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
Elliot Avedon Games Museum
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Atari Video Games
Source: Google News
Classic Activision Games of the Atari 2600: Keystone KapersWTVY, Dothan, March 31st
One of their hit games for the Atari 2600 was Keystone Kapers. Designed by Garry Kitchen, it was released in 1983. In the game, the player takes control of Keystone Kelly, chasing the crook Harry Hooligan through a department store. The goal is to...Read more
PlayStation Plus Free Games for April and May 2015 (PS4, PS3 and PS Vita)Gospel Herald, March 30th
Screenshots of the video game seem to go for a retro look of eighties games on the Atari 2600, complete with blocky squares. The game has received some good reviews, so perhaps this will be a new fan favorite, especially with the free price for April...Read more
Classic Activision Games of the Atari 2600: River RaidWTVY, Dothan, March 30th
One of their hit games for the Atari 2600 was River Raid. River Raid, released in 1982, was developed by Carol Shaw. In the game, the player controls an airplane flying above a river. That plane is used to shoot down enemy planes and ships, as well as ...Read more
50 Pinch Barrage!!Hardcore Gamer, March 30th
Harkening back to Pitfall on the Atari 2600, you'll be crossing gator-filled ponds, swinging on vines, and leaping over gaps. Later stages introduce caves with toxic goo, falling rocks, and even mine carts. Though the archaic controls and frustrating...Read more
Another day, another Nintendo-playing toasterToledo Free Press, March 30th
He created the ultimate all-in-one system — the “Super Genintari” — which played Atari 2600, NES, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games. But his most popular creation came about, perhaps fittingly, in the midst of a drunken rant. “I was working on...Read more
Amazing artifacts from the rise and fall of Atari, the first great video game ...Business Insider, March 6th
"Atari" used to be synonymous with video games — the Atari 2600 console wasn't the first home video game system (that was the Magnavox Odyssey), but it was the one that brought it into most people's living rooms. But the video game market crashed in ...Read more
Google Team Programmed Machines to “Play” Atari 2600 Video GamesYour Single Source for News, March 1st
The team programmed machines to “play” Atari 2600 video games. And, guess what: the algorithm used in these experiments artificially “learned” how to play these games a “more than 75 percent of the level of a professional human player,” according to...Read more
AI masters 49 Atari 2600 games without instructionsArs Technica, February 25th
Artificial intelligence, machines and software with the ability to think for themselves, can be used for a variety of applications ranging from military technology to everyday services like automated telephone systems. However, none of the systems that...Read more