Space Invaders is one of the most important games in the industry’s history. It debuted in 1978, and it’s turning 40. And Taito, the company that made the landmark game so many years ago, is releasing Degica Games’ 2008 Space Invaders Extreme on Steam in February.

Extreme came out on the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable during Space Invaders’ 30th anniversary a decade ago. It adds a number of powerups, variations to the classic gameplay, and boss fights, all set to rave-like colors and music. It’s a blast to play, so much so I recently pulled it out of the closet and stuck it into my son’s 3DS for him to give it a go.

Taito is also adding Groove Coaster to Steam this year. It’s a rhythm game where a little dot moves along a line to music, and you then interact with points along the line, corresponding to the tunes player.

Space Invaders Extreme shows that’s what is old is new again is old and new again. The retro craze periodically returns to gaming circles, and 10 years ago, we saw a lot of old arcade classics returning with new variations (think Pac-Man Championship Edition, which came out in 2007 … a year before Space Invaders Extreme). Retro is bigger than ever now, with a fleet of specialized consoles and retro-style games.