The Best Video Games of the 1970's
Although the 70's wasn't known for its wide range of consoles, it is definitely considered the time that the industry became mainstream. It was a time when consoles went from the more archaic design of transistor logic (first generation consoles), to using microprocessor architecture (2nd generation). To you and me this meant consoles went from having games physically built into the hardware to having the ability to change games via ROM cartridge/cassette. This is all very boring and nerdy though I hear you say... so lets get on with looking at what were considered the best video games of the 1970's:
Just look at it. Laughable by today's standards and yet a thing of pure beauty in what it accomplished.
Pong was one of the earliest arcade games to be mass produced and introduced the world to what was possible with the technology of the time. The unit itself was a straight forward game of ping pong with a simple rotating knob to control the 'paddle' on the screen.
After the success of the arcade version of the game, Atari produced a version of its Pong game to connect to home TV's. After signing a contract with Sears Sporting Goods they fulfilled an order of 150,000 units during the Christmas period of 1975.
Video games had well and truly hit the mainstream market.
Produced by Coleco in 1976, Telstar produced a range of consoles (17 in all) which used a new General Instruments chip, which opened the door for allowing more games to be embedded in one console. These included tennis, hockey and handball.
The vast range of consoles almost caused Coleco to go bankrupt towards the end of the decade, but you have to admire its ambition.
Fairchild Channel F
A more complicated design than any of its competitor's, the Channel F was the first console to have a programmable ROM based cartridge system and boasted a catalogue of 27 games. The release of Fairchild's console forced Atari to up it's game and probably helped shape the release of one of the most memorable pieces of video gaming hardware of a generation...
Atari 2600 (Available in our shop now!)
Atari's flagship console of the time. Originally called the Atari VCS when it was released in 1977, the 2600 popularised the microprocessor as hardware of choice. The same can also be said for it's games releases being on ROM based cartridges (similar to the Fairchild Channel F).
Eventually boasting 136 games the Atari 2600 had some all time classics amongst its catalogue including Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Combat, Packman, Pitfall, Pole Position and Space Invaders.
Video games weren't all about playing at home back in the 70's. Back in a time when kid's were actually allowed to leave the house they would head down to the local arcades to spend all their hard earned pocket money on arcade games. Here's a quick look at some of the more popular machines that you might have found bell-bottomed youths gathered round in the 1970's: