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The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, is the first successful video game console to use plug-in cartridges instead of having one or more games built in. The first game console to use exchangeable plug-in cartridges was the Fairchild Channel F, and the RCA Studio II also predates the 2600. However, it was the Atari 2600 that made the plug-in concept popular among the game-playing public. Originally known as the Atari VCS—for Video Computer System—the machine's name was changed to "Atari 2600" (from the unit's Atari part number, CX2600) in 1982, after the release of the more advanced Atari 5200. It was wildly successful, and during the 1980s, "Atari" was a synonym for this model in mainstream media. The 2600 was typically bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a cartridge game.


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