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CED in the History of Media Technology


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Atari 2600 VCS

1977: Atari Video Computer System

In October 1977 Atari released the Video Computer System or what later became known by its model number, the Atari 2600. This game system went on to become one of the most popular of all time, expanding from the initial offering of 9 game cartridges to over a 1000. The system used a 6507 processor, which was essentially the same as the 6502 used in the later Atari 400/800 computers. Atari used the name Video Computer System (VCS) apparently to emphasize the educational aspects of the machine to parents. There was even a BASIC cartridge released for the system which allowed "typing" by a rather clunky joystick interface, but the machine was used almost exclusively for game play. Atari followed the 2600 with the less successful 5200, 7800, XE, and Jaguar systems before disappearing as a distinct corporate entity in 1996.


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