Atari is a corporate and product with different names -makers in the field of consumer electronics and computer games.

The first bearer of this name, the U.S. consumer electronics company Atari, Inc., was founded on June 27, 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney and is considered a technological nucleus and forerunner of many developments in the communications industry at the present time. Early to mid- 1980s increased the now internationally operating companies to the largest developer and manufacturer of video games for arcade machines, home video game systems (eg Atari VCS 2600) and home computers on.

After the economic collapse of the North American video game industry, Atari now acquired by Warner Communications, Inc. was in 1984 split into the areas of arcade games and consumer electronics. The arcade division was continued separately under the name Atari Games, Inc. Warner and existed under this name and with different owners until 1998 on. The consumer electronics division was sold by Warner contrast to Commodore founder Jack Tramiel. The new Atari Corporation shifted the focus of the products by the introduction of the ST series computers successfully to the home user area. However, from the early 1990s the company suffered dramatic sales and profit slumps; 1996, the last remaining divisions were dissolved and the company merged with the hard drive manufacturer JT Storage.

In 1998, Hasbro trademark of the Atari Corporation of JT Storage and confined himself under the label Atari Interactive exclusively to the development of computer games. 2001 Hasbro Interactive was handed over to the French company Infogrames together Atari Interactive and the Atari trademark rights. As of 2003, published this his computer games be renamed subsidiary Atari, Inc. (formerly Warner ), operating since 2009, even under the name Atari SA. In January 2013, the company has filed for bankruptcy for his business in the United States.

  • 2.1 Stationary consoles
  • 2.2 Portable video game consoles
  • 2.3 Concept studies at the prototype stage
  • 3.1 MOS 6502 CPU ( 8- bit systems)
  • 3.2 With the Motorola 680X0 CPU ( 32- bit systems) 3.2.1 68000
  • 3.2.2 Other Processors
  • 5.1 Online Museums and Archives
  • 5.2 forums and portals

History as Atari's company name

Atari, Inc. (1972-1984)

The Early Years

In 1972, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in California, the company Atari. The term "Atari " was it borrowed from the vocabulary of Go; later, the logo was added in the form of the stylized Japanese Mount Fuji. The Bushnell originally planned company Syzygy was already in use.

Inspired by the popular among students mainframe game Spacewar! Bushnell and Dabney developed in the early 1970s, a slot game called Computer Space, where this project was not a commercial success due to the complicated control. The economic breakthrough came with a Pong machines and the home version in the form of a stationary device that can be connected to the TV. This Pong console marks the start of commercial Videospieleära.

1975 worked Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer later, short time for Atari. Under her leadership, improved Pong home console developed and Others ( with a minimum of transistors) and the video game Breakout. From 1976, the Atari developers working on the completion of the revolutionary video game system, code-named Stella (later known as Atari VCS 2600 marketed ). The lack of capital to cover the development costs resulted in selling Atari to Warner Communications in October 1976 for 28 million U.S. dollars.

Atari 2600 Joystick

Warner Communications and Atari

1978 Nolan Bushnell left Atari. Over the next two years, numerous studies on home computers and various video game consoles were made and partially brought corresponding prototypes to production. In 1979, the production and sale of the first Atari home computers as well as the Atari VCS 2600 video game console, which soon developed into top sellers. In this period also created the first arcade machines with screen vector ( Lunar Lander, 1979) and Battlezone (1980 ) an entirely new game genre: the so-called first-person shooter.

1980 broke up because of disagreements with management, programmers David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead of Atari, to found Activision on April 25, 1980. In 1981 also the lead developer of the home computer department Jay Miner Atari back and founded the company Amiga to pursue their own projects whose realization seemed to him impossible under the auspices Ataris.

A stock market scandal in December 1982 forced Raymond Kassar, on July 7, 1983 to abandon the management. Under the leadership of his successor, James Morgan collaboration with Jay Miner and whose company Amiga was reinforced to the joint conception of the so-called Lorraine project, one on the Motorola 68000 CPU based home computer system. This should expand the XL series is a new 16 -bit model. The contract between the two companies saw a delivery of the chipset Lorraine before the end of June 1984. In July 1984, Warner Communications sold the console and computer division of Atari to Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore the dismissed. Tramiel tried with his company " Tramel Technologies Ltd.. " Amiga to buy final since March. Commodore ( under Irving Gould ) offered shortly before the end of the 24 - hour deadline to almost the double of Tramiel and was awarded the contract. The Lorraine project was after the company Commodore had won the majority of shares in the company Amiga, Amiga in first, then renamed with the appearance of another, more compatible models in Amiga 1000.

