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Atari 2600 - 35th anniversary

Harlock

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Jul 6, 2011
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Muffdraul

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Apr 23, 2008
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I have vague yet vivid memories of going to a neighbor's house and playing Lunar Lander and Combat for the first time. Pretty sure it was right when it hit the market. I would have been about 9 I guess. Next thing I knew, everyone had one. Except me. The only console my family ever had was the original Magnavox Odyssey, my parents hated it so much they refused to ever have another one in the house. I played TONS of console games back then, but only at my friends' houses. =(
 

ipukespiders

Member
Oct 9, 2006
5,263
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Parents wouldn't buy me one, and I don't blame them as we were poor. Now I've got a collection of over 200 carts.
 
Apr 2, 2012
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I have the light sixer version and it's still working, absolute great console for its time, the boxart for some games is just amazing.
 

lowrider007

Licorice-flavoured booze?
Aug 13, 2007
6,683
0
1,065
The Orion Spur
I remember getting mine for Christmas and I didn't even know what it was, my mum had to explain it to me lol, the idea of a 'computer' without a qwerty keyboard just didn't make sense to me at the time.
 

ReBurn

Member
Dec 6, 2008
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My kids can't understand how I can still spend hours playing Space Invaders, Asteroids and Missile Command. 2600 rocks my world.


I remember getting mine for Christmas and I didn't even know what it was, my mum had to explain it to me lol, the idea of a 'computer' without a qwerty keyboard just didn't make sense to me at the time.
When I got mine the idea of a computer with a qwerty keyboard in the home just didn't make sense.
 

antiquegamer

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Apr 14, 2009
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www.microforever.com
I have vague yet vivid memories of going to a neighbor's house and playing Lunar Lander and Combat. Pretty sure it was right when it hit the market. I would have been about 9 I guess. Next thing I knew, everyone had one. Except me. The only console my family ever had was the original Magnavox Odyssey, my parents hated it so much they refused to ever have another one in the house. I played TONS of console games back then, but only at my friends' houses. =(
I have the Odyssey also because my aunt felt it has "keyboard" so it must be more "educational". All my friends had the 2600 and remember spending the entire summer going to my friend house to play Combat and Asteroids. Reading Electronic Gaming Monthly was so painful. Eventually I save enough money from pool cleaning and birthday money to get one a year or so later, then sold it to get ColecoVision.
 
Jul 15, 2009
11,803
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Congrats, 2600.

It's before my time (I was raised on the 8-bit NES after being born in '89), but I do appreciate it. It has good, fun versions of some of my favorite Atari arcade games like Missile Command and Breakout, despite them not looking as fun... if you know what I mean.
 

VALIS

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Jan 3, 2005
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My kids can't understand how I can still spend hours playing Space Invaders, Asteroids and Missile Command. 2600 rocks my world.
I remember day long marathons with Asteroids. Also once spent like 12 hours playing Laser Blast, possibly one of the easier games ever. Tap right, press button x10,000. We were so easy to please back then.
 

LayLa

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Feb 7, 2011
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Activision were gods, almost every game they made was head & shoulders above the competition
 

Muffdraul

Member
Apr 23, 2008
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Los Angeles


This was the first one, the first in a line that continues today. The first super hyped game that everyone knew was coming and couldn't wait to come out. The first "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!" game. This was the Skyrim/Halo 4/whatever of 1980.
 

Muffdraul

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Apr 23, 2008
10,198
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I have the Odyssey also because my aunt felt it has "keyboard" so it must be more "educational". All my friends had the 2600 and remember spending the entire summer going to my friend house to play Combat and Asteroids. Reading Electronic Gaming Monthly was so painful. Eventually I save enough money from pool cleaning and birthday money to get one a year or so later, then sold it to get ColecoVision.
That's the Odyssey 2. We had the first one, it came out in 1972 and was basically the precursor to Pong. It came with a bunch of different games, but somehow they all boiled down to twiddling knobs to move a rectangle around the screen.

Do you mean Electronic Games magazine? Yes! I had a subscription to that, it was like getting a Sears Christmas Catalogue every month! Heaven.
 

watership

Member
Sep 6, 2006
10,910
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Toronto, ON
My families Atari 2600. This was the console for a gamer. Not as random or as clumsy as a Magnavox Odyssey. An elegant console for a more civilized age.
 

DiscoJer

Member
Sep 26, 2009
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I really wish they would re-release this in a model that hooks up to a modern TV.

I know there is the Flashback 3 out right now, but that's a somewhat half-assed version using an emulator apparently, not the real hardware, and no cartridge port.

I have about 200 carts, but my 2600 broke a couple years ago. I can still play my favorites using an emulator, obviously, but it's not the same.
 

Evenball

Jack Flack always escapes!
Jun 8, 2004
1,464
1
0
well I have a flashback 2 and that uses a real 2600 on a chip. it's pretty good and you can mod it to accept carts.
 

Snaku

Banned
Sep 15, 2005
25,782
0
0
I really wish they would re-release this in a model that hooks up to a modern TV.

