I haven't seen this commercial for Atari Pole Position since 1982 and I love it more than ever

I first discovered this ad in the early days of Youtube and have never forgotten it. The best commercial ever made, in my opinion.

(Sorry, Segata Sanshiro!)

I have an Atari 2600 (in my mom’s garage)

It’s a 5200: the 7800 is slightly smaller:


Here’s a picture of the PP carts for 2600, 5200. Also, PP2 for the 7800


Weird. I keep my Atari 2600 in my own house. Where it belongs.

I’ve nearly continuously had one since I was 8. Every time I sell/give it away, I regret it, but sooner or later, I find one for $5 or $10 at a garage sale. My current system was found two doors down in an old beer box marked “Nintendo” for $10.


They really captured the whole yuppie look of the time with the dad.

I kinda miss those 80s cartoon theme songs where the lyrics summarized the premise of the show for you. Like, okay, now that I know I’m caught up…

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This pissed off quite a few developers too. There are some games from the late 80s that were deliberately made with gender neutral characters, described with gender neutral “they” in the instructions. Everything was OK until the marketing people told them to make the sprites more masculine and to use male pronouns. Text adventures needed to be rewritten on a tight deadline.

The whole “video games are for boys” thing was entirely invented by marketing departments. Just another reason to hate that they exist.


The game takes place at Fuji Speedway in Japan while the ad (at least the racing portion) takes place in California at Laguna Seca racetrack. The corkscrew is unmistakable, as is the bridge over the track. It’s clear, even in the posterized video


Allegedly? The controller for the 5200 most certainly did suck. It was an analog stick that didn’t return to center when you released it. It had 4 fire buttons that were on the sides at the same end as the stick, so rapid fire was nearly impossible without cramps or contortions. They keypad was almost never used so that was a huge expense added to an already sub-par controller.
Long story short, the suck was real.
They even repeated some if the mistakes with the 7800 controller by putting the buttons on the sides at the end. They did fix the stck though.
Here’s a fun activity: try finding a working 5200 controller on eBay for a reasonable price.

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