If you played computer games back in the 80s then this "system" will be a walk down memory lane. Reignite your nostalgic passion for the old school.While they lacked the special effects and graphical wow factor the games were big on playability and positively addictive.Powered by four AA batteries these compact units are nothing more than an old style joystick that you plug straight into the television. Yes, all the magic is self-contained in that old school unit.All the games are G rated. And most of the violence is restricted to blowing up large pixel blocks.
The seeds were sown as far back as 1966 when Nolan Bushnell saw the game "Spacewar!" for the first time at the University of Utah. Deciding there was commercial potential in a coin-op version, several years later he and Ted Dabney worked on a hand-wired custom computer capable of playing it on a black and white television in a single-player mode where the player shot at two orbiting UFOs. The resulting game, Computer Space, was released by an existing coin-op game company, Nutting Associates.
Computer Space did not fare well commercially when it was placed in Nutting's customary market, bars. Feeling that the game was simply too complex for the average customer, Bushnell started looking for new ideas.
After seeing a demonstration of the Magnavox Odyssey in May 1972 Nolan got Al Alcorn (their first design engineer) to produce an arcade version of the Odyssey's Tennis game which would become Pong.
Magnavox later sued Atari and Atari had to pay a licensing fee Magnavox.
The first arcade Pong (November 1972) consisted of a black and white television from Walgreens, customize hardware, and a coin mechanism from a laundromat on the side with a milk carton inside to catch coins. Placed in a Sunnyvale tavern by the name of Andy Capp's to test its viability, it took only one day to realize they had a hit.
After talks to release Pong through several companies broke down, Bushnell and his partner Ted Dabney decided to release Pong on their own, and Atari, Inc was established as a coin-op design and production company.
In 1975, Bushnell started an effort to produce a flexible video game console that was capable of playing all four of Atari's games. Development took place at an offshoot engineering lab, after getting over the initial difficulties in producing such a machine, the result was the Atari 2600, one of the most successful consoles in history.