Unboxing: 1983 ATARI Trak-Ball Controller

In 1983, ATARI released a track ball controller for use on their 2600/VCS game console and computers. Games like Centipede will play more like the arcade with the Trak-Ball. Atari released more than one type of track ball controller, but this one is the best looking.

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Justin M. Salvato

Writer/Vlogger at Retroist
Seeker of 1980s nostalgia, rummager of vintage computers and player of retro video games.When not writing posts of The Retroist, I'm converting Retroist audio podcasts to Retroist video podcasts.My own videos can be found at www.YouTube.com/JustinSalvato.
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10 thoughts on “Unboxing: 1983 ATARI Trak-Ball Controller

  1. vinvectrex says:

    I’ve never used one of these, but this is exactly what a home system trackball should be like. Not huge (I’m thinking of you Atari 5200 trackball) but big enough to not tip over with enthusiastic use. Great video.

  2. @ vin, exactly. It was a well designed controller. When you put it on a table, it does not slide around. It’s very firm, quite perfect actually. You’re right, the 5200 is rather big. I’m working on getting the Coleco roller controller which is large as well.

  3. Awesome video as usual, Retro Justin! It looks like this controller is a little more accommodating than the NES one the Retroist posted yesterday. Hey, glad to see your robotic buddy in the video again as well! :)

  4. It was too massive without enough base to keep is stabilized, so you kind of had to hold onto it, which made those buttons of questionable value.

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Another great vid, RJ!
    Love that music.
    You realize it’s in my head now, right? For good.

    Would’ve love to have tried that trackball on my VCS back then.
    I seem to remember Coleco’s was large enough to stay put, like this one.

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