Atari Marks Pong’s 40th Birthday with Custom Xbox 360

The American video game company decided to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of the most popular games in the world by offering a custom Xbox 360 console.

In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past 50 years or so, I’m going to bring you up to date with the Pong game. As its name implies, the game is a simplistic simulation of table tennis with two-dimensional graphics. Despite not being the first arcade game ever, Pong is still among the earliest. More than that, it is one of the first arcade games to gain mainstream popularity. When Allan Alcorn designed and built Pong, the first arcade game developed by Atari, back in 1972, he surely had not idea that his creation would become famous all over the world. According to his previous statements, he built Pong as a training exercise.

The custom Xbox console that was built to mark the 40th birthday of this game was offered as a prize for a contest held on Facebook at the beginning of the month. The console comes with an LCD screen and has been designed in such a way that it resembles Atari 2600, the 1977 gaming console made by the video game company.

Giancarlo Mori, EVP Product Development, Atari, declared the following, in regard to the recent launch of the PONG World game on the iOS platform: “We were impressed with the creativity and original vision of indie developers in the PONG contest, and the grand prize winner receives full honors as the marquee release for the title’s 40 year anniversary. Pong World is an excellent tribute to one of our company’s legacy titles, giving players a fresh new look and the classic gameplay they know and love. Pong World introduces a new generation to the classic game of PONG with a dazzling unique twist and colorful new look.”

Of course, Pong World comes with an increased degree of customization, something that would have been hard to implement back in 1972. They players can choose between different paddles, play in different worlds and even unlock in-game achievements. I am rather sure that these features will make Pong World very appealing to the new generation.

I wonder if other game manufacturers will ever celebrate the birthday of their games in such a pompous way. That is, if the companies that used to make games a few decades ago are not already defunct. Atari is one of the survivors, deservedly so.

If you liked this post, please check this custom gAtari 2600 and the iPad Atari 2600 mod.