Atari 2600

Atari 2600 on Ebay
Atari 2600 The Atari 2600 was a video game console released in October 1977 by Atari, Inc. It is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. The first game console to use this format was the Fairchild Channel F; however, the Atari 2600 receives credit for making the plug-in concept popular among the game-playing public.

The console was originally sold as the Atari VCS, for Video Computer System. Following the release of the Atari 5200, in 1982, the VCS was renamed Atari 2600, after the unit's Atari part number, CX2600. The 2600 was typically bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a cartridge game—initially Combat and later Pac-Man. The Atari 2600 was wildly successful. During much of the 1980s, 'Atari' was a synonym for this model in mainstream media and, by extension, for video games in general.

The unit was originally priced at $199.00, and shipped with two joysticks and a Combat cartridge (eight additional games were available at launch and sold separately). In a move to compete directly with the Channel F, Atari Inc. named the machine the Video Computer System (or VCS), as the Channel F was at that point known as the VES, for Video Entertainment System. The VCS was also rebranded as the Sears Video Arcade and sold through Sears, Roebuck and Company stores.

During the console's lifetime, Atari published many game titles, including Adventure (often credited as starting the action-adventure game genre), Breakout, and Yar's Revenge. The console's popularity attracted many third-party developers, which led to popular titles such as Activision's Pitfall! and Imagic's Atlantis. However, two Atari published titles, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Pac-Man, are frequently blamed for contributing to the video game crash of 1983.