Model # EG500
Atari Cosmos with Superman cartridge running.
The Cosmos was Atari's experiment in holographic video gaming technology. Atari purchased all the rights possible for anything to do with holography and began work on a new tabletop based game which would have allowed 8 different games to work with 8 different holographic "backdrops". The games were not actually 3-D holographic games, but moving LED's behind a transparent holographic image to add more of an environment to the game then just simply a bunch of flashing LED's on a screen such as handhelds from Mattel Electronics and Coleco Electronics.
The Atari Cosmos used the the same CPU chip that was later used in the Entex Adventurevision tabletop game. The chip was called the COPS411. Each of the 8 Atari Cosmos game cartridge were "keyed" so that they would press a combination of the 5 contact buttons located on the LED board with a pattern of plastic keys on the back of each Atari Cosmos game cartridge. Since the game cartridges only consisted of a plastic shell, a set of contact keys and a transparent hologram the price for each game was expected to cost as low as $10-$12 each.
The Atari Cosmos, the brainchild of Atari engineers Allan Alcorn, Harry
Jenkins and Roger Hector was shown at the New York Toy Fair in 1981.
Many observers commented that it wasn't really a 3-D holographic game and
the holographic slides were just a gimmick. Atari commented
that this was the first of its kind tabletop holographic video game and
that the use of the holograms in this fashion was a first attempt and that
the reviewers should not be so critical of the use of the holograms in
this way. However, interest in the new tabletop game
was quite high, in fact pre-orders taken at the show amounted to over 8,000
units from just the single showing.
To date, only 3 Atari Cosmos were known to exist and all of them have been
empty shell Mock-up (Most likely they were used at the NY Toy Fair).
an Atari Cosmos mock-up was shown at the World of Atari Show 98 in Las
Vegas last August 21-23, 1998. To date, there
are currently only 2 fully assembled and working units known to exist.
The Atari Historical Society currently has the one with all 8 Holoptic
Games. A second unit is still in the hands of another former
Atari employee who worked in Atari's Advanced Projects Group.
The Inside Story
Sales Ad (1981)
Power Supply: 10.5VAC 750MA
Lighting: 2 Dual non reflective incandescent lights for "A" and "B" Holoptic scenes