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Atari debuts iOS Pong app honoring game's 40th birthday

It's been 40 years since the gaming giant created the classic tennis-style video game, and to celebrate, it's launching Pong World for the iPhone and iPad.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
Pong was one of the games played on Atari's classic 2600 console. Wikipedia

Here's something to make early video game enthusiasts feel old -- Atari's Pong is celebrating its 40th birthday today.

It was 1972 that Atari's first consumer product was created sending people into a playing frenzy. Rumor has it that lines of gamers vying to try out Pong at the arcade sometimes went at least 60 people deep. It wasn't until 1975 that the home version of the game was released.

Now, to honor the trend-setting game, Atari has launched a free iOS Pong app today called Pong World, which is available for iPhones and iPads.

"Pong World introduces a new generation to the classic game of PONG with a dazzling unique twist and colorful new look," Atari wrote in its game description in the iTunes App Store.

In the game, users can battle opponents and collect paddle creatures, such as Shaggy, Chompers, Sir Bouncelot, Razzle, and Gnop. It has four levels with different power-ups and three play modes that add a bit of color to classic Pong.

Another iOS Pong app came out in 2011. It was part of a massive collection of coveted classic Atari games that also included Asteroids, Missile Command, and Battlezone. With this package 100 games became available, grouped in packs of three and four for a 99-cent in-app purchase.