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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Ringing in the classic games
Centipede screen shot
Centipede was considered state-of-the-art in its time
Retro fever could soon hit mobile users after a deal was struck to distribute classic Atari games on handsets.

Motorola and iFone will provide to consumers a number of original games which were popular in the late 70s and early 80s.

Games which will be made available worldwide include Pong, Centipede, Breakout and Asteroids.

After nearly a year of negotiations, mobile content provider iFone secured a deal with Infogames, owners of the Atari name, to distribute the most popular games.

Mobile phone manufacturer Motorola was the first to snap up the chance to provide the games.

In the ever crowded and competitive mobile phone market, companies must now look to what extras they can add to make their products more attractive.

Consumer savvy

Most mobile phones come with built-in games but these are usually limited to around four simple games.

The addition of Atari games is designed to appeal to both the mobile savvy young consumers and the 20 to 30-something users who remember the games from first time around.

The Atari was one of the first home consoles, allowing users to play in the comfort of their own front rooms - and without paying 10 pence a game to use arcade machines.

Launched in 1977, wood-panelled arcade machines had such games as Pong, a basic bat and ball game, and Space Invaders.

The consoles can still be bought at internet auction sites for under 50, complete with games.

Atari games will now be available to download on all of Motorola's network providers for a fee.

In addition, a number of Motorola handsets will have the games imbedded in them.

Motorola executive Juan Montes said: "As the industry produces more java-enabled handsets, we are creating a compelling Atari gaming experience wirelessly, particularly as these games are well suited for java devices."

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