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

Atari: Game Over – not a load of rubbish
Games Asylum, November 23rd

In addition to returns, Atari had also a huge amount of surplus stock. They had ordered 20m copies in advance – a baffling amount considering the 2600 had a user base of around 12m at the time. Eventually the unwanted stock was buried in a New Mexico ...Read more

VCRs, 8-track players, Atari take center stage at new exhibit
nwitimes.com, November 21st

Strawberry Shortcake figurines, My Little Pony figurines, a Dukes of Hazard race car track, a Star Wars figurine carrying case shaped like Darth Vadar, harvest gold Tupperware, an Atari 2600, a 5¼ inch floppy disc, and an E.T. TV tray, among other...Read more

Achievement Unlocked: What if Pac Man for Atari 2600 were released today?
Digital Trends, November 21st

A clever new video imagines what Pac Man for the Atari 2600, originally released in 1982, would look like if the industry worked back then like it does today. Related: Pixelation nation: Here's a review of the early history of video game graphics. Day...Read more

Microsoft's Atari documentary is now available for free on Xboxes
A.V. Club, November 20th

Well, technically it's about the story behind legendary gaming company Atari, but it all centers around a mountain of cartridges—most of which are copies of the terrible E.T. game for the Atari 2600—that Microsoft decided to dig out of the garbage...Read more

Excavated E.T. Atari Games Make $37K In Initial Auctions
Cinema Blend, November 18th

It looks like there's still a bit of money to be made in the E.T. license, so long as you don't mind said money being made on filthy, recently unearthed copies of the property's ill-fated Atari 2600 video game. The results of a recent auction featuring...Read more

Atari's New Mexico Landfill Cartridges Rake in $37000 on eBay
IGN, November 16th

The auction of the Atari 2600 games unearthed from the Old Alamogordo Landfill generated $37,000 USD in total when it ended last Thursday, with one title attracting more than $1,500. A hundred of the 1,300 Atari cartridges unearthed from a New Mexico ...Read more

Flop Atari 2600 ET cartridges now fetching price of gold at eBay auction: Why?
Tech Times, November 8th

The entire star of the show, however, is Howard Scott Warshaw's game version of Steven Spielberg's film "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" for the Atari 2600, which was so widely derided that Atari decided to dump hundreds of thousands of unsold copies along...Read more

Buried Atari 2600 'E.T.' games are for sale on eBay
Mashable, November 5th

Remember those E.T. game cartridges that were uncovered in a New Mexico desert in April? Now they're on eBay. Decades of video game speculation was brought to an end earlier this year when a crew unearthed a bunch of Atari 2600 cartridges in ...Read more