Atari 2600 ROMS

I had a thought after reading a thread about emulating a GBA on Arduboy. (Disclaimer, I’m not much of a developer, and have only really toyed around with arduino boards, nothing serious. So this is just a thought)
Would it be possible to emulate an Atari 2600 or load 2600 ROMS on the arduboy? Having owned a 2600 in the past, I know first hand how simple the graphics are, and the console even has a B&W option. Therefore, it seems logical that the Arduboy could run these types of games, being simple and only B&W.
Again, just a thought. It might stir some conversation.


Once and for all, forget emulating on Arduino ! Emulating takes process power. Native will always be faster than emulation. If you want to emulate atari 2600, try Emulation Station on Raspberry Pi

BUT, it doesn’t mean you can’t convert/recreate/honour those games.


Emulating the 6502 CPU (which the Atari 2600 is based on) is well within the reach of the Arduboy, and has already been done many times over.

Just do a Google search for Arduino 6502 or AVR 6502 and you will be led down a fascinating rabbit-hole of several projects that could form the basis of an Atari 2600 emulator for the Arduboy.

And I do think there is some merit in taking the path of emulation vs. writing native games - if the effort of writing one emulator sketch means that a vast library of already existing games would become immediately playable! :smiley:

(you would have to do some creative resizing to fit into the 128 x 64 display though…)

Yep, fitting 160x192 into 128x64 won’t work very good :smile:

Err… you can emulate on an Arduino. I have emulators for the RCA Studio 2, Cosmac VIP and Elf 2 (all basically the same system) which emulate 1802 CPUs and generate 64 x 32 pixel PAL video at the same time. Other older processors like the SC/MP and 8008 are also doable at full speed. 4 bit ones aren’t a problem either.

As someone who has written a 2600 emulator (in x86 assembler) I can tell you it is difficult (it’s easier now, but I had a 386/20 to work on at the time which meant speed ruled and I had to come up with a wierd caching design) because everything has to be done to cycle level accuracy. Emulating the 6502 (an Uno cannot do a 6502 at full speed) is the easy bit. Emulating the TIA and RIOT is much harder.

I am far more impressed by those who developed for the 2600 than people who develop for an XBox or PS4.

Incidentally, it may be worth developing a SuperChip emulator for the Arduboy ; this is fairly straightforward and would give a little boost to the games available.

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That’s for sure ! :smile:

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Here’s a good head-start!

Always a great thing to put old platforms on to modern gaming devices. Super sharp oled gfx of street racer 2600 makes me feel warm to the idea. Hoping the idea of 2600 roms on a arduboy becomes a do-able reality. Put my name down for a purchase. :fu:

It’s really nice when you see Space Invaders on emulator how it looks, better than playing on original console back in the days. Lots of games are now better for playing. Asteroids, Frogger, Pac-Man the games that I remember playing them.

I don’t think we’ve got Frogger or Pac-man clones,
but there’s a whole selection of Asteroids clones:


There are two PacMan clones:

Unfinished Pacman Clone (which is finished).
Pac-tastic (though this is not a classic version).

I can’t believe there isn’t a Frogger game. It is actually easy to do.

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Not sure about the state of these:

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My frogger clone isn’t exactly accurate or good


Tiny Pac-Man

There’s an ATtiny frogger that wouldn’t take much to run on Arduboy.

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