‘Classic’ Atari set for digital-age revamp as new owner moves in

Atari, the classic brand credited with launching the video games console market nearly 30 years ago, is set to be given a new lease of life by owner Infogrames.

The French games publisher is planning to relaunch Atari after it acquired the brand name when, earlier this year, it bought Hasbro Interactive, the games division of US toy company Hasbro.

Infogrames is understood to be considering using the Atari name on new console and PC games.

Games industry insiders also believe Infogrames will take Atari into the wireless games market. Sources say the basic graphics and small memory demands of Atari games make them ideal for translation on to platforms such as mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants).

Atari Inc, founded in 1972, was the first company to bring arcade-style games into the living room.

This week, Infogrames released its latest video game over the Internet. It is believed that this is the first time a major video game title has been released online before appearing in shops.

The PC game, “Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare” was released on Monday (June 25) evening on a website operated by Electronics Boutique – 48 hours before it hit US stores.

Infogrames has also joined the Microsoft TV Developer Programme and plans to adapt several of its award-winning children’s CD-Roms for interactive TV. The games will be accessible to children and their families through cable and on Microsoft Interactive TV.

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