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Ricardo Cividanes da Silva

Why Atari 5200 was considerate a fail?

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14 hours ago, schuwalker said:

I guess that depends where your are from and what kind of gamer you were. Personally, I think Ladybug and Mousetrap blow Pac-Man out of the water and I think the majority would agree.

I'm talking more from a name recognition standpoint than how good the games are.   I'd probably see 50 Pac-man arcade machines for ever Lady Bug or Mouse Trap machine,  5 Dig Dug's for every Mr. Do, etc    I believe Coleco had Roc n' Rope?   I used to love that game in the arcade!   But I only ever saw it in one arcade.   A lot of the games Atari had were more common and more well known, so they have the potential to sell more hardware.    A lot of the Coleco games were still fun games, but users would discover them after buying the console rather than buying the console because of them for the most part.   

 

Coleco did a smart thing by making their biggest arcade hit the pack-in.   That was unheard of before this.  Usually the Pack-in was a throw-away game.

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12 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Agreed on the game side, which is why I mentioned that they should have been focusing on such things. ;) Had a bunch of talent that had made the 2600 what it was not left, or not been required to focus on the 2600 (like HSW focusing on E.T.), then I'm sure that they could have done some cool stuff. Same goes for the 7800, had Warner not sought to dump the company and released that in June/July '84 as planned. 

But was the talent leaving ultimately a bad thing or a good thing?   Those guys were still developing for the 2600, 5200 and computers so Atari was still benefiting indirectly,  but it allowed them to innovate more.   Remember how bland Atari games looked before Activision came along and showed everyone what was possible?   It forced Atari to step up their game too.   And ultimately Atari learned the lesson about giving game designers credit..   I remember the Marble Madness ads that put Mark Cerney front and center, for instance.

 

13 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

As for BC, I didn't call it a make-or-break feature, but historical context is important. To Ray Kassar, Al Alcorn and anyone else in the company calling the shots back in 1982, this was the first time that Atari was designing a true replacement product to their smash hit. That history you mention hadn't been made yet to show what works and what doesn't for game consoles.

I agree that they didn't have the benefit of hindsight,  so I understand why they thought the way they did.   But when I look back at what went wrong in that era-  I see so much focus on everything except what was the most important--  finding the next monster hit after Pac-man and Donkey Kong.

 

To be fair Atari was doing that as well..    They did have the Lucasfilm partnership that was supposed to make Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus exclusive to Atari platforms.   They would have made compelling exclusives I think, and original games not based on arcade licenses.   But then someone leaked the game, and Jack came in put a nail in the coffin of that kind of stuff.

 

13 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

until ColecoVision showed up with their 2600 adaptor and then it became a fiasco because, as you point out, they were very reactive to each other. Why would you assume that they would be super reactive over everything but backwards compatibility?

It was all reactive.  But having your competitor being able to play your games while you couldn't was not a good place to be.   I do like the commercials Atari cut in response though..  "Look how awful Pacman is on Colecovision (shows 2600 Pacman),  look how great it is on 5200!",  ironic and hilarious!

 

13 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

If you read up on the development of the 7800, it was brought up frequently and made a priority, since the suits felt burned and they didn't want that to happen again; Engineers also specifically mentioned it as one reason to pass on the NES. Also if it didn't matter at all, it wouldn't be mentioned in every system review & hindsight discussion of the Atari 5200 ever published. :P

That's the funny thing about backwards compatibility,  even to this day people will talk it up like it's super important.   But sales data shows people will buy the console anyway.  Usage data shows that owners don't use BC all that much, especially not after the first year.

 

The sad thing about the 7800 was that by the time it released, the Colecovision was dead, and real 2600's could be had for only $50.   In the meantime, Atari passed on the NES, which is probably one of the most unfortunate decisions in videogame history.

 

13 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

I thought the Pro-Line controllers were fine when I was a kid, until I encountered far superior designs :) You still have to wonder about '82 era controllers though...it's like the people designing them never bothered to use one for more than 2 minutes.

Atari claimed the Pro-line tested better than any joystick on the market, including the CX-40.   I have to wonder about their market testing though, if that was their conclusion. :)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, zzip said:

But was the talent leaving ultimately a bad thing or a good thing?  

