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Was the Atari 2600 your first video game system?

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Poll: Was the Atari 2600 your first video game system? (477 member(s) have cast votes)

Was the Atari 2600 your first video game system?

  1. Yes. I got it back in the day. (247 votes [51.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 51.78%

  2. Yes. I got it much later, though. (28 votes [5.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.87%

  3. No. I had a different system back in the day. (93 votes [19.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.50%

  4. No. My first system was from a later generation. (96 votes [20.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.13%

  5. No. I have still never owned one. (13 votes [2.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.73%

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#26 NE146 OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:10 PM

No, I first got a Coleco Colortron which played 4 pong variants w/ two 9volt batteries which my dad brought home from the states.

How I actually got a 2600 is all because of the quest for Space Invaders.. and my mom and me looking for probably over a year for one to take home :D

I had been looking for a LONG time for any home Space Invaders. Schoolyard rumors being what they are, the other kids told me there was a small version you could hold in your hand. And since I was a kid.. I thought it would be EXACTLY the same. First an electromechanical version came out (which i still have). It sucked. Then electronic versions (like the ones from Bandai, then later Entex) came out.. but they weren't what I was led to believe or expect. Then we travelled to the states, stopped by Sears, and on display was 2600 Space Invaders.

It wasn't perfect.. but it was the best I'd seen. I didn't really know about the difference between Atari and Sears really. It could have been a Bally Astrocade or Odyssey for all I knew. All I knew was it had Space Invaders so my mom bought it for me and that was the start :)

#27 retrocon OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:28 AM

Channel F was my very first system. It came out about a year before the 2600.

Then I got the Intellivision followed by the Odyssey. The 2600 I didn't get until much later, but all my friends had it so I got to play it all the time as well.

#28 hex65000 OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:43 AM

I had to say 'Got some other system back in the day' because our first console was the RCA Studio 2 Yes, I still have it, I haven't fired it up in years though.
_THEN_ we got the Sears version Atari. :D

[ It's 3 am and I'm asleep. -- as I should be. ]

#29 Rob Mitchell OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:32 AM

Channel F was my very first system. It came out about a year before the 2600.

View Post

I remember seeing the ChF in the store on display. Kids were playing it .. and I wanted to try it so bad and get Dad to buy it. But Dad said that it wasn't that great.

Sometime later during a business trip he saw the Atari VCS and hinted that it might be the one that we would get. I read all about it in Consumer Reports in Oct '77. Then there was the random trip to Sears in Oct'77 where we saw the Sears Telegames Video Arcade. I had to convince Dad that it was made by Atari. We bought it and the only other game available at the time: Tank Plus!

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

#30 Kuddy OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:19 PM

The 2600 my dad owned was my first video game system, before we got an NES for Christmas 1990. I can't remember playing it any time before at least the age of 4, though, so that's 1988-1990. I voted for the second option.

#31 Bill Lange OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:32 PM

We also had a PONG system before the Atari 2600. I remember that it was a white system and the two paddle controls could be detached from either side of the unit.

The Atari 2600 was our first cart based system. Our first games where combat, indy 500 and space invaders if I recall correctly.


#32 sku_u OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:07 PM

My first system was a pong, but I barely remember it. My first system I can remember that actually meant something to me was a 1977 edition VCS. I didn't vote because that didn't really fit into any of the answers. ;-)

#33 Chris++ OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:40 PM

I'm not counting the Pong unit that my folks had in the mid-'70s, so my first system was the VCS my dad brought home in 1981. All we had for a few months were Space Invaders and Combat. I drooled over the green catalogue and made up my own games on paper.

A few months later, I talked him into getting Asteroids, and then my birthday presents were Missile Command and the wretched Pac-Man. That was it for several more months. He was a well-off doctor, but thought (rightly) that forty bucks was too high to keep buying games based only on my whims.

For Christmas, I got Adventure, which started a lifelong obsession with multi-location exploration games that's run right through Doom and GTA III. I ordered Vanguard from Atari Age with my own money, and got Defender and Centipede for yet another birthday.

I didn't score further substantial carts until they changed the name to the 2600 and I found all sorts of games on sale at drug stores for two to five bucks apiece. E.T. and RotLA were high points, with Montezuma's Revenge and Pitfall II easily the highest. Joust was my favorite action game at the time; I was shocked at how well it had been ported (or "translated," as we called arcade-to-home titles) to the VCS.

Then my obsession with the Commodore 64 started, and then music, so I didn't get back into my old VCS, which I still had along with all the carts (some things you just don't throw away, like comic books), until around 1994, when I was part of the first group of nutcases to start writing articles, essays, newsletters and, eventually, websites about "classic gaming." Then it got silly, people started fighting about the superiority of their knowledge (how irrelevant can you get?) and collections, the prices all went up, and I stopped buying new old shit and pared down my collection to only the games I played frequently.

What was the question again?

Oh, yeah. The VCS, 1981. :)

#34 Hendra OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:10 PM

Well, that depends on what you mean by system. My first "experience" with a console was definetly the 2600. I played it a lot like 22 years ago, I knew quite a lot of games but I didn't own it. My cousins did.

The first gaming hardware that I owned was Nintendo Game and Watch Lion. Then I bought Parachute, Rain Shower and Mario Bomb. But G&W didnt' count as a system I guess.

After that my first gaming experience was switched to PC with the introduction 3Dfx Monster 3D video card. I had been their loyal customers until their demise. Then I quit gaming when 3Dfx dead.

I started to play game again this year when I bought a Heavy Sixer. So, I actually never owned the 2600 until recently, although I played with it a lot with my cousins 22 years ago.

