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Atari Logo

Atari Video Computer System

The Atari VCS and 2600 was one of the most popular home consoles ever produced. First released in 1978 it is also one of the first. There are at least 800 games available many of which were simpler versions of popular arcade games such Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Defender.

Atari Video Computer System
VCS CX2600


Atari Pong

The Original model has woodgrain and black plastic case. Six silver switches across the upper front panel. Bundled accessories include two CX40 joysticks, one CX30 paddle controller, AC adapter, TV switch and a CX2601 Combat game cart.

Atari VCS Specs

6507, 1.19 MHz


RAM: 128 Bytes, in VLSI
ROM: 4K max


Stella, a custom graphics chip that controlled the synchronization to the TV and all other video processing tasks
Graphics Clock: 1.19 MHz




2 joystick ports.

Other Atari Models
Sears TeleGames Video
Atari VCS

Same as above except some external cosmetic differences (the "difficulty" switches are labeled "skill level", switch panel is silver instead of black, woodgrain pattern is slightly different. Also Labled Sears Telegames.

Atari 2600 1982
atari 7800

Officially uses the name "2600" for the first time to help differentiate it from the newly introduced 5200 Super System. The 2600 is primarily black with no woodgrain, and otherwise looks like the VCS

Atari 2600 Jr
Atari 5200

Entirely new model of the 2600, Black wedge-shaped enclosure, with push button switches and LEDs on top panel. Internally very different from other 2600 models, but still uses the same basic chipset.

Atari 400

All-black version of the Atari 2600 Jr

Atari 800

A white version of the Atari Jr.

Atari VCS / 2600 Games
Atari Space Invaders

Atari Space Invaders

Atari Pacman

Atari PacMan



Atari VCS Spiderman


Games came in cardboard boxes with the cart held in place with a card inset. Atari Adventure shown.

Atari Accessories
Video Touch Pad

Atari Video Touch Pad for Star Raiders.

Atari Trackball

Track ball, all black with wedge

Atari VCS Paddles

The Paddle controller allowed for different gameplay in games such as breakout. Two paddles connected to one connector to allow up to 4 to be plugged in. 'Driving paddles' (pictured) were required for some games such as Indy 500.

Atari MindLink

Mind Link!

atari Joystick

The standard Atari CX40 Joystick, part of the Atari's success must be attributed to the joystick design which was very sturdy and well suited to playing games such as Pac-man.

Remote Control Atari

Remote control joysticks