Atari 2600 Joystick
The Atari 2600 Joystick is the original joystick controller for the Atari 2600. It was created by Atari and released on 1977-09-11 along with the release of the console. It features a 4-directional joystick (8 directions are inferred) and a fire button. Although the joystick was made for the Atari 2600, Atari wisely made their Atari 8-bit home computer line compatible with them.
No doubt because the Atari 2600 was so popular, Commodore used the same pin configuration for their joysticks, so the Atari 2600 joystick works with the VIC-20, Commodore 64, and Amiga computers. You can also plug an Atari 2600 joystick into an MSX, Master System, Atari 7800, Atari ST, and Genesis, but it lacks the necessary number of buttons to play most games properly. Adapters were even made which allowed the Atari joystick to be used on the Apple II, IBM PC, and TRS-80 home computers.
Despite being woefully outdated now, the Atari 2600 joystick has become an iconic symbol for the early era of video gaming, and is even recognizable by many gamers who never used them.
The Atari bundle my parents bought from a garage sale had several joysticks. This was the very first video game joystick I ever got my hands onto, so I have a special affinity to it. I have played hundreds of hours of games using this joystick.
- Both models were particularly rugged. Many of them made in the late 1970s are still working today.
- With only a single button, it just wasn't possible for game developers to make any complicated user interactions with their games.
- The joystick wasn't very comfortable to hold for a prolonged period of time, and it was especially uncomfortable for left-handed gamers.
- The rubber sheath could be pulled off without too much force. The CX40 model was a bit harder to remove, but, once it was, it could only be put back in place by unscrewing the base.
- Both models had some mechanical flaws that caused them to fail over time.
- youtube.com/watch?v=OhoggQ5XYZQ - Comparison between the CX10 and CX40.