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Atari 'Pong'

Nolan Bushnell is believed to be the inventor of 'Pong', Atari's first coin-op game. But in 1972, several weeks before Atari's 'Pong' was released, 'Magnavox' presented a gaming console called 'Odyssey 100', the first home video game system. The 'Odyssey 100' included a game very similar to 'Pong'.
Years later Bushnell admitted in court that he had seen an 'Odyssey' prototype on display earlier in 1972. The 'Odyssey 100' was invented by Ralph Baer.

Several years later in 1978, a very similar incident will happen again - but the other way round: after seeing the 'TouchMe' arcade-game, Ralph Bear adopts the idea and develops a handheld that he sells to Milton Bradley (MB) - the 'Simon'.
Atari launches the 'TouchMe' handheld (based on its unsuccesful arcade game)  but never reaches the sales of the 'Simon' by MB.

With the sales not doing as well, and the overall handheld market declining due to the emerging cartridge based console popularity rising, Atari decided to get out of the handheld market and 'Atari Electronic Games' ceased to exist by 1979.


During the years Atari released a lot of different 'Pong' consoles:

'Home Pong' (C-100), codename 'Darlene': just 1 game, 1976
'Hockey Pong' (C121), 1976
'Super Pong' (C-140): included 4 games, 1976
'Super Pong Ten' (C-180), 1977
'Super Pong Pro-Am' (C-200): corded controllers instead of fixed knobs, 1977
'Super Pong Pro-Am Ten' (C-202), 1977
'Ultra Pong Doubles' (C-402): 16 games and four corded controllers, 1977


Shown: Atari 'C-140': 'Super Pong'

Several years later, Atari recycled the good old 'Pong' and released 'Video Olympics' for the Atari 2600 video game system with a lot of 'Pong' variants.



Shown: original Atari 'Pong' IC.

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