Archive for the 'Home Consoles' Category



Christmas Morning, 1975 and 1976: Pong

Christmas 1975 Pong

Christmas Pong 1976

The first photo comes from DudesLife and shows the brothers playing the first commercial home version of Pong, the Sears-exclusive “Tele-Games” Pong.

In the second photo, via Michael Schroeder, dad and son play what looks like Atari’s C-100 Pong, released in 1976. (Pat Schroeder, seen in the poster on the wall, was the first woman from Colorado to be elected to Congress.)

The shot below (source unknown) shows the Super Pong (C-140) box on a Christmas morning in ’76 or ’77. Super Pong featured four games, while the other versions played only one. Compare all the versions at Pong Story.

Christmas 1970s Pong

MicroKids #1 (December, 1983): ‘Rating the New Games for Christmas’

Micro 1982-1

Micro 1982-2

Micro 1982-3

Micro 1982-4

I know, I know. Your PS4 offers not games but “immersive experiences” that blur the boundary between fantasy and reality, creator and creation. I think that’s really cute! Now, how many screens can you clear on BurgerTime with three chefs, three shakes of pepper, and no way to save your progress?

(Read the whole issue at the Internet Archive.)

Father and Son Playing Intellivision, 1981 (Part One)

Intellivision 1981

The box on top, and the game they’re playing, is NBA Basketball. The game on the bottom belongs to the Strategy Network (Intellivision cart boxes were color coded according to game type). I bet it’s Utopia, one of the first sim games and a favorite of mine.

(Photo via Adam Pratt/Flickr)

French Wizard of Wor Ad (CBS Electronics, 1982)

WoW French 1982

Au coeur du jeu: Inside the game, or in the heart of the game.

(Image via Atari Mania)

Target and Toys R Us Nintendo Ads, 1986/1988

Nintendo Ad 1986

Nintendo Ad 1988

I can’t remember if I got my NES for Christmas ’86, or Christmas ’87. Either way, it was the most my parents ever spent on a single gift. I got a Schwinn Scrambler (red mags—it was beautiful) one Christmas, but I’d been putting payments on the thing for months. I’d sold my old bike to a kid in the neighborhood and used the money as a down—I think it was 20 bucks. My parents sneakily paid the balance, and there it was propped up by the tree in the morning.

Anyway, Atari it isn’t, but the NES is a great system. I put it third behind the 2600 and Intellivision. Favorite games: Tecmo Super Bowl and Xenophobe. Friend J. and I, and his brother, logged many, many hours on the former. And I have a very strong memory of renting Xenophobe from Blockbuster, getting pizza from the neighborhood joint next door, and playing three-player mode throughout the night.

The fact that the NES went up in price between 1986 and 1988 shows how dominant it was at the time. The next system I got—and the first one I bought for myself—was a Sega Genesis in the early ’90s, when Sonic the Hedgehog was bundled with it.

(Images via The Mushroom Kingdom and Fins Vintage Paper and Collectibles/eBay)

Christmas Morning, Circa 1981: Home Video of Kid Opening Atari 2600

Kid: “Asteroids! Atari Asteroids! Except… Dad, dad, we don’t have Atari.”

Mom: “What’s Atari?”

So classic.

(Technically, it’s not a 2600. It’s an Atari Video Computer System. Relax, nerds.)

(Via The GeoffMan/YouTube)

Kids Playing Atari in Department Store, 1981

Kids Playing Atari 1980

The year is a guess, and the exact location is unknown. I’m going with 1980 because that’s when Intellivision (carts in the glass cabinet on the left) was released nationwide. The Atari 400 and 800 came out in November of ’79, and the Odyssey² came out in ’78. The original Magnavox Odyssey hit shelves in 1972. The ping-pong game that came with it inspired Pong.

I can’t tell what’s playing on the 400, but somebody’s playing Space Invaders on the screen to the far left. It doesn’t look like any of the Atari versions, so maybe my year is off after all. It could be Intellivision’s Space Armada (1981), but there’s more space between the aliens in that game.

UPDATE: The year is at least 1981. Lefty Limbo spotted the Asteroids 2600 cart (1981) on the top row of the front glass cabinet. Title updated accordingly.

(Photo via Historic Images/eBay)

Atari Game Club Brochure, 1980

Atari Brochure 1980

Atari Brochure 1980-2

Wait a minute. Membership is $100, unless you buy a cart ($21.95 to $39.95), in which case your membership is free. So why would anyone pay the $100? Is it supposed to be some kind of reverse psychology? “Wow, look at all the cool free stuff I get if I can convince my dad to give me a check for Breakout!”

BASIC Programming is one of the selections in the purple tier.

I remember that Space Invaders shirt.

UPDATE (1/19/14): Keith Golon wrote to tell me that it’s not $100 for a membership, but $1.00 Now that makes sense. If you look closely, you can see the decimal. Thanks a million, Keith.

(Images via rbgamehunter)

This is What Not Being Able to Save Your Game Looked Like

Kid Playing Atari

July 24, 1982. (Photo: Denver Post)

(Via Argenta Images/eBay)

Toy Aisle Zen (1983): Atari

toy aisle atari 1983

toy aisle atari 1983-2

toy aisle atari 1983-3

toy aisle atari 1983-4

Toys “R” Us, Sunnyvale, CA, 1983. The 5200 is listed at $160.00. The Atari 800 (back shelf, far right) is $500 (it was $1000 in 1980). A snapshot of the crash.

(Images via Computer History Museum)


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