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Events[edit]

  • On May 24, Magnavox unveils the Odyssey, the first video game console, at a Burlingame, California convention. Nutting Associates, manufacturer of Computer Space, sends Nolan Bushnell to observe the launch. Bushnell reports back that he found the device underwhelming, and expresses no concern over the competition.
  • Following the poor sales of Computer Space, Nolan Bushnell leaves Nutting Associates to move his coin-op engineering and design firm with Ted Dabney in to a full fledged company. When officially incorporating, Bushnell discovers that a roofing company had already been using their name (Syzygy). In its place, the new corporation is named "Atari" on June 27. After test-marketting the game, Atari officially ships its first mass-produced version of Pong in November.
  • Later that year, Magnavox files suit against Atari over Pong, claiming that Atari founder Nolan Bushnell appropriated the concept from Tennis, one of the games available for the Odyssey, after having witnessed it at the Odyssey's unveiling. Before the court could find against Atari, Nolan and company agree to license the game from Magnavox and Sanders for a one time fee of $700,000.

Notable releases[edit]

  • Magnavox begins to sell the Odyssey through its retail stores.
  • Atari releases its first arcade game, Al Alcorn's Pong. The only instruction reads AVOID MISSING BALL FOR HIGH SCORE.
  • Gregory Yob programs Hunt the Wumpus, an early progenitor of the interactive fiction genre, in BASIC for mainframe computers.
  • Don Daglow programs a Star Trek script game on a PDP-10 mainframe computer at Pomona College.
  • Civilization (not related to Sid Meier's Civilization games) written on the HP2000 minicomputer at Evergreen State College. A rewrite of this game would come be to known as Empire Classic.

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Pages in category "1972"

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