10+ Things You May Not Have Known About the Atari 2600

Aaron of Retro Hack Shack recently discovered “Stella at 20,” a series of videos recorded at a gathering of Atari alumni 20 years after the Atari VCS (2600) was released (1977).

Using this content, Aaron put together 10 (13, actually) things you might not know about the iconic, game-changing Atari 2600. There’s some fun, interesting stuff here, like:

Atari was originally called Syzygy, but someone had already taken that name (a candle maker!), so they went with the exclamation from the Japanese game Go that was used before making a territory capture: Atari!

The codename for the 2600 was Stella. That wasn’t named after someone’s partner or girlfriend, it was the name of one of the developers, Joe Decuir’s 10-speed bike.

The company made use of the rather dastardly practice of tying up new chipsets from manufacturers that might pose competition for them if they went to other companies. So, they would make agreements with those manufacturers just to lock up the chipsets. This practice was quite common (and I assume still is).


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