Atari 2600+, streaming icons, R2-D2 Lego

Published stuff

My Stuff column this week is Apple realises it has no choice but to allow game streaming on iPhone – before it’s too late, which digs into Apple’s iffy history regarding its demands for cloud gaming services on iPhone and its recent abrupt about-face. I also wrote about the new 25 years of Star Wars Lego sets.

Over at TapSmart, a trio of new articles went up, including home gym appsways I’d like Apple to improve AI on iPhone, and Serial Reader becoming part of my classic apps series.

Other stuff

There are two ways to approach reviews. The first is to hedge your bets and review potential. The second is to review what’s in front of you. I’ve always subscribed to the latter. I don’t think it benefits readers to provide recommendations based on promises that might never come to pass.

Which leads me to my Atari 2600+ review. That console is an odd beast anyway, but at the time of review suffered from compatibility issues that knocked its ability to play real carts. Also, one of my gripes was “too few new available cartridges”. Rummaging around eBay for ancient games that might not work isn’t what I consider huge fun.

There’s still not a glut of new carts, but it was interesting this week to discover Atari reissuing Atari 7800 versions of Fatal Run, Food Fight and Ninja Golf. These carts work with the 2600+ (which plays 2600 and 7800 titles) and are compatible with original Atari 7800 hardware too. Annoyingly, they lack manuals (Atari apparently still having not cottoned on to that aspect of authentic retro games), but otherwise they look great.

Imagine if Nintendo did the same. If instead of a tiny closed NES mini that went out of stock in about eight seconds, there was a tribute console that could play real NES carts. And then Nintendo reissued some of its classics. That’ll never happen, of course – Nintendo’s happier selling you the same games over and over again on digital services.

So while I might have given the Atari 2600+ 3/5 in the review, Atari itself deserves a higher rating for being a company doing retro in a really good way.