Atari’s Pong is now half a century old

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Happy birthday, Pong, and thank you for inspiring countless sequels and knockoffs, as well as the careers of an entire generation of video game designers. Exactly 50 years ago today, Atari released Pong. It wasn’t the first video game ever created, nor the original take on virtual table tennis – a fact that would eventually lead to two decades of lawsuits. But in Pong, the early video game industry was born. Released in 1972, Atari sold more than 8,000 Pong arcade cabinets. A few years later, the home version of Pong would become an instant success, with Sears selling about 150,000 units of the console you needed to play the game.

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