Jump to content
Leeroy ST

Which post-2600 Atari console do you like best?

Which post-2600 Atari console do you prefer?  

75 members have voted

  1. 1. Which post-2600 Atari console do you prefer?

    • Atari 5200
      11
    • Atari 7800
      43
    • Atari XE game system (XEGS)
      5
    • Atari Lynx
      7
    • Atari Jaguar
      6
    • Atari VCS (2021)
      3


Recommended Posts

Just for curiosity, I was wondering which Atari gaming consoles do you like best and why.

 

But with the twist of excluding the 2600. I feel there can be interesting conversations to be had with post-2600 Atari proper home consoles:

 

Atari 5200

Atari 7800

Atari XE game system (XEGS)

Atari Lynx

Atari Jaguar

Atari VCS (2021)

 

Which post-2600 console would you choose overall and why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7800 easily for me, best of both worlds. Just wish there had been more games made for it BITD, and that Pokey built-in was standard. Today's excellent homebrews (especially of the arcade type), help make up for that today though. :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, save2600 said:

7800 easily for me, best of both worlds. Just wish there had been more games made for it BITD, and that Pokey built-in was standard. Today's excellent homebrews (especially of the arcade type), help make up for that today though. :)

I miss Pokey sound. Something about it just stands out during that time period. SiD is the only one comparable but I still feel Pokey bests it.

 

Makes choosing between 5200 and 7800 a hard choice. Soundwise anyway.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only owned (and played) the 7800 and Jaguar, and between the two systems I'd give a slight edge to the Jaguar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atari 7800 for me. Nothing beats playing Robotron 2084 with an Edladdin Super twin on the 7800 for me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, adamchevy said:

Atari 7800 for me. Nothing beats playing Robotron 2084 with an Edladdin Super twin on the 7800 for me.

Had to look that up. Interesting controller.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/6/2021 at 3:37 PM, save2600 said:

7800 easily for me, best of both worlds. Just wish there had been more games made for it BITD, and that Pokey built-in was standard. Today's excellent homebrews (especially of the arcade type), help make up for that today though. :)

At risk of taking the thread off topic, I do wonder what would have happened hat Atari skipped the 5200 altogether, and just launched the 7800 as planned in '84. While the '83 crash would obviously have been an issue (and the 2600 would have had to soldier on against technically better competition for longer), I wonder whether an '84 launched 7800 that didn't have to deal with the hangover of the 5200 may have done a lot better than it did. This might have been especially true as it would have beaten NES to market, and Atari could have sold features like the lockout chip to retailers on the basis of "this is how we have learned from the events of the last couple of years, and this will stop the same thing happening again".

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I've got to go 7800. I like the 5200, but sadly, the stock controller was an unfortunate choice. Still, for those classic late 70s/early 80s arcade games that I love, it was a powerhouse. 

 

The 7800 was a good machine. Had they upgraded the sound, it could have been great. Ideally, they should have held off on the 5200, and just put more resources into what became the 7800, but hindsight etc. As it is, the 7800 has some great arcade ports and is fun to play to this day. Wish it had more titles, but it is what it is. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/7/2021 at 10:40 PM, adamchevy said:

Atari 7800 for me. Nothing beats playing Robotron 2084 with an Edladdin Super twin on the 7800 for me.

I usually play it with 2 Genesis arcade sticks, but you've got me interested in trying this. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

At risk of taking the thread off topic, I do wonder what would have happened hat Atari skipped the 5200 altogether, and just launched the 7800 as planned in '84. While the '83 crash would obviously have been an issue (and the 2600 would have had to soldier on against technically better competition for longer), I wonder whether an '84 launched 7800 that didn't have to deal with the hangover of the 5200 may have done a lot better than it did. This might have been especially true as it would have beaten NES to market, and Atari could have sold features like the lockout chip to retailers on the basis of "this is how we have learned from the events of the last couple of years, and this will stop the same thing happening again".

