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Microsoft Teams Up with Atari to Bring Arcade Classics to the Web

Microsoft has partnered with Atari to bring the video game maker’s classic arcade games to the web. The new Atari Arcade site provides reimagined, HTML 5-based versions of Asteroids, Combat, Centipede, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Pong, Super Breakout, and Yar’s Revenge for free.

“Forty years ago gaming required a dedicated console, but today the web is an incredibly rich platform that has the power to drive games and bring entirely new methods of interaction with games, like touch, that were not possible in a browser just a few short years ago,” Atari founder Nolan Bushnell notes. “What is exciting about gaming on the web is the reach it offers. It is not a potential audience of thousands, or millions, but billions of people that can access and enjoy gaming online!”

Bushnell’s not exaggerating: Pong debuted in summer 1972, forty years ago.

While the games at Atari Arcade can be played for free in any browser, you can play ad-free in Internet Explorer. And if you’re using Windows 8 with a touch-based PC or device, the games have been specially designed to support multi-touch.

“Atari Arcade is perfect for touch,” Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin writes in a post to the Exploring IE blog. “Our goal was to create an experience that lets you interact naturally with your fingers or mouse or keyboard.”

More games are on the way too. Microsoft reports that new games from Atari’s library of over 100 arcade classics will be added in the months ahead.

In the meantime, developers are free to build their own games using the Atari Arcade platform. A software development kit is available, along with new tutorials and other information for developers.

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