Hot on the heels of Atari developing and promoting the Ataribox, a popular online retro games store called Funstock has launched pre-orders for a new device called the Atari ‘Retro’ Handheld. Not much is known about the handheld yet as its sole source of information is Funstock’s pre-order page; it’s not even mentioned on Atari’s official website as of writing – but then again, neither is the Ataribox (which has its own website). Externally, they only seem to care about promoting RollerCoaster Tycoon. Ah well.
What we do know is that instead of Atari manufacturing it themselves, it appears to be an offically licenced product by a European company called PQube – much in the same way the licence is used by AtGames for a similar handheld device called the Atari Flashback Portable. Additionally, we also know the specs, but most importantly, the games it will be releasing with.
The Atari ‘Retro’ Handheld will have a 2.4” screen (no word on what type yet, though), a composite output for playing through a TV and a built-in thumbstick that mimics the iconic joystick. It will also include a design inspired by the original wood grained beast with a wrap-around wood “effect”. No doubt it will be plastic, although it does look quite snazzy compared to AtGames rectangular grey plastic counterpart.
Disappointingly, three AAA batteries are substituted for a rechargeable battery and there does not seem to an SD card slot. However, the games contained within should satisfy most. There’s a staggering 50 included, with classics such as Yar’s Revenge, Breakout, Asteroids and Missile Command (this writers personal favourite 2600 game). For a full list, see Funstock’s pre-order page.
With re-releases of classic consoles appearing left and right these last few years, it will be interesting to see how the Atari ‘Retro’ Handheld performs. Hopefully, it finds its place in the market between the Ataribox and the SNES Classic Mini. If you’re interested, pre-orders are now open for £34.99 with an expected release date of November. Funstock is a European website, mind you – however, they do ship internationally.
Update, 9th of September: Corrected information regarding the licensing of the Atari name for manufacturing.