Retro Pong - Learn All About It

Games have come and gone over the past few decades. From the large cabinets of retro arcade games to the high-end PlayStation 4, games have collectively provided us with a good amount of fun and entertainment. 

Speaking of retro video games, if you are feeling nostalgic, there are still a lot of arcade games that can be played today and reminiscent of the old days. You can even introduce someone to the world of arcade games and let them explore its vast world.


One of the most successful and earliest arcade game is Pong. It was first created and released in 1972 years before the likes of Donkey Kong and Galaga. If you are fond of playing one of the best arcade games, you can learn more about Pong and how you can play it with your friends.

Retro Pong - Learn All About It
Image Source: Shortlist

What is Pong?

Pong is a table tennis arcade game that uses two-dimensional graphics. Players control a paddle where it is moved by using the controller. The paddles are used to hit the ball and pass it to the other side of the screen where the second player is waiting. 

Players earn points when their opponent fails to return the ball. The game uses almost the same mechanics as table tennis, albeit the lack of a net in between the players. The player who gets to eleven points wins the entire match.


While the gameplay is straightforward by today's standards, it was one of the most compelling arcade games at the time. Players were able to play without having to hold a paddle but instead a controller to play the game. 

The Pong game also adds a layer of strategy in it much like playing table tennis. Players would have to be quick with their eye and hand coordination to earn a point and defeat their opponent.

Retro Pong - Learn All About It
Image Source: TheGamer

History and Legacy of Pong

Pong's long history started in 1958 when American television engineer Ralph Baer wanted to make a simple video game that people can play and enjoy on their television set. It was Magnavox Odyssey that took the idea in 1972, but it was Atari founder Nolan Bushnell that create a different version of the concept as an arcade game.


Pong was the first-ever successful video game commercially by Atari. It was the first video game to be released in public that made a cultural impact and starts the entire video game industry. Due to its wide success, many other gaming companies begin to create video games of the same nature. 

Atari later on released different types of games that the company is known for during the time. Soon after, the game had several sequels with the original gameplay but added more features to enhance the quality of the game. Currently, the game is part of the collection in the Smithsonian Institution for its contribution to the gaming industry.

Retro Pong - Learn All About It
Image Source: World Today News


The success of Pong led to a controversy with Magnavox Odyssey, but Atari ensured that millions of people were still playing the game. This led to the company creating more video games that birthed many sequels. 

Most of the sequels retained the original gameplay pattern but added a few more elements like adding two more players allowing the game to be played with pairs. In 2012, Pong was modernized and remade for the game's 40th anniversary.


While the gameplay remains very simple, Pong's cultural impact and the legacy it brought to the entire video game industry is undeniable. Those who want to play retro Pong can easily search the web, but if you are truly a fan of arcade games, you would want to search for the original arcade cabinet to feel the experience.