Atari may be the oldest name in the video game book, but it’s still kicking. The company’s latest move is to launch a new publishing wing, dubbed Atari XP. This group will release physical cartridges, all of which will be fully compatible with the old-school Atari 2600.
These limited-edition cartridges are intended for collectors, and the first round includes games that have never gotten a physical release. These include Aquaventure, Saboteur, and Yars’ Return, a sequel to Yars’ Revenge that first appeared on the Atari Flashback 2 in 2005. Pre-orders for those are open now on the Atari XP website.
Atari envisions three kinds of games it wants to publish through the XP label. The first includes “games that were completed but never received an official release, or were only released in very limited quantities,” which includes the likes of Yars’ Return. Second are “games for which physical media has become extremely rare, and therefore hard to find,” and third is “a wide variety of classic games that would benefit from small improvements to graphic rendering on modern devices and the smoothness and accuracy of controls.” Retro collectors are clearly the target demographic here — just note that shipping for Atari XP cartridges is limited to the United States at this time.
Publishing old games is far from Atari’s only venture right now. The VCS Tribute Edition debuted in 2018, and a batch of Atari arcade games have been remade for PC and consoles since then. This includes Black Widow Recharged, which just launched this Halloween.