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Never played anything older than an N64 -- interested in Atari 7800

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Hello AtariAge!

 

I'm 20 years old, never played anything older than a Nintendo 64, and I'm really interested in picking up an Atari 7800 (or a NES, but this isn't a NES forum). It looks like a wonderful system with an active homebrew community (assuming backwards compatibility with Atari 2600 games), and phenomenal pick-up-and-play games (all I really have time for in college, unfortunately).

 

I have some questions.

 

  1. I found a website that claims to sell new Atari 7800 systems, which can be found here: http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/7800.htm. Is this website legitimate?
  2. Assuming that the website is legitimate, I am interested in the Reconditioned Atari US CX7800 System Upgraded with the Atari Engineering 7800 Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification. Is this a good choice? Although I garnered that this was an upgrade from the regular Atari 7800, is there any reason to look into the Euro OS upgrade as well, for an extra $15?
  3. I'm assuming that I will need a CRT TV to play the Atari 7800 on. Are there any specific brands that you would recommend I look into on ebay or Goodwill?
  4. It looks like the Atrari 7800 comes with unofficial controllers. Should I look into getting official ones, or are the unofficial ones provided suitable?
  5. Is the Atari 7800 100% backwards compatible with the Atari 2600? I'm pretty sure it is not with the Atari 5200.
  6. If you were to choose some games that would most likely appeal to someone who didn't really start gaming until the very early 2000s, which games would you choose, genre be damned? (Game recommendations? I'm open to homebrew as well if it's avaiable from AtariAge!)

Thank you very much for your help.

 

 

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Your best bang for the buck as a college student will be a Nintendo or super Nintendo. But.... If you do get a 7800, get it cheap from anywhere, have it av modded as listed above, spend 90 bucks on two euro controllers and 20 more on extension cables, 30 bucks on a light gun, and then start buying games. There are plenty of great pick up and play 2600 and 7800 games. Too many to list really. If you are getting into 2600 stuff you will need some joystick controllers and paddle controllers, but those can be found cheap.

 

If you are new to Atari save the 5200 for..........later. If you've never played anything earlier than n64 I can't help but reccomend a genesis or Snes. But 7800 and Jaguar are a blast if you have the time and $$$ :).

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I have some questions.

 

  1. I found a website that claims to sell new Atari 7800 systems, which can be found here: http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/7800.htm. Is this website legitimate?
  2. Assuming that the website is legitimate, I am interested in the Reconditioned Atari US CX7800 System Upgraded with the Atari Engineering 7800 Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification. Is this a good choice? Although I garnered that this was an upgrade from the regular Atari 7800, is there any reason to look into the Euro OS upgrade as well, for an extra $15?
  3. I'm assuming that I will need a CRT TV to play the Atari 7800 on. Are there any specific brands that you would recommend I look into on ebay or Goodwill?
  4. It looks like the Atrari 7800 comes with unofficial controllers. Should I look into getting official ones, or are the unofficial ones provided suitable?
  5. Is the Atari 7800 100% backwards compatible with the Atari 2600? I'm pretty sure it is not with the Atari 5200.
  6. If you were to choose some games that would most likely appeal to someone who didn't really start gaming until the very early 2000s, which games would you choose, genre be damned? (Game recommendations? I'm open to homebrew as well if it's avaiable from AtariAge!)

Thank you very much for your help.

 

 

 

First let me say welcome to AtariAge.

 

Best Electronics is a legit website even though they haven't updated their site design since the 90s.

The specific item you linked to is a decent if a bit pricey option. There are a couple of reviews of it fairly recently in this forum that you may want to check out. If you want a mint looking system then it is probably one of your only options. If you don't mind a few scratches then you can probably get one for a bit cheaper.

 

You do not need a CRT for the Atari systems though they do look better on a CRT. Just make sure it has a coaxial input that can tune to old channel 3 if you are using an unmodded 7800. Or if you get one A/V modded then it just needs the standard composite input.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by unofficial controllers. There aren't many options for 7800 specific controllers, most of them were made by Atari. Many 7800 games are compatible with the Atari 2600 joysticks as well, of which there are a very wide variety. Many of them were not made by Atari.