I believe one of Atari's problems of the era was they alienated 5200 buyers by killing the system so soon and replacing it with another new console, then delaying that console two years.   So I think they would have been much better off having a single console throughout the third generations (and I don't care what Wikipedia says, 5200/CV were third gen consoles, they were labelled as such when released)

 

But I'm not sure the 7800 exists without the 5200 and its issues.   Seems like Atari panicked and tried to switch consoles midstream to get the 2600 backwards compatibility and put the 5200 joystick headaches behind them.   I think a more sanely-managed Atari would have told GCC "We can't release that right now, we just released a new console.   But we like the tech, so lets continue to refine it and we'll use it in the eventual 5200 replacement"

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

I believe one of Atari's problems of the era was they alienated 5200 buyers by killing the system so soon and replacing it with another new console, then delaying that console two years.   

Nah, the two year delay was way after the ship had sailed, consumers and the press were eating Atari up for dumping the 5200 like they did:

 

clip_85012499.thumb.jpg.0c8ae951298c02db977cd9b3d4baa833.jpg

 

clip_85012520.thumb.jpg.eaa180fd34a2e8a549235eac61d1eded.jpg

 

 

Another thing to remember also is the 7800 replaced the 5200 due to costs. They couldn't reliably drop the price and the computer side of Atari (which 5200 was based on) had insane losses. So it was better in Ataris eyes to make an easier and cheaper to produce machine, that was also more powerful, that also could be sold to consumers at a cheaper price and not have to worry about staggering losses.

 

It's like Model 3 >Noami for Sega In the arcades.

 

However, I'm not saying I supported them killing the 5200, but I see why they did it 

Share this post


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

At risk of taking the thread off topic, I do wonder what would have happened hat Atari skipped the 5200 altogether, and just launched the 7800 as planned in '84. While the '83 crash would obviously have been an issue (and the 2600 would have had to soldier on against technically better competition for longer), I wonder whether an '84 launched 7800 that didn't have to deal with the hangover of the 5200 may have done a lot better than it did. This might have been especially true as it would have beaten NES to market, and Atari could have sold features like the lockout chip to retailers on the basis of "this is how we have learned from the events of the last couple of years, and this will stop the same thing happening again".

  

 

Coleco already had lockout technology (through software) (mattel also had a limited form) it was really just Atari that hadn't addressed the problem until the 7800.

 

The issue is, as said above by zippy, the 7800 was a reaction to the 5200. The expenses for making it made it hard to reliably drop the price, and the margins were already small. Even though they were initially beating CV and hit that 1 million sold first, it was taking way too long and they were likely not making profits without sales being higher than they were. Meanwhile CV was making money the whole time.

 

I think what Warner Atari should have done was freeze the massive bleeding computer line, and just release the 7800 to see how it did before thinking about selling the division. The test market was a success and there was hype for the machine. Even when it was delayed and came back in 86 it still had hype and sold out. But by a much smaller and less cash rich company.

 

But when you have nearly $3 billion losses across all Atari products (except the 7800) in three years (they were losing money before the crash due to bad decisions) I guess they were too spooked to go through with it.

 

Honestly people dont usually consider this but the computer division did more damage to Warner Atari than anything else. Iirc They never made a profit on computers in any yearly report. Participating in the price wars on something that never made money might have been one of the dumbest moves they could have made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

Honestly people dont usually consider this but the computer division did more damage to Warner Atari than anything else. Iirc They never made a profit on computers in any yearly report. Participating in the price wars on something that never made money might have been one of the dumbest moves they could have made.

I don't think they chose to participate in the price wars,  it was mostly between Commodore and Texas Instruments with Atari being collateral damage.

 

But retrospect, dumping the 8-bit line to stop the bleeding might not have been such a bad idea.  Problem was at the time, the conventional wisdom was that consoles were dead and computers were the future.   Taking a loss early might pay off in the long term.

Who knows, if Atari had spent the 80s focusing on games and not the computer market, they might still be one of the big 3 today.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zzip said:

I don't think they chose to participate in the price wars,  it was mostly between Commodore and Texas Instruments with Atari being collateral damage.

