In the late 1970s and early ’80s, the toy most coveted by kids was the Atari 2600 Video Computer System. While the graphics seem rudimentary by today’s near photo-realistic 3D gaming standards, when the VCS was released for Christmas of 1977, it was revolutionary to be able to interact with your TV set in such a way.

In fact, Atari set the whole video-game craze in motion with its 1972 coin-operated arcade game Pong. Even though Nutting Associates technically produced the first arcade computer game, 1971’s Computer Space, no one paid attention to this new form of entertainment until the game’s creator, Nolan Bushnell, formed a new company of his own called Atari and released Pong. During the arcade years that followed, Atari made several coin-operated hits: Breakout, Atari Football, Asteroids, Battlezone, Missile Command, Centipede, Dig Dug, Pole Position, Marble Madness, Gauntlet, and even Star Wars.

Atari also did not introduce the first home video-gaming console, but it did make the most successful one of the era. Kids would cram around TVs in rec rooms, fighting over the black joysticks with red fire buttons, playing games like Canyon Bomber, Adventure, Kaboom!, Superman, Spike’s Peak, Barnstorming, Yars’ Revenge, and Pitfall! Atari churned out hundreds of game cartridges, including some of popular coin-operated machine titles like its own Pong and Midway’s Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, as well as games based on movies.

At the height of its success in 1982, Atari introduced the new 5200 system. Even though the company was advertising its games during prime Saturday morning cartoon time, Atari now faced tough competition from the Commodore 64 and ColecoVision. Atari faded out of fashion by 1985, when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was introduced.

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Recent News: Atari Video Games

Source: Google News

Google's DeepMind Masters Atari Games
Forbes, February 28th

Despite mastering more than half the classic Atari 2600 games, the program – deep Q-network (DQN), developed by DeepMind Technologies – struggled with more difficult challenges, such as, well, Pac-Man. “On the face of it, it looks trivial in the sense...Read more

DeepMindov sustav prolazi igre za Atari 2600, February 26th

Rije? je o svojevrsnom nastavku prošlogodišnjeg ?lanka o sustavu umjetne inteligencije koji je pomo?u naprednih algoritama za u?enje sposoban sam vrlo kvalitetno odigrati igre za Atari 2600, ranu igra?u konzolu koja je na tržištu prvi put predstavljena ...Read more

A computer taught itself to play 49 Atari 2600 games
The Daily Dot, February 26th

Deep Mind, a company acquired by Google in 2014, has built an artificial intelligence that taught itself how to play 49 different games for the Atari 2600 game console. The games are ancient in their simplicity compared to modern fare—the Atari 2600...Read more

LEGO Atari 2600 & TV Diorama: My Old Basement
Technabob (blog), February 26th

The latest custom LEGO set from professional builder Chris “Powerpig” McVeigh is for 80s kids. It has an Atari 2600, a TV, a few toys and trinkets and most of all a drab orange and brown rug. You can practically feel the fibers under your feet...Read more

Artificial intelligence can learn Atari games from scratch, say scientists
Christian Science Monitor, February 25th

Dubbed the deep Q-network agent (or DQN), DeepMind's program can play a number of popular Atari 2600 titles, including 'Pong,' 'Space Invaders,' and 'Breakout.' According to the study, it is “the first artificial agent that is capable of learning to...Read more

AI masters 49 Atari 2600 games without instructions
Ars Technica, February 25th

Artificial intelligence, machines and software with the ability to think for themselves, can be used for a variety of applications ranging from military technology to everyday services like automated telephone systems. However, none of the systems that...Read more

Morre um dos criadores do clássico console Atari 2600
Tribuna Hoje, February 24th

Morreu Steve Bristow, um dos pioneiros da indústria de videogames, e uma das pessoas que ajudou a Atari a montar seu império a partir dos anos 1970. Ele ajudou a desenvolver o clássico console Atari 2600 e o game Tank. Bristow morreu no último ...Read more

Atari Pioneer Steve Bristow Passes Away
GameSpot, February 24th

Atari engineer Steve Bristow, an early employee who conceptualized Breakout and was instrumental in designing the Atari 2600, has passed away. Company founder Nolan Bushnell has previously described Bristow as a games industry pioneer. Bristow...Read more