The Video Computer System, better known as the 2600 is a home video game console designed and sold by Atari, Inc. The platform had serious memory limitations, but was quite flexible to program on and had a vast assortment of games allowing it to become the most popular of the second generation video game consoles.
Over the years, the 2600 went through several different re-models which kept it selling long after its prime.
|1977-09-11||VCS (Video Computer System)||Original branding. Sold with 2 joysticks, 1 dual-paddle controller, and Combat (A26).|
|1977-??-??||Sears Video Arcade||OEMed and sold through Sears.|
|1978-??-??||VCS (Video Computer System) 6-Switch||Case redesign with the difficulty switches on the front.|
|2600||Re-branding following the release of the Atari 5200.|
|1982-??-??||2600 "Darth Vader"||An all black 4-switch model.|
|1984-??-??||2600 Jr.||Re-design with slim case size and rainbow theme like the Atari 7800.|
The Atari 2600 had a massive collection of games released for it, many of which were of poor design which ultimately led to the video game crash of 1983. However, despite the large number of poor games, there were still a vast array of respectable arcade ports and original titles that kept the platform alive.
Music and Sound
The Atari 2600's sound capabilities came from a specialized chip called the Television Interface Adaptor, or TIA. The TIA was mostly responsible for graphics and controller input with sound being an afterthought, so it is quite clumsy to play music through it.