Atari Advert - June 1982
From Sales Brochure
The Atari Video Computer System from Ingersoll
Another advert for the Granddaddy of the modern video game comes in the form of a gate-fold brochure containing a colourful list of 40 or so game cartridges. Although in appearance just a games console, the Atari 2600 "Woody" contained a cut-down version of MOS (eventually Commodore's) 6502 processor - the 6507, and a video chip - the Television Interface Adapter (or TIA) designed by Jay Miner, who ended up in a company called Hi-Toro, which became Amiga and which was bought by Commodore. The early computer industry was nothing if not incestuous. The advert also features the cartoon character "Captain Atari", from whom subscribers to the Owners' Club could expect to receive "bulletins packed with news".
By August 1983 (further proof that it was still selling), the 2600's advertised cost in the UK had come down to £69.99 (£230 in 2019) - a reduction of £20 off the previous price. This was a bundle offer which included a Pacman cartridge (mentioned in this June 1982 advert as a "soon to be released title"), which by itself cost £29.99 (£100 in 2019). Also by virtue of the fact that its 7-pin joystick socket had become something of a standard on computers like the VIC-20, C64 and Atari's own 400 and 800, it was still possible to get new joysticks compatibile with it even by the end of 1983, such as the Triga Command distributed by Datel Electronics, available for the VCS at £14.49 - about £50 in 2019.
Active development of the 2600 continued through unti at least 1984, when Atari was working on its Graduate keyboard which would have upgraded the 2600 in to a full computer. However, the project was canned, with Atari's marketing director Eric Salamon saying that the Graduate keyboard "hasn't been introduced because we couldn't get the quality for the price we would have to charge to make the keyboard worth buying". Atari couldn't get a big-enough software base and didn't want to be lumbered with an un-supported small-memory machine. The 2600 itself wasn't officially discontinued until 1992 - an almost unbelieveable stretch of 15 years for a machine with a 1975 processor.
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