Atari is taking remakes of its classic games to browser gaming, completely free to play.
Missile Command reloaded.
(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
The new website, called Atari Arcade, coincides with the 40th anniversary of the launch of Atari's first-ever game, Pong, which was released back in September 1972. It uses HTML 5 to support multi-touch-based play on upcoming Windows 8 tablets using Internet Explorer 10.
But the games work in most of today's browsers, sans touch compatibility.
Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, said in a post on the Windows blog:
Forty years ago, gaming required a dedicated console, but today, the web is an incredibly rich platform that has the power to drive games and bring entirely new methods of interaction with games, like touch, that were not possible in a browser just a few short years ago. What is exciting about gaming on the web is the reach it offers. It is not a potential audience of thousands, or millions, but billions of people that can access and enjoy gaming online!
There are eight classic games, so far, to be played on the website: Pong, Super Breakout, Yar's Revenge, Asteroids, Centipede, Combat, Lunar Lander, and Missile Command — with more games from the Atari classics library to be released over the coming months.
It's very heavy-handed with the Microsoft partnership, though, with ads in Chrome and Firefox (but none in IE), and constant reminders to download the latest IE browsers. The games, themselves, are ad-free, which is something.
More excitingly, the website offers developers the opportunity to get in on the Atari Arcade action, with a downloadable developer kit, tutorials and code.
Head on over to the Atari Arcade for some lunch-time gaming here.