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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Retro gaming on a MacMacworld UK, January 30th
With emulation software, OS X can emulate classic games consoles like the Atari 2600, NES, Sega MegaDrive and Super Nintendo (SNES). All you need is the right emulator software, and compatible ROMs (these are small digital copies of the original game ...Read more
Interview: Atari: Game Over Director Zak Penn On Video Games, Movie ...The Mary Sue, January 29th
Penn: Yeah, well certainly as someone who grew up playing Atari—I had the 2600, I had Pong—I was pretty shocked by just how complicated and difficult a task it was to program those games. Particularly if you've played a lot of games or worked on...Read more
Blaster from the past: Retro video game store opens in RidgeBrooklyn Paper, January 27th
The store mainly stocks games and systems from the 1990s on, and a treasure-hunting technophile could find an Atari 2600 or most of a ColecoVision (sans cables) at Gotham, but anything older will be tough to come by, Pugliese said. Stocking up on ...Read more
??? ?? ????(7) - ???(Atari) 2600????????, January 25th
??????? '????????'? ???? ??? ??? ??????. ????????? ??? ?? ??? ???? ???? ????? ??? ?? ?? ????? ??, ???? ??? IT?? ???? ???? ?? ?????. / ?????? ...Read more
Atari 2600 Controller Now Controls CNC Plasma CutterHackaday, January 24th
The housing is a wireless Atari 2600 controller. Most of the innards were taken out and replaced with a BlueFruit EZ-Key module that takes input signals from the stock joystick and button switches and, in turn, emulates a Bluetooth keyboard signal that...Read more
'Atari: Game Over' Documentary Will Available On VOD Starting February 2Science Fiction, January 22nd
'Atari: Game Over' is a documentary by Zak Penn ('The Avengers', 'X-Men 2?) that covers the landfill dig performed in Alamogordo, New Mexico last year for the 3.5 million hidden unsold copies of the infamous 'E.T.' for the Atari 2600, a game that has...Read more
Community Spotlight: Super Mario Bros Recreated On The Atari 2600Gamersyndrome, January 20th
Today on community spotlight we take a quick look at a custom mod job done by user “Moonsweeper”, who remade Super Mario Bros for the Atari 2600. The source code and the original rom, which can be found here, represents a delightful little retro love ...Read more
Archaeologist donates Atari cartridge from dig to universityThe Advocate, January 9th
In this Jan. 7, 2015 photo provided by the University of North Dakota, Curt Hanson, left, director of University of North Dakota's Department of Special Collections, holds sealed bag containing an Atari 2600 gaming system cartridge for the 1980s-era...Read more