Jump to content

Differences in scoring between 2600/5200/7800 ?

Recommended Posts

Hello there!

I'm new here, and I came to ask few questions to the mighty atari fans out there!


I'm from a scoring website https://www.video-games-records.com/home.html (which I highly recommend you if you want to show your scores on every atari systems, or more), and I was wondering what was the main differences between games that are in all these platforms (2600/5200/7800).


Let me explain you: when I propose a new game on the website, the game will be tidy with games from the same system (2600, jaguar...) but sometimes you can link some games when they are the same (for instance, games that are on PS3 and PS4 will be both add on the same platform, together).

So, I was wondering what was the differences between the games that are on 2600, 5200 and 7800, and especially, what are the differences in the SCORING itself?


For example, Joust or Ms-Pac Man both came on the 3 systems. Are they the exact same game? Or are they different?

What about the gaming itself, is it easier to score/play on a 7800 system or 5200 than on a 2600?

It's confusing, because you can play your 2600 games on the 7800.


To conclude, my major question is: are the games different? Does something change in the way of playing (with the controller for instance) ?

And if not, should I regroup both games (for instance Moon patrol) in 1, or add 2 on differents platforms?


Thanks for clarifying this, if you know more!

I have all these systems, but I can not fix my atari 7800, for a reason I ignore (even if I follow every tutorial out there to clean/repear it), and my atari 2600 is still functional.

Great to see so many still pationated guys here! Cheers!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The simple answer is generally, the same game on different systems will play differently (though perhaps only slightly), and may be easier or harder. In many cases, two or three versions may have been programmed by completely different people or teams who just did their best, under budget and time constraints, to complete something reasonably close to target.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also expect them to play pretty much the same, the 2600 & 5200 have the same clock frequency so there should not be much difference there. Although the 7800 has a much higher clock frequency it needs that to process the increased graphics and sound of 7800 games within a single frame. I am not sure how they do thing in those consoles but generally you wait for a vbl before processing the data for the next frame. Consequently, I would expect the end user should see little or not difference except that games played on an NTSC may be a little faster and thus slightly harder than those on a PAL system due to the extra 10 frames per second.


As for the scoring I would be surprised if that changed between console versions as what would be the point, I am not sure why anyone would think of change the scoring or why anyone else would agree it was a good idea. I am not stating categorically that has not happened as I do not know but I just cannot see why it would happen.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would personally keep the games on different systems and games from different regions as separate high scores.


I guess it depends upon the philosophy of your website though. For example, speed runners I believe consider the same title from different regions to be the same game. For example the Legend of Zelda Ocorina of Time has some glitches that can be exploited in the Japanese version that were later patched in the USA version. Many speed runners use this exploit and therefore mostly play on the Japanese version.


While the 2600 / 5200 / 7800 all use a variant of the 6502 CPU, the games themselves have to be programmed to specifically target those systems. I would treat any records for games that share the same title on each of those systems as separate records (interesting, the 5290 is a consolized version of the Atari 800 home computer. The games can easily be rewritten to target the 800/5200 or visa versa)


Any game on one of those 3 consoles might play significantly differently than another version on a different system. Many of these games are ports of arcade titles. You dont place high scores for the consoles in the same category as the Arcade titles, do you?


Similarly with regard to PAL/NTSC, as pointed out many titles arent programmed to play at the same speed as their counterparts on other TV standards. The 17% speed reduction would make twitchy games easier on PAL systems to get a high Score.


Where this starts to get really confusing is how to treat emulation games on systems versus their arcade equivalents. When you play the Capcom Classics Collection on PSP, should the score count the same as a game played on MAME?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didnt address your question regarding high scores and different input devices. In general, I dont think you should care about the input device (I wonder if TracknField high scores specifically outlaw the comb trick.)


Yes, some controllers make playing a game on a particular system easier/harder. The 5200 stock controllers are notoriously bad, since they dont recenter. As long as players are not using computer assisted controllers (no turbo button or button macros), the input method shouldnt matter. For example, most controllers for the Atari 2600/ Atari 7800 / Atari 800 are compatible with each other. You can even use a Genesis controller on the Atari 2600, and some games have been hacked or designed to use the second controller button on a Genesis.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...