1977. As Star Wars scoffed at box office records and the first US Space Shuttle took to the air, Britain’s queen celebrated her silver jubilee, and Elvis ‘The King’ Presley died. In California, however, the boffins at Atari were probably a little too busy to notice such things, as they were launching a revolution – complete with wood panelling!
Home video game console the Atari VCS – later known as the Atari 2600 – was launched in September of 1977, with its brown highlights designed to have it blend into the décor of the average 1970s entertainment centre. Hands up if you miss ‘70s décor. No takers? Yeah, us neither. Anyway, beyond aesthetics, more importantly the machine revolutionised video gaming in myriad ways, ranging from its computer-styled processor to the marketing of individual games via cartridges.
This format would be instrumental in finally putting a company founded in Japan in September 1889 on the world map. Even back then Nintendo were involved in games, but these were of the hanafuda playing card variety. The breakthrough for the persevering company came almost a century later in 1983, with the Famicom console – or, as we know it, the Nintendo Entertainment System.
It was September 1985, however, when the company’s license to print yen was unleashed upon the world, wearing overalls and a natty ‘tache. Yes, Super Mario Bros. launched, and its star in plucky plumber Mario became Nintendo’s mascot, appearing in games on every system that they subsequently released. These included 2001’s underrated September-launched GameCube, although it was actually Mario’s bro Luigi who christened the console, with the ghost-busting Luigi’s Mansion. Now, 18 years later, Nintendo continue their love of September launches with this month’s Switch Lite. It, however, doesn’t come with wood panelling.
Notable games released in September
Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Pokémon Red & Blue (1998)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (1992)
Star Wars: Battlefront (2004)
Just Cause (2007)