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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Time Machines: Atari's CES EndgameEngadget, December 8th
Atari's flagship console, the VCS 2600, was a monster success for the company and its stable of home arcade games was growing, with hits like Missile Command and Asteroids leading the charge. At the 1982 Summer CES, Atari announced a successor to ...Read more
World record video game player to open retro arcade in South PortlandLewiston Sun Journal, December 8th
There will also be a room dedicated to old gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and Atari 2600. In addition, Perks said there will be an outdoor “gaming garden” during the summer in the building's adjacent lots, with Foosball and ...Read more
Atari Receives Legal Approval To Exit BankruptcyInternational Business Times, December 6th
Atari, which was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell, has seen its share of financial ups and downs during the past 41 years. The brand reached successful heights in the 1970s and 1980s with the development of the Atari 2600 in 1977 and the Atari 5200 ...Read more
Geek Madness: Vote for the greatest game console of all timeGeekWire, December 6th
Or perhaps the iconic Atari 2600 should be the “greatest,” because of the new standards it set for gameplay. You'll notice that we purposefully left out the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Impressive entertainment machines? Yes. But it's too early for...Read more
The PS4 we all really want: A homage to the Atari VCSPocket-lint.com, December 2nd
Taking his design inspirations from the Atari VCS (otherwise known as the Atari 2600) games machine from the 70s, his Photoshop transformation of the new console is quite staggering. Adding faux teak panelling at the front and some of the Atari...Read more
These Atarti 2600 action figures are made from cannibalized GI Joe partsPolygon, November 25th
Humor writer Dan Polydoris cannibalized the body parts of several G.I. Joe action figures to make a suite of custom figures based on classic Activision games for the Atari 2600, as shown on Chicago Toy Collector. Figures showcased on the site include a ...Read more
Atari 2600 Action Figures Pays Homage To Activision's HeroesUbergizmo, November 22nd
With the release of a new generation of video game consoles, we think it's best to reflect on all the joys previous generations gave us along the way. The Atari 2600 was a video game console we're sure many of us have fond memories of, which is why we ...Read more
Fight for gaming consoles supremacy started with Atari vs. IntellivisionToledo Blade, November 9th
The Atari 2600, or Video Computer System (VCS) as it was originally called, launched in October, 1977, as one of a small group of nascent game cartridge consoles that offered more than built-in Pong variations. Despite selling an estimated 30 million ...Read more