It's some of both. Every company lives & dies by the talent they employ. Warner/Kassar should have been fostering a good work environment that would make their best talent want to stay, who then could have made stuff like Pitfall, River Raid, Kaboom!, HERO,etc. just all in-house. That would have been a huge boost to Atari's reputation and cash flow(It also could have greatly benefited the 5200 - imagine if River Raid or a 4p Kaboom had been the pack-in title and as an Atari exclusive, that would have gone a long way towards system sales), which instead went all towards Activision. 

 

Competition is certainly a good thing, but where it should have been Mattel, Coleco and Maganvox making Atari step-up, they ended up creating their own demise by pissing off enough employees to go out and make the better stuff. Granted, the 3rd party explosion that it started did end up causing the crash, but it did establish the industry for what it became, so good & bad.

 

Overall the theme of the Kassar era, internally at Atari, was one of resentment. Resentment of employees not getting credit for their work, resentment of having hardware passed up for other designs (Todd Frye was one of those working on the 3200 design who wasn't happy with how that was dumped, eventually in favor of GCC and the Maria) or resentment between divisions where console guys were making bank by doing ports of titles that the arcade guys had spent years coming up with and working on, who didn't receive an extra dime of profits from how well the ports would do. 

 

Quote

 

The sad thing about the 7800 was that by the time it released, the Colecovision was dead, and real 2600's could be had for only $50.   In the meantime, Atari passed on the NES, which is probably one of the most unfortunate decisions in videogame history

They did, but really had no way of knowing that the NES would become what it did - they had already lost a lot of money on the 5200 and invested a bunch of money into the 7800 and thought that they had something as good or better. But it's also doubtful that under Warner/Atari's watch that the NES would have gone on to do things like the Nintendo tip lines and all the marketing stuff they did to help boost popularity. I'm sure all of the people at Nintendo didn't mind how that worked out though.

 

Not many know this, but Sega passed up on the N64 chipset in favor of doing their Saturn design(SGI offered it to Sega first). Had that been released in '95 along with a CD drive, then Sega could have possibly dominated the PSX or had the original Nintendo PlayStation been released, it could have prevented Sony from going off on their own at all. All sorts of woulda/coulda/shoulda events that could have changed games forever...

 

If we go outside of video games though, Blockbuster passing up on buying Netflix back in the day was probably one of the biggest blunders in modern corporate history. They certainly regretted that.

Edited by Shaggy the Atarian

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12 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

It's some of both. Every company lives & dies by the talent they employ. Warner/Kassar should have been fostering a good work environment that would make their best talent want to stay, who then could have made stuff like Pitfall, River Raid, Kaboom!, HERO,etc. just all in-house. That would have been a huge boost to Atari's reputation and cash flow(It also could have greatly benefited the 5200 - imagine if River Raid or a 4p Kaboom had been the pack-in title and as an Atari exclusive, that would have gone a long way towards system sales), which instead went all towards Activision. 

True, but at the time lots of new 2600 game designers were being minted.  Atari could cultivate new talent to replace the old, and perhaps make it a more attractive place to work.   In fact I think they did, because the quality of 2600 games released by Atari after Activision appeared only increased, despite occasional clunkers like Pac-man.

 

That's how GCC got involved.   They started off making hacks of Atari games, which Atari was initially unhappy about.  But instead of suing, Atari made them a deal "why don't you make games for us?"

 

26 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Overall the theme of the Kassar era, internally at Atari, was one of resentment. Resentment of employees not getting credit for their work, resentment of having hardware passed up for other designs (Todd Frye was one of those working on the 3200 design who wasn't happy with how that was dumped, eventually in favor of GCC and the Maria) or resentment between divisions where console guys were making bank by doing ports of titles that the arcade guys had spent years coming up with and working on, who didn't receive an extra dime of profits from how well the ports would do. 

 

Problem was Kassar was from the textile industry.   It's clear he didn't understand the entertainment industry.  The concept of paying royalties or making designers into 'rock stars' was alien to him.

 

27 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

They did, but really had no way of knowing that the NES would become what it did - they had already lost a lot of money on the 5200 and invested a bunch of money into the 7800 and thought that they had something as good or better. But it's also doubtful that under Warner/Atari's watch that the NES would have gone on to do things like the Nintendo tip lines and all the marketing stuff they did to help boost popularity. I'm sure all of the people at Nintendo didn't mind how that worked out though.

