Atari 5200
Atari 5200
The Atari 5200 and its controller.
Developer(s) Atari Inc.
Release Date(s) November 1982
Colors Black

The Atari 5200, initially titled the Atari 5200 SuperSystem, is a video game console released by Atari Inc. in 1982.[1] The Atari 5200 was developed as a successor to the Atari 2600 to compete against Mattel's Intellivision.

The 5200 was designed differently than its predecessor, lacking the keyboard accessory of the 2600. In addition, the system sports several technical upgrades with its operating system and memory, using the 400/800's 10 KB operating system and GTIA and POKEY memory chips.[2]

History Edit

The Atari 5200 began development in 1981 to replace the Atari 2600 in the marketplace. The system itself was released in 1982 and sported several hits as Galaxian and Space Invaders, Super Breakout as launch titles. The system's initial flaw with release was its lack of backwards-compatibility with the Atari 2600.[3] Atari didn't help their chances on the market with the 5200's game catalog of "updated versions" of the 2600's games[4]

On May 21, 1984, Atari Inc. unveiled their new Atari 7800 console to be released sometime later in the year.[5] Shortly after, the Atari Corporation discontinued producing 5200 systems and began work on the 7800, totally an estimated 1 million units in sales for the 5200.[6][7]

Technical specifications Edit

  • CPU: Custom MOS 6502C @ 1.79 MHz (not a 65C02).
  • Support Hardware: 2 custom VLSI chips

Maximum Screen Resolution: 320×192 resolution, 16 (out of 256) on-screen colors per scan line. Palette can be changed at every scan line using ANTIC display list interrupts, allowing all 256 colors to be displayed at once.

  • Graphics: ANTIC and GTIA
  • Sound: 4-channel sound via the POKEY chip which also handles keyboard scanning, serial I/O, high resolution interrupt capable timers (single cycle accurate), and random number generation.
  • RAM: 16 KB
  • ROM: 2 KB on-board BIOS for system startup and interrupt routing.

32 KB ROM window for standard game cartridges, expandable using bank switching techniques.

  • Dimensions: 13" × 15" × 4.25"

Variants Edit

Atari 2500 Edit

The Atari 2500 never saw finished production due to the release of the Atari 2600 Jr. and the initial decline of the Atari 2600.[8] Originally designed as the 2600's replacement, the Atari 2500 utilized a one-controller combination of the joystick and paddle controllers of the Atari 2600, an idea used in later prototypes of the Atari 5200.

Atari 2700 Edit

The Atari Remote Control VCS, or Atari 2700, was intended to be released in 1981, four years after the Atari 2600's release.[9] The Atari 2700 was one of the first gaming systems to feature wireless controllers; the controllers had a working radius of 1000 ft. which meant the 2700 could affect nearby 2700s. These controllers could also function as other remote controlled devices, such as garage doors and TVs. System testers claimed that there were too many design problems which caused the console to be withdrawn just as it was about to be released.

References Edit

  6. Sanger, David E. (1984-05-22). "Atari Video Game Unit Introduced". New York Times: 3 (Section D). "Company officials disclosed for the first time yesterday that the 5200 is no longer in production, and Atari appears to be selling off its inventory."
  7. Schrage, Michael (1984-05-22). "Atari Introduces Game In Attempt for Survival". Washington Post: C3. "The company has stopped producing its 5200 SuperSystem