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PONG: making a game with 74 series logic chips #Atari #Pong #Gaming #History #PCB

On imgur, we find a post detailing the original schematic for the Atari Pong game (version E).

Here is the schematic diagram for the original arcade version of Pong, the first digital video game. Unlike other video games of the time, Pong used an all digital circuit to produce the graphics, sound and game control. There is no software or processor, just a collection of 66 discrete chips performing a single function, inter-connected to create the game we know.

For the home version, a single specialized chip was used to replicate all of the functions of the arcade version.

The different sections have been color coded. As you can see many of the part annotations are very hard to read and copying artifacts obscure many details.

It appears there are additional resources for understanding the schematic and the history of Pong and gaming:

There is a whole website devoted to the story of Pong: http://www.pong-story.com/

The site has extensive resources on Pong and the start of video gaming. Of particular interest for schematics, that site has a paper:

ATARI PONG E CIRCUIT ANALYSIS & LAWN TENNIS: BUILDING A DIGITAL VIDEO GAME WITH 74 SERIES TTL IC’s
by Dr. H. Holden.

If you’d like to go through the Atari schematic, that paper is the resource you’d want to look at. For history and more, see pong-story.com

Do you have a fondness for early gaming, including Pong? Let us know in the comments below.


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