Business 1974: Industry: Space Age Pinball, Atari's PONG

Space-Age Pinball

In the make-believe world of the penny arcade, pinball was once a game without peer. But pinball, alas, lost some of its cachet in high-speed modern life—until 18 months ago when there appeared a new breed of coin-operated games that use sophisticated electronic technology to simulate everything from playing table tennis to driving a race car. Besides giving birth to a nationwide fad, the games have also revived the sagging coin-game industry, boosting its revenues and ushering in a new era of cutthroat competition.

Typical of the new games is Pong, a popular version of electronic table tennis manufactured by...

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