Following good corporate successes in the video games market, it soon came to the first serious crisis - 1983 Atari made ​​an operating loss of 536 million U.S. dollars. Then sought Warner Communications loss-making enterprises sections Ataris repel and found on July 2, 1984 at the recently been dismissed in Commodore Jack Tramiel a buyer for the ailing home computer division.

Atari Games (1984-2003)

The arcade machines department remained at Warner Communications (from 1990: Time Warner ), but now under the name Atari Games Corp.. This still operated until 1998 under that name and existed after renaming in Midway Games West until 2001, 2003, the Company was finally dissolved.

Atari Corporation (1984-1996)

The Tramiel era

Under Jack Tramiel aegis was from Shiraz Shivji, which Tramiel was followed by Commodore Atari, which brought Atari ST in just five months to prototype maturity and in January 1985 at the Consumer Electronics Show ( CES) in Las Vegas as the Atari 130ST and 520ST the public presented. In April already made the production and delivery of the first 520ST computer in larger numbers. The 520ST should enjoy in the coming years, mainly due to a built-in MIDI interface, particularly in the field of professional music production very popular. By 1993, the product range to include some ST models and operating system versions (TOS) has been extended in order to meet also other requirements of the home computer market, such as the possibility of working on your home TV can.

From the 1990s Atari lost due to lack of quality workmanship and controversial company policy decisions under Tramiel crucial market shares to the vendors of personal computers. This led, for example, after the CeBIT 1992 in Germany Atari subsidiary to a large wave of layoffs and shortly thereafter to withdraw also from other European countries to the Netherlands, where the distribution was maintained mainly to Eastern Europe.

Merger with JTS: The End

In November 1993, Atari Corp. launched. to the video game console Jaguar another product offensive in the video games segment. The sales figures remained far below expectations and the development costs and compensated the financial reserves to. In January 1996, the Atari Corp. was. the establishment of the subsidiary known Atari Interactive, which should be responsible for the development of computer games for PC. But already a month later signed Atari Corp.. a merger agreement with the hard drive manufacturer JTS, Inc. ( the hostel Tandon Storage) and rang so a the end of the video game manufacturer. Atari stopped its business activities, 80 % of employees were laid off. After approval by the shareholders, the Atari Corp. merged. and JTS, Inc. on July 30, 1996 JTS Corp.. The new company was led by guide people the JTS, Inc. and harbored no intentions to continue the games business. The main reason for the merger was assumed that JTS, Inc. tried to go on this way to the cash reserves Ataris.

Atari Jaguar

Atari Interactive: Reviving the brand under Hasbro (1998-2001)

After all JTS under development departments of Atari Corp.. had been closed, the Atari product portfolio and brand rights were gradually sold. For five million U.S. dollars, the remaining rights to Atari's software, hardware, and the Atari brand went on 23 February 1998 itself by the financially ailing JTS Corp.. to the HIAC XI Corp.. over, a 100 % subsidiary of the gaming software manufacturer Hasbro Interactive, which in turn was part of the Games Group Hasbro. JTS filed for bankruptcy on December 4, 1998 Bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy law, the liquidation of the company was on 29 January 1999 arranged for Chapter 7 court order. Hasbro Interactive released after the rights acquisition under the name Atari Interactive former Atari games like Pong or Centipede for Windows PC and Sony PlayStation.

In January 2001, the French computer game manufacturer Infogrames took over for 100 million U.S. dollars Hasbro's entire computer game division, including Hasbro Interactive, Microprose and Atari Interactive, which still held the trademark rights to Atari. As of November 2001, finally took advantage of Infogrames the brand name of its new subsidiary for increasing the company's own activities.

