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Worlds Smallest Atari 2600 Still Can’t Improve E.T., Kool-Aid Man

by Paul Strauss

Much as I love the memories of my original Atari 2600 console, I have to say that out of all of the retro gaming systems out there, the 2600 has stood the test of time the worst. With the exception of some of the Activision games, the graphics are so primitive that they make most of the games unplayable. Trust me, I’ve tried with various emulators and even an Atari Flashback console. In my opinion, the Atari 2600 is best left as a fond memory – or maybe a cake. That all said, it didn’t stop this hacker from putting together what appears to be the smallest Atari 2600 ever.


Modder Dablio started out with a Dynacom MegaBoy, which is a small, illegal Atari 2600 clone system. He reverse-engineered the circuit board from the MegaBoy to produce his own custom PCB, then added a cartridge port, and a VGA connector which provides power, controller and video signals to and from the console. In all fairness, though, the VGA breakout box is almost as big as the console itself.


He originally tried to build it into an Atari 2600 controller, but Dablio ultimately managed to fit the system into the plastic tube from a package of M&Ms, so the console is appropriately named the “Atari 2600MM.”


While some may say that you can buy an Atari 2600 built into a joystick, that’s not really fair, since those systems only play a limited number of games, and cannot accept an actual 2600 cartridge.

But no matter how much effort Dablio put into building his 2600 mini system, the games pretty much still suck. If you want to play games on a retro system, you should probably start off with an NES – many of those games still have replay value today. Or just buy a pack of M&Ms and eat them for even more fun.

Still, it’s impressive that Dablio managed to cram this entire system into such a small package. You can check out more pics and info (in Portuguese) on the build over at Dablio’s website, and in the video clip below:

[via Hack A Day]

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Comments (7):

  1. Chris says:

    Why all the harsh words for the Atari 2600? I have original system and really enjoy playing it. Believe me, there are fun games and bad games, just like any other system. The 2600 was a groundbreaking device – you just need to have an appreciation for simplicity to enjoy it.

    • Technabob says:

      It was groundbreaking at the time, but every time I go to pick up a “classic” 2600 game, I tire of it in minutes. That said, I can still enjoy an occasional game of Pitfall, Kaboom or River Raid. But very few of the other original games have replay value for me these days. That said, I can still pick up Super Mario Bros. and play it end to end.

  2. Ant says:

    I agree with Chris entirely, replay value is subjective, this machine was groundbreaking in many respects. Comparisons to the NES are a bit silly, there wasn’t a console market before the VCS hit the shelves. Have you seen any of the new home few titles and played any of those I wonder?

    • Technabob says:

      I haven’t gotten to play any of the homebrew titles, so maybe I can be convinced that there’s still a place for my old 2600. That said, my first system was actually not an Atari 2600 – I had a Fairchild Channel F, and an Atari Stunt Cycle machine before I had a 2600 :)

  3. Ant says:

    For ‘home few’ see ‘home brew’ damn iPad.

  4. bytex666 says:

    This kind of goes for all retro system games. I played the heck out of my C64 games in the 80s, but trying all the “classics” on an emulator today, I tire of them within minutes, just like Technabob here. Nostalgia is best left as nostalgia. Play them again, and you rip apart all those great memories from your childhood.

  5. PaulP says:

    Yar’s Revenge? I usually go back to my 2600 once or twice a week. No love for Imagic games? (Cosmic Ark, Atlantis) Even the M Network games IMO still hold up. On the other hand, I have a PS3, and it’s mainly a Netflix/multimedia box.
    I think some of the issue is ‘new’ games (post NES) hold your hand, or have a definite ‘ending’ most of the time. 95% of Atari games, it’s player vs machine with a numerical score or level indicator (that goes on forever). Modern players don’t know what to do with that.

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