• Category Archives Atari 2600
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  • Atari Space Invaders Tournament 1980

    Atari Space Invaders Tournament 1980. The world’s first electronic sports event, it attracted more than 10,000 participants.


    Space Invaders was one of the first true blockbuster video games after Pong. In Japan, where the game was developed by Taito in 1978, it even caused a shortage of 100-yen pieces (the coin used in arcade machines there). The game was no less popular in the U.S. so of course there was a port for the popular Video Computer System (Atari 2600). It became the first killer app for a video game console and was responsible for quadrupling Atari 2600 sales.

    In 1980, the year that Space Invaders was released for the Atari 2600, a tournament was held to determine the best Space Invaders player. Four people were picked from four regional competitions to compete in the final in New York. A total of 10,000 people participated from all of the regions combined. It wasn’t the first video game competition but the Space Invaders Championship was the first such event on a large scale and is the predecessor of today’s eSports.

  • Inside Atari 1981 Atari Promotional Video

    Go inside Atari in this informative expose on the legendary video game company. From their humble roots in Sunnyvale California, to their rise to fame in the late 1970’s, Atari is the company that laid the foundation for the modern video game industry. This video is a rare look inside the company during the height of its fame and power. The video gives a brief overview of the rise of Atari, from their first hit with Pong to their acquisition by Warner Communications.

    This classic corporate promotional video explores the three divisions of Atari. Coin-Operated Arcade Games, the Computer Division, and the Home Video Game Console Division. This video was frequently shown to investors and at consumer electronic trade shows.

    The original Atari, Inc. founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers. The company’s products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s.


  • Atari 5200 VCS Converter

    Atari 5200 VCS Converter


    The VCS adapter for the Atari 5200 allowed you to play all your Atari 2600 / VCS games on your Atari 5200. The guts were essentially an entire Atari 2600 with the 5200 only being used for power and video and sound output. There were two controller ports on the unit to plug in Atari 2600 controllers and you could not use controllers connected directly to the 5200.

    This add-on came out relatively late in the Atari 5200’s short commercial life. It is only compatible with the later 2-port models though there is a way to modify the 4-port units to work with it. Interestingly, there was also a planned 7800 adapter for the 5200 that would have allowed you to play Atari 7800 games on your 5200. This one was never released. It seems like it would have made more sense to convert in the other direction…