Yeah, but the flip side of that is even if Atari's marketing failed to make the NES into what it became,  they would have taken Nintendo out of the picture as a future competitor.   Nintendo would have been making carts for Atari, and it would be Atari vs Sega or whoever else decided to enter the ring.  Everything from then on would be very different.

 

31 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Not many know this, but Sega passed up on the N64 chipset in favor of doing their Saturn design(SGI offered it to Sega first). Had that been released in '95 along with a CD drive, then Sega could have possibly dominated the PSX or had the original Nintendo PlayStation been released, it could have prevented Sony from going off on their own at all. All sorts of woulda/coulda/shoulda events that could have changed games forever...

 

If we go outside of video games though, Blockbuster passing up on buying Netflix back in the day was probably one of the biggest blunders in modern corporate history. They certainly regretted that.

Oh yeah, history is filled with these stories..  the competitor they didn't see coming.   That and the "massive hit nobody believed" in stories.  The platinum selling bands that nobody would sign..  Everyone laughed at Star Wars and no studio wanted to fund it..  etc.

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On 4/1/2021 at 4:48 PM, BIGHMW said:

I would LOVE to see Grand Theft Auto for the 5200 and 8-bit XEGS FOR REAL, but the Intellivision version, mockery or not, was funnier than f**k, maybe Bob Saget should take note, even the "ad" was funny, especially when the George Plimpton look alike said "Atari sucks balls" I laughed my head off. Somebody please port GTA for real, even of it has to merely be an 8-bit version of the Intellivision mock up, I'll take that, much like we took Yar's Strike last year (converted by @playsoft last year from the 8-bit port with a few improvements, download here) and made it an instant 5200 hit.

Glad you liked it, yeah much like the 16-bit war the 80s had Plimpton talking smack about Atari on a regular basis. :) Yeah that would be cool, some sort of openworld game, I think the INTV and 5200 are capable of something like that. Oh I'll have to check out that Yar's Strike. ;) 

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The 5200 wasn't a failure per se - it sold 1 million units in just under two years, which isn't nothing. But the Colecovision sold 3 million in the same length of time, and the VCS was selling many times more than that. From what I've been able to glean from old reporting, it wasn't necessarily that it was running Atari 400 tech under the hood so much as the controller was a mess and the Colecovision did the "next gen" system thing much better; more games, cheaper price tag, etc. the market being pretty soft in 83-84 certainly didn't do the 5200 any favors, nor did the computer price war making the Commodore 64, Vic-20 and TI-99 4/a all kinda competitive with the 5200.

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I believe, after reading all answers, what Atari 5200, isn't failed. It did not live up to Atari's expectations. And Atari is focused in 2600. Unfortunately the videgames crash prevented us from knowing what that competition would be like.

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I suppose you need to qualify what is meant by "failure".

 

The tech inside the 5200 isn't a failure, it was on the market in one form or another from 1979 until 1992

 

However the 5200 itself as a commercial product is a failure- Atari canned it after less than 2 years.   You should expect at least a 5 year life from a successful console

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, ubersaurus said:

The 5200 wasn't a failure per se - it sold 1 million units in just under two years, which isn't nothing. But the Colecovision sold 3 million in the same length of time, and the VCS was selling many times more than that. From what I've been able to glean from old reporting, it wasn't necessarily that it was running Atari 400 tech under the hood so much as the controller was a mess and the Colecovision did the "next gen" system thing much better; more games, cheaper price tag, etc. the market being pretty soft in 83-84 certainly didn't do the 5200 any favors, nor did the computer price war making the Commodore 64, Vic-20 and TI-99 4/a all kinda competitive with the 5200.

Colecovision actually released months earlier and ended in 1985.  It wasn't  the same length of time.  

Edited by phuzaxeman

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6 hours ago, Ricardo Cividanes da Silva said:

I believe, after reading all answers, what Atari 5200, isn't failed. It did not live up to Atari's expectations. And Atari is focused in 2600. Unfortunately the videgames crash prevented us from knowing what that competition would be like.

