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.
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.
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