 

No, they directly participated:

 

clip_85022177.thumb.jpg.8fbe07cd0145c910154b04a30e2a3955.jpg

clip_85021997.thumb.jpg.75cdbed08a8168de054793e13ed7553c.jpg

 

Atari jumped in right with Commodore, then continued until Coleco Adam released and both raised prices hoping it would "stick":

 

 

clip_85022414.thumb.jpg.f79ae5f0cbe2e92c5879d66a570077de.jpg

 

 

 

But regardless, the big issue for Atari was they were spending all that time cutting prices on product they were already losing money on.

 

That's not really a sound business decision.

 

Quote

But retrospect, dumping the 8-bit line to stop the bleeding might not have been such a bad idea.  Problem was at the time, the conventional wisdom was that consoles were dead and computers were the future.

That wisdom was mostly a press piece though as retailers got pissed off and sales started to decline until the rebound in 85 for computers as well.

 

Atari would have made more money just sticking with the 7800 imo. The hype for the machine and test success showed it could have been a big deal.

Edited by Leeroy ST

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

No, they directly participated:

Yes they participated, but it wasn't by their choice, it was by the need to retain market share.  Ti and Commodore started it and everyone else was dragged into it. 

 

34 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

That wisdom was mostly a press piece though as retailers got pissed off and sales started to decline until the rebound in 85 for computers as well.

History proved it wrong, however it's hard to go against conventional wisdom.  If Atari said "we're ditching our computer line because we believe in consoles" in those years, they likely would have been beaten up in the press, maybe the shareholders oust the execs, etc. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, zzip said:

History proved it wrong, however it's hard to go against conventional wisdom.  If Atari said "we're ditching our computer line because we believe in consoles" in those years, they likely would have been beaten up in the press, maybe the shareholders oust the execs, etc. 

 

No because no one did that with the 7800 announcement or the test runs, and investors were upset about Atari losing crap tons of money on computers.

 

Again the hype for the machine was high despite the burned 5200 users.

 

11 minutes ago, zzip said:

Yes they participated, but it wasn't by their choice, it was by the need to retain market share.  Ti and Commodore started it and everyone else was dragged into it. 

 

Atari jumped right in with Commodore.

 

And no one told Atari to continue cutting prices until sometime in 84. They could have waited on the side like others. They were losing market share too. 

 

It wasn't a one time cut at the start, it was a continuous bad business decision. Dont forget they expanded the line too.

 

Atari let their bad decisions in computers impact the 7800 launch. Then sold both to Jack, while keeping an arcade division they were not profitable in, then letting Namco have majority stake of Arcade less than a year after the sale to Jack was fully completed.

 

I mean Warner really mishandled the division.

Edited by Leeroy ST

Share this post


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

I believe one of Atari's problems of the era was they alienated 5200 buyers by killing the system so soon and replacing it with another new console, then delaying that console two years.   So I think they would have been much better off having a single console throughout the third generations (and I don't care what Wikipedia says, 5200/CV were third gen consoles, they were labelled as such when released)

 

But I'm not sure the 7800 exists without the 5200 and its issues.   Seems like Atari panicked and tried to switch consoles midstream to get the 2600 backwards compatibility and put the 5200 joystick headaches behind them.   I think a more sanely-managed Atari would have told GCC "We can't release that right now, we just released a new console.   But we like the tech, so lets continue to refine it and we'll use it in the eventual 5200 replacement"

You may be right. As a UK based user, I have little knowledge of the 5200, and am essentially basing my thoughts on what I have read (mainly) here and (a little) elsewhere. I'd be the first to admit that's not the most informed decision. But in the best traditions of internet discussions, I'm not going to let a relative lack of knowledge stop me expressing a view, so for what little it might be worth, here are my thoughts . . . . . . .

 

I think in many ways, we're coming at this from opposite directions. You seem to effectively be saying that as the 5200 was already there, they should have fixed the faults with that instead of launching the 7800 (if I've got that wrong, please let me know). Where I'm going, is that given how things turned out, Atari might have been better off not launching the 5200 at all. In that scenario there would have been no 5200 customers to alienate, as the system had never been launched. They could then have gone all in on the 7800 in 84 from a potentially stronger position, at least reputationally. The 7800 would then have been launched at the "right" time, meaning no NES in America before the 7800 is out, a system that is a big step forward from most of what else is available, and no issue of fed up 5200 customers. If a glut of poor quality games was a big factor in the crash, Atari could point to the lockout chip as to how that wouldn't happen again, and it could have been the 7800 revamping the market rather than the NES.

