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Pong - Home Edition Prototype sells for $270k


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Unique 'Home Pong' prototype with hand-carved system/controller mockup

Original prototype of an Atari 'Home Pong' unit built with a finished Pong chip in a prototype circuit board in the base, measuring 20" x 9.5" x 8.25", featuring a hand-carved wooden mockup of the Pong system set upon the large black box. The system mock-up features two potentiometer paddle control knobs, a red 'start game' pushbutton, and a central metal grille for its built-in speaker. The general design cues seen here-from the three-part layout to the gently angled control panel surfaces-are reflected in the production models of 'Home Pong,' beginning with the Sears Tele-Games (1975) and subsequent Atari Pong Model C-100 (1976). The box, which has the electronics concealed inside, is powered by an AC adapter and has an on/off toggle switch on one side. This was the second of two Pong prototypes built by Atari that could be taken to show to potential customers: the chip fabrication had been set up and finalized, but the plastic cases were still in limbo. However, this 'black box' prototype offered an accurate idea of the look, feel, and function of the finished product.

Accompanied by a letter of provenance signed by Alcorn, discussing the initial success of the Pong arcade game and Atari's efforts to create a commercial, consumer version of the game-which hinged upon the production of a small, affordable chip to replace the expensive hard-wired PCBs of the arcade version. As it turned out, the fabrication of a functional chip was 'easy'-it was getting an injection molded plastic case for the system that was the main challenge in putting Pong in homes across America.



very pricey, but nice.




Edited by negative1
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