29 November 1972

Atari releases Pong, the first commercially successful video game

“Pong” is a classic arcade game that is considered one of the earliest video games. It was created by Atari and released in 1972. Pong is often regarded as the first commercially successful arcade video game, and it played a significant role in establishing the video game industry.

The game simulates table tennis or ping pong, where players control paddles on either side of the screen, with the objective of hitting a ball back and forth. The game is designed for two players, and each player uses a rotary controller or a joystick to move their paddle vertically.

The gameplay is straightforward: the ball moves horizontally across the screen, and players must use their paddles to hit the ball, preventing it from passing their side of the screen. If a player misses the ball, the opposing player scores a point. The game continues until one player reaches a predetermined score, typically 11 points.

Pong’s simplicity and intuitive gameplay contributed to its widespread popularity. The success of Pong helped establish Atari as a major player in the emerging video game industry. The game was so influential that it paved the way for the development and success of other arcade games and home gaming consoles.

Pong’s legacy extends beyond its initial release; it has become an iconic symbol of the early days of video gaming. The game has been reimagined and re-released on numerous platforms over the years, and its impact can still be seen in the design of modern video games. Pong is often remembered as a pioneering title that laid the foundation for the video game industry’s growth and development.