It’s a milestone year for me as a media writer. Born in the same year Atari was founded (June 1972), we both turn 40 this year and my all-time favorite game console, the Atari 2600 (a.k.a. the Atari Video Computer System (VCS)) just turned 35 years old this past Sunday on October 14.
We still have it. It does not work, but our entire honors it like a valued piece on our personal museum. It was our opportunity to bring the video game arcade home. The paddle controller. The orange buttons. The signature “bleep/bloop” sounds. More than 400 games including the home brew games (see the Activision Anthology on Game Boy Advance) that are still referenced today.
My parents got this console because they listened to us and we appreciated them plucking down the considerable dough. My brothers and I researched the best games to buy. Dig Dug, Asteroids, Pac-Man, Galaxian, Pole Position, Missile Command, Q*bert, and Mario Bros. to boost our existing cache of Combat, Pitfall, Space Invaders, Pong, and a couple franchise games like G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike.
Atari initially released nine launch games with the 2600 console. The home video-game console launched in 1977 and sold more than 30 million units before being discontinued in 1992 according to Business Week. Rare Atari 2600 games include E.T., Tax Avoiders, Air Raid, and the offensive Custer’s Revenge.
I highly recommend the 2011 Atari’s Greatest Hits in the for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (requires iOS 4.3 or later) for those lucky gamers who experienced the Atari 2600 or anyone who wants to experience this nostalgic experience for themselves.