Atari 2800
The Sears Telegames II

        The Atari 2800 VCS, which was codenamed "Cindy" within Atari was sold through Sears as the Sears Telegames II system.   The unit was also sold in Japan as the Atari 2800J.    An electronics engineer by the name of Joe Tilly did the electronics design.     The Atari 2800 had several new and unique features over the original Atari 2600/2600A systems.   


The Atari 2800 had (4) four controller ports instead of the standard (2) two on the Atari 2600's.    The unit also came with a new type of all-in-one controllers designed by John Amber which sat in the users palm quite comfortably.   These controllers were 8 position joysticks as well as 270 degree paddle controllers all in one and worked extremely well.  

More commonly found and more well known then the original Atari 2800 was the Sears Arcade II which was the exact same console, but Sears branded for the US market.     All of the same features, controllers and enhancements were on the Sears version as on the Japanese 2800J version.    Just a different metal nameplate on the console and on its controllers.


If the Atari 2800 case looks slightly familiar, that is because the basic case design was later redesigned by Barney Huang into what became the Atari 7800 pro-system case.      After a meeting in Chicago with Sears regarding the Atari 2800, Sears loved the whole concept of the Atari 2800 so much that it was one of Atari's shortest presentation meetings for a project to be accepted.   To celebrate, the Atari 2800 team went out after the meeting to celebrate at Hy's of Canada in Chicago.