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Remembering the legendary Atari Games

Atari Games are known to have changed the trend and setting of the gaming industry and made it capable of the becoming this ever changing, futuristic medium of entertainment for one and all

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Feature 11 Jan 2015, 22:23 IST
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Remembering the Legend Atari Games
Atari Games – the pioneers of the gaming industry.

The congregation that laid the building blocks for the current industry we are thriving on, Atari Games are known to have changed the trend and setting of the gaming industry and made it capable of the becoming this ever changing, futuristic medium of entertainment for one and all.

Atari Games started their journey with trying their hand at “arcade games” thus bringing epic games such as Pong, Asteroids and Centipede which hold a special place in our childhood memories, when we spent hours together at the arcade engrossed in the seemingly endless fun these games provided. Not only did Atari master the arcade games zone in their time, they introduced the industry with the advent of home consoles which enabled players to stay and home and play the exciting games right there in the comfort of their home.

Atari Games launched the first Home Console in 1977

With the release of the Atari 2600, the enterprise marked the launch of the first home console in the history of the industry, this made us witness a steer the creative heads at Atari were taking to create something new, little did they know that they would be giving birth to such a big revolution that would eventually make their original creations (the arcade games) obsolete to a certain extent. The console introduced the technology of the use of a microprocessor-based hardware which at that time worked on a cartridge based storage medium.

Atari 2600

By providing games like Combat and Pac-Man with this console , the developers at Atari brought the sophistication of handling hardware and the facility of experiencing a gaming session at any point of time at the whim and fancy of the gamers. This console took the market by a storm when sales figures for the consoles reached one million and doubled the next year. The console also hosted the most iconic games like Space Invaders and other third party games such as Pac-Man by Namco and Activision's Pitfall.

The first taste of failure came with Atari 5200

Since perfection had become a mandatory requirement that was expected from Atari Games the launch of the Atari 5200 with its poor design and problematic analog controllers certainly got it fair share of rebuke and disapproval from fans and critics. Especially when a launch price of $270 was associated with the console.

The reason behind this downfall was not only the technical problems they faced but also the ardent complaint from developers who left the company for Activision since they thought that their name was not being recognized with the success they were working to be attributed for.

Atari 5200 also known as the “Darth Vader

A series of unfortunate events follows

After the committing their share of mistakes with Atari 5200, the Enterprise suffered from a loss creativity which was quite evident in the reception of their games E.T. the Extraterrestrial  and Pac-Man port which deemed to be over endorsed and spoken about, in comparison to what they actually had in store for the players, the publicity of these games described them as fine pieces of art that could mesmerize the beholder when in reality it did not add up to the credibility it was assigned to its name in the promotions.

Soon, Nintendo entered the competitive grounds of the gaming world, to find the pioneers Atari in shards of despair, with launch of NES console of Nintendo the pressure on Atari tightened since they got an engaging enemy to compete against. To compete with the NES console Atari launched the Atari XEGS which was considered as the company’s second major venture in regard with the console background of the enterprise.

The release of this console fell like a faint sound on the ears of a deaf man, with the global uprising that engaged in the popular use of NES console and the accommodated arrival of SEGA. Atari’s XEGS couldn't face the existing competition hence the console and its feature gathered a moot presence that eventually rendered it to be useless.

Post these events in later years Atari contributed two other consoles to the market Atari Lynx which faced defeat at the hands of Nintendo’s Gameboy and the Atari Jaguar which failed on account of many hardware glitches and implementation flaws.

Atari Jaguar

The last nail in the coffin

Over the course of time Atari seemed to have fought rough times and managed somehow to keep standing up thus maintaining its presence in the industry but in the times of despair when the company stood on the verge of bankruptcy , a new game became the deciding factor that would play a major hand in determining the fate of this enterprise.

Test Drive Unlimited 2  was the last game to be published by Atari Games, the game suffered immensely with time constraints, technical glitches and many other problems which landed the enterprise in a state of absolute turmoil . Early in 2013 Atari Games filed for bankruptcy which was indeed a sad day in the history of the gaming world.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that Atari Games did create a niche of recognition for themselves in the industry and it is their effort and creativity that brought revolutions to our world. Thereby i would always regard them as pioneers of this industry and they will remain worthy of the title “Legend” in my dictionary.

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