This is possibly the first review of the Atari Game Station Pro by MyArcade in a video gaming magazine, but it absolutely isn’t the only review out there. The MyArcade crew got these out to a ton of YouTube influencers and I recommend you check out the reviews by Jon of MyGenX Gamer and John Hancock, among others. I learned a lot about some of the extended capabilities of the unit by watching their videos. Those undocumented extended capabilities are something that you might want to look into if you are into that kind of thing.
Let’s start with the physical product! Well-built and way beyond the Plug and Play / Flashback type units that we all picked up for $30 back at Dollar General or at Walmart/Target on Black Friday for $20. The units back then were very cheaply built and weren’t really made for the fantastic gamers like those of you who read our magazine. They were made for someone who wanted to remember the older games, or for grandma to buy for the grandkids thinking that was what the kids played now. While a unit like this isn’t like playing on the original arcade games or even on the console games built into it (see Atari 2600+ review in next issue), it’s a closer experience than we have had before.
The build is solid, the lighting features LED lighting around buttons and the parody of the CX-40 that they have created. The improvements I would have made for it would have been rechargeable batteries that would charge via cabling that could also run the units via wired mode. The spinner feature on the joystick is a cool addition that I understand was added after one of the prototypes was checked out.
I think the selection of games for a first release is good. I would have liked a couple more third party games like Activision titles for the 2600-5200-7800 that were some of the best games released for those early Atari consoles. Similar to the multiple releases of Flashbacks, maybe this will have more games released on an updated version in a couple of years. Throw in 138 Atari Licensed Games, and 63 other gems and you have a nice group of games to play. The interface that MyArcade made to get to all of the games is well done and allows for some flexibility in play by adjusting sensitivity and other things in the menu system.
This unit has earned a place in our upstairs family chill room with a 32” TV that previously just had a Firestick hooked up to it for gaming whenever I feel like it during the day. A $80 investment in a quick gaming option is absolutely something I would recommend to someone who enjoys early 8-bit video gaming from the 1970s and early 1980s.