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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A Very Brief History of Retro Horror GamingDen of Geek!, October 31st
Ten years after Killer Shark was first unleashed upon the gaming public, Atari forever changed the way people spent their free time by releasing the Atari 2600 game console. Now, even your grandmom could be diagnosed with a case of video game fever ...Read more
Learning the 'American Experience': Library's lecture series continues with ...Bainbridge Island Review (subscription), October 30th
The '70s were an iconic decade full of such events including the Kent State shootings, the Watergate scandal, the release of the Atari 2600, the founding of Microsoft and the Iran hostage crisis. Perhaps, however, no lessons from our recent past are...Read more
ET Atari 2600: il peggior videogioco del mondo in mostra a RomaNextMe, October 30th
Arriva in Italia, a Roma, il celebre ET per Atari 2600, l'ormai celebre videogioco rimasto sepolto per 30 anni sottoterra nel deserto del New Mexico. La sua colpa? Essere il peggior videogame mai prodotto. Per questo è stato nascosto, quasi fosse una ...Read more
Google AI project apes memory, programs (sort of) like a humanAustralian Techworld, October 30th
In a 2013 paper, Graves and colleagues showed how they had used a technique known as deep reinforcement learning to get DeepMind software to learn to play seven classic Atari 2600 video games, some better than a human expert, with the only input ...Read more
E.T. The Fall – An Art Museum Exhibit for the “Atari Tomb”The Gamer Headlines, October 28th
E.T. for the Atari 2600 essentially caused the crash of the Western games market, but now it and other unburied Atari games are going on display. E.T. the Fall is the title of a new exhibit at The Video Game Museum of Rome (or VIGAMUS), dedicated to...Read more
VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Sunset Overdrive is the apocalypse played for kicksWashington Post, October 28th
Christopher Byrd is a Brooklyn-based writer who has been playing video games since the days of the Atari 2600. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Barnes & Noble Review, Al Jazeera America, the Guardian, and elsewhere...Read more
Ex-PlayStation US chief says Candy Crush is fun, Xbox on the right pathCNET, October 28th
The two games were among the most popular on Atari's 2600, one of the earliest video game consoles. When he was home from college, he'd play with his brother, who was 12 years his junior. While playing together helped them bond, Tretton was still an ...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