November 29, 1972 was a momentous day in the computer games industry. It was on this day that Atari released Pong, the first successful video game in the world. This is the same company where Steve Jobs had worked before he founded Apple. And Pong, well it went on to give birth to video game industry.
Atari may not have been the first company to enter this space, but it definitely made a mark on its audience. Looking back at the simplistic design of Pong, it’s hard to imagine how it went on to become the most popular addition to arcades and living rooms in the ‘70s. It took the concept of gaming social, making it fun to play among a group at home or in a bar, with an audience to cheer the players.
It was launched from the Silicon Valley headquarters of Atari with a basic black and white screen with a dotted line right down its middle. The paddles were depicted by stocky white lines, which could be moved around by the players. And the ball was represented by a moving white dot on the screen. In many ways, Atari did to the gaming industry what Apple and Microsoft did for PCs – gave them a mass appeal.