Earlier this year, Atari released its “Greatest Hits” app into the iOS App Store, which brought famous games like Asteroids, Centipede, Pong, and many others to the iPhone and iPad. But the app lacks one important feature that gives us all a feeling of nostalgia: a joystick.
It looks like Atari wants to bring that back.
A new update recently pushed out to the Atari Greatest Hits app reveals support for a new device called the “Atari Arcade — Duo Powered”. A little bit more digging brings you to a page with the poster seen above. Yes, Atari plans on reuniting those familiar classic games with the joystick. The picture specifically shows off the accessory working with an iPad, but one might hope it can work with the iPhone or iPod touch as well. It includes the big red joystick and four separate buttons.
The Atari Arcade works very similarly to the iCade, though Atari’s accessory is considerably smaller and doesn’t try to be a full arcade machine. It acts like a Bluetooth keyboard, which means you don’t need to plug your iOS device into a dock connector. This is also enables customers to play games using the Arcade in landscape mode.
It’s definitely a smart move for Atari to release such an accessory to pair with the app. Not only is it a smart business decision, but those older games are more optimized for physical controls than touch. I personally tried playing a few of them just to end up feeling as if something was missing. I think a joystick and some other controls will be the icing on the cake for those interested in taking a trip down memory lane.
Atari has not yet announced pricing and availability for the device, though the latter is promised to be coming “soon.” The iCade is priced at $99, but the Atari Arcade will more than likely have a lower price point due to its simpler design.