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1 Overview
2 A little history
3 A little history- 2
4 A little history- 3
5 A little history- 4
6 Renound games
7 Best retro game
8 Build your own



The big not so bang

The first commercial machine to hit the market was Nolan Bushnell's Computer Space. Encased in a cuvaceous fibre glass shell, it certainally looked the part and was even featured in a movie; Solent Green. The machine had four buttons. Thrust, fire and clockwise / counter-clockwise rotation. The object of the game was for the player's rocket ship to destroy the two enemy flying saucers more times than the flying saucers can destroy the rocket ship.

In total only 2300 manufactured units were sold.

New balls please

Sent back to the drawing board, Bushnell created a new game, based on simpler concept with simpler technology. Strangely the game, titled "Pong" went on to become one of the most popular games of its time. Based on the concept of tennis, players had keep the ball in play and knock it past the opponents bat by turning a knob on the front of the machine. Pong proved popular with many people, including for the first time a large complement of female gamers. The rest as they say, is history.

Home entertainment

It depends what you're after. Ebay is generally a good source and they also have a vintage section. Companies such as Arcade Warehouse specialise in sale and refurbishment of old (and new) arcade machines. If you're lucky you may have a high street shop similar to CEX who sell and trade old machines and games. Some rare games have been known to sell for hundreds of pounds to serious collectors.

Can I play old games on my computer?

Yes, though it depends what computer you have. The PC appears to have the most numerous crop of emulators, though emulators do exists for other platforms. Well known examples being MAME (Arcade Machines), Bleem (Playstation), UAE (Amiga), SpecEmu (Spectrum) and Frodo (C64). Emulators have been around for several years, so you may find one for your computer. Try searching on Google or browse popular sites such as


Left: Computer Space (1971)
Right: Pong (1972)

Atari VCS / 2600 (1977)
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