In Pictures: When tech empires fall - 10 companies...
The secret to the Atari 2600's success was its slow start. The public was burnt out on Pong, which caused Atari's ROM-cartridge-based competitors to leave the market. When people finally figured out they could buy multiple games for the console -- and that one of them was 1980's smash hit Space Invaders -- the 2600 shot to glory and huge market share. It didn't last. Atari's best programmers left due to low pay; other consoles were able to reverse-engineer the system and offer compatibility; and Pac-Man and E.T. proved to be huge flops. Atari could've licensed the Nintendo Entertainment System for the U.S. market, but they passed, giving up their last chance for industry relevance.
In Pictures: When tech empires fall - 10 companies and products that dominated... and then didn't