Originally named the Atari VCS (Video Computing System), the Atari 2600 video game console was released in 1977. It is known for making the ROM cartridges and microprocessor hardware popular, even though the Fairchild Channel F console first utilized these technologies.
The Atari 2600 gained much success, and dominated the market during the second generation. During the 1980s, “Atari” became a synonym for video games in general. The Atari 2600 was even inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2007.
The console was first released with two joysticks and a cartridge for the game Combat, with eight other games available for purchase separately. It’s first widely popular game was Space Invaders, released in 1980, which gave way to a steep upswing in Atari, Inc.’s sales. Pac-man was then released in 1982 and became the console’s biggest hit. However, during the video game crash of 1983, Atari’s growth was actually its downfall, causing it to lose huge amounts of money. The development of new console games was stopped, and the console itself was played down for two years.