Classic games on display at E3

The Videogame History Museum collects and occasionally presents vintage gaming gear, from classic home game consoles to full-size arcade machines, to advertising and merchandising material.

The museum doesn't have a permanent home, and currently travels to US games shows such as PAX and GDC. The collection on display at E3 2014 in Los Angeles was impressively broad, and a fun break from the hyper-modern games being pushed at the rest of the show.

Read more on E3 from CNET and our sister site GameSpot.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Burgertime

This handheld version of Burgertime was released in Japan and Singapore in 1983. A smaller version was common in the US.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Coleco mini-cabinets

Coleco made a series of tabletop arcade games in the early 80s. While the simple LED light gameplay wasn't really all that close to the original arcade versions, these were still highly sought after by Generation-X kids (like myself).

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

More tabletop arcade games

More Coleco tabletop games, and a few other handheld machines. The Coleco versions usually go for between $75 and $125 (£60-£100) on eBay.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Odyssey 300

Magnavox released the first-ever home console with 1972's Odyssey. This is the Odyssey 300, from 1976, which played three built-in games, all variants on Pong.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Ultra Pong Doubles

This near-forgotten 1977 Atari system played 16 built-in versions of -- you guessed it -- Pong.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Atari 2600

This is the original 1977 Atari 2600, the machine that essentially launched the home console business. Note that before it was known as the 2600 (its part number), it had the ambitious moniker "video computer system."

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Arcadia 2001

This 1982 early 8-bit console, called the Arcadia 2001, was made by Emerson, and featured a few knock-offs of popular games ("Breakaway" instead of Breakout, for example).

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Arcadia 2001

The box for the Arcadia 2001, showcasing some colorful family fun.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Intellivision Keyboard Component

This keyboard add-on promised to turn the Intellivision into a state-of-the-art early 80s PC, and give it a leg up over other home consoles. Long delays meant only a few thousand were ever released to the public.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Donkey Kong Junior

Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, 1982's Donkey Kong Junior flipped the script, making a villain of that ruthless ape-hunting plumber Mario.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker

The arcade version of Moonwalker is a 1990 beat-em-up game known for its enemy-killing "dance magic" special move.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Track & Field

A look at the detailed art on the cabinet for Konami's 1983 Track & Field game.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Space Invaders

One of many arcade cabinet variations on Space Invaders, originally released in 1978.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Atari Cosmos

The Atari Cosmos was a never-released handheld that was supposed to overlay two layers of holographic film for a 3D effect. Only a handful of mockup units and prototypes exist.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Revolution X

Revolution X is one of the all-time classic oddball arcade games, letting you gun down armies of anti-music soldiers while rocking out to mid-90s Aerosmith.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Missile Command

A close-up of the deceptively simple controls for Missile Command.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Donkey Kong 3

Miyamoto replaced Mario with Stanley the Bugman (who seems to be an exterminator) in the 1983 sequel Donkey Kong 3.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Nintendo 64 controllers

Variations on the innovative Nintendo 64 home console controller.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Vintage game patches

Once upon a time, high-score achievers could take a photograph of their on-screen score and send it in to game publishers for a patch. There's still a robust market for 80s game patches on eBay.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Mattel sports games

These Mattel handheld sports games date back as far as the late 1970s, and featured very simple red lights as graphics. Very common, old models go for under $20 today.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Mattel Horoscope Computer

This 1979 oddity, called the Mattel Horoscope Computer, purported to reveal the level of compatibility between two people. The included documentation bizarrely claimed its predictions were only accurate up until the year 1987.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Fire Away and Lupin

One of a series of Fire Away games from Tandy (parent company to Radio Shack), this was essentially a Space Invaders clone. Behind it is a rare Tomy game based on Japanese manga character Lupin.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Tomy tabletop games

More boxes for tabletop games, showcasing Tomy's unique squat mini-cabinet designs.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Alien Chase

This dual-screen 1982 Alien Chase game from Tandy actually just used a mirror to show both players the same screen.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Atari/Kee prototype

A rare prototype of an Atari console variant from a subsidiary brand called Kee Games.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,

Atari 2600 in action

A full 37 years later, the classic Atari 2600 still has the ability to root gamers to a sofa, even in the middle of E3.

Published:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by: ,
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

Tablets that put your TV to shame

Binge-watch your favorite episodes on these portable screens.

Hot Products