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ATARI SYSTEMS

Atari Game & Computer Systems

Atari, Inc. was founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972. Its first major product was Pong, released in 1972, the first successful coin-operated video game. While Atari continued to develop new arcade...
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17 Dec 2020

Atari 2600 (1977)

Atari 2600 (1977)

Author: The Atari Geek  /  Categories: Systems, 2600  /  Rate this article:
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The Atari 2600, originally branded as the Atari Video Computer System or Atari VCS for short until November 1982, is a home video game console from Atari, Inc. Released on September 11, 1977, it is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and games stored on ROM cartridges (a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F in 1976) instead of dedicated hardware with games physically built into the unit. The 2600 was bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a game cartridge: initially Combat and later Pac-Man.

 

The system found its killer game with its version of Taito's Space Invaders in 1980 and became widely successful, leading to the creation of Activision and other third-party game developers as well as competition from home console manufacturers Mattel and Coleco. By the end of its primary lifecycle in 1983–84, games for the 2600 were using more than four times the ROM of the launch titles with significantly more advanced visuals and gameplay than the system was designed for, such as Pitfall! and its scrolling sequel Pitfall II: Lost Caverns.

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