Atari and Microsoft’s HTML5-fuelled retro gaming for IE

API will also be made available for third party devs to submit games

Atari, the type of company which will garner nostalgia-soaked affection or complete indifference dependent on your age, has teamed up with Microsoft to release a series of classic games for Internet Explorer which utilises HTML5.

The two companies have aligned with developer Grant Skinner, whose site proclaims “our site is simple because we are very busy building cool stuff for our fantastic clients”, to release an Atari Arcade in a move which coincides with the new IE10 and Atari’s 40th anniversary.

“Atari Arcade shines in Internet Explorer, but also works well in other modern browsers”, the statement reads. In other words, there’s going to be no ads if you hit the Atari Arcade up on IE.

The eight games juiced by HTML5 through Atari and Microsoft’s partnership are Asteroids, Centipede, Combat, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Pong, Super Breakout and Yars’ Revenge.

Does that bring back the memories? It should – although it’s worth remembering that this isn’t a total nostalgia exercise.

According to a report from Pocket Lint, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that if users haven’t upgraded to IE10 yet, the arcade portal will be able to acclimatise if you’re using IE9, or Windows 7, for instance.

“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”, said Atari CEO Jim Wilson.

The reason for the get-together seems fairly evident. It gives the game manufacturer a much-needed boost in a hugely competitive sphere, and enables Microsoft to demonstrate the capabilities of Internet Explorer 10.

IE10, of course, comes equipped with Adobe Flash as well, with both parties going at great length to ensure that power drainage wasn’t going to be an issue.

As the HTML5 Test proves, the nascent IE10 actually shows Microsoft beginning to compete in the field, with the browser scoring 319 points out of a possible 500.

To compare, Google Chrome – now on version 21 – first broke the 400 barrier with Chrome 18 with the Chrome Canary slated to hit 442; current Opera and Safari browsers are on 385 and 376 respectively; and Firefox appears to have maxed out on 345, with the last three iterations, 12 to the current 14, hitting that score.

IE9, by comparison, scores 138, with versions 8 and 7 trailing much further back with 42 and 27 out of 500 respectively.

So is this going to bump up Internet Explorer’s reputation in terms of HTML5?

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