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The history of the Atari 2600

With the 25th anniversary of the Commodore 64 out of the way, it's now time to (belatedly) celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Atari 2600

Last month, some of Silicon Valley's biggest names showed up at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., for the 25th anniversary of the Commodore 64.

What no one I heard mentioned, despite the presence of Pong designer Al Alcorn, was that October marked the 30th anniversary of what may have been an even more influential video game machine, the Atari 2600.

Now, over at GameSpy, Marty Goldberg has spun for us the story of the creation of that iconic console.

The Atari 2600 turned 30 in October. Now, GameSpy is telling the story behind the groundbreaking video game console. Wikipedia

And when I say iconic, I do mean it. After all, who doesn't recognize the 2600's signature joystick, that particularly ugly black thing with the circle of orange around the middle and a bright orange button? See?

Goldberg's story begins in the summer of 1975 with the release of the Sears home version of Pong. From there, Goldberg weaves a tale of the history of the 2600 that begins with the search for the machine's microprocessor and goes on from there.

This is actually a three-part series, and parts two and three have yet to run.

But for anyone with a serious interest in the history of video games and video game technology, this is a must-read.