 

There are a handful of 2600 games that are not compatible with all 7800 consoles. A couple don't fit into the cartridge slot and a couple others have an issue with some internal changes Atari made to the 7800.

 

Without knowing your taste in gaming it's hard to say for sure what games you may like the best. The Pacman games are generally quite popular. Some of the later games like Midnight Mutants and Scrapyard Dog are a bit closer to modern tastes. Pretty much all of the homebrews available in the AtariAge store are great.

 

Have fun and game on.

 

Mitch

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Hello AtariAge!

 

I'm 20 years old, never played anything older than a Nintendo 64, and I'm really interested in picking up an Atari 7800 (or a NES, but this isn't a NES forum). It looks like a wonderful system with an active homebrew community (assuming backwards compatibility with Atari 2600 games), and phenomenal pick-up-and-play games (all I really have time for in college, unfortunately).

 

I have some questions.

 

  1. I found a website that claims to sell new Atari 7800 systems, which can be found here: http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/7800.htm. Is this website legitimate?
  2. Assuming that the website is legitimate, I am interested in the Reconditioned Atari US CX7800 System Upgraded with the Atari Engineering 7800 Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification. Is this a good choice? Although I garnered that this was an upgrade from the regular Atari 7800, is there any reason to look into the Euro OS upgrade as well, for an extra $15?
  3. I'm assuming that I will need a CRT TV to play the Atari 7800 on. Are there any specific brands that you would recommend I look into on ebay or Goodwill?
  4. It looks like the Atrari 7800 comes with unofficial controllers. Should I look into getting official ones, or are the unofficial ones provided suitable?
  5. Is the Atari 7800 100% backwards compatible with the Atari 2600? I'm pretty sure it is not with the Atari 5200.
  6. If you were to choose some games that would most likely appeal to someone who didn't really start gaming until the very early 2000s, which games would you choose, genre be damned? (Game recommendations? I'm open to homebrew as well if it's avaiable from AtariAge!)

Thank you very much for your help.

 

 

1-5: While you can't go wrong by ordering a system from Best Electronics, I strongly urge you to go to the Marketplace forum and search for an AV modded systems. There's no need to mess with old CRTs! Try to buy some of Yurkie's ball-knob modified 7800 controllers.

 

6: Galaga, Joust, and Ms. Pac-Man will set you back about $2 each. They're also the best games for the system. Beefdrop is an excellent Burgertime clone, and there are very good ports of Jr. Pac-Man and Super Pac-Man available, too.

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... spend 90 bucks on two euro controllers ...

 

Really? I bought one European gamepad from Best for $17 last year. Did the prices go sky-high when I wasn't looking?

 

@Angband - I picked up a 7800 a year ago on Craigslist for $40 with a great big pile of 2600 and 7800 games, the joysticks, and a trackball. You can certainly go with the Best Electronics option--and you'd be hard-pressed to go wrong with it if you want to spend the money, at least according to folks around here who have purchased them. I would definitely recommend, though, looking around for a good deal. They are out there to be had if you're patient.

 

As far as games, there is a vibrant homebrew scene for the 7800 that will probably only be expanding with some recent developments in the community. She doesn't have the glitz, maybe, of the NES, but I think the Atari 7800 is definitely worthy of your consideration.

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Hello AtariAge!

 

I'm 20 years old, never played anything older than a Nintendo 64, and I'm really interested in picking up an Atari 7800 (or a NES, but this isn't a NES forum). It looks like a wonderful system with an active homebrew community (assuming backwards compatibility with Atari 2600 games), and phenomenal pick-up-and-play games (all I really have time for in college, unfortunately).

 

I have some questions.

 

  • I found a website that claims to sell new Atari 7800 systems, which can be found here: http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/7800.htm. Is this website legitimate?
  • Assuming that the website is legitimate, I am interested in the Reconditioned Atari US CX7800 System Upgraded with the Atari Engineering 7800 Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification. Is this a good choice? Although I garnered that this was an upgrade from the regular Atari 7800, is there any reason to look into the Euro OS upgrade as well, for an extra $15?
  • I'm assuming that I will need a CRT TV to play the Atari 7800 on. Are there any specific brands that you would recommend I look into on ebay or Goodwill?
  • It looks like the Atrari 7800 comes with unofficial controllers. Should I look into getting official ones, or are the unofficial ones provided suitable?
  • Is the Atari 7800 100% backwards compatible with the Atari 2600? I'm pretty sure it is not with the Atari 5200.
  • If you were to choose some games that would most likely appeal to someone who didn't really start gaming until the very early 2000s, which games would you choose, genre be damned? (Game recommendations? I'm open to homebrew as well if it's avaiable from AtariAge!)
Thank you very much for your help.

 

Legit, and you will get a practically new unit with upgraded internal buttons. You can also get the AV mod to make hookup easier. I got mine from Best not long ago. Top notch.

 

You can also do an unadvertised special that gives you a 10 credit and loses the joysticks. You can then choose the proper 7800 sticks, or the euro pads. I got both, but the europads suck. The d-pad on one is already broken. And the inverse hat makes it awkward if your used to playing with modern controllers.

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Hello AtariAge!

 

I'm 20 years old, never played anything older than a Nintendo 64, and I'm really interested in picking up an Atari 7800 (or a NES, but this isn't a NES forum). It looks like a wonderful system with an active homebrew community (assuming backwards compatibility with Atari 2600 games), and phenomenal pick-up-and-play games (all I really have time for in college, unfortunately).

 

I have some questions.

 

  1. I found a website that claims to sell new Atari 7800 systems, which can be found here: http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/7800.htm. Is this website legitimate?
  2. Assuming that the website is legitimate, I am interested in the Reconditioned Atari US CX7800 System Upgraded with the Atari Engineering 7800 Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification. Is this a good choice? Although I garnered that this was an upgrade from the regular Atari 7800, is there any reason to look into the Euro OS upgrade as well, for an extra $15?
  3. I'm assuming that I will need a CRT TV to play the Atari 7800 on. Are there any specific brands that you would recommend I look into on ebay or Goodwill?
  4. It looks like the Atrari 7800 comes with unofficial controllers. Should I look into getting official ones, or are the unofficial ones provided suitable?
  5. Is the Atari 7800 100% backwards compatible with the Atari 2600? I'm pretty sure it is not with the Atari 5200.
  6. If you were to choose some games that would most likely appeal to someone who didn't really start gaming until the very early 2000s, which games would you choose, genre be damned? (Game recommendations? I'm open to homebrew as well if it's avaiable from AtariAge!)

Thank you very much for your help.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to AtariAge. As others have said, Best Electronics is legit and you won't be disappointed with what you get from there. Most have better luck calling them on the phone.

 

Here is a thread that talks about how to get into the older games from the perspective of someone a little older than you. He asked for advice on how to love Atari and users gave some thoughtful responses. His subsequent blog was interesting too.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/180896-help-me-learn-to-love-the-atari-2600/?hl=%22learn+to+love%22

 

It is 2600 focused, but gets you some recommendations that will ease you into Atari.

 

The marketplace here on AA is going to be your best option for a cheap 2600 or 7800. You'll pay less here than anywhere else on the internet.

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#3: Sony trinitrons were generally regarded as the best CRTs back in the day. Can still find some in garage sales as people finally get rid of them to upgrade to HDTVs.

#6: Recommend NES and SNES over 7800 at least at first. Once you've gotten into classic gaming you'll be able to appreciate the 7800 more. Too many games to mention. The classics are well known. If I had to pick one game to start with it would be Mega Man 2. That game was created with love. It is a work of art. And be ready for a challenge.

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Thanks for the input everyone! I think I'll go with the Atari 7800 with the Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification from Best Electronics CA, then I'll look into possibly getting it AV modded. As for controllers, it comes with two. Are there any that you would recommend in particular?

 

You have all been so helpful, thank you very much. I cannot wait to get my hands on one! The more YouTube videos I watch, forums I peruse, and 2600/7800 official titles and homebrew games I look into, the more excited I get.

Edited by Angband

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#3: Sony trinitrons were generally regarded as the best CRTs back in the day. Can still find some in garage sales as people finally get rid of them to upgrade to HDTVs.

 

#6: Recommend NES and SNES over 7800 at least at first. Once you've gotten into classic gaming you'll be able to appreciate the 7800 more. Too many games to mention. The classics are well known. If I had to pick one game to start with it would be Mega Man 2. That game was created with love. It is a work of art. And be ready for a challenge.

Definitely agree with the Sony Trinitron recommendation, great CRTs.

 

As for the OP's original question about exploring systems prior to the N64, why not look into the Big 3 of the Golden Age? You could do worse than the VCS, the Inty, and the CV. Just sayin.

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If you are going NES and kind of testing the waters to see if you like classic gaming, I would recommend one of the FC Super Loaders or Retro-bit Retro duo or Retron, etc type top loader clones. They are dirt cheap, new in the box and while they aren't 100% compatible, the games they do play start up with less fiddling and blowing on cart contacts, etc. than your yard sale or ebay NES would require. Some of them even play more than one system. I think there is one that has NES, SNES and Genesis all in one.

Edited by SIO2

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Sorry to ask a probably stupid question, but concerning backwards compatibility with Atari 2600 games, I'm aware that it is backwards compatible with roughly 99% of them, but is there anything lost in translation from 2600 to 7800 concerning graphics or sound or gameplay at all?

 

Thank you! Sorry again for all of this nonsense.

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Sorry to ask a probably stupid question, but concerning backwards compatibility with Atari 2600 games, I'm aware that it is backwards compatible with roughly 99% of them, but is there anything lost in translation from 2600 to 7800 concerning graphics or sound or gameplay at all?

 

Thank you! Sorry again for all of this nonsense.

Not nonsense at all especially considering how some modern consoles handle "backwards compatibility" via software emulation, it's actually a very good and logically question.

 

The backwards compatibility is handled via hardware containing the 2600 graphic and sound chip (In fact, sadly, the default sound of the 7800 system is the exact same sound chip as the 2600), so to answer your question, graphics, sound, and gameplay are all intact, including difficulty selection switches that the 2600 system contains.

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Not nonsense at all especially considering how some modern consoles handle "backwards compatibility" via software emulation, it's actually a very good and logically question.

 

The backwards compatibility is handled via hardware containing the 2600 graphic and sound chip (In fact, sadly, the default sound of the 7800 system is the exact same sound chip as the 2600), so to answer your question, graphics, sound, and gameplay are all intact, including difficulty selection switches that the 2600 system contains.

Thank you for the quick reply! This is still true for all homebrews from AtariAge, and if I pick up the Atari 7800 from Best Electronics with the Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification?

 

Cheers!

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Thank you for the quick reply! This is still true for all homebrews from AtariAge, and if I pick up the Atari 7800 from Best Electronics with the Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification?

 

Cheers!

 

The 2600 homebrews are all intended to be played on any platform that supports 2600. So the 7800 compatibility is assumed. If you have any problems, Al (guy who runs AtariAge) will handle it and replace your cart. I actually did have one homebrew that he replaced for me after some weird behavior on a 7800.

 

The Video Modification won't change anything regarding compatibility. These devices are essentially taking an S-Video signal and broadcasting it on UHF channel 3 and 4. The video mod basically bypasses the broadcast and just gives you the straight S-Video (or composite) out. The original design was done because TVs simply weren't manufactured with inputs other than those for an antenna, so the console had to broadcast straight into the TV. Regardless, the video mod changes nothing about how the console works - just how the video/audio gets output.

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Hello AtariAge!

 

I'm 20 years old, never played anything older than a Nintendo 64, and I'm really interested in picking up an Atari 7800 (or a NES, but this isn't a NES forum). It looks like a wonderful system with an active homebrew community (assuming backwards compatibility with Atari 2600 games), and phenomenal pick-up-and-play games (all I really have time for in college, unfortunately).

 

Wait a second... ...You're a college student? You must have access to some kind of personal computer then, right? Have you ever considered a little thing called, "Emulation"? There's an easy to use 7800 emulator called, "ProSystem" that does a decent job of recreating the classic video game experience. You can even download the game files (called, "ROM" images - "Read-Only-Memory") from right here at Atari Age.

 

For playing Atari VCS/2600 games, there's an even better emulator with cool video effects to make your computer screen look more like a TV than an actual TV... And accessing Atari games this way has the added advantage of letting you participate in previewing exciting new games that are still in development, or games that are no longer available due to copyright actions.

 

If anything, even for the die-hard enthusiast who MUST play classic games on real hardware, emulation gives you a chance to "try-before-you-buy" so you can feel better about your purchase. And please, now that you've found Atari Age, hang out and read through these forums. There's a vast wealth of technological history here as well as a lot of entertainment, even if you're just wasting your life one GIF at a time... ...Welcome Angband.

Edited by almightytodd

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The 2600 homebrews are all intended to be played on any platform that supports 2600. So the 7800 compatibility is assumed. If you have any problems, Al (guy who runs AtariAge) will handle it and replace your cart. I actually did have one homebrew that he replaced for me after some weird behavior on a 7800.

 

The Video Modification won't change anything regarding compatibility. These devices are essentially taking an S-Video signal and broadcasting it on UHF channel 3 and 4. The video mod basically bypasses the broadcast and just gives you the straight S-Video (or composite) out. The original design was done because TVs simply weren't manufactured with inputs other than those for an antenna, so the console had to broadcast straight into the TV. Regardless, the video mod changes nothing about how the console works - just how the video/audio gets output.

Ah excellent, thank you very much. Really looking forward to picking one up!

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Wait a second... ...You're a college student? You must have access to some kind of personal computer then, right? Have you ever considered a little thing called, "Emulation"? There's an easy to use 7800 emulator called, "ProSystem" that does a decent job of recreating the classic video game experience. You can even download the game files (called, "ROM" images - "Read-Only-Memory") from right here at Atari Age.

 

For playing Atari VCS/2600 games, there's an even better emulator with cool video effects to make your computer screen look more like a TV than an actual TV... And accessing Atari games this way has the added advantage of letting you participate in previewing exciting new games that are still in development, or games that are no longer available due to copyright actions.

 

If anything, even for the die-hard enthusiast who MUST play classic games on real hardware, emulation gives you a chance to "try-before-you-buy" so you can feel better about your purchase. And please, now that you've found Atari Age, hang out and read through these forums. There's a vast wealth of technological history here as well as a lot of entertainment, even if you're just wasting your life one GIF at a time... ...Welcome Angband.

 

Emulation is great. I use it but, I still prefer hardware designed for just gaming. I know there has been a lot of debate about that over the years with a lot of strong feelings on both sides.

 

I have always had a hard time explaining why I like game hardware over emulation but this morning, I think I put my finger on it. I think it boils down to the fact most emulation is taking place on computers with keyboards. To me, a computer with a keyboard is like a chick in a business suit holding a clipboard vs a game system which is a chick in a sun dress holding a margarita. You can have a lot of fun with either but margarita girl just seems to be more comfortable having fun.

 

So, perhaps the ATARI XEGS is the ultimate game machine. She's business when you need it but that babe can take her keyboard off and party.

 

XEGS also has factory composite video and a huge rack of software to choose from.

Edited by SIO2
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Hey there...

 

First off, you don't need an old TV to use the 7800 -- I have a Sony Bravia that my Atari 7800 worked 100% fine with via the antenna port (past tense because I have since modded it to use the A/V ports). As long as the TV has an antenna port, you're fine.

 

If you really want one, though, I have a Sony Trinitron I'm not using that I can sell you. You just have to come to Chicago to pick it up. :)

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Hey there...

 

First off, you don't need an old TV to use the 7800 -- I have a Sony Bravia that my Atari 7800 worked 100% fine with via the antenna port (past tense because I have since modded it to use the A/V ports). As long as the TV has an antenna port, you're fine.

 

If you really want one, though, I have a Sony Trinitron I'm not using that I can sell you. You just have to come to Chicago to pick it up. :)

Hah, thanks for the offer, but I'm afraid I'm bound to my college campus and home. I'll check around and see what some local stores might have concerning CRTs if I cannot land a good deal on one and get it shipped over.

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Thanks for the input everyone! I think I'll go with the Atari 7800 with the Rev. 2 Composite Video Modification from Best Electronics CA, then I'll look into possibly getting it AV modded. As for controllers, it comes with two. Are there any that you would recommend in particular?

 

You have all been so helpful, thank you very much. I cannot wait to get my hands on one! The more YouTube videos I watch, forums I peruse, and 2600/7800 official titles and homebrew games I look into, the more excited I get.

That one has the AV mod and will work on any TV that has RCA style video in (yellow).

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