Exactly 50 years ago, on June 27 1972, a fledgling company filed the necessary papers to become incorporated. The company’s name was Atari, and it would go on to dominate the videogame world both in the arcades and at home.
The original papers can be viewed here:
The impact that Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney had on the industry is almost incalculable.
Readers of this blog will be familiar with the Atari story I’m sure, so rather than regurgitate that here, I wanted to share a few videos with you that tell the story.
The first is absolutely remarkable footage. I need to be clear that do not own this video and it is not hosted here. The video was posted by Atari historian Marty Goldberg and is posted on the Atari Museum Facebook page. In Marty’s own words:
Called “Games Computers Play”, it was shot in early 1973 by four media/communications majors at Berkeley who went around the Bay Area documenting the new high tech entertainment popping up in the area (Computer and arcade video games). You’ll see a 1973 version of Nolan, the original PONG assembly line at the new roller rink manufacturing location (1600 Martin ave) as well Spacewar! at Stanford’s SAIL lab and even shots of Computer Space running in department stores at the time.Marty Goldberg – Atari Historian
You can enjoy the video below which should be embedded from the Facebook page, where the video is hosted. If the video isn’t playing for some reason, you can view it directly here.
This is the first known footage of Atari known to exist. Huge props to Marty for sharing this with the world and for allowing me to link to it here. Do check out the Atari Museum Facebook page and join for updates – it is a rich resource of information about Atari’s early days.
Atari themselves of course have been sharing lots of media and history given the importance of the date. This includes a new interview with Nolan Bushnell himself. What’s interesting about this is the guy doing the interview is Wade Rosen, the current Atari CEO.
Cool stuff and a pretty interesting chat:
I also dug out this video, which appears to be an older interview with Bushnell – he goes into quite a bit of depth about the early days:
I hope you enjoy this footage. Happy birthday Atari!
See you next time.