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If i already have an 800XL, I don't need a 5200. Convince me otherwise.

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If you already own a 5200 OP, and if you have good working CX52 controllers, then play Missile Command, Centipede, and Pole Position for a night. The analog control makes these an entirely new experience that you can't get from the A8.

 

Then there is Tempest from the AA store. It is fantastic, and so is its analog control programming.

 

Then there is Star Raiders 5200. You can sit back on the couch with all the starship controls at your fingertips. No need to hover over the A8 keyboard. Actually this is true of many 5200 games vs the A8 version. The 5200 is for the sittin-on-the-couch console gamer, as opposed to the computer gamer sitting at a desk because you have to hit space bar and other keys during a game.

 

This leads me to mention Qix 5200. The cx52 has 2 buttons for fast and slow draw. Again, there are more 2 button games where this feature comes in handy. And the built in Pause , reset, and start buttons on the controller. Even if you use a Masterplay type interface the 5200 stick can still be sitting next to you for ease in resets etc.

 

These are my reasons to hold onto my beloved 5200 and to keep the sticks well maintained. Sure, I do like the better reliability and bigger library of the A8, too, of course. If these reasons do nothing for you then I'd say sell the console and stick to the simple A8 setup .

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If you already own a 5200 OP, and if you have good working CX52 controllers, then play Missile Command, Centipede, and Pole Position for a night. The analog control makes these an entirely new experience that you can't get from the A8.

 

Then there is Tempest from the AA store. It is fantastic, and so is its analog control programming.

 

Then there is Star Raiders 5200. You can sit back on the couch with all the starship controls at your fingertips. No need to hover over the A8 keyboard. Actually this is true of many 5200 games vs the A8 version. The 5200 is for the sittin-on-the-couch console gamer, as opposed to the computer gamer sitting at a desk because you have to hit space bar and other keys during a game.

 

This leads me to mention Qix 5200. The cx52 has 2 buttons for fast and slow draw. Again, there are more 2 button games where this feature comes in handy. And the built in Pause , reset, and start buttons on the controller. Even if you use a Masterplay type interface the 5200 stick can still be sitting next to you for ease in resets etc.

 

These are my reasons to hold onto my beloved 5200 and to keep the sticks well maintained. Sure, I do like the better reliability and bigger library of the A8, too, of course. If these reasons do nothing for you then I'd say sell the console and stick to the simple A8 setup .

the most concise and accurate answer. Tempest was ultimately the deciding factor for me. I shall keep the big beast.
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The 5200 is the hobby-ist system. You get to play mr. amateur fix-it to the controllers, easily build your own paddles, maybe even play around with the pots inside to fine tune the analog controls, or do color adjustments.

 

It requires interaction from you and some tender care. It's more than just the fun games. That doesn't appeal to everyone.

 

Gaming wise the analog trackball support alone is the strongest point in its favor. Missile Command, Centipede, Millipede, and Tempest. I mean c'mon.

Edited by Nuclear Pacman
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The 5200 is the hobby-ist system. You get to play mr. amateur fix-it to the controllers, easily build your own paddles, maybe even play around with the pots inside to fine tune the analog controls, or do color adjustments.

 

It requires interaction from you and some tender care. It's more than just the fun games. That doesn't appeal to everyone.

 

Gaming wise the analog trackball support alone is the strongest point in its favor. Missile Command, Centipede, Millipede, and Tempest. I mean c'mon.

Oh god yeah, and Millipede. pretty much all in just for the trak ball at this point.

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1.) Analog control improves several games, such as River Raid, Star Raiders, Galaxian, Missile Command, Qix , The Dreadnaught Factor , Pole Position, Star Wars: The Arcade Game, Bal lblazer , and Rescue On Fractalus. (It hinders some, true, but on the whole, it helps far more than it hurts.)

2.) All pertinent function and control keys are at your fingertips, making games like Defender empirically more playable.

2.5) Because of 1. and 2., the gameplay experience is different on the 5200, and arguably more deluxe.

3.) It's super easy to collect for and there are 400/800 conversions out the wazoo if you want to go that route.

4.) Its aesthetic appeal is unmatched by any console before or since.

5.) Space Dungeon.

6.) The Trak-Ball is revered for a reason, and is/can be used by more games than you'd think.

7.) Adventure II.

8.) The Atari 800XL is not a console; what you're really saying with this topic is "I have a computer and don't need a console. Change my mind."

9.) The quality of the 5200 library is outstanding--there are very few legitimately bad games. And of the hundreds of games that came out for the 400/800, most of the ones you're actually going to play are on the 5200 anyway (either original releases or conversions/ports).

10.) Tempest.

11.) If you still need convincing at this point, well...your loss. :P :-D

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Don't forget Galaxian. 5200 Galaxian is border-line unplayable for me with the 5200 joysticks, but with that trak-ball... totally different game.

 

It plays well with a digital stick. My NeoGeo stick from Grips03 does the trick on that title. That is, when I don't play with the Trak-Ball...

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Regarding Galaxian, (and Pole Position actually), when I play with a digital stick, I get a different speed with the ship whether I go left or right. When I move right, I get full speed, but when I move left it is noticably slower. I normally use a Competition Pro, which requires the coupling of a stock controller, I usually get that calibrated dead center just fine, so I was wondering if there was something inside the hardware I needed to adjust to fix this.

 

Pole Position does the same thing, it turns right harder then if I turn left, using digital controls. But, with games that are digital, like Berzerk, or any Pac-Man game, I have no problems.

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Regarding Galaxian, (and Pole Position actually), when I play with a digital stick, I get a different speed with the ship whether I go left or right. When I move right, I get full speed, but when I move left it is noticably slower. I normally use a Competition Pro, which requires the coupling of a stock controller, I usually get that calibrated dead center just fine, so I was wondering if there was something inside the hardware I needed to adjust to fix this.

 

Pole Position does the same thing, it turns right harder then if I turn left, using digital controls. But, with games that are digital, like Berzerk, or any Pac-Man game, I have no problems.

Sounds like you need to adjust the analog adjustment put inside the 5200. More info here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/181930-my-5200-is-acting-kinda-strange/?p=2280867&hl=calibration%20pot&fromsearch=1&do=findComment&comment=2280867

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People are praising the 5200 trackball controller for good reason...they are arcade quality. The internals are basically the same as used in Atari's arcade games using the mini trackball (Centipede and all the cocktail cabinets).

 

When the 5200 trackball controllers were being sold on clearance back in the early 90s, many arcade collectors bought them to use the parts in their badly worn out arcade games. Shafts, bearings and ball are identical.

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Regarding Galaxian, (and Pole Position actually), when I play with a digital stick, I get a different speed with the ship whether I go left or right. When I move right, I get full speed, but when I move left it is noticably slower. I normally use a Competition Pro, which requires the coupling of a stock controller, I usually get that calibrated dead center just fine, so I was wondering if there was something inside the hardware I needed to adjust to fix this.

 

Pole Position does the same thing, it turns right harder then if I turn left, using digital controls. But, with games that are digital, like Berzerk, or any Pac-Man game, I have no problems.

 

I'd rather play both Galaxian and Pole Position - throw in Space Invaders too - with a 5200 Paddle but I don't have one built... I'll do one if a certain someone does indeed create thin PCBs to replace the Flex Circuit in the CX52...

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People are praising the 5200 trackball controller for good reason...they are arcade quality. The internals are basically the same as used in Atari's arcade games using the mini trackball (Centipede and all the cocktail cabinets).

 

When the 5200 trackball controllers were being sold on clearance back in the early 90s, many arcade collectors bought them to use the parts in their badly worn out arcade games. Shafts, bearings and ball are identical.

 

It's also due to Dan Kramer having worked with Mike Albaugh when Dan was designing Atari Consumer's Trak-Balls. Mr. Albaugh worked on the arcade originals.

 

It is disappointing to hear people parted out a bunch of CX53s in the early 90s. Haven't they done that enough with 7800 BallBlazer carts to satisfy the hunger of their Quad POKEY Eliminator Boards??? :)

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You can have fun with both systems. I actually had the Atari 400 back in the mid-80's but I was too young to really do much with it, and we chucked it after not too long. The 2600 was simply easier for my 7-8 year old self to hook up and play. However, I used to stare at those old catalogs and opine for the 5200 and it's nicer games, but it was already off the market! Then again, had I had a better intro to the Intellivision or Colecovision I probably would have felt the same! Recently I was going to give up on the 52 and get an A8 XL but I would up buying the Best kits and that has made the sticks much better.

