Atari celebrates 40 years of Pong with iOS game, Xbox 360 mod

By on November 30, 2012, 11:00 AM

Pong, the famed table-tennis arcade game whose mainstream success spawned a burgeoning video game industry celebrated its 40th anniversary yesterday. To commemorate the occasion, Atari released Pong World for iOS, and is offering a chance for its Facebook fans to win a pretty neat Atari 2600-skinned Xbox 360 (pictured right), complete with an attached LCD screen.

To enter the contest you'll need to complete an Atari-themed puzzle on one of four participating gaming sites and fill out an entry form on Facebook. Winners will be announced December 4.

The new iOS game being released today is the result of Atari's "Pong Indie Developer Challenge," which pitted developers against each other for a $50,000 prize, and is available free for the iPhone and iPad. Developed by zGames, the game offers a new take on the classic game, with four different environments, new game modes, and features like power ups and "paddle creatures".

Pong was Atari's first consumer product available initially in the form of six-feet tall arcade units, placed in locations around Southern California. The game quickly grew in popularity, with people lining up outside bars before opening hours for a chance to play. It wasn't until 1975 that the home version was released.

Check out BuzzFeed's Chris Stokel-Walker recount of the game's origins  and its meteoric rise for a trip down memory lane -- or a video game history lesson if you're not that old.




User Comments: 6

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

40 years, eh? I still have an original Pong TV console game that my family bought way back in the day.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

What was pong made with back then, assembly? lol

Nvm, looks like pong and c were in the same year...

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

What was pong made with back then, assembly? lol

Nvm, looks like pong and c were in the same year...

Nope it was just electronics no programming. That's why you can't find a rom from pong, it doesn't exist.

Guest said:

Pffffft

no android version..... I hope the left and "Original" mode

distantreality said:

Oh yay I am 1 day younger than pong that sure does't make me feel over the hill! sigh lol

Curt Vendel Curt Vendel said:

Actually PONG was "engineered" not programmed... these were the days of using gate level chips, simple on/off chips to generate video, audio and movement. No CPU, no "Intel inside" and no ROM chips or programming code...

If you really want to know the full story about Atari, how it started, how PONG was built, and how Atari once dominated the arcade and video game industries and was a contender in the home computer market, plus find out all about how Steve Jobs first job was at Atari as a tech, how Steve Wozniak, working at HP at the time, helped his friend by building Atari Breakout and much more, go to Amazon and search for Atari Inc Business is Fun, its the first in a series of books on Atari's history, this one covers Atari's creation from an idea in 1969 up to its smoldering demise by June 1984...

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