Atari 5200/Atari 5200 (a5200)
The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, or simply the Atari 5200, is Atari's video game console, launched in 1982 as a replacement for the much-acclaimed Atari 2600. The 5200 was designed to compete with Mattel Intellivision, but shortly after the console's release, it turned out to be more competitive with Coleco Vision. Some flaws in the design had a strong impact on the usability of the system, which is why the model as a whole can be considered unsuccessful.
After the release of the 2600, Atari was working on a new, more advanced prefix. But when it was almost ready, the situation on the market changed: home computers began to gain popularity, such models as Commodore PET, TRS-80 and Apple II appeared. In terms of technological level, these machines were close to 2600, but were sold at a much higher price, respectively, and the profit from their production was much higher. Atari management decided to enter this market, and the new console was developed into the Atari 400 and 800, which went on sale in 1979.
In the early 1980s, a second wave of consoles entered the market, including the Mattel Intellivision. It is not surprising that the 2600 has become less attractive compared to other consoles. But it came as a surprise to Atari that sales of the 2600 dropped very sharply, and this was the reason for the decision to return to the game console market with a new model made to the original specifications of 1978.
When choosing the name of the new system, the developers simply doubled the number 2600. The Atari 5200 model released in 1982 had 4 joystick ports (most systems of the time only offered two), a new controller with an analog joystick and numeric keypad, four fire buttons and Start / pause / reset. For the first time, a “TV switchbox” device was supplied with the set-top box for connecting to a TV - when the set-top box was turned on, the TV automatically switched from the antenna signal to the signal from the set-top box; earlier, to switch, you had to do it with a switch on the connector box.
The 1983 model had only two joystick ports instead of four, and the TV connection was no longer automatic. The Atari 5200 was severely lacking compatibility with the 2600, but in 1983 a 2600 game adapter was released, allowing older games to be used with the newer console's more reliable game controllers. Another problem was the lack of attention that Atari paid to the new console - most of the resources were given to the Atari 2600.