1978 Atari 2600

The Atari 2600 is a video game console released in October 1977 by Atari, Inc. It is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. The first game console to use this format was the Fairchild Channel F; however, the Atari 2600 receives credit for making the plug-in concept popular among the game-playing public.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1981 Atari 2600 Console

1981 Atari 2600 Console

The Atari 2600 is a video game console released in October 1977 by Atari, Inc. It is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. The first game console to use this format was the Fairchild Channel F; however, the Atari 2600 receives credit for making the plug-in concept popular among the game-playing public.

The console was originally sold as the Atari VCS, for Video Computer System. Following the release of the Atari 5200, in 1982, the VCS was renamed “Atari 2600”, after the unit’s Atari part number, CX2600. The 2600 was typically bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a cartridge game—initially Combat and later Pac-Man.

The Atari 2600 was wildly successful, and during much of the 1980s, “Atari” was a synonym for this model in mainstream media and, by extension, for video games in general.

The Atari 2600 was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York in 2007. In 2009, the Atari 2600 was named the second greatest video game console of all time by IGN, who cited its remarkable role as the console behind both the first video game boom and the video game crash of 1983, and called it “the console that our entire industry is built upon.”

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

Pacman Advert from the 80s

Atari PacMan game advert from the 80’s

In 1982, Atari Inc. released a port of Namco’s hit arcade game Pac-Man for its Atari 2600 video game console. Like the original arcade version, the player controls the titular character with a joystick. The object is to traverse a maze, consuming all the wafers within while avoiding four ghosts.

The game was programmed by Tod Frye, who was given a limited time frame by Atari to complete the project. The technical differences between the Atari 2600 console and the original’s arcade hardware—particularly the amount of available memory—presented several challenges to Frye. Given the popularity of the property, Atari produced 12 million units, anticipating a high number of sales.

While the port sold 7 million copies and is the best-selling Atari 2600 title, it was critically panned. Critics focused on the gameplay and audio-visual differences from the arcade version. Customers returned the game in large quantities. Initially, the port boosted the video game industry’s presence in retail, but has since been cited as a contributing factor to the North American video game crash of 1983. It was followed by Atari 2600 ports of Pac-Man‘s arcade sequels.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1978 Atari Console Commercial feat. Morecambe and Wise

Atari Video Computer System Commercial1980s featuring Morecambe and Wise

The Atari 2600 is a video game console released in October 1977 by Atari, Inc. It is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. The first game console to use this format was the Fairchild Channel F; however, the Atari 2600 receives credit for making the plug-in concept popular among the game-playing public.

The console was originally sold as the Atari VCS, for Video Computer System. Following the release of the Atari 5200, in 1982, the VCS was renamed “Atari 2600”, after the unit’s Atari part number, CX2600. The 2600 was typically bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a cartridge game—initially Combat and later Pac-Man.

The Atari 2600 was wildly successful, and during much of the 1980s, “Atari” was a synonym for this model in mainstream media and, by extension, for video games in general.

In 2009, the 2600 was named the second greatest video game console of all time by IGN.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

 

Atari 2600

The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, is the video game console credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. The first game console to use this format was the Fairchild Channel F. However, it was the Atari 2600 that made the plug-in concept popular among the game-playing public.

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