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The Atari 2600

Also known as the Video Console System (VCS), the Atari 2600 was one of the first console systems, released in the late '70's. It is also one of the greatest, with many of the greatest games ever, and one of the longest runnings, from 1977 to the late 1980's. Its longstanding popularity and ubiquity is exceeded only by the NES.

Many of the great games were released originally or exclusively for the 2600.

Additionally, many of the arcade ports went to the Atari, though their quality was often not what it should have been. Pac-Man, for example, was ported to the Atari 2600 (eventually replacing Combat as the cartridge shipped with the system), but it did not compare favorably with the original and it was never very popular. (That is not to say that all arcade ports suffered the same fate; the VCS version of Asteroids was not really very much like the original arcade version of Asteroids, but it still had an appeal of its own and so it managed to maintain popularity. It's one of my favorite games, I have to say.)

The Atari 2600/VCS: Technical Details

  • Dates: 1977 - 1988
  • Processor: 1.19 MHz MOS 6507 (form of the 6502)
  • Memory: 128 bytes

    Classic Games on the 2600

    There are so many great Atari 2600 games, it is difficult to give a representative sample, but here are some examples:

  • Asteroids (Atari) [port from arcade version]
  • Adventure (Atari) - the first great adventure game
  • River Raid (Activision)

    Read more about these games and others.

    Atari Links

    About CGE (including contact information)
    Created March 28, 1998. Last updated June 7, 1998.