If video games and consoles had a father, that would be Atari. Recognized as the creator of home consoles and involved in the genesis of arcade machines, the company founded in the United States is one of the great influences in the history of the industry.
Atari has been involved in many sectors of technology since the 1970s, from 8-bit microcomputers, evolving to 16-bit and 32-bit computers, and developing from arcade boards to its first video game consoles.
Many members of the current generation of gamers found out about the existence of Atari when the company returned to the market with the Atari VCS 2020, announced in 2017, released in 2021 and that with its Linux operating system it can run compatible games and those of the remembered Atari 2600 thanks to an emulator.
But Atari is much more than a couple of consoles or the aforementioned products. How many models existed? We detail them below.
It was the first console of the brand in 1975 and considered the second video game console in history.. It was the home version of the arcade PONG also released by Atari a few years earlier. He had no cartridges, but had only one game, the pongimitating the table tennis of Magnavox Odyssey.
For many, the Atari 2600 was the company’s most successful console. Released in 1977, it was also called the Atari VCS (Video Computer System) and made interchangeable cartridges popular. It had two joysticks, two type controls paddle and the Combat game from 1977 to 1983, after which it was sold with two controllers, and with or without a game cartridge depending on the package. He revolutionized the industry with PacMan.
Atari’s fate began to darken with the 5200. It was supposed to improve on the Atari 2600, with a better graphics chip, but it was a flop. It sold just over a million units, an infamous figure next to the more than 30 million of its predecessor..
The Atari 7800 was similar to the 5200, but had a lot of trouble becoming a trend. It had to coincide with Nintendo’s NES and SEGA’s Master System. In addition, it had two strange launches, in 84 and 86, but problems in the Atari offices affected its distribution and success.
The Atari XE Video Game System (or Atari XEGS) was released in 1987. Based on the Atari 65XE microcomputer, the XEGS is compatible with the Atari 8-bit family of machine software library. They say that with it Atari began to lose its way, by marketing it with a joystick, a computer keyboard and an Atari XG-1 pistol.. It was a failure.
Atari Lynx was the company’s great regret. A portable console with the potential to be superior to the Game Boy the Game Gear, but its failure was marked by its exaggerated price, its size and how little the batteries lasted. Released in 1989, it was the first color LCD.
Jaguar was the last card from Atari in 1993. You could reboot it or bury it. It coincided with the first PlayStation, difficult, but it had the conditions. However, the Atari Jaguar offered few options when it came to video games, and its failure was a shame because it had great features. It worked at 64 bits when the competition was still at 16 bits.
Atari VCS 2020
Atari announced its return to hardware in 2017 and the Atari VCS 2020 finally hit the market in 2021. With Linux, it allows users to install other compatible applications in addition to the pre-installed games. Other applications that can be installed are streaming applications, music players and web browsers. It has attracted the public that wants to play retro titles.