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Classic Games (Games) Programming Games News

Atari Wants To Reinvent Pong 180

mikejuk writes "Atari is offering up to $100,000 in a contest for a new version of Pong, the classic game that launched video games 40 years ago, for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. The judges for the contest include Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, who came up with the original idea for Pong. So, what does a 21st century Pong look like? How does it play? And what role does touch have in this, the simplest of games?"
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Atari Wants To Reinvent Pong

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  • What's in a name? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macraig ( 621737 ) <> on Saturday March 17, 2012 @04:08PM (#39390937)

    Apparently everything, as it turns out. Atari is nothing but a name, bought and sold like something found at Best Buy, and now brandished by a company with no resemblance or heritage to the company that defined the name.

  • AR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @04:18PM (#39390997)
    Augmented reality pong. There is no ball, but you and the other player swing your devices around madly whilst still trying to see the virtual ball superimposed on reality. Should result in many dropped or flung devices and a surge in replacement sales.
  • Great, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SIR_Taco ( 467460 ) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @04:21PM (#39391025) Homepage

    "The contest is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columba, eighteen (18) years of age or older as of the date of their entry who have an Apple developer ID and have published a valid and proper Apple iTunes U.S. App Store game prior to the date of their entry...."

    I was semi-excited there for a minute.

  • Re:Misleading Title (Score:5, Interesting)

    by faedle ( 114018 ) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @04:45PM (#39391205) Homepage Journal

    Doubly so considering Atari didn't invent Pong, they stole it from Magnavox [] and the original developer Ralph Baer [].

  • Re:Hah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kat_skan ( 5219 ) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @04:55PM (#39391281)

    What I really like is that the rules say that Atari becomes the owner of your entry. So if you don't win, you can't even throw your game on the app store and see it makes a few bucks there instead.

    Without limiting the foregoing, each Eligible Entrant agrees that upon completion of each stage of production of his or her Entry until final completion of such Entry, such completed stage of production, all materials used in the production of such completed stage of production, the Entry, all derivatives thereof, Eligible Entrant's contributions thereto, and all right, title and interest pertaining thereto, including without limitation the copyright and renewals and extensions thereof, shall be entirely the property of Sponsor.

    You'd have to be some kind of moron to enter this contest.

  • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @05:30PM (#39391517) Homepage

    plasma pong...except atari had the creater take it down because of property rights

    There are doubtless countless clones, derivatives and clever variants of Pong. The fact that the current "Atari" (i.e. owners of the name/IP) will bless one as official probably makes little difference. It's common for such companies to produce numerous "official" sequels to famous arcade games over the years. Those are generally forgotten when they want to sell the *next* pointless update of the original.

    It's like Space Invaders. That's a very simple game- you can tart it up or add gimmicks, but they're either going to end up as (a) Space Invaders with shiny graphics, bells and whistles that just exaggerate how simplistic the core game is or (b) something so modernised and far from the original that it's an "in name only".

    The "truest" sequel would be a game that started from the same basic concept as Space Invaders, retaining what made it work, but moving it on and enhancing it, making the original look slightly staid in the process. But Namco basically did that (unofficially) already... 30 years ago with "Galaxian" and then "Galaga".

    Tetris is probably *the* uber-example of a simple game that works well *because* of its simplicity and absolutely doesn't need bells or whistles- the game was probably perfected with the Game Boy version. However, that hasn't stopped them making countless official sequels and spinoffs that add nothing but gimmickry to justify the sale of a game we've already bought many times. I appreciate that Alexey Pajitnov got shafted on the rights early on, and probably wants to make some money from his creation, but it doesn't change the fact that it's all pointless.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak