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Did anyone cut their gaming teeth on the 5200?

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Lots of people like myself started out on either VCS or INTV, but how many can say that they never owned either before getting the 5200 as their first system one unforgettable Christmas morning in 1983? Was it as cool as owning a VCS or Colecovision was during those days? I ask out of curiosity because it seems rare these days to actually meet anyone who remembers, much less grew up on 5200.

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My first 5200 was given to me in early 90's. Store sales people always advised us against buying one during the 80's because they kept getting returned.

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My first 5200 was given to me in early 90's. Store sales people always advised us against buying one during the 80's because they kept getting returned.

 

Did any of them tell you why units were being returned? Seems kinda odd...

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Not me. I hate to say it, but I never owned a 5200 until a couple years ago (I did actually buy one at a used game shop about 20 years ago, but the controllers didn't work so I returned it and didn't play much). Now it's a favorite, though. Anyways, yeah, I would guess that most people that bought a 5200 already had a 2600, O2 or Inty first?

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2600 was my first console, but I always wanted to try the 5200. Sadly I never knew anyone who owned the system. I didn't even play the ColecoVision until it was already on the market for several years. (What video game crash?) I did play the Intellevision. I knew a lot of people who owned that system. Not me though.

 

Now that I own a 5200 I love it. Despite its shortcomings it really was ahead of its time. The analog controller is actually great, at least for certain games. The graphics are very unique, nicely antiquated by today's standards. Not quite arcade, not quite 2600, but still very impressive for the day, and still very cool looking now.

 

As a social gamer I applaud Atari for creating the first system with 4 controller ports. The hardware is also much nicer looking than the competition, and the Trak-Ball is outstanding.

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I guess i was late on the 5200 era or miss seeing them in stores. I first got a Coleco telstar pong and then VCS for Christmas, 1997 I got a box filled with 2600 and 5200 stuff.

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My first 5200 was given to me in early 90's. Store sales people always advised us against buying one during the 80's because they kept getting returned.

 

Did any of them tell you why units were being returned? Seems kinda odd...

I was only around 10 at the time and we were buying our first gaming system. I remember something about customers not being happy with them and how much better off we were with a proven system. So we ended up with a 4sw 2600 and Galaxian, Battlezone, & Warlords. Pacman was the pack-in game. Store's name was L&S Electronics in Scranton, PA.

Best info I can give.

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It was the first system I ever owned. But Arcade was PacMan. But come to think of it. The first game on a system I remember playing was AD&D for the intellivision.

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My first was the OD2 in 1981/82ish My father bought it at Montgomery Ward for $500 with a hand full of titles. He bitched for years about that $500. I remember still my mother, father, and oldest sister yelling violently while the demo for KC Munchkin played itself... whether the game had been started or not, and if the controllers were broken. :roll: *sigh* good times... reminds me of the Microwave a few years earlier.

 

About the 5200, I didn't even know it existed in any capacity until the very late 80's. 1982 - 1987 it was all about OD2, 2600, Coleco, and then Nintendo in my circles.

 

AX

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Not me, but my uncle never owned a 2600 or INTV. His first game console was the 5200. He was always a really big arcade gamer, especially Defender. When 5200 Defender came out he had to have it! I remember being really jealous because he had 5200 Pac-Man and I was stuck with the 2600 version :)

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...then VCS for Christmas, 1997 I got a box filled with 2600 and 5200 stuff.

 

Now that sounds like a Christmas to remember. :)

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I was born in '80. My father jumped from 2600 to NES.

 

First time I tried a 5200 and received one was in '98 from a high school friend. For years all I ever knew was "5200 games had blue letters (on the label), and 2600 games were red" :).

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I wanted one, saw a playable demo of Pacman and thought it and the pause button were beyond great. Never knew anyone who had one. A hazard of growing up in a small town in South Dakota, most people had 2600, one guy I knew had a 2600 and an INTV. It wasn't until 92 I saw a 5200 in a pawn shop for $40. I didn't buy it but when I went back to school the Dollar Store and a bunch of 5200 games so I bought them, and then sent a friend back home to go get the system. Had to get on "Gopher" to learn how to fix the controllers. Used a rear window defroster repair kit to do it. Oh well, on a side note anyone have a 7800 Kung Fu Master they want to get rid of? LOL take care guys.

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I had a 2600 and also an Intellivision. I went straight from the 2600 to a 400, so when the 5200 came out I was pretty excited until I saw the graphics and realized it was basically the same system I had been playing on for years (the 400). I was kind of disappointed in Atari, as I am sure a lot of people familiar with the 400/800 computers were as well. It was repackaged 1979 technology (with several small changes)that we had been enjoying for a long time already... :roll:

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We spilled water on ours and I thought it was broken but 10 years later I puled it out of storage and it turned on. Was so excited but we gave ours away like 10 years ago. So maybe I'll get a used one on ebay if I find a good deal.

 

But anyhow it was our first system ever and then nes with rob and gun duckhunt and gyromite. Don't have that either. Still love my WII but something about the old games briongs back memories.

 

Never owned a 2600 or colco vision. Had 1 friend with a 2600 no longer works he said. But I never had one.

Edited by 78265317

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.....sort of....I mean, our first system as a family, was a 2600 on clearance. Im a touch young to remember atari in it's glory days. The Nintendo was out by then. But the 2600 didn't have SOUND! We never even noticed something was wrong with it since it was our first system. Later we did of course, but it's a weird thing to happen....BUT, later our friend gave us his 5200 so he could keep upgrading to a newer system. WHile others were playing NES, were having a great time with the 5200, even though the controllers would NOT center. Nevertheless, we had fun with a "bouncing" car in James Bond, and a car that wouldn't center in Pole Position. We somehow made it through Super Cobra to the end. It was a cool game that you could beat it, and had modern shooter elements in it. I really LOVED Moon Patrol the most with what we had. Seeing lists now, I see MANY 5200 games that look very good, like Gremlins.

 

Even though the 5200 was not NEW, at the time, it was still new to us, and I could hardly do my homework with that thing around.

Edited by 2d gamer

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.....sort of....I mean, our first system as a family, was a 2600 on clearance. Im a touch young to remember atari in it's glory days. The Nintendo was out by then. But the 2600 didn't have SOUND! We never even noticed something was wrong with it since it was our first system. Later we did of course, but it's a weird thing to happen....BUT, later our friend gave us his 5200 so he could keep upgrading to a newer system. WHile others were playing NES, were having a great time with the 5200, even though the controllers would NOT center. Nevertheless, we had fun with a "bouncing" car in James Bond, and a car that wouldn't center in Pole Position. We somehow made it through Super Cobra to the end. It was a cool game that you could beat it, and had modern shooter elements in it. I really LOVED Moon Patrol the most with what we had. Seeing lists now, I see MANY 5200 games that look very good, like Gremlins.

 

Even though the 5200 was not NEW, at the time, it was still new to us, and I could hardly do my homework with that thing around.

 

another excellent 5200 story. I really recommend the AtariMax USB or SD multicarts for the 5200. You will be able to play every game including 8-bit computer conversions and prototypes. Can't beat that.

 

And yes Gremlins is a cool game :)

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Agree - another nice 5200 story. Here's mine:

 

Although I cut my teeth on the 2600 like many others, I was never truly satisfied with 2600 and thus sold it after 1 year. I got the 2600 when I 'graduated' from the 8th grade. Just about every other kid I knew had the 2600 for at least 2 years by that point. The first game I bought was while I was camping (and thus couldn't play it for 2 weeks until I got home) - it was Haunted House. I caught up with the 2600's library quickly over the next year, but this is why I never really played 2600 classic like Adventure ... they were already old and I was buying stuff like Donkey Kong, River Raid, and Ms Pac-Man. Anyone who remembers those early 80's knows that the Colecovision and 5200 had just come out, and they blew away the 2600 with their sounds and visuals. You'd see a new coin-op game every other week, and want a home version. Magazines like Electronic Games and Joystik fueled our gaming addictions! So I think the next summer of 1984, I sold my 2600 to neighbors and used the funds towards a new 5200! I remember being very excited!

 

This was not the launch 5200 that I bought. I got Pac-Man for free with a 2-port 5200, and my controllers had extra rubber so they kind-of self-centered; the controllers never broke, either. Everything worked great, although my mom couldn't use the analog non-centering controllers well. But she was a 40-year old mom! She didn't have burning itch, so she never really tried! My 2 best friends also had 5200's and other than commenting on the controllers' differences, I recall nobody complaining or breaking theirs, such as one reads today on the net. It wasn't until year 2000, digging my stuff out of my cousin's attic, that I had to deal with non-functioning controller buttons.

 

Other than Pac-man, I remember owning Q*bert, Frogger, Joust, Ms. Pac-man, Realsports Soccer, Vanguard, and Mario Bros. A friend who owned lots more games often lent to me Berzerk, Dig Dug, & Jungle Hunt. I remember my other friend playing 5200 on a b&w tv set - Q*bert. After a certain level, you couldn't distinguish the color shades any more. Poor sap. :)

 

By and large, we had the most fun playing 2-player simultaneous Joust and Mario Bros, and taking turns on Q*bert, Frogger and Berzerk.

 

as a footnote, I also had an Atari 1200XL computer. I always recognized that they were similar hardware, so when I switched to using the A8 during the college years (I used Atari Writer for reports), I found I could get games on disk and they were the same as my beloved 5200 games! Thus it was on the A8 that I played Fractalus, Ballblazer, Pitfall II, Space Dungeon, all the Activision ports, and Pole position.

 

My 5200 was given to cousins eventually. they told me they played it until the Start buttons stopped working. I got the system back in summer 2000, researched how to fix the controllers, and found my old beloved system was even more fun than I remembered! I fried that system and one other one, now I'm playing on 5200 #3 which is like the "tow mater" version of 5200s. I'm always on the lookout for a better-condition system at a fair price!

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^

Exactly how did you fry two 5200 systems?

 

homebrewing -- making carts using a batch of PCBs that had a trace of lead in the wrong spot. Replaced the whole batch and no further probs.

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I had a 2600 and also an Intellivision. I went straight from the 2600 to a 400, so when the 5200 came out I was pretty excited until I saw the graphics and realized it was basically the same system I had been playing on for years (the 400). I was kind of disappointed in Atari, as I am sure a lot of people familiar with the 400/800 computers were as well. It was repackaged 1979 technology (with several small changes)that we had been enjoying for a long time already... :roll:

 

This is EXACTLY how I felt, and how I still feel to a good degree.

 

Me, started with 2600 , and I liked the Coleco Vision, but at the last minute I saw that I could get with my friend and copy games from disc to disc and that was great on a 12 year old's allowance, so I bought a Atari 400. Upgraded that, had a blast.

 

When my dad and I would dig through the Atari dumpsters we ran across Atari 5200 stuff. I think we found a Pac-Man and a controller. Controller seemed really strange. Saw the games. Some good games, many of which I had on my Atari 400 on a floppy or cartridge.

 

Later some games came out for the 5200 that were not readily ported for the Atari computer like Space Dungeon.

 

I have only one thing to say in 2011 now that I like the 5200, and I admit it has some great games. If you enjoyed the 5200 back in the day, you could have enjoyed the same games with a better controller on a Atari 400/800/XL/XE and had a lot more fun.

 

Just saying.

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The Atari 5200 was actually my first console. Unfortunately I got it toward the end of its life so getting games was a bit difficult at the time. The dang sales people didn't tell us that they weren't getting any new stuff so we hunted all around town not long after the Christmas that I got it and managed to get quite a few games. Maybe a year later (could of been more or less I can't remember) My dad bought a Colecovision with both expansion modules and a done of games from someone at his work for $75. Maybe the year after that we got an NES but we didn't play it a lot at first since we didn't have a lot of games. The 5200 is however still a favorite console of mine.

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Nope!

 

My first game ever was the Odyssey 2 and that was pretty cool to start out with.

Big graphics and easy gameplay, I was only 3 or 4 years old! Though I could operate that baby.

 

Second was Commodore 64, the family upgrade from consoles. That lasted till

I got my very own NES.

 

I did pick up an Atari 2600 twice after the C-64.

 

Way down in 2006? I got a 5200, with dead controllers big surprise!

Also a 7800, which works just fine.

 

Last system I got is Intellivision 2010! Never even seen one lol...

but I love it now, it's my newest old console.

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