Atari is established, June 27, 1972

-June 27, 2017

Atari was established by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney on June 27, 1972, and would soon bring Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Pong into the living room.

Though the company endured various splits, financial issues, and management battles, its products helped define the computer entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid 1980s when it began to lose ground to competitors.

Lesser known than its gaming systems were the Atari personal computers the company tried to get off the ground in the 1980s as it attempted to play into the home computing explosion, brought about in large part by the Apple II.

Atari also launched a mobile gaming system, the handheld Atari Lynx with color graphics, that lost out to Nintendo’s less expensive Game Boy with its black-and-white display.

Though the odds of finding an Atari 2600 next to a Nintendo Wii or Sony PS3 in today’s living rooms are slim, and the odds of finding one of Atari’s personal computers in a home office are even slimmer, the company’s name and related games remain well known today.

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For more moments in tech history, see this blog. EDN strives to be historically accurate with these postings. Should you see an error, please notify us.

Editor's note: This article was originally posted on June 27, 2012, and edited June 27, 2017.


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