Atari game console - Atari 2600 (a2600)





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Atari 2600 (a2600) - Game console

The Atari VCS, later called the Atari 2600, arrived around Christmas 1977 and became the dominant video game console of the late 1970s and early 1980s. It became the first successful console with games on cartridges. In the 1980s in the United States, the word "Atari" was perceived as a synonym for "Atari 2600". The console usually came with two joysticks or two paddle controllers and one game - first it was a Combat game, and then a Pac-Man game, and the games were one of the favorites on this console. Games became a favorite for the generation of that time. A lot of people played games on the console.

The Atari prefix absorbed wonderful games:
Yar's Revenge;
combat;
Vanguard;
Frogs and Flies;
Pitfall!;
Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back;
adventure;
breakout;
Kaboom!;
Berzerk .

Console manufacturer: Atari
Type: Game console
Generation of console: Second
Release date: October 14, 1977
Units sold: about 40 million
Media: Game cartridge
Bestseller: Space Invaders
Predecessor: Atari PONG Successor
: Atari 5200

Console Specifications:
Set-top box processor: 6507, 1.19 MHz
RAM: 128 bytes, in VLSI
ROM: 4K Max
Video controller: Stella, graphics chip that controls synchronization with the TV and all other video processing tasks Video controller
frequency: 1.19 MHz
Game storage media: cartridges
Control : 2 game joysticks

In 1975, Atari acquires the research company Cyan Engineering to develop next-generation gaming systems. For some time, work was underway to create a prototype, known as "Stella" (that was the name of the bike of one of the engineers). Unlike previous generations of systems containing multiple games programmed as a set of logic gates, the Stella core was a true central processing unit, which used the MOS Technology 6502 in a cheaper version, known as the 6507. It was associated with a memory and I / O chip MOS Technology 6532 as well as video and audio chip TIA (Television Interface Adapter) of its own design. In addition to these three chips, the first version of the machine contained one more - a standard CMOS buffer chip. In this way, the prefix had a small number of chips and the prefix kept the construction cost relatively low.The prefix in later versions had a buffer chip, which was later removed. At first, the console didn't use a cartridge, but after seeing what looked like a cartridge on another system, the engineers realized that they could put games on a cartridge by adding a socket and packaging for it, thus the games could be sold separately from the console.

In August 1976, Fairchild Semiconductor released its microprocessor-based Video Entertainment System. Stella isn't ready for production yet, but it's becoming clear that it needs to be released before the 'me too' product line comes along - as happened after the release of PONG. Atari simply doesn't have the money to complete the system quickly as PONG sales are already fading. As a result, Nolan Bushnell goes to Warner Communications and sells the company to them for $28 million with the promise that Stella will be released as quickly as possible.

A key contributor to the console's success was the hiring of Jay Miner, a chip designer who managed to simplify circuitry so that TIA fit on a single chip. After that, the system was tested and was ready for release. At the time of its release in 1977, the development costs of the console amounted to about $100 million.