So, the answer is Atari 2600 is THE FIRST and THE ONLY console I have ever had.

#35 Smiley OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:31 PM

Well, my older brother had a 2600, and he did give it to me later, but my first console was the colecovision, which I still have.

Best game on the 2600: Yar's Revenge. I still play it today by using the coleco expansion module #1 :lust:

#36 RickHarrisMaine OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:52 PM

I'll never forget that call from my Dad. He was an on-the-road claims adjuster, and frequently ate at places like McDonalds, Wendy's, that sort of crap. He called me on a pay phone and said, hey guess what, I just won you an Atari system on the Monopoly game at McDonalds!

A week or so later, it arrived at his office, and he brought it home.....just in time for him to give me a ride to my Little League game, leaving the system, in its box, at home, for my sister to piss me off and open it instead of me. Of course, she did, knowing how pissed off I would be, and I think my dad knew it too, because he had a copy of Asteroids at the ready for me, as a surprise. We hooked it up to the RCA on the swivel stand in the living room, and I finally found an outlet for my paper route money!!!

Never got another one until last year. My wife and kids have been having an absolute blast the past few nights playing Millipede and Pitfall II, courtesy of eBay

Long live the Atari!!!

#37 fmctm1sw OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:36 AM

It was for me, but only after the solid black version came out. I then later would up with an Atari Jr. for som reason aswell...

#38 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:51 AM

My first system was a Colecovision. I spent lots of time at my cousin's house playing his 2600 well before that though.

#39 classicgamingguy OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:49 AM

Yeah, it was my first system ever. I was thrilled to death, and I think my parents bought it for me to keep me out of trouble. Lil' old me? Get into trouble? Naw. :D

Great system, though. Was then, still is. Although I've taken a liking to my 5200 more these days. Never had one of those as a kid.


#40 The Lurking Horror OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:02 AM

I got one back in the day. After playing in my friends' houses for quite some time (fun fact: most of them were girls. I guess gaming was waay more accepted by the fair sex back then) and begging my parents for what seemed like an eternity, one glorious day I received one brand new 2600 set. Needless to say I spend almost all my free time with that beauty. I lost the count of how many joysticks I broke playing asteroids and missile command :P

#41 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:16 AM

There doesn't seem to be an option for those of use who had a pong system before the 2600 became available.


#42 gulag picture radio OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:38 PM

I won my 2600 in a contest put on by a realty office in my hometown. I think that would have been in '82 or '83. I was thrilled as I'd played Atari before and thought it was the coolest, but the prior year first prize had been a 10 speed bike - a far more expensive item. :) No complaints though - I still have the box from it and hopefully I still have the original unit itself around somewhere. (I'v aquired a few more Atari's since then... :) )

#43 ignernt OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:04 AM

My first system was the 5200. By the time I was even aware that the 2600 even existed the 5200 was out. Thank God for the better graphics and pause button.

#44 Lauren Tyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:43 AM

Well, I myself didn't exactly get it.

Rather, before I was born, my dad would constantly work late at night, and my mother would get very lonely without him. So for Christmas, either in 1978 or 1979, my dad got my mom a Sears Tele-Games Video Arcade (Revision B, the 4-switch version) and my mother was happy once again.

Naturally, she enjoyed playing it even when she was pregnant with me. So those genes passed onto me, and I soon learned to play Atari, and became the video game player I am now! :D

Of course even with all these fancy-schmancy lifelike games, I still enjoy a good game on my 2600! But I owe it all to my mom, for passing on her love of Atari to me, and my dad, for buying it for my mom!




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Posted Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:47 PM

Yes sir! the 2600 was my very first video game system. As a kid I could not get enough of video games, so when the 2600 came out, I was all over my Dad & Mom to get me one, but in those days $200.00 was a lot of money to spend on anything, but my Mom broke and took me to K-mart to get it and boy, I played the hell out if it, then with some time, all my other friends got there's, so we would trade games all the time, it was a very fun time.

:lust: :lust: :lust:

#46 gospeedde OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:57 AM

I didn't have a game system until after college, though I always wanted one. I finally picked up my first 2600 in 1997 and it is still my only system.

#47 G.Whiz OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:10 PM

Yes, like many people here, had the first Odyssey and then got the Atari for Christmas when it came out in '77. I was lucky -- my Dad was right into that stuff, so he was happy to buy it "for me".

Great times, playing Combat for hours on end, and then Air/Sea Battle. My Dad still curses to this day because he says the only reason he spent extra for Indy 500 was because Atari promised they'd come out with more games for those paddles.

Ah well, maybe someday...!


#48 supercat OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:40 PM

Great times, playing Combat for hours on end, and then Air/Sea Battle. My Dad still curses to this day because he says the only reason he spent extra for Indy 500 was because Atari promised they'd come out with more games for those paddles.

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Buy him a copy of THRUS+

#49 Rodan OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:26 AM

Got my first 2600 about 1980. Still have it too but haven't tested it in years (using the 2nd one when a chip on the first went bad).

#50 Atarifever OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:43 AM

It was kind of my first system. It was the first game system that anyone in my family owned, and when my brother bought his NES he gave me the 2600, which became my first system. However, I've always thought of the SMS as my first system, as it was the first one I ever bought for myself and was the first one I owned before someone else in the family (it was the first system that wasn't handed down to me from someone else). The SMS was also the first system I ever played a lot of, I kind of just played Atari while waiting for a turn at the NES, which I was too young to be any good at (and now my NES mostly collects dust, while my 2600 is played daily).

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