- Released: 1977
- CPU Speed: MOS 6507 1,2 MHz
- Memory: 128 Bytes RAM
- Video: 160×200 / 128 colors
- Game Controller: Joystick
The Atari 2600 was most commonly known as simply “The Atari.” It was an early video gaming console system that originated in the late seventies that sold over 30 million units to date. The device used a ROM cartridge, or tape, which was a novel idea for its time.
The Atari 2600 became wildly popular in the eighties, despite its initial $199 price tag. Gamers, accustomed to nothing but Pong clones, couldn’t get enough of the simple, yet fresh Atari. It was once endorsed by Sears, Roebuck and Company and was renamed the Sears Video Arcade for a while. When it licensed Taito’s Space Invaders, one of the most classic games of all time, Atari’s popularity skyrocketed. It popularized other now-retro hits, such as Pitfall and Yars’ Revenge. Its Adventure game is often credited with the entire genre. Atari’s Adventure also gave the world the “Easter Egg”, the fun hidden gems found in so many of today’s games.
The Atari 2600 was a dynamic device and its ability to accommodate peripherals from other systems also contributed to its popularity. The system could support joysticks, keyboards and keypads, paddles and so forth, though it only shipped with two joysticks and the Combat game cartridge.