Tele-Games Pong Sports IV

Made by Atari for Sears-Roebuck and Co.

As early as 1974, Atari started to design a home version of PONG, originally proposed by Harold Lee in 1973. The system was designed by three engineers: Harold Lee, Alan Alcorn and Bob Brown. Because Magnavox Odyssey was already being left behind by customers (mostly due to their lack of satisfaction, and also the negative rumor that it would only work with a Magnavox TV set), sellers were not attracted by Atari's PONG game until Sears started selling the system under their Tele-Games label for Christmas 1975. Following this huge success, Atari released its own version of PONG in 1976. The system had an important feature that most others didn't have in 1975: the use of a single chip that provided games with digital on-screen scoring and attractive sound. As a matter of fact, other systems were still using analog or digital circuits using discrete components. Digital on-screen scoring would have required more components in the circuits, hence an increase of the retail price. Because Atari designed a special PONG chip, the system could sell at normal price with advanced features.

In 1975, Atari was rejected by toys and electronics manufacturers and most other PONG systems didn't sell much. One of Atari's directors decided to contact Tom Quinn, who worked at Sears/Roebuck. After several meetings with Bushnell, Sears ordered 150,000 PONG systems for Christmas. Assembled by Atari, the system sold under the Sears Tele-Games label. Some people still remember Christmas 1975 when they were going to the shops early in the morning and wait several hours to sign a list allowing them to receive a PONG system.

There are 16 games for two to four players and games include:

PONG
SUPER PONG
MAXI PONG
TEAM PONG
HOCKEY
SUPER HOCKEY
MAXI HOCKEY
TEAM HOCKEY
STREET TENNIS SUPER
STREET TENNIS
MAXI STREET TENNIS
TEAM STREET TENNIS
STREET HOCKEY
SUPER STREET HOCKEY
MAXI STREET HOCKEY
TEAM STREET HOCKEY

Our Tele-Games Pong Sports IV has a model number of 637.99708 and a serial number of 61171R. It is in excellent condition and is complete with the oiriginal packaging.

Manufacturer: Atari
Date: 1975

Magazines RELATED to Tele-Games Pong Sports IV in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Personal Computer World - June 1985 1 Jun 1985
Personal Computer World - January 1991 Jan 1991
Personal Computer World - August 1993 1 Aug 1993
Personal Computer World - November 1993 1 Nov 1993
Personal Computer World - September 1995 1 Sep 1995
Edge - Issue 168 - November 2006 Future Publishing Nov 2006
SNES - The Complete Manual Retro Gamer 2016

Other Systems Related To Tele-Games Pong Sports IV:

Item Manufacturer Date
Atari 400 with Aftermarket Keyboard Atari November 1979
Atari 800 Atari November 1979
Atari 400 Atari November 1979
Atari 1200XL Atari 1982
Atari 800XL Atari 1983
Atari 600XL Atari June 1983
Atari 520 STFM Atari 1985
Atari 65XE Atari 1985
Atari 520ST (boxed) + External hard drive + software Atari 1985
Atari 520 STM Atari 1st January 1985
Atari 1040 STE Atari 1986
Atari 520 STM Atari 12th September 1986
Atari Mega ST 2 Atari 1987
Atari ST Mega 1040 Tower Power Atari 1988
Atari 1040STFM Atari 1989
Atari 520 STE Atari 1989
Atari 1040STF Atari 1989
Atari Portfolio Atari 1989
Atari Stacy 2 Atari 9th December 1989
Atari TT030 Atari 1990
Atari Falcon Atari 1990
Atari Mega 4 Atari 1990
Atari Mega/STE Atari 1991

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH20733. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 
Tele-Games Pong Sports IV


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