Originally known as the Atari VCS for Video Computer System, the machine’s name was changed to “Atari 2600” (from the unit’s Atari part number, CX2600) in 1982, after the release of the more advanced Atari 5200. It was wildly successful, and during the 1980s, “Atari” was a synonym for this model in mainstream media. The 2600 was typically bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a cartridge game – initially Combat and subsequently Pac-Man.
At the time, the 2600 was the most popular video game console in the world and Pac-Man was the most popular arcade game in the world, so Atari widely promoted the 2600 version of the game. Upon release, however, the quality of the adaptation of the game was criticized and sales were well below expectations, and even those who bought and kept the game were often dissatisfied.