Why it matters: Atari has introduced a modern remake of its original Atari 2600, the home video game console that – for better or for worse – shaped the video game industry in the late 70s and early 80s.

The new Atari 2600+ is powered by a Rockchip 3128 SoC with 256 MB of DDR3 RAM and 256 MB of eMMC fixed internal storage. Atari has added an HDMI output for modern televisions complete with widescreen mode support. The console can play both Atari 2600 and 7800 game cartridges, and Atari even enlarged the cartridge socket to reduce sticking.

Notably, the system uses emulation technology to play game cartridges. The company has published a full game compatibility list that's worth checking out if you are interested in the system.

Physically, the unit looks a lot like the original but is roughly 80 percent of its size so it's "easier to fit into modern living spaces." It comes with a CX40+ joystick that has been recreated using the same specs as the original, and it even works with original Atari hardware. Buyers will also receive a 10-in-1 game cartridge featuring hits like Missile Command, Adventure, and Yars' Revenge, as well as an HDMI cable and a USB-C power cable.

Atari Chairman and CEO, Wade Rosen, said preserving classic games is a top priority for Atari, and the release of the 2600+ will make the hundreds of 2600 and 7800 games released over the last 50 years universally accessible.

Atari partnered with Plaion (formerly Koch Media), a German media company, on the project. Ben Jones, commercial director of the retro division at Plaion, said they are excited to be working with Atari to bring back the 2600 and help meet the growing consumer demand for retro hardware.

"For gamers who remember the thrill of playing arcade games at home for the very first time, the Atari 2600+ will bring you right back," Jones said. "For everyone else, the offer is one of timeless fun and the chance to experience a golden age of video games in a way that could only come from Atari."

The Atari 2600+ is available to pre-order from today priced at $129.99 and is expected to ship on November 17, 2023, just in time for the holidays. And for those wondering, the Atari VCS base system is still available starting at $199.99.