What Was Your First Video Game Console?

Given the theme of my latest After Effects tutorial (1980’s retro video game) I thought I’d explore this a bit.

Growing up, many of us had video game consoles of one kind or another. Most of the people I grew up with, started with an Atari 2600, or, if they were late to the game, maybe an Intellivision or ColicoVision.

We started a little early, with the Atari Video Pinball System Dedicated Home Console.

It had 7 Games, all of which looked like Pong – But In color. Woo  hoo! I remember spending hours hitting a square ball with a rectangle. It might have been breakout. Or basketball. I don’t know…

You would think that with such an early start in video games, we were always at the height of video game technology – but, in fact, we always just seemed to miss the real revolution by buying too early. Our next machine was an actual computer that could be programmed but could also play games. No – not the Commodore 64, which had a ton of awesome games, but the Atari 800:

I remember loading games via tape to this streamlined beautiful thing. Talk about instant gratification, it took like 20 minutes to load a game (the computer had to listen to sounds coming from the tape, and the code was in those sounds) but it sure was(n’t) worth it. Eventually there was a disck drive somewhere in the mix.

Also, unlike your sad, pathetic (and by “pathetic” I mean fun) Commodore 64, the Atari 800 could load cool and useful stuff like this:

Screw you C-64. My robot is coming to bash your skull in (as soon as it actually learns how to bend its limbs).

8 thoughts on “What Was Your First Video Game Console?”

  1. I owe my understanding of programming to my Commodore Vic 20. I had one game: Omega Race. We had no tape drive or diskette, so everything had to be programmed, and all was lost when it was shut off.

    And yeah, I was one of those “Atari 2600” kids. Favorite games were Pitfall II and H.E.R.O.

  2. My first was an Intellevision in 1980/1982 , lost of casio and game &watch pocket video games, in 1983 an Atari 2600, in 1985 my fist computer/game was an MSX console, in 1989 i bought a generic nintendo console and thats all my game experience till the moment, no ps, ps2 ps3 or xbox.

  3. The Atari 800 was my first system. We didn’t have the tape drive, though – we had a 5.25 floppy drive and dozens of disks. Loved H.E.R.O, Jumpman, Lode Runner, Miner 2049’er, M.U.L.E (still the greatest game of all time!)…. Great times!! I also used it to write my first screenplay, using AtariWrite.

  4. My first was Atari 2600 but not mine. It was my cousin who own.
    At that time me and my brother always wanted to have one. We own a NES (nintendo entertainment system) several years after 1990. I played ps and ps2 a little bit but right now my main interest is pc game.

  5. This is a great idea for an article! I love reading all of the responses. I am now 34 years old so when I grew up a lot of the kids had Atari’s but I was not a huge fan of that so I went out on my own as a rebel child and got myself a Coleco Vision. Ahh Yeah. I loved that game console. I also had the special joystick that you could use to play Rocky 3 and a baseball game. My favorite games on the console were Q Bert and a game called Venture. I am not sure if any of you even remember that game?? A long time has passed since I had my Coleco Vision but I still hold a special place for it in my heart. I now work for the VFX industry for movies and commercials. I would like to think it all started with that Coleco Vision. Please check out my VFX blog and feel free to comment about my articles or just talk to me about old school video games if you would like.
    Boogie Studio

    Thanks!

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