I know there is the Flashback 3 out right now, but that's a somewhat half-assed version using an emulator apparently, not the real hardware, and no cartridge port.

I have about 200 carts, but my 2600 broke a couple years ago. I can still play my favorites using an emulator, obviously, but it's not the same.
You can mod the Flashback 2 to accept 2600 carts. It's actual 2600 hardware miniaturized into a single chip. I have no idea why they ditched it for emulation on the Flashback 3.

Edit: beat
 

acksman

Member
May 9, 2006
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My parents bought my the Sears Atari 2600, shown below for christmas. I wonder if that was the first gaming exclusive with the fine fake wood grain.

 

synchronicity

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Dec 16, 2011
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I spent so much time playing this as a child. Demon Attack, Chopper Command, River Raid, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pitfall, Adventure, and on and on. Looking back, it was awesome to be around as gaming started to take off. The 2600 really launched gaming into the collective consciousness.
 

IrishNinja

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May 12, 2009
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holy crap, happy 35th! i was so pissed as a little kid when my older brothers wouldn't let me play the crappy port of Pac-Man, until i found that no one was using the vastly superior Atari 400 and its near-perfect arcade ports.
 

Boney

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Jan 6, 2010
33,742
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0
pretty crazy that some people who grew up with this are still playing games today
 

lowrider007

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Aug 13, 2007
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The Orion Spur
When I got mine the idea of a computer with a qwerty keyboard in the home just didn't make sense.
wow how come?

In the UK at the time the home computer market was booming and the systems were relatively cheaper than those in the US, the Apple II series were quite popular in the US but were pricey, from a British perspective the apple II seemed like a computer for 'rich kids' in america, I think only the Vic20 and C64 competed favourably in the US, I was brought up by parents that loved home computers but we weren't rich, my dad bought the original Sinclair ZX81 that was actually sold in 'kit form' so made it a fair bit cheaper, for many people of my generation playing video games meant playing on a system with a qwerty keyboard, the idea of a games console was very alien to many.
 

Plinko

Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
Jul 31, 2007
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Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Best 2600 game ever.
 

Muffdraul

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Apr 23, 2008
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pretty crazy that some people who grew up with this are still playing games today
I actually stopped gaming around the time of "The Great Crash," lost all interest in exactly the same way I lost interest in collecting Star Wars action figures, getting up to watch Saturday morning cartoons etc. It was totally a puberty thing. Many years later when I finished college I bought a SNES purely as part of a scheme to establish credit. I had no intention of getting back into it. But one night with Super Mario World and F-Zero and I was born again hard.
 

Hawk269

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Aug 22, 2005
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I spent so much time playing this as a child. Demon Attack, Chopper Command, River Raid, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pitfall, Adventure, and on and on. Looking back, it was awesome to be around as gaming started to take off. The 2600 really launched gaming into the collective consciousness.
WOW dude...you just listed some of my favorite Atari 2600 games. For me, Activision and Imagic were the GODS of game developers back then. Demon Attack just amazed the hell out of me. My neighbor told me he saw it at a store and I made my folks drive to said store to check it out and bought it on the spot.
 

Truespeed

Member
May 6, 2007
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My cousin got one and one of his first purchases was Space Invaders. He kept telling us that he would never get bored of the game because of all of the different space invader games that came with it such as invisible space invaders, blinking space invaders, no shields space invaders, blinking shields space invaders, fast space invaders, etc. Well, it lasted about an hour before he got bored of it.
 

ultrazilla

Gold Member
Sep 17, 2011
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My first game system. :love:

Some of my favorite games: Ms Pacman, Demon Attack, Atlantis,
Spider Fighter, Kaboom, Pitfall II:The Lost Caverns and Air, Sea Battle.

The perfect console to show younger generations that fun
gameplay always trumps pretty graphics.

Love ya Atari!
 

alphaNoid

Banned
Mar 8, 2010
8,328
0
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My first gaming machine. I still have my original 2600.. in working condition with over 100 games!
 

Dizzle24

Member
Oct 4, 2007
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Nostalgia right there! My first game system when I was 4 or 5 (born in '80). I had tons of games, but my first and favorite was Chopper Command.
 

Vormund

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Jun 9, 2004
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I've still got mine. Actually I have 4 of them, 2 woodgrain models, and 2 of the later slim versions.

River Raid and Kung Fu Master were my faves.
 

Boney

Banned
Jan 6, 2010
33,742
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I actually stopped gaming around the time of "The Great Crash," lost all interest in exactly the same way I lost interest in collecting Star Wars action figures, getting up to watch Saturday morning cartoons etc. It was totally a puberty thing. Many years later when I finished college I bought a SNES purely as part of a scheme to establish credit. I had no intention of getting back into it. But one night with Super Mario World and F-Zero and I was born again hard.
I actually remember your thread about it!
Or was it a post? I don't remember actually heh, but I've heard that story!
 

izakq

Member
Oct 4, 2004
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Great system. My brother and I would try to see who can "turn over" the score more times for Space Invaders, Missile Command, and Asteroids.
 

Codeblue

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May 29, 2009
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My parents bought my the Sears Atari 2600, shown below for christmas. I wonder if that was the first gaming exclusive with the fine fake wood grain.

I think my family/friends broke two of these and a couple of boxes worth of joysticks.

If only hour counts existed in the days of Pac-Man.
 

Secret Fawful

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May 17, 2012
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Had one of these during the Genesis and N64 days, so I guess you could say I grew up with one. More like grew up screaming at my television because I couldn't understand how to get anywhere in Raiders of the Lost Ark and ET.
 

ranmafan

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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Wow, 35 years. What a machine too. It was responsible for so much fun for me in my early days. I always loved playing centipede, space invaders, combat, and others. Going to have to play some of those games today thanks to this thread. So many good memories!
 

Lindsay

Dot Hacked
Jul 21, 2004
7,840
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My top 3 funnest game for that system were Pole Position 2, Pacman, and Pong. Strange that they all start with P!

Least funnest game was... duh. E.T. x_x
 

KDash31987

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Mar 5, 2012
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Well...the 35th anniversary isn't until next month, but damn it...I'm now in the mood to play some Atari 2600 games.

Guess I'll go play some of my Atari 2600 games in a moment, then.

Also, Nintendo's 123rd birthday was yesterday...but no one noticed but me. :(
 
Oct 8, 2004
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I've got three woodies in the basement. Two 6-switchers and one 4-switcher.

Activision and Imagic were masters: Seaquest, Robot Tank, Starmaster, Demon Attack, Dragonfire... awesome. I never really felt the love for Atlantis or Cosmic Ark though. One of my favorites, however, came from M-Network which ported a bunch of Intellivision games to the 2600. Their port of Night Stalker, renamed to Dark Cavern, was frantic, tense fun. Night Stalker was a slow methodical game, even on the fastest settings, but Dark Cavern was almost the exact opposite, a constant run and gun battle and I loved both of them. If I only knew how to program...
 

Harlock

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Jul 6, 2011
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I remember playing pirate cartridge with switches buttons to change the game. Very cool.




This generic label was in so much cartridges.



I miss cartridges. Back in the 80s/90s you knew the people by the cartridge they had. "Hey, do you know John? No, what cartridges of videogame does he have?"
 

Arjen

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Jun 29, 2009
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Wow 35 years? So many good memories, me and my sister spent hours playing together.
I can still hum the moon patrol theme because i played that so damn much.
 

Bdub

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Apr 19, 2005
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Bought mine in '82 (a little late to the party). Saved up the money from my paper route. That was the Christmas that Pac Man came out. The system came with Asteroids and Combat.

I bought Kaboom! for $46, Dad bought me Pac man for $58. I think the system cost me over $300.

Canadians got SCREWED. I think my XBOX cost me the same amount 20 years later.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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I loved-loved-loved the A2600. Makes me feel so old that I've probably posted in every Atari anniversary thread on GAF since '02. The death of abstract audio-visuals in gaming kinda-sorta saddens me though there's nothing stopping them from being made today, it's just a weird time before the hardware and game makers could move towards more character-driven games in the mid-to-late 80s and, now, more (unfortunately) cinematically-driven experiences. I miss the primary stimulus being flavored if not governed by manual text and careful and sparingly-used audio-visual showpieces, like a more-fully animated game element or a few full-screen images to showcase something important to a game. But the art on the cover...that framed everything for so many of the cruder-looking games. So much stuff taken for granted these days, but even in stark contrast to comparatively massive storage afforded by 5 1/4" floppies and cassettes on early computers being able to load up on content compared to the 2600 and other pre-NES consoles. I mean, I remember it being incredible for Pitfall II to have constant and dynamic music...and that was something to remark in the positive out loud about. Now, we're bored by or even oblivious to fully-orchestral, high bitrate, 5.1 surround mixed scores with dynamically-mixed sound stages and thousands of unique sounds all spatialized and real-time post-processed correctly with our near-realistic 3D worlds and animations with incredible lighting and incidental detail. We've come so very far away, man.
 

Tempy

don't ask me for codes
Feb 6, 2005
13,695
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1,285
I feel old!

My favorite Atari 2600 games are Spider Fighter, Adventure, Centipede, Millipede, Enduro, Galaxian, Haunted House, Yar's Revenge. People are still making some neat homebrew games for the system.

The Atari Flashback 4 (!) should be appearing soon in the USA as well, although it's still better to get the Flashback 2 or 2+.
 

Tempy

don't ask me for codes
Feb 6, 2005
13,695
0
1,285
I really wish they would re-release this in a model that hooks up to a modern TV.

I know there is the Flashback 3 out right now, but that's a somewhat half-assed version using an emulator apparently, not the real hardware, and no cartridge port.

I have about 200 carts, but my 2600 broke a couple years ago. I can still play my favorites using an emulator, obviously, but it's not the same.
If you're technically inclined you can grab an Atari Flashback 2 and wire a cartridge slot into it; or wire it to a Harmony flash cart.