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September 2022 Retro Gaming Article


September 4, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I was more excited about Yars Return before Atari emailed me about defective XP game cartridges

Gamestop has ceased being an asset to gamers
Rather than multiple paths to attack the Qotile, I have a screen full of static with meager hints of what the game might look like.
It seems that something went wrong during the assembly process, according to Atari, on some (all?) XP game cartridges. Atari sent out an email, either to a select batch of effected customers or all of them (who knows), regarding defects in the assembly of recently shipped XP video game cartridges for the 2600. I received my shipment from Atari the other day.

There was no mention of what the defect is or how many customers are effected by it. The email contained images of all three games sold late last year - Yars Return, Saboteur, and Aquaventure. My assumption is some or all three titles are not functioning properly.

How Many Customers Are Effected?

I hoped that it was a small quantity of game cartridges suffering the defect and that Atari had sent the email to all their customers to cover themselves. Upon thinking about it, since the email contained reference to all three games, I suspect this defect is fairly widespread across the newly assembled and shipped games. I purchased Yars Return late last year and the cart is clearly defective. It shows mostly static and a slight attempt at rendering something on-screen. I found this to be the case on both my 2600 and 7800. My consoles work fine with any of my other game cartridges.

I'll be interested to see how Atari remedies this and in what time frame. I ordered one game in November 2021 and it took nine months to arrive. How soon will Atari correct this issue? They've also just begun to release a series of ten classic games for the 2600 as part of their Atari 50 celebration. I hope their quality control has improved.

Below is the email from Atari:
Dear Customer,
We have discovered that some of the Atari XP cartridges shipped last week were not assembled to our quality standards and as a result may not operate correctly in your Atari 2600 console.

No action is required on your part at this time. We are working on a solution to ensure you have a working cartridge and you will hear from us soon.
Our sincere apologies.
Atari Team

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