I think we've all seen and been amused by Pong at one time or another. It was invented in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell at Atari. Once this game arrived in arcades, nothing would ever be the same. "AVOID MISSING BALL FOR HIGH SCORE", they said.
Most of us haven't seen the arcade Pong, however. Home Pong was released for the consumers in 1974, made possible with a drop in price of microchips. This is the system most of us remember--later, an extended Super Pong was released. And don't forget Video Olympics on Atari 2600!
Atari Pong was the original "hit a ball back and forth" game. Since this was so popular, a company by the name of General Instruments created a chip that held the essence of the game. With this chip, almost 100 companies made Pong clones, including Coleco, Radio Shack, and Magnavox. But nothing compares to the real thing.
Keep your eye on this page, I plan on including some technical information here for those who have no lives.