Jump to content
Ricardo Cividanes da Silva

Why Atari 5200 was considerate a fail?

Recommended Posts

On 4/19/2021 at 10:43 AM, Cafeman said:

Agreed.  It is possible that people with the opinion that the sticks were unusable had crappy busted sticks that were indeed unusable.  But among myself and 2 close friends, we bought new systems and new sticks and the accusation simply was not true.  We all had our own 5200's, and we played every game just fine with the stock sticks.   I never used the keypad for Frogger. You press the direction you want to go and press the button once for each hop .  That solution gives movement accuracy.  Q*bert truly benefited from the analog stick with true diagonals.  You just hold the button in to move (no repetitive presses like with Frogger), and release the button to safely stop (like on the edge next to a disc).   We could play Pac-Man endlessly with those sticks (there is a bug on the key levels where the ghosts stay blue until you eat them).  I don't remember problems playing Berzerk or Mario Bros or really anything.       I will say that I believe the version of CX52 I owned may have not been the original model. Mine had nice thick rubber around the sticks, which acted as a centering mechanism very well. 

 

However, I do remember my 2600 stick failing. Certain directions and the button started to wear out, but I probably used and abused those longer. And forget about the Colecovision and Intellivision sticks! I never got used to those and prefer good-condition 5200 sticks by far.  Basically all the systems after 2600 had somewhat disappointing controllers. It took Nintendo and SEGA to introduce easy-to-hold gamepads later on. 

 

I've probably responded to this type of discussion 20 times over the past 20 years.  I wasn't aware the sticks were so awful on 5200 until the 2000's internet told me, although I do concede that the sticks stop functioning quickly and need constant maintenance.   But in the 2 years in the 80's I had my 5200 hooked up, we never had a failed stick and never did any maintenance to them.   Eventually they did become problematic of course, but it took years.   And - when we went to the department stores, the hooked-up 5200 sticks were usually in worse shape than my own, but they did still work. 

 

 

Agree, never heard any complaints that I got the new better Atari, with crappy joysticks that dont work, it was more we got new Atari you can have the old one and all these games, they dont work on the new Atari.

 

The backwards compatibility was the major issue that atari messed up with,would of made it more expensive, surely but it was already expensive.  Atari was afraid if I had 2600 pac man I wouldn't get 5200 pacman, to a small degree maybe, but it was hugely popular and miles ahead in grafix and game was much closer to arcade so I'm sure it would of been bought. 

 

The problem was Atari launched in late 70s, but wasn't mainstream till 1979-1980, so most people had 2600 2 to 3yrsand now their was a replacement to a machine America liked enough, that when major competitors came out with machines that could run circles around 2600,most people just stuck with what they had.

 

Honestly till NES came out I didn't know but maybe 1 or 2 kids that had anything other than a 2600, then nes took over, and found a few friends with 7800,mainly because it played very old and cheap 2600 games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2021 at 6:00 AM, Pete5125 said:

The backwards compatibility was the major issue that atari messed up with,would of made it more expensive, surely but it was already expensive.  Atari was afraid if I had 2600 pac man I wouldn't get 5200 pacman, to a small degree maybe, but it was hugely popular and miles ahead in grafix and game was much closer to arcade so I'm sure it would of been bought. 

 

 

This issue always confused me. Neither the Intellivision (which the 5200 was meant to compete with) nor the Colecovision (which the 5200 ultimately competed with) was backwards compatible. If you cared about 2600 games (back then) you already owned a 2600. Yes the CV had an adapter you could spend money on to make it backwards compatible, but not long after its' release the 5200 was advertising an adapter of their own. Unless you were new to both systems, backwards compatibility wasn't a big deal if a deal at all.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, jetset said:

This issue always confused me. Neither the Intellivision (which the 5200 was meant to compete with) nor the Colecovision (which the 5200 ultimately competed with) was backwards compatible. If you cared about 2600 games (back then) you already owned a 2600. Yes the CV had an adapter you could spend money on to make it backwards compatible, but not long after its' release the 5200 was advertising an adapter of their own. Unless you were new to both systems, backwards compatibility wasn't a big deal if a deal at all.

 

In 82, at the time of the 5200's release yeah, it was a big deal, 2600 came out in 77, but didn't really get in people's homes till early 80's when Asteroids made it the must have system, so it was just a 2 yr old system to most people, that they had waisted money on.

 

Also this is the infancy of gaming the expectation that every 5 yrs your going to have to go to the next system wasn't out yet.

 

2600 had a 12 or 13 year lifespan, it didnt drop  producing new games till 89/90.

