Lot #8016
Allan Alcorn: Atari Space Race Original Prototype

Original wire-wrap prototype of Space Race, Atari's second arcade game
This lot has closed

Estimate: $30000+

Description

Original wire-wrap prototype of Space Race, Atari's second arcade game

Original prototype of Atari's second coin operated video game, Space Race, designed and built by Allan Alcorn in 1973. This was the very first racing arcade game, and the first Atari video game to use joysticks. In it, two players race rocket ships from the bottom of the screen to the top, avoiding asteroid obstacles along the way. The prototype is housed a 17" x 14" x 3.25" aluminum chassis, which contains the wire wrap prototype and power supply. The box has a standard power cord and an output cable that featured an NTSC video signal and analog sound. The top panel features two toggle switches (allowing each player to move his spaceship up or down), a power switch, a switch to simulate a coin drop, and a start game button.

Accompanied by a letter of provenance signed by Alcorn, describing the prototype and the history of the game. In part: "Original prototype of Atari's second coin operated video game Space Race designed and built by myself in 1973. It is an aluminum chassis box that contains the wire wrap prototype and power supply for the video game Space Race which features two spaceships attempting to traverse a moving star field.

The prototype has a power cord and an output cable that features an NTSC video signal and analog sound. The prototype has two toggle switches so each player can move his spaceship up or down, a power switch, a switch to simulate a coin drop and a start game button.

After the successful introduction of Pong in 1972 numerous companies copied it and I estimate that copiers made and sold twice as many copies of Pongs as Atari did. These copies were made by small manufacturers that did not have the ability to design these new high-speed digital video games. We competed with these copiers by creating new games and selling as many as we could before they were able to copy it.

Space Race was the first Atari video game to use joysticks."




From the collection of Pong creator Allan Alcorn.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: The Steve Jobs Revolution: Engelbart, Atari, and Apple
  • Dates: #632 - Ended March 17, 2022