Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy 33rd Anniversary Atari 2600

On October 14th 1977 Atari Inc. released the Atari 2600 Video Game Console. Effectively igniting one of the more lucrative industries in human history. The Video Game revolution was now in full swing.

For a full history check out this Wikipedia article.

Did you know you can actually enjoy these great games STILL to this day. That's right! on your own PC you can play these old games. You don't even need an old controller however if you still have those rickety old hand cramping devices you can purchase a USB adapter for use with these games. But you can use your keyboard or if you have an Xbox360 controller you can use that as well. Windows update will automatically install the correct drivers for your computer when you plug this controller in.

To start you will need to download the free Stella Atari 2600 emulator from HERE. Or HERE if you have a 64-bit OS running on your computer.

Once downloaded just run the file and follow the simple instructions. After installation you will need some games!

Get the Games!

Remember those old cartridges? Yeah? Well you don't need those anymore. Today the games come in files called ROM's. These ROM's contain the programs that would run on your Atari 2600. Since the games were pretty simple programming they don't take up a lot of space. This was 8-bit computing back then and if you remember the graphics weren't too impressive by today's standards.

You can pretty much Google the name of any game you would like and add the term 'ROM' after it and you'll find the one(s) you want. However many times getting a package of all the games that came out for the 2600 is much more sensible and time-saving. Here is a page where you can download entire packages of the games or you can search for the specific game you would like and download them individually.

Go ahead and plug in any controller(s) you have right now before starting up Stella. (If you don't have one don't worry you can use your Keyboard and/or Mouse.)

Once you have them downloaded (you'll need to unzip any ROM packages you downloaded into a file on your hard drive. However the individual ROM's can stay zipped up) go ahead and start up Stella. It should be in your Start Menu Programs list. Browse to the folder where your ROM's are and double click the game you want to play.

ENJOY!!!! Have fun reminiscing and welcoming back the classic days of gaming! Nostalgia Rulez!

Combat originally shipped with the Atari 2600 so here is a screen-shot of the game loaded on my laptop.

Thanks to the Stella Developers and for hosting these programs! So fun.

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