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History of Atari

established: 1972



Atari Inc. founded by Nolan Bushnell from a $250 investment.

Pong arcade game becomes a smash sensation.



Atari Inc. sold by Bushnell to Warner Inc. for $28 million.



It's time for the mighty VCS2600 Video Console System.



Atari releases their first 8 Bit Computers 400 and 800.



Atari Inc. posts record sales. $2 billion profits annually.

Atari occupies 80 offices in Sunnyvale, CA. Golden days of the VCS2600, the most popular video games System.

atari 5300




atari 1200

atari 2600

Atari vcs 5200 (5)
Atari 1200Xl (4)
Atari vcs 2600 (3)


Atari releases the 1200XL and the VCS5200.



Atari releases the new 8 Bit Home Series: the 600XL and 800XL.

Decline of video games and irresponsible spending by Atari Inc. results in record losses ($536 million, up to $2 million daily).



Warner divides Atari Inc. Home division (Atari Corp.) is sold to Jack Tramiel, Commodore founder.

Arcade division (Atari Games/Tengen) becomes its own company. The VCS 7800 is ready but not released.



Atari Corp. releases the first Atari ST home computer, the 520ST.

The 16Bit Home Computer era begins. (MC68000) The 800/65 XE and the 130XE, last 8 Bit series, are released.



The 1040ST is ready. The first Computer with 1MB for less than 1000$.



The Mega ST is released. Version with 1/2/4MB. Ideal for DTP Use. VCS 7800 is released.



The ATW800, Ataris Transputer Workstation is around.



The Atari 1040STE, a better version of the 1040 is released.

The Atari TT, Ataris first real 32Bit Computer is released. The Atari Portfolio, the FIRST MSDOS PALMTOP is released. The Atari Lynx, the world's FIRST COLOR hand-held video game system is released. Atari Stacy released.



Atari releases the Mega STE. There is also the ST Book.



Atari releases the Falcon, a real multimedia computer with DSP Chip.



Atari Games bought by Time-Warner, became Time-Warner Interactive.

Atari Corp. releases Atari Jaguar, the world's FIRST 64-BIT home video game system.



Time-Warner Interactive (Atari Games) sold to WMS.

Atari Corp. announces reverse merger with JTS Corporation.

Atari Corp. and JTS consummate deal on July 31 1996.

The Company is now known as JTS Corp.

In the end, they canceled their remaining hardware projects.

Amongst others the Jaguar game system, and were sitting on about $50,000,000 in cash (mostly from a successful lawsuit against Sega). They merged with a little disk-drive company called JTS which wanted their AMEX listing and the cash.
JTS/Atari, makes trailing-edge technology hard drives for laptops. Because their drives are 1/2" larger in diameter than the standard, they can be made much more cheaply but won't fit in a laptop that has been designed for the smaller drives.

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Footnotes & References