Atari E.T. cartridges to be dug up from a desert for Xbox documentary

Zak Penn will direct the doco in search for old games

The first show in a series of original TV programs being made for Xbox is closer to completion. Xbox Entertainment Studios and Lightbox have been given the go-ahead to excavate a landfill site containing a substantial number of Atari 2600 cartridges from a desert in New Mexico.

Remember that original Xbox TV content we talked about last year? We're talking about hundreds of potential TV programmes being made to air on your Xbox. It's happening, and it begins with this documentary.

According to Polygon, the New Mexico Environmental Protection Division Solid Waste Bureau had held up initial plans by Microsoft and Lightbox Entertainment to excavate the site due to concerns over hazardous materials. However, they've since been given the go ahead, with a Microsoft rep saying that Xbox Entertainment Studios are "finalizing plans as we speak" to get those cartridges out of the ground.


How did they get there? That's a story that goes down in video game lore, as E.T. was one of the worst Atari 2600 games ever made. Legend goes that trucks dumped the surplus stock in the desert, only to be recovered some 20-odd years later by Zak Penn, the director of X-Men: The Last Stand.

The documentary is scheduled to broadcast later this year.