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Pong
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Gaming Console
    (November 29, 1972-1977)
    Designed by Al Alcorn
    Bob Brown and Harold Lee (1975)
    First generation gaming console
    Nolan Bushnell stole the design of the game from Magnavox and was forced to pay $700,000 in licensing fees.
    They called it 'PONG' because 'ping-pong' was already trademarked.
    When it was first released, only Sears was willing to sell it.
    It was sold in the sporting goods section of Sears.
    Hordes of parents and early gamers waited in huge lines to get one for the 1975 Christmas season.
    In its heyday, it was more addictive than cigarettes.
    Atari released nine other PONG home consoles that were basically the same thing.
    Throughout the 1970s, its success encouraged others to make cheap knock-offs.
    Ever have to watch two people play each other?
    It was simplistic and caught on fast with the American public.
    Before released as a gaming console, it was an arcade game.
    The arcade version would frequently report jams in the machine from the sheer amount of quarters it took in.
    It was one of the few gaming systems that earned massive popularity with mainstream audiences from all segments of society.
    After the modest failure of the Magnavox Odyssey, this console restored the possibility of a profitable console market.
    It kept the score on screen and even made primitive beeping noises.
    It was the basis of a series of sketches written and voiced by Al Franken and Tom Davis on Saturday Night Live (1975).
    It was a 1970's sensation.

Credit: Captain Howdy


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