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Atari 2600 System (My Thoughts)

Atari 5200 Guy



Before I start going into details I need to be clear about what this post is about. This is not a journalistic review of the console nor am I going to repeat, or try not to repeat, the memories of this console as I have already done that. Nope. This is more about the what and how that wood-grain console has worked its way into my heart in a short amount of time. So...here we go.


As mentioned in the post I made called 2600 Memories I never gave the 2600 a fair chance. My first console was the 5200 which I thought blew the 2600 out of water at the time. Then the NES came along and I was blown away. The poor 2600 never caught my attention for long when I would find one. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the games I played it was the fact that they didn't hold my interest for very long. Of course, I've already mentioned that.


Since the arrival of a 4-switch Woody I have had a hard time not wanting to play the system. I've had a Junior model before I acquired the Woody model but it just didn't catch my interest as much for some reason. It wasn't the games. We all know the variations in the consoles is not going to change the games. But there is something about that 4-switch Woody that is appealing. From the insertion of the cartridge, plugging in the controller required for the game to be played, using those shinny chrome switches, to holding the joystick that only offered one fire button, there is a need to satisfy this video game crave. Sounds wild I know but that's the only way I know how to explain it.


The 2600 wood-grain design is distinctively associated with the "Atari" name. As is the letters V, C, and S and the number 2600. When you see the wood grain it's hard not to think of Atari, VCS or 2600 and vice versa. What has really captured me is the amount of good games that have made it to the 2600. Most of the games I never knew of simply because it was Nintendo's section or no video games at all for a while. I never knew the 2600 was still being produced for years after the NES became a hit. And even during the NES' popularity Atari was still making 2600 games that I would never hear of until long after Atari was sold off. Only one store in my hometown sold anything Atari and that's where I discovered the Junior model. But if you think about it, the Junior model was already no longer being produced by the time I found it so it might have been a store trying to help sell off some leftover stock for Atari. Who knows.


Since the arrival of the 4-switch Woody 2600 my interest in the console has grown so much that the 2600 has found a permanent home in the living room. Normally game systems get used for a bit and then put back in the bedroom on a shelf I have for storing consoles. The 2600 remains attached, plugged in, ready for use. Not a single day has went by where I didn't play a game on it even if it was at the end of the day. I am beginning to wonder if the 2600 has managed to surpass my feelings about the 5200 that has more sentimental value than the 2600 in any shape or form. I can not be certain just yet but I do know I am enjoying every game for the 2600 I have been blessed with.


My journey with the 2600, full-force, had only started about a year ago. I am discovering for the first time what this console was all about when it was top-dog. And I am liking everything about the system. The controller variations, arcade-style games, and a few days with Adventure really changed the way I thought about the 2600 years ago. This is a very capable, constantly able to change, piece of gaming hardware. It's no wonder why it has be crowned the king of all consoles. For me? It has become a number one favorite surpassing the NES and my beloved 5200. Since owning the 4-switch my 4-port 5200 has not been used hardly at all. I'm constantly wanting to see what other games are out there...although a bit too late in the game. Now I wish I would have held on to all the hardware, controllers, and games my Mother and I found decades ago. Oh well, live and learn.


I owe the Atari.IO members more thanks than I can ever give. Because of you guys I have been able to give the 2600 a much needed chance to show how much it could really entertain. So, thanks to StormSurge for the console and thanks to everyone here who has become my Atari family. The 2600 is truly a remarkable system. It just goes to show that graphics and sounds are not everything...it's all about the game play.


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