• 1977

Hardware Description

The Video Pinball brand is a series of first-generation single-player dedicated home video game consoles manufactured, released and marketed by Atari, Inc. starting in 1977. Bumper controllers on the sides or a dial on the front are used to control the games depending on the game selected. There are three game types in the first model of the Video Pinball series: Pinball, Basketball, and Breakout. The first model is based on the single chip 011500-11/C011512-05 ("Pong-on-a-chip") produced by Atari. Video Pinball allows 7 games—4 pinball variations, a basketball game, and two versions of Breakout (Breakout and a variant called Break Away) -- for one to two players. The unit provides digital on-screen scoring, automatic serves, and color graphics.[4]:26 Video Pinball uses a micro-controller and a small amount of RAM rather than the "Pong on a chip" IC's that had been used in the slew of pong machines Atari Inc. had been releasing. Pinball was played primarily with the side bumper buttons, and Breakout and Basketball with the dial and top buttons.