|(Artifact label – 75 words)
Atari 2600 Prototype
1975 Atari Corporation, United States
The Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) was the most popular video game system of the 1980s. From 1978 through 1981, Atari shipped more microprocessors in its Atari 2600 than in all of its other products combined. By 1984, the company had used over 20 million MOS Technology 6502 chips---the microprocessor used in the system.
Steve Mayer and Ron Milner built the Atari 2600 prototype in 1975. They used a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer to develop the system’s software. The first program was a forerunner of the classic “Combat” video game cartridge. Unlike most previous systems, the Atari 2600 allowed users to purchase many different games on cartridges, fostering a dynamic third party software gaming industry.
Artifact Credit: Gift of Ronald E. Milner, X725.86
Photo Caption: Nolan Bushnell, Atari founder
Photo Credit: Credit: © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS
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