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Atari 5200

From Academic Kids

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Atari 5200 System

The Atari 5200 is a video game console introduced in 1982 by Atari. It was created to compete with the Mattel Intellivision, but it also competed with the Colecovision shortly after the 5200's release. In some ways, it was both technologically superior and more cost efficient than any console available at that time.

The Atari 5200 was in essence, an Atari 400 computer without a keyboard. This made for a powerful, proven design which Atari could quickly bring to market. The system featured many innovations like an automatically-switching switchbox (meaning it could automatically switch from regular TV viewing to the 5200) and 4 controller ports, but the most revolutionary was a controller with an analog joystick and system function keys (start, pause, reset). Unfortunately, the non-centering joystick design proved to be ungainly and unreliable, alienating many consumers. The Atari 5200 also suffered from its initial cartridge incompatibility with the Atari 2600 (an adapter was later released in 1983).

While the 5200 did garner a strong cult following with its library of high quality games, it faced an uphill battle competing with the Colecovision's head start and a stuttering economy. But the question of which system was superior became moot when the game market crashed in 1983-84, killing off both systems in their prime.

Screenshots

Screenshot Pac-Man Missing image
A5200_Dig_Dug.png
Screenshot Dig Dug

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A5200_Jungle_Hunt.png
Screenshot Jungle Hunt

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A5200_RealSports_Baseball.png
Screenshot RealSports Baseball

Pac-Man Dig Dug Jungle Hunt RealSports Baseball
Atari (1982) Atari (1983) Atari (1983) Atari (1983)
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A5200_PitfallII.png
Screenshot Pitfall II

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A5200_Zaxxon.png
Screenshot Zaxxon

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A5200_Ballblazer.png
Screenshot Ballblazer

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A5200_Rescue_On_Fractalus.png
Screenshot Rescue on Fractalus

Pitfall II Zaxxon Ballblazer Rescue on Fractalus
Activision (1984) Sega (1984) Atari/Lucasfilm Games (1986) Atari/Lucasfilm Games (1986)

More screenshots can be found in the Screenshot Gallery.

Technical specifications

Coprocessors: 3 custom VLSI chips

  • Screen Resolution: 320x192 resolution, 16 on-screen colors (out of 256)
  • Graphics: GTIA
  • Sound: 4-channel sound via the POKEY chip which also handles I/O
  • RAM: 16K
  • ROM: Up to 64K (Cartridges up to 32K)

See Also

fr:Atari 5200

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