Pong is the second commercial video game, the first being "Tennis for Two." It was designed by Atari Inc. and released on November 29, 1972. The name is derived from the action of imitating ping-pong.
Pong has entered popular culture as a term connoting something that in its heyday was quite popular, but with time has become outmoded. The game is still popular with Atari purists and vintage technology enthusiasts. The original consoles and equipment often sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay, and other sites.
Pong as an Arcade Game
Pong was initially released on November 29, 1972 as an arcade machine with a monochrome CRT monitor, monaural (one speaker, one channel) sound, an upright wooden cabinet, a generic CPU made out of various electronic components, and a simple controller layout.
In the mid to late 1970s, dozens of single game consoles, dubbed "Pong consoles" flooded the market. The consoles featured built in copies of Pong, and its different versions, such as "Squash" or "Tennis". They were sold under many different brand names and had many different designs and different levels of functionality with the technology that existed at the time.