Like a pair of aging pioneers getting together for old times' sake, Atari (NASDAQ:ATAR) and Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) are hooking up to brag about the glory days of early video gaming. A pair of popular yet ancient Activision games will be featured on the Atari Flashback 2 when it hits stores next month.

It's fitting. After all, it was Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Activision's classic Pitfall game that gave the Atari 2600 console some depth and side-scrolling personality. Before Sega and Nintendo (NASDAQ:NTDOY) made Atari's consoles garage-sale fodder, this was what video games were all about.

Atari lived to fight another day. Unfortunately, that day was short and overcast. The doomed Atari Jaguar platform left the company with little choice but to pull out of the console front, now dominated by Nintendo, Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). However, Atari has remained a vibrant source on the software side. Its addictive Roller Coaster Tycoon series has spawned three versions and countless expansion packs. Atari Flashback 2, on the heels of the stand-alone Atari Flashback that has sold 550,000 units, is the company's way of tugging on retro heartstrings to keep itself somewhat alive on the hardware side.

What exactly is the Flashback 2? It's a handheld device that retails for about $15-$30 and simply plugs into your TV to play basic included games. Atari Flashback 2 will have 40 games and, unlike the paddle controller that came with the original, this one will feature a pair of its classic joysticks.

It should sell well over the holidays. The only thing that I'm left wondering is whether this press release was even necessary. Over at, I see a product review from May that mentioned that the unit games included Activision's Pitfall and River Raid.

Dig a little deeper into the Amazon storefront and you will see that this isn't virgin territory for Activision. Pitfall and River Raid are already playable on the Activision 10-in-1 TV Games plaything put out by JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK) last year.

These small plug-in games have been brisk sellers, mostly due to simplicity and affordability. Companies like JAKKS and Radica Games (NASDAQ:RADA) have been quick to license classic games for their product lines. Sure, it isn't the same lucrative business model that the three giant console makers are running with. JAKKS and Radica can't skim juicy royalties off the software developers, because these are standalone gizmos. On the upside, at least they're not losing money on the hardware in order to make it up on software. There is no perfect model.

Pitfall? I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can find it everywhere.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is old enough to remember playing on an Atari 2600 before it became a relic. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.