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

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See what you can do in Assassin's Creed: Unity's France
God is a Geek, October 23rd

Nick is an avid video game entusiast and has been since his mum first allowed him to play on the Atari 2600 she never touched. To this day he's had the pleasure of playing on a vast array of different gaming machines. He's a recovering WoW-holic and...Read more

More Than Survival: The Five Faces of Horror Gaming
Shacknews, October 23rd

The first game considered to be both of the horror genre and the survival horror sub-genre of games was the 1982 Atari 2600 release Haunted House. The game was crude, but the exploration and the fear of the unknown was there as well as the hallmark of ...Read more

RetroGameCon in Syracuse celebrates old and new video games
Oneida Dispatch, October 22nd

Syracuse >> Celebrating video games ranging from the Atari 2600 to the modern tech marvels of today, RetroGameCon, the area's second annual video game convention, will be held at the Oncenter at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse on Saturday, Nov. 8, from ...Read more

Alien: Isolation: A Beautiful place to die
TechnologyTell, October 22nd

It's incredible to behold the progress that's been made over the years, moving from the 1982 Alien game for the Atari 2600, that was little more than a Pac-Man and Frogger ripoff, to Alien Isolation in 2014, a game that doesn't just reproduce the...Read more

Wish List – Indiana Jones
Game Informer, October 21st

The Indiana Jones franchise has seen some troubled video game entries. It hasn't even seen an entirely original installment since 2009's Staff of Kings, which failed to properly emulate any of Indy's inherent appeal. Each game either tarnishes Indy's...Read more

Parabéns Atari 2600: cinco factos sobre a consola clássica
GameOver, October 14th

São 37 anos de legado que marcaram a indústria dos videojogos, com uma consola que ficou na memória dos fãs veteranos de videojogos. O dia 14 de outubro marca o 37º aniversário da Atari 2600, a lendária consola de videojogos da Atari, que se ...Read more

History Lesson: The Atari 7800 - too little, too late?
Computerandvideogames.com, October 5th

It was dirt cheap, ran hundreds of Atari 2600 games out of the box and had the attention of Atari's arcade arm, barely breaking a sweat as it towed coin-powered juggernauts into the living room. But when the competition has vital supporters locked down...Read more

Domestic Dog Review: For your Atari dog simulation needs
TechnologyTell, September 26th

I have a hard time believing I typed the title that I typed, and yet, here we are. I am reviewing a game that is an Atari 2600 style domestic dog simulator. If you're curious as to what that means, it means almost exactly what you think it means. The...Read more