October 1977: Atari Video Computer System (later 2600) hits the market
Though the Atari VCS was not the first home video game console to be released, it would become the most popular and recognized home console of the early era of gaming. With a small cache of games available at its release, one might not think that the Atari stood much of a chance. But Atari had the financial backing and development support needed for survival. Though Atari faced reasonable competition from other consoles, such as the Intellevision, Odyssey, and Colecovision, it maintained its dominance by producing home versions of popular arcade games such as Asteroids and Space Invaders. The company also successfully courted third party developers that brought such titles as Pitfall! and Pac-Man into millions of homes.
When Atari released the 5200 console in the early 1980s, the VCS became known as the 2600 console, and the moniker stuck. Despite the video game crash of 1983, the subsequent lull in the popularity of games, and the rise of 16- and 32-bit games, the 2600 remained a surprisingly viable console throughout the 1980s. The console was discontinued in the early 1990s.
Remember the great and not-so great games of the 2600 with us! What were some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.