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Big Sexy has A TON of great games, and while many of them are improved versions of the 8-bit classics, there is also the growing homebrew market, with games available right here at AtariAge, as well as Atarimax, Video 61/Atari Sales, and also Good Deal Games' Homebrew Heaven, and even some homebrews and ports not available in physical cartridge form, and there always is the Atarimax Ultimate SD multicart in which is not on the cheap but is well worth the money, and also the VCS cartridge adapter, in which allows you to use 2600/8-bit-compatible controllers and play 2600 games (or in my case my AtariAge/Fred Quimby Harmony Encore SD or microSD multicart), so Big Sexy has a ton of support like never before, you've just got to have faith in it. The 2600 library is HUGE and the 5200 one is growing fast thanks to most of us!!! :)

 

Controller issues??? There are options including Best Electronics gold-plated buttons, bubble contacts and flex circuits (for standard 2600, 5200, and 7800-compatible joysticks), in which work like a charm, the Wico Command Control series, Competiton Pro, and both the Masterplay and Redemption 5200 interfaces which allow digital controllers to be used with the system along with the 5200's own keypad.

 

ONE NOTE: The VCS adapter will not work with 4-port 5200 systems, except for those with an asterisk, they work well with the 2-port units but the 2-port units have issues with Pitfall!, K-razy Shootout, and Mountain King, but, I DO have 2-port hacks of each of those 3 games, but only on ROM format. The VCS adapter will also not work with a/v-modded 5200 units, only with those that take analog TV channel 3 :(

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As much as I am an A8-only kind of guy, I have to admit that I have given serious consideration to a 5200 from time to time because of its far superior trak-ball.

Edited by SS
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The black and silver classy design of the 5200 meshes quite well with modern large screen TV's and would look quite 'at home' in a persons living room entertainment center. I cannot say the same about the cheaper looking beige Atari 800 computer.

 

There are alternatives to the joysticks if you really do not like them.

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Here is a vintage shot (circa-2008) of myself with Big Sexy back when I had a vintage Trinitron to go with her, nowadays I use her with a 39" Insignia.

 

post-15067-0-45928300-1545188042_thumb.jpg

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That is a nice crisp image on the monitor. Did you have a video modification on the 5200?

Nope that was my first 5200, a 4-port (serial no. 141101, made in USA) with the standard automatic switchbox.

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...but the 2-port units have issues with Pitfall!, K-razy Shootout, and Mountain King...

 

Not after a BIOS swap, they don't. ;)

 

The black and silver classy design of the 5200 meshes quite well with modern large screen TV's and would look quite 'at home' in a persons living room entertainment center. I cannot say the same about the cheaper looking beige Atari 800 computer.

 

There is nothing about the Atari 800 that says "cheap" to me. 800s are tanks. :twisted: The 800 may look a little of its era, aesthetically, but certainly not cheap.

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It's not set in stone that a 2-port will have compatability issues, despite being proven wrong again and again, it still gets stated as monolithic fact that a 2-port won't work with a few games. I have 2 of them with their original bios' and both work fine with Pitfall! and Mountain King.

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Guys, just got a trak ball for Christmas, and you where right, it makes it all worth it. Best home Trak Ball experience ever. Thanks for convincing me to keep another mouth to feed....

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Guys, just got a trak ball for Christmas, and you where right, it makes it all worth it. Best home Trak Ball experience ever. Thanks for convincing me to keep another mouth to feed....

 

Now that you have a trak-ball, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Xari Arena from AA Store. This game is top shelf. The gameplay is great and the graphics are incredible. :thumbsup:

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Ya know, a year or two ago I gave some serious thought to selling off my 5200 and picking up a 400 or 800 series computer. Ultimately (and thankfully) I couldn't go through with it and kept the 5200. I have respect for the Atari 8 bit computers, but for me, they're just lacking that magic.

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