As part of Atari's 40th anniversary, the company has teamed up with Microsoft and GSkinner.com to allow people to play eight classic Atari video games via their browser. The games will also work with a touch-screen tablet, giving people a reason to consider purchasing a Windows 8 tablet later this year.
The games are not the original ones from the '70s and '80s, but rather re-imagined versions that allow for better graphics and user controls like a finger or a mouse. The basics of the games, however, are the same. In Pong you are still hitting a ball back and forth, and in Missile Command you're still trying to save your cities from the incoming missiles. Microsoft, through its InternetExplorer YouTube channel, has a couple of videos explaining the new offerings:
In this longer video, we get a behind-the-scenes look at the project, including some great comments by Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari who is still very excited about video games. Remember, kids, this is the man who created Chuck E. Cheese (do the joy/detriment of parents everywhere).
The eight games available at the Atari Arcade are Missile Command, Pong, Super Breakout, Yars' Revenge, Asteroids, Centipede, Combat and Lunar Lander. You can play the games by yourself, or play with some friends in multi-player mode. The new games are fun to play, although I quickly realized that I still suck at Lunar Lander.
Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.