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Which was the first Atari game to have a title screen?

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It's listed in the preview section of Electronic Games (May 1983), so I guess that means it wasn't released until 1983:

 

archive.org/stream/Electronic_Games_Volume_01_Number_15_1983-05_Reese_Communications_US#page/n31/mode/1up/

I emailed Keith Robinson about the M network games, and while he didn't have specific months he did tell me the order their games came out in and what year - Adventures of Tron is an 83 release (the first one, if I recall).

 

I haven't been able to track down a specific month for the Supercharger games, but based on the ads in magazines I chalked it down to July/August myself.

Hmm... I wonder if the game with the lowest copyright right date instead of release date should count as the first since there is a difference between first coming to market and first coming into existence? Especially since release dates would be more lost to history than copyrights.

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I emailed Keith Robinson about the M network games, and while he didn't have specific months he did tell me the order their games came out in and what year - Adventures of Tron is an 83 release (the first one, if I recall).

Can you post that list?

 

 

 

 

I haven't been able to track down a specific month for the Supercharger games, but based on the ads in magazines I chalked it down to July/August myself.

If you can believe Arcade Express, July is too early:


The Supercharger for the Atari VCS went on sale in 40 Broadway Department Stores in Southern California at the end of August, and the company describes early consumer reaction as "exceptional". The $70 Supercharger, which increases graphic resolution capabilities of the VCS, comes with one game, "Phaser Patrol". Three additional games, "Communist Mutants From Space", "Fireball", and "Suicide Mission" will be marketed this fall for $15 each.

 

"Consumers came in, took a look, then came back and bought, reports Ken Hall, a spokesman for Arcadia. The Supercharger next goes on sale in Northern California, then Chicago, New York City, and Detroit. It should be in 10 major markets before Christmas.

 

Meanwhile the company is still seeking a new name, since Arcadia was previously tagged by Emerson for the Arcadia 2001 videogame system. The new moniker should be chosen soon.


 

August is also the magic month according to Video Games magazine:


Announced in April, the company plans to have four games and its Supercharger unit ready by August. What's unusual about all of this is that the games are recorded on cassette tapes ($14.95 each) and must be played back by first plugging the Supercharger ($69.95) into the VCS, then connecting it to a portable tape player. Not only are the cassettes cheaper, but the graphic resolution is of extremely high quality. Fireball, Suicide Mission, Communist Mutants from Space, Excalibur (not the film), and Phaser Patrol are Arcadia's initial game titles. The last game comes complete with the Supercharger.


 

 

 

 

Hmm... I wonder if the game with the lowest copyright right date instead of release date should count as the first since there is a difference between first coming to market and first coming into existence? Especially since release dates would be more lost to history than copyrights.

A copyright date can be way off from when the common man or kid could get the game in his grubby little hands, so I'd rather stick to the actual month a game was released in the USA.

 

Besides scouring every magazine available online, we can try to find some Atari lover who worked at a department store who kept paperwork (or made copies or wrote things down in a notebook) showing when games arrived at the store. There has to be at least one Asperger-ish or high functioning autistic guy who worked at a department store that kept a record of the first time a new Atari 2600 game came in.

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Can you post that list?

 

 

 

 

If you can believe Arcade Express, July is too early:



 

August is also the magic month according to Video Games magazine:



 

 

 

 

A copyright date can be way off from when the common man or kid could get the game in his grubby little hands, so I'd rather stick to the actual month a game was released in the USA.

 

Besides scouring every magazine available online, we can try to find some Atari lover who worked at a department store who kept paperwork (or made copies or wrote things down in a notebook) showing when games arrived at the store. There has to be at least one Asperger-ish or high functioning autistic guy who worked at a department store that kept a record of the first time a new Atari 2600 game came in.

I appreciate the help! I've been trying to finger things down to month where possible, or just general season/time frame otherwise. I must have missed that Video Games article mention.

 

As for Keith's info on the order M-Network games were released in:

1982:
Super Challenge Football
Space Attack
Armor Ambush
TRON Deadly Discs
Lock ‘N’ Chase
Frogs and Flies
Super Challenge Baseball
Astro Blast
Dark Cavern
International Soccer
1983:
Adventures of TRON
Air Raiders
Star Strike
Bump ‘n’ Jump
BurgerTime
Kool-Aid Man

Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man

 

I also emailed First Star Software for Boing!, but the only information they had is that it came out in midyear 1983.

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1982:

 

Super Challenge Football

Space Attack

Armor Ambush

TRON Deadly Discs

Lock ‘N’ Chase

Frogs and Flies

Super Challenge Baseball

Astro Blast

Dark Cavern

International Soccer

 

 

1983:

 

Adventures of TRON

Air Raiders

Star Strike

Bump ‘n’ Jump

BurgerTime

Kool-Aid Man

Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man

 

I also emailed First Star Software for Boing!, but the only information they had is that it came out in midyear 1983.

Thanks. That list will at least let me put the games in the correct year in the "Need a Month" sections on my history pages. I can move them into their correct (or best guess) months once more information surfaces.

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The other info I have re:M Network is that they started their releases in the summer of 82; I don't believe He-Man came out until October 83 based on ads and what coverage there was at that point from Video Games and Electronic Games.

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The other info I have re:M Network is that they started their releases in the summer of 82; I don't believe He-Man came out until October 83 based on ads and what coverage there was at that point from Video Games and Electronic Games.

 

Yeah, it says "The first M Network cartridges entered distribution in mid-July." in Arcade Express.

 

Speaking of release dates, Video Games Player said that Frogs and Flies, Lock 'N Chase, Dark Cavern, Sea Battle, Armor Ambush, and Tron: Deadly Discs were supposed to come out in October. Sea Battle didn't make it, but maybe I can put the rest of those games in October (marked as a best guess). So that stuff seems to line up with the list you posted.

 

What doesn't line up is what they printed in the September 26, 1982 Arcade Express newsletter:

 

The problems were confined to the first four M-Network games, "Astroblast", "Space Attack", "Super Challenge Baseball" and "Super Challenge Football".

 

That list doesn't exactly match the first 4 games in the list you posted, so either Arcade Express was incorrect or the list is.

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I was waiting for someone to come in and complain about how the title screen was the beginning of the end because it separated you from the game by those few precious seconds.

 

"All these new fangldy games with their title screens can stuff it. I want instant boot up and instant action. I can't be bothered to press fire or read a menu before I shoot space ships!"

You made my day with this one :-D

 

I think the OP is not even interested anymore

Au contraire, I've been reading this thread daily but was too busy to reply :P

 

I was playing Centipede on my MAME emulator and it has no title screen. Gave me the idea of searching and downloading old titles to my MAME list to see if there is any game earlier than Star Raiders to have a title screen.

 

Thanks for the replies everyone.

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