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Region Key Explained

Region MapAlthough Atari was born in the USA, the system and its games were eventually sold in many countries throughout the world. Canada, Brazil, England, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, and other countries all had thriving Atari users and the dealers to support them. Some countries, such as Japan, had small amounts of unique Atari products.

In North America and Japan, games were sold in NTSC video format. In Europe and Australia, games were sold in PAL video format (SECAM was also used in France and a few other countries in limited amounts). South America uses a variety of formats and Brazil officially uses PAL-M. We've gone beyond simply separating games by their video format to indicate what region they were sold in. In some cases there is some crossover, particularly with Europe and Australia, but in most cases these games were marketed distinctly in different markets around the world. Here are some further details about the Region Key:

Icon Region Description
North America
North America For our purposes, this basically means the United States and Canada. Most games were sold in both countries, although there are exceptions such as Sears selling exclusively in the US, and many pirate games that were primarily seen in Canada. To our knowledge, Mexico and other North American Latin countries did not produce their own Atari merchandise
South America
South America Brazil had a large Atari 2600 market, including both black market companies and legitimate licensees. These games can still be found today at flea markets just like everywhere else in the world. They also show up on eBay from Brazilian sellers, and on Brazilian auction sites. If you have cartridges from any other South American countries, please contact us.
Europe Atari has had a successful life in Europe, from the VCS to the ST line of computers. England, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, and other countries continue to be home to many Atari fans. These games were sold in PAL and SECAM format by a variety of companies. Many games were sold in Europe that were not available anywhere else, making them interesting to international collectors.
Australia Australia had a strong 2600 scene led mainly by HES. Although some of games sold in Australia were also sold in Europe, there were some small companies such as John Sands that sold games exclusively in Australia. For purposes of our guide, only games that were sold exclusively in Australia are listed with this icon.
Asia Japan was never a big market for Atari. The 2600 did have a brief life there, marketed under the name 2800, but it couldn't compete with the Famicom and it was never very popular. Other Asian countries such as Taiwan produced larger numbers of what were probably black market games and exported them to Europe and North America. We're unsure if Atari games were actually available for sale in Taiwan or other Asian countries besides Japan. If you have any knowledge of this, please contact us.