Debuting in 1977 at $199 it brought gaming into the family household in a big way. I remember getting a used Atari 2600 from an ad my parents found in the paper (200 Bucks was a lot to spend on electronics back then!). I think it came with a couple cartridges - Missile Command (still my favorite 2600 game of which I still play now on Xbox Live), Dragracing, and Shootout.
My parents felt they were buying us a new and exciting piece of technology - something to get their boys away from all that television and be a little more interactive. My brother and I thought we had found a wondrous cauldron of infinite possibility, and it still didn't get us away from that TV. The hours we spent playing those games got both of us interested in technology, and ultimately the computers that were to come after. Perhaps our parents were smarter than we thought. =)
Here's to you Mr. 2600! You can still bring a smile to my face after all these years.