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June 14, 2017

Atari 2600 fans get the revival console they deserve

by John_A

If you want to play retro Atari 2600 games, you’re not short of options. There’s eBay for the original console of course. You can play some on mobile, or buy one of those “Flashback” all-in-ones, or splurge on the ultimate man/woman-cave table. But for those that have the original cartridges, but don’t want to keep an old console on permanent life support, or tinker with modifications under the hood, your options aren’t so good. Enter the RetroN 77 — the 2600 reimagined for the modern age. Importantly, it plays most, if not all of the original game cartridges in glorious 1080p, at a modern aspect ratio right out of the box.

It’s pretty hard not to get misty-eyed while playing Pac Man off the original cart, complete with faded, battle-worn label. The experience is even better when it plays in full screen on a modern TV, without having to jump through any hoops. The company behind the hardware — Hyperkin — has a long history of making modern versions of classic consoles (the SNES, Genesis in particular). You can be sure there’s attention to detail too, with the RetroN 77. I’m reliably informed that those who remember moving the cart in their original Atari (and causing the game to glitch), might get the same experience here (if you want).

Really, though, the RetroN 77 is about fun, and keeping the Atari legacy alive — and given the recent reveal of Ataribox, it’s something lots of people are passionate about. Yes you can use original joysticks, but also there are USB options too, if going full authentic with vulnerable hardware is a step too far. Hyperkin wouldn’t commit to a price, but suggested the RetroN 77 should retail somewhere around $80, landing just in time for the you to get one (for your kids, of course) over the holidays.

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