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Is The Atari 2600 The Greatest Console Of All Time?

Posted by: on Feb 19, 2015 | No Comments

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We continue our special console post on what console is the greatest console of all time. Last week ( http://techgeniux.com/what-console-is/ ) we showcased the Sony Playstation 4 among some of the elite candidates to contest to be the greatest console of all time. Today, we take a peek at the Atari 2600 and its impact on gaming, culture and jump starting the gaming industry.   Ever since technology evolved, companies activating in the IT domain tried to produce the best devices for entertainment. Video game consoles for home use are probably the most appreciated of them. One of the most well-known game consoles in the history was Atari 2600. If you are a video game enthusiast, and you are in the 30s, you probably know what we are talking about. The console was first sold under the name of Atari VCS (Video Computer System), released on the 11th September 1977. In 1982, VCS became Atari 2600, sold at a price of $199. The game console was controlled by a pair of joystick and paddle controllers, and the games were cartridge shapes. The first games sold with Atari 2600 were Combat and the famous Pac-Man.

 
Regarding the specifications of Atari 2600, it has a CPU working at a frequency of 1.19 MHz. The RAM capacity has only 128 bytes, and a game cartridge has a maximum capacity of 32 kilobytes. The video performances depended very much on the type of television signal used for playing. Thus, in NTSC format the color pallet has 128 colors. Using a PAL signal, the colors reduce its number to 104. And the SECAM variety had only 8 colors. Because of the rather poor performance of the processor, users experienced a flickering movement of the screen during the gameplay. But let’s remember that gaming consoles were just beginning to evolve.

 

 
In 1977, when Atari released the first version of the console, the company also prepared nine games to be published together with it. Outlaw, Space War, and Breakout were among those games. Pitfall! was one of the most appreciated game for Atari 2600, made by a third party company. Atari Inc. and Atari Corp. also made a good number of games for their consoles. Although fans accuse two games created by Atari, ET the Extra-Terrestrial and Pac Man, to have contributed to the crash of the video game in 1983. In the company’s attempt to crush their competition in 1980, they searched a game to ensure their success. They eventually find it in Space Invaders, a game original from Japan. The audience loved the game so much that they ended up buying Atari 2600 just to be able to play Space Invaders in their homes.

 
Atari 2600 had a significant contribution to what video game consoles mean today. IGN, a famous entertainment website, declared it the second best game console ever invented. It had a great contribution to the video game boom during the 1980s, and then to the crash of video games in 1983. The National Toy Hall of Fame, found in Rochester, New York, introduced Atari 2600 in 2007 in their list of best entertainment devices. Even if times changed, and video game consoles evolved a great deal, Atari 2600 still has a large number of fans who live with the remembrance of playing the games of that time. In the past time, retro-gaming brought the console back into the spotlight, so people are still enjoying, even after the many years that passed since its appearance.

 

The Atari 2600 is truly inspiring hardware and technology that initiated the game console industry that we so love today. However, is the Atari 2600 the greatest game console to ever exist? We would like to hear from the TechGeniux game community. Do you think the Atari 2600 is among the top ten game consoles of all time? Share your thoughts!

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