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Atari 2600 and the Atari 8-Bit Computer Range


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#1 Draugr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 2:06 PM

Hi.

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but I wanted to ask for my own curiosity.

Was there ever any plan by Atari to try and make the Atari 8-bit computers compatible with existing Atari 2600 software/carts?

The 5200 and 8-bits were somewhat compatible as the 5200 was simply a consolized Atari 800.

Would have been neat to be able to play A2600 games on the 8-bit computer line.

Any info on this would be appreciated

John

#2 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 6:16 PM

Highly doubtful.

For starters that would mean having to use Static Ram which would have made even a 16K system probably $300 more expensive on release. Then it would need the clock slowdown like 7800 has.

Then it'd need GTIA to be able to work like TIA which would have impeded on the other graphics abilities. The only desirable thing from TIA that GTIA left out was the ability to replicate objects and the mirrored mode.

On top of that throw in more overall system complexity due to having to function as 2 architectures.

IMO having the computer with 2600 compatability would have been madness. They had enough image problem which hindered computer sales as it was.

#3 kenjennings OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 7:26 PM

Doesn't the 5200 have a plug-in converter thing-a-ma-bob to play 2600 games? I wonder if it could be hacked?

Since a 2600 is now a single chip computer in the Flashback 2 maybe it would not be unreasonably expensive to make a 2600-in-a-cartridge for the 8-bits. Then again, since the Flashback 2 can be had on ebay for less than $20, just get a Flashback and enjoy it as is.

#4 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 7:36 PM

Was there ever any plan by Atari to try and make the Atari 8-bit computers compatible with existing Atari 2600 software/carts?

No. There are far too many hardware differences to even consider it. Apparently, the A8 chipset started out as the next game console but was turned into a computer project early on (by Ray Kassar?).

Doesn't the 5200 have a plug-in converter thing-a-ma-bob to play 2600 games? I wonder if it could be hacked?

The VCS adapter is a (nearly) complete 2600 which is powered by a 5200. It's easy to add 2600 compatibility when you're not using the host machine for anything.

#5 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 7:38 PM

The 5200 adaptor is essentially a 2600 and just feeds the audio + video back through the console. The console chipset plays practically no part in the exercise.

#6 kenjennings OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 7:42 PM

What joysticks does the 5200 adapter use? Do 2600 joysticks plug into the adapter, or is the adapter going through the 5200 to use the 5200's normal controllers?

#7 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 8:48 PM

You plug in 2600 sticks to the adapter.

#8 kenjennings OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2012 9:13 PM

ahhh, so the 5200 was a glorified power supply and TV cable. ;-)




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