Atari Stories March 19, 2015

Atari’s new gamified fitness app lets you unlock classic arcade games by working out

Atari is releasing a new fitness app today called Atari Fit that lets users unlock classic Atari arcade games by working out.

The app acts as a personal trainer of sorts with over 100 exercises and fitness routines as well as integration with Apple’s Health app and fitness tracking wearables like Fitbit and Jawbone.

It also has a few interesting gaming features including multiplayer, online leaderboards, and the ability unlock classic Atari games like Pong, Super Breakout, and Centipede:

Multiplayer – Play with friends all over the world anytime. Join a team and workout together or race against each other. Track your stats as a group and encourage each other to workout. Compete to become the fittest team of gamers worldwide!

In addition to unlocking games using points earned by working out, Atari is teaming up with Walgreens to offer Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program points as in-game rewards.

The Atari Fit iPhone app is available for free on the App Store.

Atari Stories August 18, 2014

How the Atari arcade system inspired the original Apple mouse

Wired has an interesting profile out this morning on Jim Yurchenco, a now-retired engineer whose career virtually started with the task of helping create the first mouse for Apple and Steve Jobs:

Yurchenco was just a year or two out of school when he got a call from an old Stanford pal, David Kelley. Kelley had just started a new design firm and asked if Yurchenco might want to join as an engineer. That meant a proper salary—Yurchenco had been working at a medical tech start-up, being paid mostly in stock—so he agreed. The company was called Hovey-Kelley; Ideo was still a few years off at that point. But thanks to co-founder Dean Hovey’s relationship with Jobs, Apple became one of the young company’s first clients.

Atari Stories February 1, 2013

Atari founder on Finding the next Steve Jobs (Video)

TNW pointed us to this video of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell giving a speech at Campus Party Brazil. On top of talking about the early days of Atari and the video game industry, Bushnell also told a few stories about Steve Jobs’ days as an employee at Atari in promotion of his upcoming book “Finding the next Steve Jobs.” Around 13 minutes into the video, Bushnell spoke about giving Jobs and Woz Atari parts for the first Apple computers, Jobs’ work ethic, and told a few other Apple-related stories throughout his talk.

Atari Stories November 30, 2012

Pong World, GTA Vice City trailer, Sparkling Maps, Day After US, deals, more

News:

A few decent new apps and updates are hitting the App Store today. We’ve also spotted variable cost iTunes gift cards hitting third-party retailers for the holidays. To kick things off, we get a new trailer for the 40th anniversary edition of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City slated to hit iOS devices on December 6th.

New Apps:

Pong World: Atari is today celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pong with the release of the first official Pong iOS app on the App Store. Known as Pong World, the modern take on the Atari classic was originally the winning entry of the Pong Indie Developer Challenge.

Atari, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment, announced the release of Pong World™ for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The $50,000 grand prize winner of the Pong®Indie Developer Challenge developed by zGames, Pong World is a reimagined take on the pop culture classic and the first-ever official new PONG game for smartphones and tablet devices.

Sparkling Maps Lite: If you want to try out what third-party Google maps-powered Sparkling Maps has to offer, today the developer released a free, ad-supported version on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

Updates:

Day After US version 1.1: Warner Bros. Day After US app bringing full episodes of TV shows to markets without access to iTunes TV shows is updated today with additional seasons:

-More seasons

Ecco the Dolphin version 2.0: Sega’s cult favorite Ecco the Dolphin finally gets full iOS 6 support:

-iOS 6 Support

Deals:

AppyFridays has three app deals:

Spy Cam (regular price $9.99, new price $3.99) Focus (regular price $19.99, new price $6.99) Soulver (regular price $19.99, new price $9.99)

Atari Stories August 30, 2012

The place where Steve Jobs got his start, Atari, has been porting its classic games to HTML5 on a browser for cross-platform capabilities. Sure, Microsoft is doing some of the promotional work, but the games work across platforms and browsers.

Step into a bizarro time warp and play games like the re-imagined Centipede, Combat, or six others. More importantly, Atari is building HTML5 frameworks for more games in the future, which could benefit other developers.

expand full story

Atari Stories May 31, 2012

Atari founder on Steve Jobs: Apple culture came from Atari

TUAW interviewed one of only a few people to ever hire Steve Jobs, the founder of Atari Nolan Bushnell. As you might expect, he is working on a few iOS projects, and he is particularly interested in augmented reality. These paragraphs stand out:

“He basically lived just below me in Woodside for many, many years, before he moved down to Palo Alto, and he’d just walk up the hill to my house and we’d go on and bullshit about stuff. We kept in contact — I’m writing a book right now called ‘Finding the Next Steve Jobs,’ because I was one of the few people that ever gave him a job.”

Bushnell says even at that early point in his career, Steve stood out. “The thing that people miss about Steve is that Steve was very, very driven and very passionate. He was an enthusiastic individual about everything. He had one speed and it was full blast,” says Bushnell. Some of the qualities Jobs is now known for were some of the reasons he first was able to join on at Atari back in the early ’70s. “We looked at what people did in their spare time, how diverse they were. We never looked at grades, college degrees. One of the best engineers at Atari never graduated from high school, and he was one of the prime architects for the 2600.”

