The year was 1977 when the era of “The Gamer” came to be. The Atari 2600 was released and it entertained households as the first stand-alone video-game console that popularized the idea of game cartridges, giving the struggling video-game industry a means to produce real revenue from an existing machine. This console was the mother of all consoles and gee-golly are we glad it is coming BACK with the Atari VCS console. Although we are all excited to know what this new machine will bring us, lets not forget what they have already brought to us humble gamers.
The history behind this console is just amazing – I mean this console created heroes and many classic characters, like Donkey Kong, Q-Bert and Dig-Dug. It was also the first main-stream console to release interchangeable game-cartridges, since before all the games had to be programmed manually into computers before being able to play them (which was a pain in the ass). Innovator Jerry Lawson created the game cartridge for a console that lived in the shadow of the Atari and died out (The Fairchild Channel F). Considering he had a great product in a failing company, Lawson instead founded his own company named Videosoft where he would write software for the Atari company, and would later be recognized as a pioneer in the video-game industry.
Over the years, Atari developed new consoles (the 5200, the 7200, the Jaguar and the Lynx), however other companies came in and took over the industry, Nintendo being the only left standing from those days. Eventually, the Atari company died out, and stopped producing main-stream hardware. We never expected them to make a comeback… but boy are we glad they are!
The release date for this new addition to Video Game history is said to be released to the press sometime this April. The developers have promised that this console will not only give new video-game consumers a chance to experience their original classics, but will also come with a variety of new indie games to be released exclusively for the Atari VCS.
“Every person at Atari and every partner involved with the new platform is just as fanatical about the brand and its heritage as our biggest fans are… With the Atari VCS name, we know how important it is to get everything completely right, and that’s why we briefly paused an imminent launch late last year. It was a difficult decision with the countdown underway, but we weren’t willing to go forward with even one thing out of alignment. We hope that despite the delay, Atari’s fans appreciate our extreme attention to detail and are as excited about the Atari VCS as we are.”
Atari Connected Devices Chief Operating Officer
I hope this brief historical journey of the Atari has inspired you in some way. You know, Ed Fries (former VP of game publishing at Microsoft) was once inspired by learning about the Atari’s history. He read Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System and felt inspired to create an old-school Atari version of Halo called Halo 2600 an Atari game, complete with cartridge and all. Now wouldn’t you want to play that on the new Atari VCS!?