Pong: The game that was never meant to be

Pong pongwas the video game industry’s equivalent of the Big Bang. Without it, it’s impossible to know where – or if – things would be today.

That makes it all the more remarkable to hear that Pong was never meant to be seen by the public.

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Gaming’s oldest mystery may be solved in just over two weeks

For et-landfill-april-26more than 20 years, rumors have flourished: Buried in a New Mexico landfill are millions of unsold copies of E.T.: The Extraterrestrial for the Atari 2600.

Last year, a pair of documentary filmmakers claimed to have finally found the location. On April 26, they’ll start the search — and they’re inviting the general public to come watch.

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The Best — and Worst — Console Launches

The nintendo-nes-console-jpg_172646months leading up to a console launch are filled with talk of system specs and features. But the minute those consoles hit shelves, the focus shifts squarely to the games.

No matter how fancy its internal components and capabilities may be, the success or failure of a console ultimately comes down to its software. Historically speaking, launch lineups aren’t great – it takes a while for game makers to get the hang of new hardware – but some have been better than others. Much better, as it were.

The key ingredient in any launch lineup isn’t quantity, but quality. One system-selling game is worth more than 20 forgettable ports. As you debate whether the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 has the better initial lineup of games, take a look back at the five best and five worst day one lineups of past home consoles.

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Five incredibly valuable video game collectibles

Recently, video-game-treasure-8-13Irrational Games made waves by putting a limited number of BioShock Infinite replicas up for sale. Capcom did them one better by sending out a very limited number of working, gold-plated copies of the original Ducktales game to promote Ducktales: Remastered.

Suffice to say, video game collectors have taken notice.

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Thirty years after the big crash, video game industry facing similar circumstances

In video-game-crash-top6301983, video game companies were riding high. U.S. sales hit a peak of $3.2 billion (the equivalent of $7.3 billion today) and developers couldn’t make games quickly enough.

No one knew it at the time, but the industry was about to dive into a crisis that remains the most serious publishers, developers, and console makers have ever faced.

The crash that followed 1983 almost destroyed the video game industry, nearly relegating video games to the same cultural scrap heap as Pet Rocks and bell bottoms. It came about due to a confluence of events — some eerily similar to where the industry finds itself today.

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Infamous video game landfill faces excavation

One et-landfill-excavated-top630of gaming’s greatest mysteries might soon be uncovered.

You’ve likely heard the tale before: Millions of unsold copies of the disastrous ET: The Extraterrestrial game for the Atari 2600 lie buried in a New Mexico landfill. Despite a slew of believers and evidence supporting the story, doubters remain. But in the next few months, we’ll have the answer once and for all.

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Hacker ‘fixes’ E.T., the worst game ever

New et-game-hacker-top630Mexico residents might want to grab their shovels.

Those long buried copies of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the infamous Atari 2600 game that many believe contributed to the great North American video game industry crash of 1983, might be worth digging up thanks to a hacker who has seemingly fixed its biggest bugs.

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Pong turns 40

“Insert pong-40th-top630quarter. Avoid missing ball for high score.”

That was the extent of the instructions for Pong, the first video game blockbuster.

Pong wasn’t the very first video game, by any means (that honor arguably goes to 1947’s “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device”), but it was absolutely the first commercially successful one and remains of one the industry’s most iconic titles. Released on November 29th, 1972, it turns The Big Four-Oh today.

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