Atari 2600 ET Cartridges Uncovered

BmK77NNIcAAQ33bHere’s something I never thought I’d see. For 30 years, gamers have joked about the landfill where Atari dumped their exhaustive supply of unsold ET cartridges. They created more copies of that game than there were 2600s in existence, and they cut their losses when the game turned out to be legendarily bad and trashed warehouses full of them into the desert. Today, the legend has proven to be true, as a documentary crew has unearthed the games that crashed the industry. I had always assumed that the Atari dump was just playground chatter born from the Nintendo revival, and it does my heart good to see some crazy legend be proven true for once.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the unearthing is that it seems like most of the games are in better condition than some games from that era that were stored in boxes in some basement. Some of the recovered copies are even still preserved in crushed but still sealed shrink wrap. I’m sure we’ll see if they actually play during the documentary itself, which is being produced by Microsoft’s new entertainment division for the Xbox One. I would hope that the film sees the light of day outside of the Xbox dashboard though, as today is a milestone day in gaming history, and the film will go right up there with Indie Game: The Movie and King of Kong if they pull it off correctly.