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

Evolution of Gaming exhibition lets visitors play games of the past
Straight.com, July 23rd

Voll added: “There's a reason that Pac-Man on the Atari sucked.” A major constraint on developers was memory limitations: games for the Atari 2600 were limited to just four kilobytes, Voll noted. “I love trying in my mind to imagine the time when...Read more

Save your quarters
Santa Fe Reporter, July 22nd

How about more than five minutes on the idiocy of Congressional hearings? Or a better explanation of marketing strategy? Skip Video Games: The Movie and bust out your Atari 2600. Another Kickstarter-backed movie that should have died before it reached ...Read more

Generational changes in gaming
Picayune Item, July 22nd

As a kid the consoles I played never changed from the day I opened the box. My Nintendo and Atari 2600 still operate exactly as they did 20 to 30 years ago. That is not the case with the consoles I purchased over the past generation; all have changed...Read more

Atari's betting its future on gays and gamblers
Engadget, July 22nd

Once upon a time, the company sold millions of its 2600 console and, despite competition in the early 1980s, it managed to become synonymous with video games. Its fall from that great height, however, was swift and it's now a well-documented bit of...Read more

The Joy of Vintage Tech
Tech.pinions, July 22nd

From early HP and TI calculators, to early game consoles, like the Atari 2600, there are numerous examples of digital antiques many people still find compelling, useful and/or entertaining even today (in some cases, almost 40 years later!) For...Read more

MT: Atari 2600
La Casa de EL, July 20th

Rescatamos la sección de la Máquina del Tiempo para recordar lo que en su época fue la videoconsola de más éxito del momento, a saber, la 'Atari 2600'. Hay que destacar el hecho de que cuando salió esta videoconsola, allá por octubre de 1977, ...Read more

The 10 worst Atari 2600 games
CL Charlotte, July 16th

In the last two columns of "Console Me," I discussed the Top 10 games ever made for the Atari 2600. The harmony of the universe depends upon an eternal balance, and so it is my duty to bring you the 10 worst games ever programmed for Atari 2600. 10...Read more

Stella makes it easy and fun to emulate classic Atari 2600 VCS games
BetaNews, July 2nd

When it comes to tapping into our fondness for old computing and gaming platforms, Stella has always been at the forefront. This cross-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator first saw the public light of day back in 1996, and now -- 18 years later -- it may...Read more