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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Talking Boards

Museum of Talking Boards

Prepare to enter the strange world of Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board game, which captured imaginations en masse… [read review or visit site]

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

This in-depth University of Waterloo virtual exhibit showcases vintage games in a variety of categories, from class… [read review or visit site]

Electronic Plastic

Electronic Plastic

From Tomy to Coleco to Mattel and Nintendo, check out this collection of over 660 handheld and tabletop videogames … [read review or visit site]

Pong Story

Pong Story

David Winter's tribute to early video games, and to Ralph H. Baer, 'inventor of the video game.' Offers a detailed … [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Atari Jaguar Launch Edition Black ConsoleAtari Jaguar In Box With 12 GamesVintage Atari 800 Home Computer System In Original BoxHalo 2600 (atari 2600) Game Tested Authentic Atariage CompleteNew Atari Ar3210 Flashback 7 Classic Game Console $86Atari 2600 Launch Edition Woodgrain ConsoleAtari Jaguar W/ Controller, All Cables & 7 Games Tested & Working RarePaperboy Control Panel By AtariSuper Nintendo, Ps1, Gameboy Color, Atari 2600, Nes Games And Sega Games LotAtari Jaguar Cd LotAtari 1040st With Power Cable In Nice ShapeMario Bros W Box For Atari Xl/xe Computers Nos Sealed ! 19.99 Start!Vintage Icd Multifunction Parallel Bus For Atari 130xe And 800xl Never UsedSears Tele-games/atari 2600 W/ Joysticks, Paddles, Organizer, And 25 Games LotEd Hannigan/ Ricardo Villagran 1985 Atari Force Original Art-dart!Atari 800 Computer : Not Working, For Parts Only, As-isMario Bros W Box For Atari Xl/xe Computers Nos Sealed ! 19.99 Start!Atari 2600 And Atari 5200 Some Games Atari Controllers And PaddlesTempest Arcade GameAtari Jaguar Launch Edition Black Console (ntsc) With 2 Controllers And 3 GamesAtari Lynx Collection (two Lynxes, 23 Games, Accessories)Attack At Ep-cyg-4 Romox 1982 Atari 400 800 Cartridge Video Game Vintage ComputeAtari Jaguar Cd Games Atari Jaguar Speedster Ii Prototype Demo Pcb Cartridge! Atari Lynx 1989 Gray Portable System W/ California Games/box/manual/instructionsAtari Lynx Ii With Games And Boxes WorkingFactory Sealed Epyx Atari 400/800 Disk Dragon's Eye Game B33Skunkboard (2016) Atari Jaguar - Rare Skunk New Tested +cable +manualAtari Xybots Arcade CabinetAtari Pole Position 2 Ii Pcb Arcade Non JammaNew Lularoe Tc Tall/ Curvy Atari Space Invaders Leggings Video Game Black Atari 2600 Woodgrain And Darth Vader With Games Huge Bundled Lot Great ResaleRayman - Atari Jaguar - Cib - Rare - Tested - Works Great!Atari 2600 (2) Huge Lot Games Controllers Paddles Collectible Console OriginalPrincess Rescue Atari 2600 Game Tested Authentic Atariage Composite Modded Atari 7800 And Games Tested And WorkingTrack And Field Atari 5200 Proto / Review Cart Video Game Loaner Label OriginalAtari Lynx Launch Edition Gray Handheld SystemAtari 2600 Original Condition With 22 Games And ExtrasAtari Lynx Game/accessory Lot - California Games Demo Car Charger - See DescriptAtari Video Music Model C-240 Analog Video SynthesizerKangaroo Atari 5200 Proto / Review / Test Cart Video Game Loaner Label OriginalBig Lot 1980s Vintage Atari Pamphlet Guide Manual Booklet Book Xe Paper BrochureAtari 2600 With GamesVintage Atari 7800 Home Video Game System Original Box #72rhbr 201023469 Ultima Iv (origin Systems) Disk For Atari 400/800/xl/xe Computer - TestedDonkey Kong W Box For Atari Xl/xe Computers Nos Sealed ! 19.99 Start!Atari 7800 Prosystem Bundle - 44 Games - 2 Controllers - Power CordOriginal Rare Sears Atari 2600 Tele-games Light Sixer 3 Games VtgHot Wheels 2013 Red Line Club Beach Bomb Asteroids Atari Good Old Days Huge Lot Of 35 Vintage 1980's Atari 2600 Games & Joy Sticks Atari 7800 Prosystem W/9 Games, Joystick, Boxes, & Instr, Tested + 2600 Compat.Atari Vcs 2600 Lot Of 79 Games Atari Jaguar Console With 2 Controllers And Dino Dudes Game Vintage Atari 5200 Set & GamesBattlezone - Atari Xe Cartridge - Atari 400 800 1200 Xl Xe Computers -sealed NosAtari Cx-2600a; W/ Original Box, Games + Instructions, 4 Controllers LotAtari 2600 Console, Spectravideo Joystick, Atari Joysticks,atari Paddles,manualAtari 2600 (29) Games In Box. All Working. Atari 2600 - 256 Game Multi-cart - All Different Games - Dip Switch Selection