Stop Pretending to Be Excited That Atari Is Coming Back From the Dead

It sucked then. Facelift or not, it still sucks now.

By Evan Bleier

 
Stop Pretending You're Excited That Atari Is Getting a Reboot
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12 June 2017

Update April 23, 2018

Nearly a year ago, we advised against buying an off-brand revamp of the Atari console made by a company called AtGames. Now, a more official redux has arrived: the AtariVCS, which will be compatible with Atari 2600 and 5200 games, along with apps from leading video and music-streaming services.

The new machine offers a sexier, more low-profile design, as well as the option to play with a modernized two-hand controller in addition to an updated version of Atari's cumbersome single joystick.

As for whether you should buy one? (Ed. note: They're set to start taking pre-order any day.) That's still a no from us, dog. Modern amenities or not, Atari is a system that went the way of the dodo for a reason. If you want a classic gaming system, better options exist.


Think about the 1980s. Now take off your nostalgia-tinted glasses and do it again.

The music: Pretty good. The movies: Not bad at all. The Atari system: Worse than the hair.

Show your humble correspondent someone who thinks they’ll enjoy playing a revamped classic Atari —  like the one AtGames is launching this fall — for more than 30 seconds and I’ll show you someone who’s spent the same amount of time thinking about it. A bit of nostalgia is fine, and perhaps will even make you a healthier person, but being nostalgic about things that kind of sucked in the first place defeats the purpose. Not only did the original Atari produce images that were pixelated as all hell, it had controllers that were hard to use and games so weak that 700,000 copies of one of them had to be buried in a landfill.


Pictured: The original Atari, in all its ungainly glory

Going out of your way to play an Atari when there are so many superior options are at your fingertips is like opting to take a tricycle for a ride when a Corvette with wifi and touchscreens is available.

There’s a reason you’re nostalgic for the chocolate-chip cookies your nan used to make: They were good.

Atari wasn’t.

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