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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Rebellion Working On Two 'Battlezone' Reboots For PC, PlayStation 4International Business Times, July 1st
While there have been numerous games in the series, “Battlezone” is most known for its very first iteration in the Atari 2600 where it showcased some of the first 3D graphics ever seen at the time, along with showcasing virtual reality (VR) gameplay...Read more
Kids, go make a mess this July FourthFox News, July 1st
Sure, I watched some movies and logged Pac-Man time on our cutting-edge Atari 2600. But those were short breaks when the Virginia humidity and pollen were so thick I couldn't see straight. We didn't play outside when it was time to take a break from ...Read more
Love and PCs: Your first computer memoriesEngadget, July 1st
My very first memory is from when I was in 6th grade, circa 1983. I was in what was called the gifted program in my elementary school. It was for the smarter kids. It was before honors and AP classes. The school had gifted us a computer. It was an...Read more
'Batman: Arkham Knight' review: A game worthy of the comic book's legacyWashington Post, June 30th
Christopher Byrd is a Brooklyn-based writer who has been playing video games since the days of the Atari 2600. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Barnes & Noble Review, Al Jazeera America, the Guardian and elsewhere...Read more
ET the Extra-Terrestrial Was the Most Important Video Game Ever MadeThe Escapist, June 30th
In 1975 Bushnell began production on the Atari 2600, the "Video Computer System", which is still one of the most successful consoles in history. The system was too expensive to manufacture, however. So in 1976, Atari was sold to Warner Communications, ...Read more
Atari 2600 Joystick Candle: ColdbreakerTechnabob (blog), June 29th
Control the darkness with the Atari 2600 joystick candle. Etsy shop Kescha66 says the mold for the candle was made from an actual Atari joystick, which explains why the candles also have the Atari logo at the bottom...Read more
BiT Evolution ReviewTwinfinite, June 12th
Each of the game's four worlds emulates increasingly-modern game styles, starting from the Atari 2600 and ending with the SNES. Along the way, BiT must overcome a variety of enemies, obstacles, and tricky jumps to reach the end of each stage. Each...Read more
From Barbie to G.I. Joe, Ten Vintage Toys That Will Take You Back in TimeWestword, June 12th
The very first system to use microprocessor hardware and small ROM cartridges filled with game code, the Atari 2600 kicked things off with the extravagantly designed “Pong” game. But it really exploded with a sleeker re-design in 1982 that brought all...Read more