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Atari Flashback 8 Gold: Vintage gaming on your HDTV

The first-gen home video games of the 1970s and 80s are alive and well.

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Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
Atari Flashback 8 Gold
1 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

Do you want to spend $80 (which converts to around £61 and AU$100) on an Atari gaming box? The Flashback 8 Gold costs that much.

Atari Flashback 8 Gold
2 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

It comes with two 2.4GHz wireless controllers, and a plastic console... with HDMI.

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The original Atari 2600 (yes, we have one) next to the Flashback 8 Gold (left).

Atari Flashback 8 Gold
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Note the plastic ridges... and the really bad wood grain sticker.

Atari Flashback 8 Gold
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Pitfall! This is one of many Activision games in the system's memory. Do you even remember Pitfall?

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6 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

The HDMI port, oddly, is on the side.

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7 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

The console supports original Atari controllers, like these paddles (Breakout, Warlords and other paddle games are included, and some are up to 4 players).

Atari Flashback 8 Gold
8 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

The plastic buttons mirror similar functions on the original game system.

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9 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

The in-game menu shows all the game boxes. The navigation gets a little wonky, though.

Atari Flashback 8 Gold
10 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

It feels lightweight, and it's fine. Nothing fancy-looking.

Atari Flashback 8 Gold
11 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

What's that? One controller is studded with extra side buttons to pause, select games or even rewind up to six seconds. 

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Why is this rated 15+?

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The controllers feel good enough, but Atari controllers were always awkward. They use AAA batteries, which need to be replaced with a screw.

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The power jack. The adapter is tiny.

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These buttons could have looked nicer.

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Difficulty controls, modes... even back in the Atari 2600 days, it was confusing.

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17 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

Frogger is one of the best games among the system's 120 titles.

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You have to press buttons and move the stick in odd ways to navigate the menu and access game saves. It's unintuitive.

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Adventure: a classic, and also weird and abstract.

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The Flashback 8 Gold next to the Nintendo NES Classic. The NES is so small!

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21 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

Yars' Revenge looks like a Cronenberg acid trip.

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An original Atari paddle (not included, and that's a shame).

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How many can you recognize?

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Each game comes with an information screen.

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Breakout is better with a paddle.

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Space Invaders. These games sometimes feel choppy, but they all look crisp and super-pixely on a big TV.

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Atari Flashback 8 Gold, Sega Genesis Flashback HD and NES Classic side by side.

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28 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

Game save slots are on the Atari Flashback 8 Gold. I don't know many Atari games that deserve game saves.

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29 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET

I liked the Atari system's build better than the 

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