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Friday, 22 June, 2001, 23:43 GMT 00:43 UK
Back to the future for Atari games
Centipede screen shot
Centipede could be coming to a phone near you
By BBC News Online technology correspondent Mark Ward

If you spent hours of your youth trying to get frogs across busy roads or shattering asteroids, then future mobile phones could bring memories of those wasted hours flooding back.

British mobile phone developer iFone is planning to put versions of classic Atari computer games on future mobile phones.

IFone company is reportedly negotiating with French computer games company Infogrames which owns the rights to the Atari games and name.

The first few games should be available later this year.

Play the phone

This week iFone, which develops software for phones and handheld computers, revealed that it is negotiating to resurrect some classics of computer games history.

It is talking to game maker Infogrames about the rights to reproduce some classic Atari titles such as Pong, Centipede, Frogger, and Asteroids. The versions of the games it is hoping to create will be versions that can be downloaded and run on any Epoc compatible handheld device produced by the likes of Psion, or gadgets that can run software written in the Java programming language.

Current generations of phones will not be able to get hold of and run the games. Those keen to play them may have to invest in a new gadget to relive their adolescence.

IFone is planning to charge a small fee to download and play the games.

The first few games should be ready for release in September, with more to follow early next year.

Also under development are a wide variety of multi-player programs including racing and sports games that pit people against each other.

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