Atari is bringing retro arcade gaming back with PCB collection, sort of

Atari arcade PCB with Black Widow marquee on top
(Image credit: Atari)

Retro arcade game parts are coming back in a sort of unexpected way, as Atari has launched a series of collectable PCBs. The boards don’t come with chips and resistors, and your bank account will hate the price, but if you’re looking for something different to display in your game room, this could be it. Not to mention each piece serves as an arcade history book page.

I know some of you out there aren’t going to know what an old retro arcade machine looks like. After all, we all made the switch from playing stuff in dark amusement centres to using consoles and gaming PCs at home during the ‘90s,  and things have changed a lot since then. For starters, Atari isn’t exactly a video game goliath anymore, but it’s clearly dedicated to reminding you it used to be the top dog in the scene. 

Over at the official Atari store, you can now grab five different arcade cabinet PCBs (printed circuit boards, for anyone who’s wondering). Again, the boards aren’t actually games themselves, but they’re exact replicas of the wafers used to bridge together necessary  components.  

Closeup of Atari PCB

(Image credit: Atari)

You’ll be able to choose from PCB designs based on Atari classics like Black Widow, Gravitar, Major Havoc, Lunar Lander, and Warlords, with each bearing its own colorful marquee. The artwork is accompanied by yellow silk text outlining the specific game’s history, homage to the developers involved, and instructions. Remember instructions? Well, this is sort of like those little booklets you used to get with games, but vastly more expensive.

In terms of price, each Atari replica PCB comes in at $245, and that’s arguably an exuberant amount to spend on what is effectively a decorative piece. That said, you can actually use the replica as a proper replacement board, which could provide an actual arcade machine with a new lease of life. 

Pricing aside, I’m also just into the idea of game room items that look like they belong in a museum. I’m sure many of you retro game collectors out there have little curio cubbyholes in your house, and I’m currently turning my attic into a retro crawlspace. While the room is primarily for me to enjoy, I do get a kick out of having visitors round that have no idea what an Atari 2600 is, and I can imagine these PCBs will spark up a conversation. 

If you’re itching for other new pieces of Atari kit for your game room, I’ll list some cool bits and bobs below. From plug and play consoles to the wonderful Lego Atari 2600, there’s plenty out there keeping the iconic game brand alive. 

Looking for modern gaming parts? Check out our best graphics card picks and revamp your rig. Alternatively, we’ve also rounded up a collection of the best gaming laptops for those of you looking for a complete mobile setup.

Phil Hayton
Hardware Editor

I’ve been messing around with PCs, video game consoles, and tech since before I could speak. Don’t get me wrong, I kickstarted my relationship with technology by jamming a Hot Wheels double-decker bus into my parent’s VCR, but we all have to start somewhere. I even somehow managed to become a walking, talking buyer’s guide at my teenage supermarket job, which helped me accept my career fate. So, rather than try to realise my musician dreams, or see out my University degree, I started running my own retro pop culture site and writing about video games and tech for the likes of TechRadar, The Daily Star, and the BBC before eventually ending up with a job covering graphics card shenanigans at PCGamesN. Now, I’m your friendly neighbourhood Hardware Editor at GamesRadar, and it’s my job to make sure you can kick butt in all your favourite games using the best gaming hardware, whether you’re a sucker for handhelds like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch or a hardcore gaming PC enthusiast.