I've noticed a lot of us have not played the first generation. While there is not the diversity of games from later generations, there is a wide diversity in hardware and controllers, including light guns. You can probably pick up an entire unit for the about the price of a used game at Gamestop. I recommend the Atari Video Pinball unit in particular - no pong games, and a good amount of fun with Breakout using an analog paddle controller. Its all RF out, as I don't know of any A/V modifications for it.
Wow the conversations on this have been fantastic. There are several trends going on here but I notice mainly one. The Atari 2600. Was that a great system in its day or what. So many simple games that are so much fun, still to this day. The 2600 lives! How incapable Atari management managed to screw up almost every other system after that is a mystery to me. 5200 overpriced. 7800 outdated. Jauguar poor programming and bad bad games. They nailed it with the 2600 but blew it on every console since. I wonder if the Atari ox will make many look at it. I’d out t it. But a final Merry Christmas to all before the Holiday ends!
AtariToday wrote:honorable mentions - systems that just barely
Odyssey 2. As a kid the neighbors had this quirky system set up in their basement and we would play on it when their grand-kids came over. I received one as a gift a few years ago and I've fallen in love with it. Currently collecting games for this thing! Pick one up if you've missed out. It's fairly cheap to collect for and the games are fun! Pick Axe Pete and K.C. Munchkins Crazy Chase are getting lots of play recently.
Growing up, I had an Odyssey 2. It is a fun system, and it is relatively cheap to collect for. Its near and dear to my heart, and untold hours of fun on the system. A/V mods are available for the system if you are handy with the soldering iron. I have a voice unit, but never gotten it to work. However, there are 2 board game video game hybrids worth checking out - one is like Risk, the other a sort of Lord of the Rings game. There was also an early multicart for the system, that has all or almost all of the production titles for the system. You can't add anything, and it uses dip switches, but well worth it. I'm not sure where O2 emulation is.
The Odyssey 2 also had wonderful box and manual artwork. Check out titles like Showdown in 2100 AD for instance. One of my favorite games is War of Nerves, which does not have an Atari 2600 game like it, as far as I know. Something maybe some homebrew programmer could fix one day, to bring that game to a larger audience.
Given a choice though, I'd still pick the 2600 and its immense library over the O2, even with my nostalgia bias. As my friend Matmico pointed out, its sad how wrong it went for Atari. That a system launched for the holidays in 1977 (the exact release date is a conversation) was still responsible for the 1983 US Crash a full six years later is remarkable. Its footprint on gaming history is huge, but its legacy is still mostly a positive one.