In 1977, a new type of ball and paddle system was launched: Video Pinball. This game also existed in the arcade under the same name, hence the home versions sold by Atari (Video Pinball, model C-380) and Sears (Pinball Breakaway, model 99713). There even was a japanese version, the Epoch TV Block.
These systems were designed around a more advanced chip than the PONG-in-a-chip devices, possibly a microcontroller (believed, since the system also contains a small RAM chip which role is unknown, but believed to be for the display and/or score storage). The microcontroller is referred as C011500-1, although the system uses another Atari chip referenced C011512-05.
The games played are based around the pinball and breakout principles. Bumper controllers on the sides or a dial on the front were used to control the games. Depending on the game selected, the ball bounces on two bumpers (pinball games), or on a pad that moves horizontally (pinpaddle games), or just like in breakout. Obviously, each game had its own principles. In reality, the system played three different games.
The first one had four variants and was a pinball game. Some graphics and the type of bounce changed. Depending on the variant, you controled the ball with your flippers (via side buttons) or by moving a paddle with the knob. In the flipper versions, the ball had nice parabolic movement affected by the gravity whereas in the paddle versions, there was no gravity.
The second game was a basketball game. The ball bounced on a pad moved horizontally, and the goal was to let the ball go in a multicolor basket.
The third type of game was breakout. There was another variant called Breakway/Breakthru, the only difference between the two versions being a hole in the wall in place of the green bricks. Top red bricks could only be destroyed if the ball was coming directly from the paddle. This second version was only found on early models (read below).
Like said above, Atari and Sears marketed their own version (both designed by Atari), and Atari even released a latter cheaper model with a slightly different beige case.
The second basketball game (Basketball II/ Rebound II) was only found on the latter version of the Atari Video Pinball (beige model) and on the Epoch TV-Block. Early versions of the Atari Video Pinball and the Sears Pinball Breakaway had the second version of the Breakout game instead, called Breakway or Breakthru.