Spacewar! one of the oldest video games in the world, has been re-released in an edition for the Analogue Pocket handheld console.
The game first appeared in 1962 for the PDP-1 computer and was created by developers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The title was brought back to life through openFPGA, an ecosystem for video game development and preservation.
Spacewar! was created by developer Spacemen3 using the original, freely available source code.
Preserving old video games is a difficult task. Some companies have decided to close their stores for old consoles, and gamers are losing access to the titles they love. For example, Nintendo plans to phase out eShops for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U devices starting in March 2023.
However, thanks to openFPGA, more games will be saved.
Spacewar!”, a space shooter, is inspired by the science fiction books of E.E. Doc Smith and was developed by a group of students at MIT. The ships were controlled with “control boxes,” believed to be the world’s first video game controllers.
The game cannot be easily downloaded on Analogue Pocket. Step-by-step instructions are available.
The Pocket console can run games designed for the Game Boy family and the Sega Game Gear. In short, the device has a screen with a diagonal of 3.5″ (resolution of 1,600 x 1,440 pixels, density of 615 ppi), protected by Gorilla Glass, offers Bluetooth connectivity, has stereo speakers, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a multiplayer mode by connecting two devices. The battery has a generous capacity of 4,300 mAh.