Video Pinball

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Video Pinball
Developer Harold Lee[1]
Manufacturer Atari, Inc.
Type Dedicated console
Release date
Display Horizontal orientation, Raster, medium resolution
Predecessor Atari Stunt Cycle
Successor Atari 2600

Video Pinball is a Single-player dedicated video game console released in 1977 as an Atari, Inc. Bumper controllers on the sides or a dial on the front are used to control the games depending on the game selected. There are three game types: Pinball, Basketball, and Breakout.

The console is based on the single chip 011500-11/C011512-05 ("Pong-on-a-chip") produced by Atari.[2][3]


Video Pinball allows 7 games—4 pinball variations, a basketball game, and two versions of Breakout (Breakout and a variant called Break Away) -- for one to two players. The unit provides digital on-screen scoring, automatic serves, and color graphics.[4]:26 Video Pinball uses a micro-controller and a small amount of RAM rather than the "Pong on a chip" IC's that had been used in the slew of pong machines Atari Inc. had been releasing. Pinball was played primarily with the side bumper buttons, and Breakout and Basketball with the dial and top buttons.


There were three different versions of Video Pinball over its lifetime. Atari released both woodgrain and cream colored versions as "Atari Video Pinball". An OEM version whose name was changed to "Pinball Breakaway" was also produced by Sears under the Sears' Tele-Games label.[5]

Later white version
Sears Pinball Breakaway


  1. ^ Page 149, Atari Inc: Business is Fun, By Marty Goldberg, Curt Vendel, Publisher: Syzygy Press, 2012, ISBN 0985597402, 9780985597405, ...Atari's solution came by way of a former Standard Microsystems employee named Harold Lee who had joined Atari in late 1973...he began to sketch out the circuits for what would eventually become PONG-on-a-chip, codenamed Darlene.
  2. ^ Winter, David (2013). "David Winter's Pong Rarity List and Price Guide". Retrieved 2013-10-05.
  3. ^ Page 154, Atari Inc: Business is Fun, By Marty Goldberg, Curt Vendel, Publisher: Syzygy Press, 2012, ISBN 0985597402, 9780985597405
  4. ^ Kaplan, Deeny, ed. (Winter 1978). "The Video Games". Video (Buyer's Guide). Reese Communications. 1 (1): 17–30. ISSN 0147-8907.
  5. ^ Winter, David. "Atari PONG: The Home Systems". 2013.