Atari, Inc. and Atari SA: A globally operating publisher (since 2003)

The acquired from Hasbro Hasbro Interactive Development departments named were eventually renamed after brief renamed to Infogrames Interactive in Atari Interactive. In addition, the previously belonging to Infogrames American publishing subsidiary Infogrames used, Inc. ( formerly Warner ) the name as a label for their product releases before they finally renamed itself to Atari Inc. as of the second quarter of 2003. Infogrames games division in Europe changed its name in the same train since then as Atari Europe, the British establishment as Atari UK. Similarly, the company proceeded with other business units, but all under the direction of the holding company called Infogrames SA remained. The business activities were confined exclusively to the manufacture and distribution of gaming software. Only in 2005 bound the new Atari with the retro game console Atari Flashback again to its hardware tradition.

In early April 2007, the company responded to declining revenues and said around 20 % of employees to terminate the contract.

In November 2007, Atari announced United States to limit its sales to North America, which jobs are to be saved in the United States. Atari Europe is at this time financially well as to very good.

Atari attempted legal action against reports in online media.

In May 2009 it was announced that Atari finally withdraws from Europe to enhanced, in particular to concentrate only on the online world, and here the North American market. This was accompanied by the gradual takeover of the distribution line of business Atari Europe by the Japanese publisher Namco Bandai Games, the new name took advantage of the facilities for the distribution and marketing of our own games in Europe. Also in 2009, renamed the holding company Infogrames SA Atari S. A. order.

Despite the restructuring of the company profile, the Atari 's Eden Games studio in mid-May 2012, closed with immediate effect.

On 21 January 2013, the U.S. division of Atari Inc. filed for bankruptcy.

Video game consoles

Stationary consoles

  • Home Pong ( 1975)
  • Super Pong ( 1977)
  • (Designated 1977 as the Atari VCS) Atari 2600
  • Atari 2800 (1982, Japanese version of the 2600, in North America as " Sears Video Arcade II" sold)
  • Atari 5200 (1982)
  • Atari 7800 (1986)
  • Atari XE Game System ( November 1987)
  • Atari Jaguar (1993 )
  • Atari Flashback ( 2005)
  • Atari Flashback II ( 2005)

Portable video game consoles

  • Touch Me (1978 )
  • Super Breakout ( 1980)
  • Space Invaders (1980 )
  • Atari Lynx (1989 )

Concept studies at the prototype stage

  • Atari 2000 " Val " (1981)
  • Atari 2200 " Bonnie " (1983) - 1986 as Atari 2600jr. published
  • Atari 2500 (1981)
  • Atari 2700 "RC Stella " (1982)
  • Atari 3000 " Graduate Computer" ( 1983)
  • Atari 3200 "Video System X" ( 1982) - published in 1982 as the Atari 5200
  • Atari 3600 " Maria " (1983) - 1986 appeared as Atari 7800
  • Atari Panther ( 1991)
  • Atari JagDuo (1995 )
  • Atari Jaguar 2 (1996 )

Home computer

With the MOS 6502 CPU ( 8- bit systems)

  • Atari 400 and Atari 800 (29 August 1979)
  • Atari 1200 XL ( 1982/1983 ) was only for a year and sold only in the U.S.
  • Atari 600 XL, Atari 800 XL ( September 1983)
  • Atari 65 XE, XE 800 and XE 130 ( April 1985)

With Motorola 680X0 CPU ( 32- bit systems)


  • Atari 260 ST, STD, STFM ( June 1985)
  • Atari 520 ST, ST , STM, STF, STFM ( 1985/1986 )
  • Atari 1040 STF, STFM (1986 )
  • Atari ST Mega 1, 2 and 4 (1987)
  • Atari 1040 STE 520 STE STE 4160 (1989 )
  • Atari Stacy (1989, portable device )
  • Atari MegaSTE (1991 )
  • Atari ST Book ( sold in 1992, portable device in small numbers - about 1000 units)

Other processors

  • ATW 800 (1988, Atari Transputer Workstation)
  • Atari TT ( 1990)
  • Atari Falcon 030 (1992)

PC / IBM -compatible devices

From 1987 to 1991 Atari also produced IBM - compatible PCs.

  • PC1, PC2, PC3, PC4, PC5
  • ABC 286/30, ABC II 386SX, 386DX II ABC, ABC N386SX
  • Atari Portfolio (1989, portable device )