The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

RETRO-TECH
I've noted before, to the point of ranting, my preference for oldschool-style videogaming over the modern incarnation. I've often wondered if I was a lone voice crying in the wilderness. Now, I know that it's a generational thing, with millions of my ilk going with retro-techno stylin'.

While this report covers a range of product nostalgia, the videogaming part of it is what grabbed me:

Intellivision this year is offering "Intellivision Lives!" for PS2 and Xbox, resurrecting long-forgotten titles like "Shark! Shark!" and "Space Armada." Its Intellivision 25 direct-to-TV controller lets users without a console play 25 games by plugging a game controller into their TV or VCR.

Similar game controller products are available from Atari, Activision and Namco, bringing "Dig Dug" and "Asteroids" from the era of Lionel Ritchie and Diane Keaton to that of Missy Elliott and Ben Affleck.

Each game controller looks almost exactly like the original joystick-and-single-button model -- a relic compared to current models that often sport six buttons and two directional sticks.

"People identify with the original Atari 2600 joystick," said Genna Goldberg of JAKKS Pacific Inc., which makes the three joystick games. "For many it was the first video game system they had as a kid."

I've noticed these controllers being sold at mall kiosks, and I'm sorely tempted to pick one up. I've got my Xbox hooked up for regular use, and still have my vintage Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis consoles, along with cartridges, in working order (last time I checked). But it's a hassle to wire up the old machines, and there's something about buying these new compact packages that's appealing.