Atari 2600 jr, 1983
The Atari 2600jr was the last version of the Video Computer System to be sold. It was introduced by Atari Corp in 1986. However the Atari 2600jr was originally designed in 1983. The Atari 2600jr was codenamed "Bonnie" and was designed to be a joystick-less version of the Atari CX-2000 "Val" system.
Val was to be an all-in-one low cost Atari 2600 with built in joysticks. However the joysticks were extremely flimsy and the case design was not as appealing as many other Atari case designs. The Atari 2000 was re-designed into the Atari 2600jr, basically the same motherboard design, less the built in joysticks, and also with the cartridge interface on the top of the unit instead of the rear of the unit.
The marketing concept was simple: Competition in the video game industry was at an all time high, the Atari 2600jr. would be a simple low cost Atari 2600 packaged with only 1 joystick, no paddle controllers, and 1 game cartridge. Packaged into a small "lunch-box" carton, the game system would sell for about $50.00 and appeal to younger gamers. The whole project was placed on hold due to the sale of Atari, Inc. to the Tramiels. The Atari 2600jr. was not released until 1986, most Atari 2600jr's were sold in a plain brick red/white box design. (more information at atarimuseum.com
We would like to thank Bonami for the Atari 2600 on show in the Arcade exhibition.