aware, the cassette was recently discovered by Matt Osborne, son of former Atari vice president Don Osborne. The song itself was technically used in the Dig Dug commercial, but without Checker’s vocals. The reasons of why this recording exists and why Chubby Checker’s vocals weren’t used in the final product, are unfortunately lost to history. We know which version we prefer.

Chubby Checker’s version

Final Atari Dig Dug Dance TV commercial

source: Scottith Games

image and Chubby Checker vocals source: TheOzMan (Matt Osborne)