The Atari 5200, also known as the 5200 Super System, is a second generation video game console created by Atari released in November of 1982. It was marketed to compete with the other video game consoles on the market like the Intellivision and ColecoVision, but it sold quite poorly and was discontinued after fewer than two years on the market.
Internally, the hardware was very similar to the Atari 8-bit line, but it was different enough to be incompatible with the games. The original model featured four joystick ports, but a cheaper two-port model was released in 1983.
5200s are hard to come by and working joysticks are even harder, so I've never been able to play a 5200 in real life. All of my experience with the system comes from emulators.
- See all Atari 5200 Games.
Of the games I've played on the system, I have particularly enjoyed:
- Though not as impressive as the ColecoVision, the system had pretty decent graphic and sound capabilities for the time.
- The console was one of the first to feature four built-in joystick ports.
- This was one of the first systems that featured a pause directly on the joystick.
- There is a button on either side of the joystick for left-handed players.
- An adapter was sold (for the later model) which let the 5200 run 2600 games.
- Most of the games released for the system are just 2600 games with slightly better graphics and sound.
- The system had a limited game library. It launched with only a handful of games, and even by the time it was discontinued, it had fewer than 70 games.
- Only a couple games take advantage of all four joysticks, probably because the hardware wasn't powerful enough to handle a decent 4-player game.
- The storage box in the back of the console makes it unnecessarily bulky.
- The joysticks are analog and non-centering which makes controlling a player pretty difficult.
- The joysticks were made with cheap circuitry, so they tended to break after only a little use.
CBS Electronics advertisement.