Pong's creator auctioning off incredibly rare Atari protoypes and other videogame rarities

Al Alcorn, creator of Pong and chief engineer at Atari in its earliest days, has put incredible artifacts from his personal collection up for auction.

For example, above is the unreleased Atari Cosmos from 1980, "an unreleased tabletop electronic game system designed to utilize holographic cartridges overlaid against an LED array display. The system was intended to have nine built-in games—Asteroids, Basketball, Dodge 'Em, Football, Outlaw, Road Runner, Sea Battle, Space Invaders, and Superman—which would be activated by a low-cost cartridge containing the holographic image and a notch by which the system would identify which game to load. The low-cost holography process developed by Atari for the Cosmos would go on to be adopted by the American Banknote Corporation for use in credit cards and other high-security financial applications."

The item is part of RR Auction's "Steve Jobs and the Apple Computer Revolution" auction that includes a variety of Apple lots but the current most expensive item is Alcorn's Space Race arcade game from 1973. This was the first Atari game to feature joysticks.

From the lot description:

Designed by Ted Dabney, Nolan Bushnell, and Allan Alcorn, Space Race allowed players to control spaceships and race against opposing ships while avoiding comets and meteors. The competitive two-player game featured black-and-white graphics and was controlled with an innovative two-way joystick—Space Race introduced the use of joysticks to the world of arcade gaming. The game is in non-working condition but is housed in its original cabinet, 25˝ x 58˝ x 29˝, with large silver control panel containing start button, dual joysticks, and gameplay instructions. The console features a replacement monitor but retains its original printed circuit board (PCB) and bread pan coin tray. Also included are four pairs of 17 x 11 diagram schematics for Space Race from Atari and Syzygy Engineering dated 1973 and 1974, four of which bear ink and felt tip notations. Nonfunctional and in very good to fine condition, with scattered wear and dings to the cabinet, and scuffs and marks to the console window. An elusive early arcade cabinet from the dawn of coin-operated video gaming—original Space Race cabinets are virtually unobtainable as Atari either recycled the units for other titles or scrapped the cabinets altogether.

image: RR Auction