During the 1970's and up to the mid 1980's, Atari was the recognized leader in all area's of videogames. Starting out and establishing the Video Arcade industry, Atari set the stage for the 10 billion dollar industry with the release of PONG.
In later years Atari would enter the home with Home Pong and would ignite a fever never before seen with the release of its VCS (Video Computer System) and the release of a home version of Space Invaders for the VCS.
In Atari's early days, one of the video game designers and his rather odd friend worked many late nights on a new arcade game called "Breakout". While working on this new video game and playing other arcade games all through the night these two friends were busy on the side designing and building (from other Atari parts) a personal computer system. They approached Nolan Bushnell with their new creation to see if it would be a product that Atari would sell and support.
At the time Atari was concentrating on getting its new home version of Pong out the door and all resources were tied up, with no spare capital to devout to such a costly and risky product, Nolan Bushnell referred the two budding entrepreneurs to some venture capitalists to finance their new product. Who was this former Atari employee? None other then Steve Jobs. Who was his rather odd friend? Steve 'The Woz' Wozniak and their creation was the Apple Computer.'
In 1978 the team that had finished the Atari VCS was at work on a new high-end video game console chipset. Atari was now owned by Warner Communications since its sale in 1976 by its original owner/creator Nolan Bushnell for $28 million. Atari was now run by Raymond Kassar who wanted Atari to compete in the home computer market against Apple. The new high-end chipset was 'forzen' for use only in the newly created Atari Home Computer Division.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Atari price guide: sold listings for a value indication.