Well, like zzip said, it depends on how you define "failure." From Atari's perspective and the market expectations of 1982, it was supposed to replace the 2600. That would mean that all of the consumers for it would have switched over from the 2600 to the 5200, and the 5200 would have become the dominant force among consoles. That didn't happen, so it was a major failure.

 

The 5200 was also a factor in the crash. The US economy sucked in 1982, hitting a peak unemployment rate of around 10% that year, the inflation issues of the 1970s were still causing problems, and the 5200 itself wasn't a cheap console. You also had a ton of hardware options to pick from (I think you had around 8 different consoles available in '82 - the 2600, 5200, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Astrocade, Vectrex, Arcadia 2001, Odyssey 2 - probably a few others) - not just from consoles, but also from computers that behaved like consoles, plugging into a TV and offering cartridge ports. The 5200 added to the pile, then it didn't offer anything really new, other than better graphics and a controller that didn't live up to the hype. Not saying it was the straw that broke the camel's back, but it wasn't helping things much either.

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1 hour ago, phuzaxeman said:

Colecovision actually released months earlier and ended in 1985.  It wasn't  the same length of time.  

Yes, but the sales figures we have don’t extend all the way into 85 (and the Colecovision rollout was such that it wasn’t really widely available until the fall of 82, when the 5200 was out).

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20 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

The 5200 was also a factor in the crash. The US economy sucked in 1982, hitting a peak unemployment rate of around 10% that year, the inflation issues of the 1970s were still causing problems, and the 5200 itself wasn't a cheap console.

Well the US economy was in bad shape from 1980-1982, with inflation, high gas prices followed by high interest rates.    But this was the same period that videogames were booming.  Economy started recovering in mid-83 and 84, but this was when the crash was worsening.    Video games seems somewhat counter-cyclical since they are cheaper than many other forms of entertainment.   I remember during the gas crises of 1980, we had a hard time convincing our parents to even take us to the movies, since gas was rationed and they didn't want to take any unnecessary trips, so we stayed home a lot.

 

Even now during the pandemic, consoles are flying off the shelves as people are staying home.

 

a $299 console in 1982 was definitely a tough sell.  I wanted one, but there was no way my parents were going to buy that.   But then next year the 600XL came out for $139, and that didn't do the 5200 any favors.  I ended up getting that instead.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, the TI/Commodore computer price war really screwed with everything.  A $1000 atari computer in 1981 was $150 in 1983.  Nobody was making money.  I can see the 5200 particular being hurt because its game library is somewhat similar to the atari computers.

 

Through 1984 Q1, Colecovision outsold the Atari 5200, two to one.

Edited by mr_me

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Just now, mr_me said:

I can see the 5200 particular being hurt because its game library is somewhat similar to the computers.

yup libraries were similar, plus you also got Donkey Kong on the XLs, and could use CX-40 joysticks instead of those 5200 monstrosities, and the systems were nice and compact..   What wasn't to like?  :)

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Good point about atari donkey kong, that would have been big in 1983.  One source says atari sold over a million computers in 1982 and 1983.

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8 minutes ago, mr_me said:

Good point about atari donkey kong, that would have been big in 1983. 

And the Atari8 version edged out the excellent Colecovision version as well,  having all 4 levels instead of 3,  some of the cut-scenes CV was missing, and played a little smoother IMO.   It's too bad they couldn't make a 5200 version of it,  that would have helped sell the system.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, zzip said:

a $299 console in 1982 was definitely a tough sell.  I wanted one, but there was no way my parents were going to buy that.   But then next year the 600XL came out for $139, and that didn't do the 5200 any favors.  I ended up getting that instead.

 

Yeah, but did it come with Super Breakout?  Joking aside, did the price of the games drop along with the machines?  It's hard to find reliable numbers on these things from year to year, though it looks like software for the A8s was stupid expensive, especially on cartridge.  

 

Donkey Kong would have helped.  Strangely, Epyx passed on the 5200 but not the CV, and there were some others that could have moved their stuff over but it didn't happen.  Maybe that could have helped.

 

But then I wonder "then what?" The 7800 was kind of on its way anyway, so were they going to dump the 5200 regardless or try to support all three at the same time?

