In 1974, Atari engineer Harold Lee proposed a home version of Pong that would connect to a television: Home Pong. The system began development under the codename Darlene, named after an attractive female employee at Atari.
On September 5th, 1975 the home version of Pong was released and sold exclusively by Sears. The cost was just under $100. That seemed like a lot of money back than for a video game and console, but it was a game that I played with my brother for hours.
The aim is to defeat an opponent – either computer-controlled or a second player – by earning a higher score.
Home Pong was an instant success following its limited 1975 release through Sears; around 150,000 units were sold that holiday season.
Home Pong was classified as a sports game, mimicking table tennis.
Other facts: The game was originally manufactured by Atari Incorporated (Atari), who released it in 1972 as a commercial version. Pong was created by Allan Alcorn as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the idea on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey, which later resulted in a lawsuit against Atari. Surprised by the quality of Alcorn’s work, Atari decided to manufacture the game.
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