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The Internet Archive adds five vintage consoles to its browser emulator

The Internet Archive has launched a new Console Living Room section, bringing complete libraries for five vintage games consoles to your Web browser. Fans of the Atari 2600, the Atari 7800 ProSystem, the ColecoVision, the Magnavox Odyssey² and the Astrocade can now relive a wide range of classic games thanks to a little bit of JavaScript magic.

Back in October, The Internet Archive unveiled its JavaScript port of the versatile MESS software emulator, enabling users to run obsolete games and programs through a modern-day Web browser. The tool means that old code of yesteryear can be executed as well as stored. Now the organization has added to the original 25 titles in its online collection, and more are on the way.

In a blog post entitled ‘A Second Christmas Morning’, The Internet Archive’s Jason Scott writes: “In an expansion of the Historical Software Collection, the Internet Archive has opened the Console Living Room, a collection of console video games from the 1970s and 1980s. Access drives preservation — making these vintage games available to the world, instantly, allows for commentary, education, enjoyment and memory for the history they are a part of.”

“Like the Historical Software collection, the Console Living Room is in beta — the ability to interact with software in near-instantaneous real-time comes with the occasional bumps and bruises. An army of volunteer elves are updating information about each of the hundreds of game cartridges now available, and will be improving them across the next few days. Sound is still not enabled, but is coming soon. Faster, more modern machines and up-to-date browsers work best with the JSMESS emulator.”

Head to The Console Living Room to start playing — you can be up and running in minutes with a couple of mouse clicks, and if you owned one of these vintage consoles in the past then you’ll find the memories flooding back. The graphics and gameplay may not be up to the standards of the PS4 or Xbox One, but it’s an significant step forward in preserving our computing heritage.

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