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Comparing top selling Atari 2600 games to 3ds and Wii U


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The list of best-selling games has been released for the Wii U and 3DS. Compare that to the top selling Atari 2600 games. As huge as the Atari 2600 was it would be a total failure in todays World. Look at those Wii U numbers. This list does not include pack in numbers or returns. I question the Atari 2600 numbers since Yars Revenge seems to be missing. Should be in the top 5.


Pokemon X/Y — 16.06 million
Mario Kart 7 — 14.82 million
Pokemon Sun/Moon — 14.69 million
Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire — 13.68 million
Super Mario 3D Land — 11.17 million
New Super Mario Bros. 2 — 11.09 million
Animal Crossing: New Leaf — 10.45 million
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS — 8.59 million
Tomodachi Life — 5.58 million
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon — 5.2 million

Wii U

Mario Kart 8 — 8.26 million
New Super Mario Bros. U — 5.62 million
Super Mario 3D World — 5.47 million
NintendoLand — 5.16 million
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U — 5.16 million
Splatoon — 4.76 million
Super Mario Maker — 3.89 million
New Super Luigi U — 2.89 million
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD — 2.11 million
Mario Party 10 — 2.04 million

Atari 2600

Pac-Man - 7.81 million
Pitfall! - 4.5 million
Missle Command - 2.76 million
Space Invaders - 2.53 million
Frogger - 2.20 million
Demon Attack - 2.13 million
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial - 1.97 million
Ms. Pac-Man - 1.65 million
River Raid - 1.60 million
Mario Bros. - 1.59 million
Donkey Kong - 1.46 million
Centipede - 1.36 million
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns - 1.31 million
Adventure - 1.30 million
Atlantis - 1.27 million
Combat - 1.25 million
Pole Position - 1.18 million
Kaboom! - 1.15 million

Edited by neotokeo2001
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People often forget that when Atari was king, videogames were still new. When Pac-Man came out no one had ever seen anything like Pac-Man before. Space Invaders was fresh and exciting. And just when we thought we had seen it all, Pitfall! One could say that if the Wii and 3ds had been released in 1979 those games would have failed - no one on the planet could have understood what they were.

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The US alone has 50% more people now than it did in 1980 (can you believe that?), so the "inflation-adjusted" sales numbers for the 2600 would have about 50% added on. So 7.81 million in 1980 becomes 11.71 million today. That would put the top-selling 2600 game in the 5th spot of the 3DS list. That's not too shabby considering how much more ubiquitous gaming supposedly is now compared to 1980.


Let's not forget also that the 2600 was a lot more expensive than the 3DS when adjusted for inflation. It launched at $199, which is $786 now. It dropped in price over time like any console, but at it's lowest point ($50) at the tail end of its lifespan, it was still about $115 in today's dollars.


So I think its sales are actually pretty impressive, considering it was new technology at first, it was expensive, and there were a lot fewer people in the country at that time.

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The best selling Atari 2600 cartridges can be found everywhere if you look. Does that mean in the future we will be buried in 3ds carts? It's funny that the most common 3ds games are the ones that have high re-sell value.

Someone will be, but I think the likelihood of finding a box of well-loved video games at a yard sale has gone down a lot since Gamestop and Ebay hit the scene.



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