Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Elsewhere: The Atari 2600 Raps It Up

Nintendo's successful revival of the US videogame market did not go unnoticed by Atari in the late 1980's.  The 2600 still had a little bit of commercial life left in it, or so its executives hoped, and they gave the system a full retail relaunch as a budget competitor to the NES.  They even funded enough development to finish up and release some old games-in-progress and create some brand new titles, most of which were technically impressive given the aging console's now-primitive hardware.

Unfortunately, Atari chose to promote the revived 2600 and its new "red box" game lineup with TV commercials featuring really lame rap songs.  There was a "family fun" ad that promoted the console's low under-$50 price tag, and then there was this one that did its best to push the new games:

It might have been more daring and artistically rewarding if they'd hired the notorious 2 Live Crew to help out instead of some generic ad agency pasticheur.

Yo, b----es! No s---! Atari's back!
Our mother-s---in'-sister-f---in' games are wack!
Our a-- is gettin' kicked by the N-E-S
So grab your d--- and say "F--- this mess!"

Well, it would have been more honest, at least.

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