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Atari 2600

February 14, 2012 317 No of hits
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Atari 2600

In October 1977, Atari revolutionized the video game industry with the release of the Atari 2600 console. Though the Atari 2600 was not the first video game console to make use of cartridges, it is generally credited with popularizing the cartridge-based console model. Previous gaming consoles had contained built-in games, and many did not allow for expansion. The Atari 2600's microprocessor-based hardware provided an opportunity for video game developers to design their own video games for the console. Developers were able to focus their efforts on creating software that was compatible with Atari's platform, rather than constructing their own all-in-one system. This significantly lowered the time and finances necessary to design a video game, which led to a massive expansion of the industry.

The Atari 2600 was by all measures a resounding success, though programmers working to create its software acknowledged the simultaneous flexibility and difficulty of the system architecture. Programmers were also able to make several adjustments to the way software could be run on the console, giving the Atari 2600 an edge over more powerful but less flexible competitors. As such, third-party development flourished until well into the Atari 2600's commercial production run.

In the early 1980s, third-party developers began to distance themselves from Atari, accelerating the 2600 console's decline. Disputes occurred between Atari and key third-party developers such as Activision, who had produced games that surpassed Atari's own titles in popularity and sales. Several of these developers left Atari entirely to form their own software companies, which further weakened Atari's core of game designers. The release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and the explosion it fueled in the world video game market prompted Atari into further console development, but they could not duplicate the financial and cultural success of the 2600. Atari would go on to develop several more consoles, including successors to the 2600, however.

Tags:   Atari 2600   Console   Video game   Third-party   Developer  

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In October 1977, Atari revolutionized the video game industry with the release of the Atari 2600 console. Though the Atari 2600 was not the first video game console to make use of cartridges, it is generally credited with popularizing the cartridge-based console model. Previous gaming consoles had...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

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