Bushnell says that attitude at Atari definitely shaped Apple as a company later on. “We were focused on merit. And the fact that we can go to work in tennis shoes and a t-shirt started at Atari and it was taken to Apple. Because we said this is a meritocracy, we don’t care where you go to school, when you come to work, we don’t care if you come to work, we don’t care where you are we you are at work. You get the job done, we’re happy.”

Interesting to think that some of Apple’s culture is derived from Jobs’ days at Atari. The book should be interesting.

Atari Stories May 25, 2012

Sotheby’s plans to auction two pieces of Apple history on June 15 in New York, including a rare document penned by Steve Jobs while working at Atari and an operational Apple I motherboard expected to fetch up to $180,000 USD. An excerpt from Sotheby’s description for the Apple I lot is below, and it claims less than six Apple I’s in working condition are known to exist:

As the first ready-made personal computer, the Apple I signaled a new age in which computing became accessible to the masses. The interface of circuitry and software that Woz created enabled users to type letters with “a human-typable keyboard instead of a stupid, cryptic front panel with a bunch of lights and switches,” as he explained to the Homebrew Computer Club. Even so, it was sold without a keyboard, monitor, case, or power supply, An exceptionally rare, working example with original Apple cassette interface, operation manuals and a rare BASIC Users’ Manual. It is thought that fewer than 50 Apple I Computers survive, with only 6 known to be in working condition. expand full story

Atari Stories October 11, 2011

Newsweek reporter Dan Lyons recently interviewed Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Apple employee #6, Randy Wigginton, following the passing of Steve Jobs. In much of the interviews Wozniak and Wigginton recall early stories of Apple’s garage days that you’ve probably heard versions of, but the men also offer a few interesting insights into their relationships with Steve when Apple was still in its infancy.

During the interview, Wozniak mentions he was asked by Walter Isaacson to talk about Steve for his upcoming biography, but Woz turned down the offer saying, “I didn’t want to talk about Steve. I was afraid he wouldn’t want it.”

When asked if he had ever had a falling out with Jobs, Wozniak remembered a story regarding  him leaving the company in 1985 leading Jobs to confront Wozniak’s new partners:

“The closest thing we ever had to an argument was when I left in 1985 to start a company to build a universal remote control. I went to Frog Design to do the design. Steve dropped in there one day and he saw what they were designing for me and he threw it against the wall and said they could not do any work for me. “Anything you do for Woz, belongs to me.” I was on my own, but I was still friendly with Apple. But Steve had a burst-out there. The people at Frog told me about it. That was the only time there was ever a fight between us, but it wasn’t actually between us. Nobody has ever seen us having an argument.”

Wigginton, who started writing software at Apple when he was 14, thinks back to when Jobs called all of Woz’s friends to ask them to convince Woz to leave HP and start Apple:

“They got along but it was funny. It was more like Woz would put up with Jobs. Jobs would bug him to get stuff done. I’ll never forget the night Jobs called all of Woz’s friends and wanted us to call Woz and tell him to quit HP and start Apple. Woz wanted to stay at HP. So we did it. Until that point, Woz was undecided.”

Wozniak also confirms the legendary story of Jobs cheating him out of money on Atari bonuses: expand full story

Atari Stories September 5, 2011

Update: DVICE has a review up with the following notes:

  1. It is a 30 pin dock connector, not Bluetooth. It runs on the iPads battery and gets 8-10 hours of battery life (pretty efficient!). The downside to that: Portrait playing only.
  2. The Atari Arcade is scheduled to drop on October 2 at Target and then in November at Toys “R” Us and Walmart for $60.

Coming soon to DiscoveryBayGames, a new Atari controller that will go head to head with the popular iCade box. The appliance was discovered in the Atari’s Greatest Hits update by MacRumors.

What’s New in Version 1.3

Hello Atari fans! We’ve been paying close attention to your feedback and have made a ton of improvements:

• New and improved control schemes • OpenFeint integration • Optimized iPad layouts with larger playfields • Better multiplayer connectivity • Compatibility with the Discovery Bay Games Duo Controller • Play with the official Atari® Arcade – Duo™ Powered joystick. http://bit.ly/atariarcade

expand full story

Atari Stories January 8, 2011

http://www.viddler.com/simple/59e74182/

Remember that Thinkgeek iCade Arcade box that was ‘demo’ed on April Fools’ Day last year?? Well, it got such a warm reception, and frankly isn’t rocket science to create.

ION has partnered with Atari®, the first name in classic arcade games, to bring a huge suite of classic arcade titles including Asteroids® to market with iCade support built right in. Grab hold of iCADE’s full-sized joystick and smash the arcade buttons for commanding control of iPad’s on-screen action. This truly unique arcade cabinet and game-controller for iPad will provide hours of action and nostalgia for years to come. Enter the iCADE and go back to the future

Full Press Release below: expand full story

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