Atari 5200

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Atari 5200 Logo.svg
Atari 5200
Atari-5200.png
Manufacturer Atari
Type Console
Release Date November 1982 (NA)
Discontinued
Media Cartridge
Save Format None
Input Options 4 Atari 5200 Controllers
Special Features Cartridge Input
Power Switch
RF Output
Power Output
Units Sold
Top Selling Game
Variants Atari 5200 2 Port
Competitor(s) Intellivision
ColecoVision
Vectrex
Predecessor Atari 2600
Successor Atari 7800


The Atari 5200 was Atari's attempted follow up to the Atari 2600. It was released in 1982, and featured a design similar to Atari's own 8 Bit line of computers. Atari also attempted to improve the controllers by making them analog, meaning the longer players held the joystick in one direction the faster the character the player was controlling moved. The controller also featured 360 degrees of movement (a step up from the 2600's 8 directions) and a first in the industry - a pause button. Unfortunately, the controllers had some problems. For one, they were not self-centering, meaning players had to manually move the joystick back to the center each time they wanted their character to stop. Another problem was that these controllers were considered very frail and easily broke. Atari also chose not to release exclusive "must have" games early in the consoles life, opting instead to bring out a bunch of updated 2600 titles (eventually Atari would reverse this decision, but it was too late in the system's life to make enough of a difference). One final thing that turned consumers off the console was that the console was not backwards compatible with Atari 2600 games at launch; an adapter was later released.

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