Edited by MrTrust

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4 hours ago, ubersaurus said:

Yes, but the sales figures we have don’t extend all the way into 85 (and the Colecovision rollout was such that it wasn’t really widely available until the fall of 82, when the 5200 was out).

 

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4 hours ago, MrTrust said:

 

Yeah, but did it come with Super Breakout?  Joking aside, did the price of the games drop along with the machines?  It's hard to find reliable numbers on these things from year to year, though it looks like software for the A8s was stupid expensive, especially on cartridge.  

 

Donkey Kong would have helped.  Strangely, Epyx passed on the 5200 but not the CV, and there were some others that could have moved their stuff over but it didn't happen.  Maybe that could have helped.

 

But then I wonder "then what?" The 7800 was kind of on its way anyway, so were they going to dump the 5200 regardless or try to support all three at the same time?

In the 1983 JC Penney catalog Defender for the 5200 was $38 and $45 for the atari computers.

 

Third party publishers/developers would look for an install base of at least a million units.  Colecovision was way ahead of the 5200 in 1983.

 

Atari stopped making the 5200 in early 1984 before the 7800 was revealed in May.  After the 7800 announcement they did announce some new 5200 cartridges before selling it all off to Tramiel.  Tramiel did eventually release some of those 5200 cartridges.

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11 hours ago, mr_me said:

In the 1983 JC Penney catalog Defender for the 5200 was $38 and $45 for the atari computers.

 

And the 5200 itself was only $10 more than the 600XL.  So, on the whole, I guess the 5200 was a marginally cheaper proposition if you weren't going to pirate software.  Some of the arcade games were slightly better on the 5200, too.

 

11 hours ago, mr_me said:

Third party publishers/developers would look for an install base of at least a million units.  Colecovision was way ahead of the 5200 in 1983.

 

Sure, except in this case, you'd already written the games for basically the same hardware.  I assume this is what got Activision, CBS, Parker Bros. and Sega on board.  Or presumably, Atari could have licensed the games like they did with Choplifter! and a lot of the XE stuff later on.  They couldn't get DK, but they had a deeper bench to draw from.

 

11 hours ago, mr_me said:

Atari stopped making the 5200 in early 1984 before the 7800 was revealed in May.  After the 7800 announcement they did announce some new 5200 cartridges before selling it all off to Tramiel.  Tramiel did eventually release some of those 5200 cartridges.

 

I lost you on this one.  7800 was planned for an '84 release originally, and in the works sometime in '83, no?  So, even if the 5200 had performed up to expectations, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't still have brought it out.  If the 5200 didn't tank so hard, they'd have had three consoles to support in '84-'85.  Hard to see anyone doing that successfully.  

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Posted (edited)

What I'm saying is, had Atari stayed in the business, the 5200 would have been off the market with the 7800 being their flagship console in 1984 and the 2600 their budget offering.  The decisions to go with the 7800 were as much political as it was technical or market driven.  As has been pointed out, developing for the 5200 is a byproduct of developing for their computers, so cartridges could be expected.  They even had a 7800 adapter planned for the 5200.

 

Almost everybody pirated software.  It made the investment in a disk drive worthwhile.

Edited by mr_me

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On 4/9/2021 at 6:06 PM, MrTrust said:

It's hard to find reliable numbers on these things from year to year, though it looks like software for the A8s was stupid expensive, especially on cartridge.

It depended..   post 1983, you could find reduced price games in places like Kaybee for the 8-bit too, and prices for games varied a lot.   Mastertronic games were something like $9.99, while the Ultima games were insanely priced.  I think it was $50 or $60 for Ultima III which was unheard of in those days.

 

On 4/9/2021 at 6:06 PM, MrTrust said:

Donkey Kong would have helped.  Strangely, Epyx passed on the 5200 but not the CV, and there were some others that could have moved their stuff over but it didn't happen.  Maybe that could have helped.

I never realized that.   Looks like Epyx did "Gateway to Apshai" and "Jumpman Jr." for Coleco.   Both of these games were on cart for Atari 8-bit, so the porting effort should have been minimal for the 5200.  

 

On 4/10/2021 at 10:51 AM, MrTrust said:

I lost you on this one.  7800 was planned for an '84 release originally, and in the works sometime in '83, no?  So, even if the 5200 had performed up to expectations, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't still have brought it out.  If the 5200 didn't tank so hard, they'd have had three consoles to support in '84-'85.  Hard to see anyone doing that successfully.  

