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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Between My Face and your faceThe Christian Century (blog), February 11th
There's some astoundingly creative stuff in the works for this new medium. Not to mention some mindbogglingly fun games, the kinds of games I would dream of as an Atari 2600 playing kid. But as I do so, I do so with caution. Sure I'm leaping. But into...Read more
'Firewatch' review: The mix of subjects will appeal to office-bound dreamers ...Washington Post, February 11th
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
2016 Tech and Trends from CESZing! Blog by Quicken Loans (blog), February 11th
I like to think of myself as a bit of a tech geek. When I say that, I should clarify that I'm not the type of guy that can tell you how much RAM was in the Atari 2600 (without looking it up, anyway). However, I am the type of guy that if I see...Read more
One Per CentNew Scientist, February 10th
Having beaten the European champion at the ancient game of Go and mastered several video games from the Atari 2600, a console from the 1980s, the team has created an artificial intelligence that can navigate 3D mazes similar to those found in 1993 ...Read more
A closer look at the audio game console from 1980Kill Screen (blog), February 10th
This was a time prior to Nintendo's entry into the console world, when the likes of the Magnavox Odyssey, the Atari 2600, and Colecovision were all competing alongside dozens of others for a piece of the burgeoning gaming audience's attention. And...Read more
Support grows for a return to ice giants Uranus and NeptuneScience News, February 10th
Both Voyager 1 and 2 launched in 1977, the same year as the first mass-produced Apple computer (the Apple II) and the Atari 2600 video game system. “That's the technology we used to explore the ice giants,” Hammel says. “If we put my iPhone on a ...Read more
Stella 4.7 Free Atari 2600 VCS Emulator Gets Paddle Emulation ImprovementsSoftpedia News, January 27th
The development team behind the Stella open-source, free and cross-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator software has announced the release of Stella 4.7, a major version that adds several new features and many under-the-hood improvements. According to ...Read more
Atari is bringing 100 classic games to PCThe Verge, January 22nd
You can finally throw away that old Atari 2600 you've been hanging on to all of these years: Atari is releasing a massive collection of classic games on PC later this year. The bundle will include iconic titles like Asteroids, Warlords, and Tempest...Read more