Atari and Microsoft have announced a joint venture which sees classic Atari titles come to browsers in celebration of Atari’s 40th anniversary as a games publisher, and the upcoming launch of Internet Explorer 10.

The browser-based portal is a next-generation collection of eight titles (with more conversions planned) reimagined in HTML5 with fresh graphics, gameplay, touch screen features (on supported platforms) and integration with Facebook and Twitter. Atari Arcade was built with IE in mind – and indeed the interface will run ad-free on IE – but also works well in other modern browsers including the iPad’s own version of Safari.

In this first wave comes Asteroids, Pong, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Centipede, Combat, Yars’ Revenge and Super Breakout and, as in the old arcade versions, players can go head-to-head with friends in online real-time battles or compare high scores which can be posted on Twitter and Facebook.

‘Atari and Microsoft have had a long and successful history on Xbox Live and in the digital space,’ said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari. ‘The reimagined Atari Arcade expands this partnership in a new direction, in keeping with our current digital strategy, making it easier than ever for gamers around the world to access our renowned franchises, through the power and flexibility of an HTML5 based platform.’

Interestingly, Atari’s new platform will grant developers access to Create.js, a suite of tools for creating cross-browser, cross-device HTML5 gaming and media experiences. This new offering will – subject to an Apple app store-like approval process – give fledgling and experienced developers alike a platform to publish and monetise their wares.

Atari Arcade will (we’re assured despite a ‘slight delay’) be going live momentarily at so let us know what you think and which games your looking forward to seeing get similar treatment.