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History of Atari

It all began in 1972 with Atari creator Nolan Bushnell’s dream of creating electronic games which would harness a television set or rastor display as a playing field. With help from friends Ted Dabney and Larry Bryan, Nolan took advantage of his amusement park background and experience with electronics and created what would grow to be our beloved Atari. Soon, Bushnell was the head of the world’s most revolutionary self-start company, which would change the course of history as we know it. One good example of Nolan’s impact upon the world is the existence of both Macintosh and Windows. Bill Gates got Windows from Macintosh; Macintosh was the brainchild product of Apple, which was started by Steve Jobs; Steve Jobs came from Atari, and Atari was started by Nolan Bushnell. Atari started it all. In the very beginning, Atari started out with arcade machines such as PONG and Computer Space. Many of the most popular hits in the arcade bore the Atari Fuji logo, such as Asteroids, Missile Command, Pole Position, and Lunar Lander, and home entertainment was no different. PONG by Atari was the most popular home video unit of the time, next to Sears Telegames Pong which was manufactured by Atari as well. Soon Nolan had the greatest idea of all, to bring a gaming console to market which could do more than simply play variations of pong, but rather an entire line of games which could be contained in cartridges that would plug into the base unit. Nolan had created the cartridge based home game system, and it was called the Atari 2600 Video Computer System.

In order to gain capital for the production and development of the 2600, Nolan had to sell Atari off to Warner Communications which in turn sunk its deep pockets into the 2600. In the fall of 1977, the Atari 2600 Video Computer System was released to the public, however it wasn’t until the subsequent release of Space Invaders on the 2600 that the gaming system reached its full potential in the consumer market.

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