I know it may seem unreal, but Internet Explorer is actually a decent browser these days. The latest iteration - IE10 - is already available in preview form on Windows 8. Once it launches, it will be expose millions of Internet users to the power of HTML5. To show off that power, Microsoft has partnered with a legend in gaming.
Microsoft announced today that they have entered into a partnership with Atari to bring the Atari Arcade to Internet Explorer 10. All the games will be built using HTML5 and feature Windows 8-specific features. The games can be played on any modern browser, but players on Internet Explorer will be granted an ad-free experience.
“Atari and Microsoft have had a long and successful history on Xbox LIVE and in the digital space,” said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari. “The reimagined Atari Arcade expands this partnership in a new direction, in keeping with our current digital strategy, making it easier than ever for gamers around the world to access our renowned franchises, through the power and flexibility of an HTML5 based platform.”
The initial batch of games available in Atari Arcade include Centipede, Yars' Revenge, Tempest, Millipede, Missile Command, Adventure, Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Battlezone, Crystal Castles, Gravitar, Haunted House and Lunar Lander. The games have been updated with new graphics and gameplay including real-time multiplayer.
“We were excited to work with a gaming legend, Atari, to bring their classic arcade games to life on the web with Internet Explorer,” adds Ryan Gavin, general manager, Internet Explorer. “Atari Arcade demonstrates what’s possible when you couple HTML5 along with a fast and fluid browser that is perfect for touch, which is precisely what you get with Internet Explorer 10. Now together with Internet Explorer and HTML5, we get to see some of our favorite games jump into the next generation of gaming on the web - which is pretty fantastic.”
The Atari Arcade is not exclusive to the old classics of yesteryear. Atari is offering developers access to their Create.js tools so developers can create HTML5 cross browser titles. One game from a third party developer is already available on the service - Heroes of Neverwinter.
The popularity of arcade games on mobile and Web make this partnership seem like a no brainer. I'm not sure if kids would play Atari games, but I'm sure adults will jump on the chance to relive their childhood. The only thing standing in its way is its reliance on HTML5.
You can start playing games on Atari Arcade right now. You may have your favorite, but let me recommend Tempest. It's still one of the best games ever made and nobody has ever really topped its unique barrel shmup design.