 

Atari obviously agreed with me or they wouldn't of made the adapter in yr 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/30/2021 at 10:42 PM, jetset said:

This issue always confused me. Neither the Intellivision (which the 5200 was meant to compete with) nor the Colecovision (which the 5200 ultimately competed with) was backwards compatible. If you cared about 2600 games (back then) you already owned a 2600. Yes the CV had an adapter you could spend money on to make it backwards compatible, but not long after its' release the 5200 was advertising an adapter of their own. Unless you were new to both systems, backwards compatibility wasn't a big deal if a deal at all.

That's the thing, I don't think backwards compatibility was on anyone's radar.   To Atari,  the 2600 was a replacement to the early Pong consoles,   and the 5200 was a replacement for the 2600.   But when Coleco had the ability to play 2600 games and the 5200 didn't (yet), that was a major embarrassment for Atari so they reacted by announcing their own adaptor and that helped set them down the 7800 path

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/8/2021 at 6:59 PM, ubersaurus said:

SNIP - nor did the computer price war making the Commodore 64, Vic-20 and TI-99 4/a all kinda competitive with the 5200.

Right there. That. My next console after the 2600 was a Vic-20, and then a C64. The 400 would have been next, but at $399 it was way more than the $129 that my parents reluctantly were willing to pay for the Vic when "you already have an Atari".

 

The 8-bit computer price war made consoles obsolete for a short time. The $299 5200 was not worth the price when a "real computer" could be had for less. I think I paid $249 for my C64 just a year or two later. I bought the 1541 disk drive when I had my Vic, so it was natural to upgrade to the 64 than go to an Atari at that point. But, Many did get the 400 instead of the 5200.

Too bad the 400 wasn't just the next console as planned for $299 or less. Too bad they didn't figure out the give 'em the printer and make money on the ink back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2021 at 1:56 AM, Pete5125 said:

In 82, at the time of the 5200's release yeah, it was a big deal, 2600 came out in 77, but didn't really get in people's homes till early 80's when Asteroids made it the must have system, so it was just a 2 yr old system to most people, that they had waisted money on.

 

Also this is the infancy of gaming the expectation that every 5 yrs your going to have to go to the next system wasn't out yet.

 

2600 had a 12 or 13 year lifespan, it didnt drop  producing new games till 89/90.

 

Atari obviously agreed with me or they wouldn't of made the adapter in yr 2.

No offense, but this sounds like it was written by someone who wasn't around back then or didn't pay attention. The killer app was Space Invaders, not Asteroids. Asteroids wasn't a great port to the 2600 but we did all enjoy it. I also know of nobody who thought they wasted their money on the 2600. Every family that I knew that had one played the hell out of it and some of the more wealthy kids got every new cart as they came out. One Family bought every cart available when the 2600 came out. We all also kept all of our games when we did eventually upgrade. People who got Intellivisions or Colecovisions kept the 2600, and nobody I knew thought the adapter made any sense since that 2600 was still sitting right there next to the Colecovision in most homes, or went to the younger siblings as a hand-me-down. Two kids could play in two rooms this way. Game trade-ins and selling them really didn't become a thing until the Gasmestop/Babbages/Software Etc. trade-in programs came along in the very late 80's and those programs were clearing houses for the crappy NES and later Playstation games that sucked. I personally never thought it made any sense to get a couple of bucks off a new game by trading in something I paid $20-$40 for. Better for me to keep it. I did, however, complete my Dreamcast hardware peripherals collection very cheaply with these places...

Edited by Zonie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zzip said:

That's the thing, I don't think backwards compatibility was on anyone's radar.   To Atari,  the 2600 was a replacement to the early Pong consoles,   and the 5200 was a replacement for the 2600.   But when Coleco had the ability to play 2600 games and the 5200 didn't (yet), that was a major embarrassment for Atari so they reacted by announcing their own adaptor and that helped set them down the 7800 path

Yea the 5200 was always the red-headed stepchild of the family. So much potential wasted. I remember not caring about it not playing 2600 games because I had a 2600 already, but I did wind up buying the adapter because I thought it looked "cool" (in retrospect...it looked like something a chimpanzee designed, and sitting the coffee table with the adapter and the cartridge it blocked the tv) and I spent every penny I had on the few peripherals that came out (I still have my Masterplay adapter *with* the #2 fire button). Honestly, I only knew 2 ppl that had a CV, my cousin and another friend and they both had a 2600 already so they never got an adapter. It was all about the pack-in game. The price-tag for both systems for 1982 was crazy (and the 5200 cost $50 bucks more!) but CV owners got a pack in game and could enjoy it Xmas morning if their parents couldn't afford a cartridge AND the system. With the 5200 Super Breakout was fun for about ten minutes. Fortunately my older brother bought me Galaxian as a gift and I still remember my dad coming out yelling at 5am xmas morning to go the hell to bed already lol.

  • Haha 2

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.

Guest
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.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...