For many years, the Atari 2600 reigned supreme as the most popular game console on the market. Years later, Atari's stranglehold on the market would dissipate as the Nintendo Entertainment System redefined 8-bit gaming, but die-hard fans and collectors still continue to support the Atari.
One would think that the weak Atari 2600 should be simple to emulate, because of its primitive architecture. However, the Atari programmers employed many devious tricks to get such an early machine to run; therefore, a working, efficient emulator is very difficult to write.
Stella is a public-domain Atari 2600 emulator which seems to run almost every Atari 2600 cart I've tried on it. It requires a PowerPC processor with a fair amount of horsepower, but the quality of emulation is superb. Stella is Carbonized for Mac OS X.
For the best ROM compatibility, it is recommended that you also download the latest Stella Profile. To use this file, it must be named stella.pro and be placed in the same folder with the Stella application. Also, for classic Mac OS users, you may need to increase Stella's memory size to prevent crashes while using this file.
|the Stella home page.|
|the source code to Stella 1.2.|
|the newest Stella Profile data.|
|to Bradford Mott, author of Stella.|
|to John Stiles, maintainer of the Macintosh Stella port.|
|Activision's Atari 2600 Action Pack home page.|
The Atari 2600 Action Pack is a commercial product by Activision that allows you to emulate their old Atari 2600 games. The emulator provided is quite solid and runs a good majority of Atari titles. Unfortunately, it's becoming difficult to find it available.
Also, the Action Pack has no mechanism for loading external cartridges--you're limited to playing only the titles supplied by Activision. This limitation is easy to work around, though. The Action Pack Plugin Hack allows you to swap out the cartridge resources from within the Action Pack software and insert any Atari cartridge.
|the Action Pack Plugin Hack.|
|Atari 2600 ROM Info.|
|Atari 2600 Adventures, a beautifully designed Atari 2600 nostalgia site.|
|AtariAge.com, an excellent source of Atari information and all known ROMs for the 2600, 5200, and 7800.|
|the official Frequently Asked Questions list for the Atari 2600 from AtariAge.|