Internet Archive launched a project to preserve old games on portable consoles



A portable “console” was very popular among the children of the former USSR, where the wolf caught eggs in a basket, preventing them from breaking. Equally popular were gaming devices of a similar design for children and adults from other countries. Unfortunately, now many of them are museum rarities, so you can’t get nostalgic when playing.

But the problem is removed by Internet Archive. The team of this organization, in addition to old games for MS-DOS and console games for Atari and ColecoVision, decided to add virtual copies of set-top boxes with an LCD screen. For example, these are Mortal Kombat from Tiger Electronics, Burger Time from Bandaib and some others. In total, the base is planned add about 200 of these consoles. Some of them (at the time of this writing - 74) are there now, so you can not wait, but start the game .

The digitization of such toys is very different from the digitalization of conventional game consoles. The fact is that the interaction of objects on the screen is organized by the path of the appearance and disappearance of individual figures. When individual elements are combined into a cycle, it all seems to become a game. The screen can be multi-layered, both with colored static elements, and with black-and-white dynamic ones.

An example is a screenshot of an already scanned and digitized LCD with all the shapes on it.



Well, below is one of the moments of gameplay when the figure on the screen goes about its business.



This is a very complex and painstaking job, requiring a lot of time. The fact that someone started a project shows how enthusiastic people can love their job. By the way, in many cases, devices of the described type have to be disassembled to find out what elements are on the screen and how it all works. Collecting back does not always work out. But disassembling one device means saving it for future generations as a digital game, so such a sacrifice does not seem in vain.

For the first time, an organization posted an archive of old games back in 2013. We are talking about titles 30-40 years ago, which could be played directly in the browser. These are games for the Atari 2600 (1977 release), Atari 7800 (1986), ColecoVision (1982), Philips Videopac G7000 (1978), and Astrocade (1983) consoles. The most interesting thing is that Internet Archive has made it possible to play quite legally. Now the collection has more than 3400 games, constantly continuing to replenish.



In 2015, 2,500 DOS games were uploaded . You can also play in the browser, and now the number of titles has also increased, up to 4000 - Internet Archive employees love and know their job, not going to stop there.

In 2016 in the archive there were thousands of old programs that still worked under Windows 3.1. And they all run fine in the browser! For this, of course, I had to create a Windows 3.1 emulator.

Well, last year, Internet Archive released a whole archive of software for the first Macintosh, including programs that were released from 1984 to 1989. And, of course, again I needed to develop an emulator for the browser.

There is not only software for work, but also games, many games. In particular, Dark Castle , Space Invaders , Lode Runner , and Microsoft Flight Simulator are available. . Many are familiar not only to users of Apple products but also to gamers who prefer game consoles or games for Windows.

Internet Archive fully lives up to its name, and the employees of the organization do not copy everything in a row, but only what is of some value to humanity. As you can see, some “digital artifacts” are not only stored by employees, but first restored, and then they are already placed on their servers, providing access to this data to everyone. The organization exists only on donations, both from individuals and companies. Probably, the Internet Archive is one of the most geek organizations, where true enthusiasts work, who are able to surprise with their projects. In general, the organization really lives up to its name, preserving the results of intellectual work for future generations.