April 13, 2007

New Video Game Technology: Applying new science to a video game classic. A look into the world of Atari VCSp Portable Units

Has it already been more than 30 years since the world's first home video game system invaded our living rooms? A great deal of time has sure gone by, but we can never forget how we all instantly fell in love with the Atari 2600. The simple 2-D block pixel graphics were never a bore as we've never seen the likes it before, but we surely went bonkers when Atari and Activision started releasing colorful basic 3-D rendered games like Pitfall II. Wow! Do you remember that? Pitfall II was an instant winner! It was the early generation of quest adventure games that featured multiple screens to facilitate an exciting storyline. Now fast forward many years into the future to the present day. You're in your tiny cubicle smack in the heart of the lifeless office of the company you've sold your soul to. It's breaktime again, and to inject a bit of life into this dismal reality you reach into your breifcase and pull out either your PSP, or a Gameboy Advance. How was it possible that we've acquired alien technology in only 30+ years? Aliens for sure. Everyone knows you're a gaming freak, but once in a while you get overcome by this wave of nostalgia and you recall the simple and happy days of playing Defender and Pac-Man in your livingroom. It's only natural that you have a soft spot for the original game system that made you the game addict you are today. Your start to daydream... sure you've got Atari game revivals for all your current video game systems, but how cool would it be to have a portable unit that actually played original game cartridges made for Atari?

Well who knew that a guy named Ben Heckendorn has actually been making such portable units for the last seven years?! WHAT?!!!! Yes! It's true! Heckendorn spends most of his time designing and re-designing Atari 2600 portable consoles that actually play original Atari 2600 game cartridges! His latest creation is the folding Revision 7 model that resembles a Gameboy Advance. Both the Revision 7 and the Revision 5.1 model look so sleek, it's hard to imagine that these were home made. Here are photos of all the Atari 2600 portable units he's designed; from his very first design, to his latest creations. His website shows detailed accounts of the step-by-step assembly of these gizmos. And for all you techies, he offers free downloads of the original schematics, so you can try and build one yourself! Check out his official site at: http://benheck.com.

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Anonymous said...

OMG! for real?!

mahasiswa teladan said...

hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

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