Atari Game System (1970s and 1980s)
Not the first game system (that was Magnavox’s Odyssey), Atari was responsible for popularizing the play form. (Who didn’t either own or play on an Atari in the 1970s and 1980s?) Their very first game was, yes, Pong, in 1975. Two years later, Atari completely changed the game with its 2600 Video Computer System. The 2600 had better games, sharper sound and more colorful graphics. Changing games was as easy as inserting a new cartridge. Popular games became Space Invaders, Pac Man, Combat and Frogger. Soon, Americans were spending billions (yes, BILLIONS) of dollars on Atari games and accessories. For about 15 years Atari ruled the roost and were the gamers system of choice. Then came Nintendo…. Atari was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2007.