Atari 5200

Console published 38 years ago by Atari, Inc.

Listed and emulated in MAME !

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Atari 5200 © 1982 Atari, Incorporated.

The Atari 5200 was a video game console introduced as a higher end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600. It was based on Atari's existing 400/800 computers and the internal hardware was almost identical, although software was not directly compatible between the two systems.


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The Atari 5200 was introduced in 1982 and was actually designed to be a competitor to the Intellivision before ColecoVision entered the market. Developed under the name of PAM (Atari, at the time, typically named projects after well-endowed female employees), Atari considered releasing it with that moniker; PAM in this case an acronym for 'Personal Arcade Machine'.

The Atari 5200 was also known as the 'Video System X' just prior to release.

The Atari 5200 originally retailed for $269.95. For perspective, this amount would have been equal to $671.40 in 2016 US currency.

The 5200 shared much of the architecture of the Atari 400/800 computers, but featured a different cartridge connector and completely different controllers. Non-centering analogue joysticks which offered a full 360 degrees of mobility, were both innovative and unreliable. Other controller features included a keypad, and a ahead-of-it's-time pause button. The Atari 5200 suffered from it's initial incompatibility with the VCS/2600 (an adapter was later released) and fierce competition from Coleco. When Warner Communications sold Atari Corp. to the Tramiels in 1984, they quickly removed it from the market.

You can use an adapter to play 2600 games on the 5200.


Machine's Bios.