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Atari COSMOS


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#1 jaguar_fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 29, 2008 11:05 AM

Does anyone over here know more about the Atari COSMOS system?

All I know is that it seemed to be Atari´s attempt to design a holographic video game console back in 1979.

Cosmos1.jpg

Cosmos2.jpg

This system has been shown at the New York Toy Fair in 1981, only 3 prototypes known to still exist.

#2 TwinChargers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 29, 2008 11:48 AM

Well, theres this-

http://www.atariage....hl=atari cosmos

and this

http://www.atarimuse...mos/cosmos.html

and these

http://www.atarihq.c...ari/cosmos.html

http://www.handheldm...tari/Cosmos.htm

http://www.modojo.co...es/20060711/92/

Edited by TwinChargers, Thu May 29, 2008 12:03 PM.


#3 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:31 PM

Golly - yet another article that steals photo's from my website and doesn't bother to ask permission or give credit...




Curt

#4 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:15 AM

Good point curt...but i'm sure that he didn't mean to doing it maliciously

Although i will add that they are still 'technically' Atari's intellectual property...or at least the marketing/advertising agency in San Francisco that held the Atari account at the time (assuming that Atari used someone local)

#5 Math You OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:49 AM

The thing that puzzles me is how the games worked at all? Did the hologram slides contain rom data or was there a separate cartridge containing the game data?

#6 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:32 AM

The thing that puzzles me is how the games worked at all? Did the hologram slides contain rom data or was there a separate cartridge containing the game data?

There were cartridges. The holograms were just film that slid over the screen.

Tempest

#7 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:08 PM

The thing is - the proto photo was donated to me, it physically belongs to me and is the only copy, the other stuff is marketing materials and true, that is more open and such, but that proto photo is solely mine.



Curt


Good point curt...but i'm sure that he didn't mean to doing it maliciously

Although i will add that they are still 'technically' Atari's intellectual property...or at least the marketing/advertising agency in San Francisco that held the Atari account at the time (assuming that Atari used someone local)



#8 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:15 PM

Its all a little smoke and mirrors so to speak. The main IC actually had all 8 games on it. It has 5 buttons (1 for power) and each "cartridge" had a key combination that would push in the needed buttons to activate that particular game and bring it up.

The LED matrix behind the holograms would then move the patterns of lit LEDs around for the gameplay behind the holographic "scene" There are two light bulbs which at 2 separate angles - one would light up all of the time for the main screen sequence and then the other would come up if your player were killed or for games like football or basketball - when you moved to the edge of the screen you'd switch to the otherside of the playfield or court.

It was a very cool system, I've gotten Space Invaders, Superman, Asteroids, Destroyer and Road Runner to work. I have not been able to find the key sequences to football, basketball, or outlaw to get those games to work.

I bring the Cosmos out to most shows that I attend and set it up on a game so people can try it out, most people walk away generally happy to have tried it, but disappointed that the gameplay isn't all that great.



Curt



The thing that puzzles me is how the games worked at all? Did the hologram slides contain rom data or was there a separate cartridge containing the game data?



#9 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:00 PM

Oops...Sorry (i'll be a little more careful next time)

I thought though the idea for the Cosmos was that it was going to be the 'channel f' of the handhelds (i.e the first one to accept new games on cartridge)...hence the slot on the top in some of the piccies i've seen

Anyway...most of the other handhelds at the time (apart from the game/watches and the tomy 3d stuff) were mostly LED gen'd game screens anyway (which probably limited their appeal)

#10 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:44 PM

Curt, the "Atari COSMOS Sales Ad (1981)" at the bottom of your AtariMuseum page for the COSMOS (i.e., this image) lists 9 games, rather than 8. The differences from the games you listed above are:

- ad does not have Destroyer
- ad has Sea Battle
- ad has Dodge'Em

Is the ad just screwy?
Incidentally . . . Atari COSMOS has nothing on Xenosaga KOS-MOS. :)

onmode-ky

#11 Math You OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:00 AM

It was a very cool system, I've gotten Space Invaders, Superman, Asteroids, Destroyer and Road Runner to work. I have not been able to find the key sequences to football, basketball, or outlaw to get those games to work.

I'm clutching at straws here. If the Cosmos has 8 games then would it need to have 3 buttons pressed down simutaneously, like using a 3 bit sequence to create a number from 0-7.

Does anybody have any videos of the Cosmos in action?

Found a couple here:



The holograms look much larger than I thought they would be.

Edited by Math You, Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:11 AM.


#12 atarifan49 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:06 PM

The thing that puzzles me is how the games worked at all? Did the hologram slides contain rom data or was there a separate cartridge containing the game data?


As it was stated earlier, the holographic slides would tell the main chip inside which game was to be played using notches cut out in the holographic slide.

Al Alcorn had said that one of the main goals of the Cosmos was to do a cost-reduction in the game cartridges. At the time they had to use a single ROM chip in each 2600 cart to store the game code. So to do the cost reduction for the Cosmos involved storing all the game code inside the game unit so that the holographic slide didn't require any ROM chip and no need for a cartridge slot to interface a ROM chip thru. Another wonderful idea pushed by the marketing people...

#13 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:22 PM

Golly - yet another article that steals photo's from my website and doesn't bother to ask permission or give credit...

After I started hiding most images on my web site behind a blank image, it became difficult for the average dimwit to grab images or hotlink to them. You don't have to worry about them taking a screen shot and cropping because most of them can't figure out how to do that.

#14 yuppicide OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:29 PM

Curt: So the only games that would ever have come out for Cosmos are those 8 games?

Random: Great little tutorial on the in invisible .gif. Might use that in the future.

#15 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:38 PM

Golly - yet another article that steals photo's from my website and doesn't bother to ask permission or give credit...




Curt



Which article?

#16 Math You OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 1, 2008 6:36 AM

The 8 game limit would have limited its appeal.

Shame it didn't have a built in clock. It would have given it a more practical use.

#17 gambler172 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:18 AM

Golly - yet another article that steals photo's from my website and doesn't bother to ask permission or give credit...




Curt


Hi Curt
I know this book,but it is really bad.The author took lots of photos and informations and used them for his book,which is much too expensive.I do not think,that he asked anyone for permission to use this photos.
Such an a......... I am ashamed,cause he is a german.
greetings Walter

#18 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:25 PM

What! He's German?!?!?!

Gott in Himmel!!!

;-)

Just joking, Would never hold it against you Walter, my old friend :)



Curt





Golly - yet another article that steals photo's from my website and doesn't bother to ask permission or give credit...




Curt


Hi Curt
I know this book,but it is really bad.The author took lots of photos and informations and used them for his book,which is much too expensive.I do not think,that he asked anyone for permission to use this photos.
Such an a......... I am ashamed,cause he is a german.
greetings Walter



#19 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:45 AM

Just wanted to say Curt, thanks for having the Cosmos at the shows. I got to see one (not a operational one) at a show in 2003, Austin, Texas. That was great. Really I am just glad that people are as generous with their rare stuff as they have been.

And I'll keep in mind to give you the credit should I ever use anything off your website. I generally try to do that anyway unless someone asks me not to.

#20 Polybius OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:51 PM

it would of had a great market if came with removable cartridges instead of it being a dedicated system.
it was neat though.




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