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What is the Atari 2600 and what was so cool about it?

Atari 2600 is a home video game console released in September 1977 by Atari, Inc, and it is the embodiment of oldschool gaming. It stands behind popularizing a different approach to how the hardware in a video game console was set up.

It used microprocessor-based hardware and programmable ROM cartridges containing game code, a format first used in Fairchild Semiconductor’s Fairchild Channel F a year earlier, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. It also had better graphics than Farchild Channel F.

Later in its lifetime Atari 2600 received a few cosmetic changes, and users could get their hands on some really ingenious nick-nacks such as a device that made it possible to use cassette tapes and play games from them. A cassette tape could store more data than a ROM cartridge, allowing the games to have even better graphics, which is always nice.

Where does the name 2600 come from?

Originally the console was sold as the Atari VCS, short for Video Computer System. But where does the name 2600 come from? It was after the release of the Atari 5200 in 1982, when the VCS’s name was changed to Atari 2600 after the unit’s Atari part number—CX2600.

The console typically came with two joystick controllers, a pair of paddle controllers, and a cartridge game—initially Combat and later Pac-Man. The Atari 2600 was wildly successful and, during much of the 1980s, Atari became a synonym for this model in mainstream media and, by extension, for video game consoles in general.

Play Atari 2600 games online

If you are curious about what the games for the Atari 2600 felt like and how they played, and you do not necessarily want to shop around for a specimen of your own, in decent condition and with games. Or if you want to bring back the old memories and nostalgia connected with these games. Then look no further! has got you covered. You can play Atari 2600 games online, emulated right here in your browser.