June 27, 1972
Atari Incorporated – Co-founders Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney embark on their new venture. Their first engineer hired was Allan Alcorn who designed Pong as simply a test, but it turned out to be the company’s first shipped product!
Kee Games releases its first unique game – Tank. This was the first coin-op game to contain ROM based code for its graphics. Tank is a very important game to Atari as later on it would become the basis for Atari Combat, which was the pack-in game included with the Atari 2600 video game console in 1977.
May 13, 1976
Atari Breakout is released. This unique game has been called “Pong turned on its side” . The concept was created by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow. Looking to increase profits, the game circuit design was given to a young Atari engineer named Steve Jobs. Steve would come back and deliver a PC board design that reduced 50 chips from the cost, giving Steve Jobs a $5,000 bonus. However it would later be revealed that it was Steve Wozniak designed the Breakout board. The two Steve’s would move on and later found a computer company many might have heard of… Apple, Inc.
The Atari Video Computer System (2600) model #2600 makes its debut. With a retail price of $199-$229, the system is a multiprocessor based, programmable game console. It included 2 joysticks and 2 paddle controllers. It came with a 2 player game with 27 variations called Combat. Expected to have a library of 10 different games based on Atari arcade games, the console design is hoped to have a selling life of 2-3 years.