‘Spacewar!’: OpenFPGA brings 1962’s classic back to the Analogue Pocket

'Spacewar!' on Analogue Pocket

Spacewar! was brought back to life by the Analogue Pocket, a portable console that emulates old games. It was made in 1962 and was the first game made by a new group of developers to be widely distributed.

When it comes to old games and consoles, there have been a lot of efforts in the past few years to bring them back to life on new platforms and subscription services. One of the most interesting ideas has come from Analogue and their Pocket portable console. It initially wanted to bring back games from the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and a few other devices. However, this time the creators went a step further and brought back Spacewar!.

As Analogue said on its Twitter page, Spacemen3, a third-party developer, did the work to make Spacewar! work like Pocket. This way, gamers can experience a 60-year-old video game in a way that makes them feel nostalgic.

How Spacewar! came to be

A group of computer engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology worked on it (MIT). To do this, they used the PDP-1, a minicomputer that wasn’t so “mini” by today’s standards. It used a punched-tape system for storage and had a CRT monitor with a resolution of 1024 x 1024 pixels. The experts, led by Steve Russell, came up with a plan that, as the name suggests, involved a battle in space. In the title, there were two ships that had to fight each other by firing torpedoes into the gravity well of a star.


It was made as a project for the public domain and was never meant to be sold. This made it possible for other developers to get the game’s source code and make their own “copy” of the game. At that time, computers didn’t belong in homes. Instead, they were only present in universities and labs.

Read next: Best mobile indie games on Google Play

Because of this, it is not only thought to be the first computer game in history, but also the first one that was widely shared in the new field of computer science.

And the fact that it was a public domain project made it possible for it to be added to the Analogue Pocket.

OpenFPGA brings 1962’s Spacewar! to the Analogue Pocket.

Analogue says that the person who made Spacewar! for the Pocket used openFPGA to make a copy of both the game and the environment of the PDP-1. To do this, he used the code for both that was available to the public. What is openFPGA, though? The company calls this program for developers “the future of video game preservation.”

Chris Taber, the CEO of Analogue, told The Verge that the idea behind adding the famous game from the 1960s is to bring back projects that were important to the growth of the video game industry afterward. Let’s not forget, though, that Russell and the other people who made Spacewar! It came out ten years before Pong, which was the first big arcade game.

“The goal of openFPGA is to let developers use analog hardware, which will help keep gaming history alive. We started the program off by recreating Spacewar! on the PDP-1 to show how games have changed over time “executive to the medium mentioned above.

It’s important to remember that if you want to play Spacewar! on your Analogue Pocket, you have to do a few things. Since there are no cartridges, users need upgrade the console’s firmware and download the game and PDP-1 openFPGA files from Github. When this is done, they will now be able to use a microSD card to load and run the apps. Follow this link to see all of the steps.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *