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A model of one dimensional in position and three dimensional in velocity space self-consistent particle in cell with Monte Carlo collision technique was employed to simulate the argon discharge between the needle and plane electrodes at high pressure, in which a nanosecond rectangular pulse was applied to the needle electrode. The work focused on the investigation of the spatiotemporal evolution of the discharge versus the needle tip size and working gas pressure. The simulation results showed that the discharge occurred mainly in the region near the needle tip at atmospheric pressure, and that the small radius of the needle tip led to easy discharge. Reducing the gas pressure gave rise to a transition from a corona discharge to a glowlike discharge along the needle-to-plane direction. The microscopic mechanism for the transition can arguably be attributed to the peak of high-energy electrons occurring before the breakdown; the magnitude of the number of these electrons determined whether the breakdown can take place.