Nolan Bushnell, Our Legendary Founder, Drops By for a Visit to Atari HQ!

Atari VCS
2 min readAug 12, 2021


Shares stories from the company’s early days and takes Tempest for a quick spin on the all-new Atari VCS

Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell and the all-new Atari VCS at Atari HQ in NYC.

August 12, 2021 — Today should have been like any other mega-humid summer Thursday in NYC, but it ended up being a particularly special one when the great Atari icon Nolan Bushnell decided to drop by the Atari offices.

Nolan Bushnell’s legacy has always been a part of everything we do, and the company has maintained a constant connection with him. When he rang Atari CEO Wade Rosen this morning and asked if he could drop by to visit with the team, the answer was a speedy, emphatic and obvious “Yes!”

The team gathered in the Atari conference room as Nolan answered questions and regaled the team with stories of the company’s youth. He happily shared stories of the people and products that helped launch an entire industry, and in many cases became legends themselves along the way.

Nolan Bushnell visits Atari HQ and discusses the creation of arcade classic Tempest.

Much of the conversation was about hardware and the original Atari 2600 video computer system, so naturally, there were some opportunities to compare and contrast that with the all-new Atari VCS videogame system. That led to an impromptu session with the VCS and Nolan’s all-time favorite Atari game, Tempest, using the Classic Joystick, but not before telling us a little about how the iconic arcade classic came to be.

Founder Nolan Bushnell visits Atari HQ and plays Tempest on the Atari VCS with the all-new Classic Controller.

And then, it was over almost as suddenly as it began, as Nolan took off for his next appointment. Until next time…

The Atari VCS Team



Atari VCS

Atari's new PC/Console hybrid! Then new video computer system, with open platform for creativity and customization. Inspired by legend, built for the future!