According to a talk by one of the GCC guys,  GCC initiated the design of the 7800 on their own, and then brought it to Atari.   Nintendo also approached Atari with the NES around the same time.   Presumably they could have rejected both proposals and stayed the course with the 5200.  Worse they were planning a console with the Amiga chips.    This era of Atari didn't seem to think there was a downside to releasing new consoles so quickly.   I think the decision to abandon the 5200 created a lot of resentment in the userbase.   Imagine the backlash if Sony announced a few months from now they were abandoning the PS5 in favor of a new console that had PS3 backward compatibility but no PS4/PS5 BC.   Well that's what Atari did in 1984.

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5 hours ago, zzip said:

I never realized that.   Looks like Epyx did "Gateway to Apshai" and "Jumpman Jr." for Coleco.   Both of these games were on cart for Atari 8-bit, so the porting effort should have been minimal for the 5200.

 

And Pitstop as well.  These were pretty popular games at the time; one has to wonder why there wasn't more effort made to get them to the 5200.  Of course, most of the viable games have since been ported over, and it's doubled the available library.  I get that's a different proposition from doing it in '82, but still, there were a lot of quality titles left on the table there.

 

5 hours ago, zzip said:

According to a talk by one of the GCC guys,  GCC initiated the design of the 7800 on their own, and then brought it to Atari.   Nintendo also approached Atari with the NES around the same time.   Presumably they could have rejected both proposals and stayed the course with the 5200.  Worse they were planning a console with the Amiga chips.    This era of Atari didn't seem to think there was a downside to releasing new consoles so quickly.   I think the decision to abandon the 5200 created a lot of resentment in the userbase.   Imagine the backlash if Sony announced a few months from now they were abandoning the PS5 in favor of a new console that had PS3 backward compatibility but no PS4/PS5 BC.   Well that's what Atari did in 1984.

 

And again in '87 with the XEGS, sort of.  That's certainly the disappointment I think everyone felt with the 7800; what the hell?  We already have all this stuff on 5200, is that it?  Maybe people just looked at these things more like appliances back then than the sort of "platform" view we have now.

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On 3/24/2021 at 10:06 AM, Ricardo Cividanes da Silva said:

 

It gives the impression that the system has not been tested. They simply put the Atari 800 in another box and sold it under another name without worrying about the "details".  The Atari administration thought more in profits as quality.

 

Designed by committee and marketing dept..  If they actually tested the damn thing, they would not have released the system with the joystick they used.  They bragged about the 360 degree joystick and all the buttons, all implemented horribly.  Even when you see their marketing material, the joystick looks awkward to hold and use with those side firing terrible buttons. But having the pause and all the options right there on your stick was great. It was just bad implementation.  Even when all the sticks started failing, they didn't fix it. They should have fixed the buttons and put a self centering stick in it with maybe a lock/unlock mechanism for games that needed it.

 

The joystick is just a very bad design and then they made the pack-in game a game that really cannot be played with it.   Assume you're a kid and the parents get you a 5200 and then you go from 2600 super breakout to 5200 super breakout!  What a disappointment that would have been. 300 bucks for the new supersystem and it sucks compared to the old not-so-super system.

 

It's a shame because the 5200 has an excellent library and the system had a lot of room for growth in terms of what could be done with it.  Someone mentioned the chipset being from 1979 as a major flaw and on that point I disagree.  The chipset was in a $500 and a $1000 computer whereas this was a sub $300 console which was reasonably powerful for the time.   I don't think the fact that the games included a lot of ports was a big problem either because people who already had a 400 or 800 probably did not want or need a new console.  It was just opening the door for people to enjoy the 8-bit line games without the expense of the computer.

 

I think the lack of backwards compatibility is made a bigger deal than it actually was. Most people understood that software wasn't compatible across multiple devices. They knew the Atari 2600 couldn't play Intellivision games and vice versa, plus Coleco was also not compatible without a hardware add on. They eventually released the converter anyway.

 

Obviously being so big was probably a big problem for retailers. The box for the 5200 is enormous.  Then they had a bunch of  competition too.

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