 

Of course, there are a lot of "ifs" in that statement. Atari would still be losing money on computers, there's a question of whether the 2600 would have generated enough console sales on its own to sustain the company, and perhaps in the absence of the 5200 as a competitor, the colecovision would have got enough traction in the market to become the dominant system. But I think its one of those interesting what ifs given that the way that Atari managed to blow up so spectacularly from it's position of being the market leader in what has turned out to be a profitable long term industry

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Jasonhrb said:

I think in many ways, we're coming at this from opposite directions. You seem to effectively be saying that as the 5200 was already there, they should have fixed the faults with that instead of launching the 7800 (if I've got that wrong, please let me know). Where I'm going, is that given how things turned out, Atari might have been better off not launching the 5200 at all. In that scenario there would have been no 5200 customers to alienate, as the system had never been launched. They could then have gone all in on the 7800 in 84 from a potentially stronger position, at least reputationally. The 7800 would then have been launched at the "right" time, meaning no NES in America before the 7800 is out, a system that is a big step forward from most of what else is available, and no issue of fed up 5200 customers. If a glut of poor quality games was a big factor in the crash, Atari could point to the lockout chip as to how that wouldn't happen again, and it could have been the 7800 revamping the market rather than the NES.

Atari started working on the next generation right after they released the 2600.  The tech became the 400/800 computer line in 79, but it didn't show up in the 5200 until 1982. 

 

By contrast, the 7800 was conceived and designed outside of Atari in 83.   GCC, started out as a group of arcade machine hackers that Atari was originally going to sue, but ending up hiring them to write 2600 games instead because Atari was losing programmers.   GCC designed the 7800 and brought it to Atari.    Atari was also in negotiations with Nintendo around the same time about distributing the NES.

 

So when the 5200 was being conceived, the 7800 wasn't even on the drawing board at Atari so they couldn't have made a strategic decision to wait for the 7800.

 

But Atari's VCS was getting pushed around by Mattel in ads, and Coleco was launching an impressive console in 82 so I think Atari felt pressured go get a next gen product out to stay competitive.   Now in retrospect, it turned out that 82 wasn't the best time to launch a console, so they might have been better off if they waited.

 

But yeah assuming the 5200 was on the market, I think the best bet would be if Atari fixed the issues around it and not abandon the Atari loyalists who bought it early (that is a horrible PR move)  They could then come up with a true 5200 replacement a few years later that would blow the NES away (NES was 1983 tech, as was 7800, imagine what a console based on 1986 tech would be like)

 

But I had another thought too...   maybe they release the 7800 as an enhanced 2600 model and keep the original "3600" name.  The difference is it would replace the 2600 and not the 5200.   That would excuse why it had horrible sound.   Then the market could decide if it liked the 3600 or 5200 better.   I don't really like the idea of having two incompatible consoles with similar power on the market at the same time, but it's better than abandoning one without warning after less than two years.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would have said 7800, but the image quality on all the 7800s I have owned over the last 30 odd years has been shit. I mean really shit.   Went for the Lynx over the Jaguar in the end because the Lynx has more games on it that I enjoy.  Never played 5200 or XEGS. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To zzip and jason's point... In_my_world, it was obvious Atari didn't really "need" to consolize the A8 line ever, yet they did it twice! The 400 was already poised to be a great game machine, that just happened to double as an entry level computer. And extremely important... used abundantly compatible 'standard' joysticks. 
 

The 2600 and its games were holding their own all throughout this time and longer, evidenced by the fact that besides Atari's own 5200, even newer 3rd party consoles had adapters to play the old VCS games! That point cannot be stressed enough. So... imagine an Atari Company that didn't squander resources* producing one of their biggest mistakes, instead focusing on and exploiting the 400 (could have increased RAM as necessary by 1982 also) as their next-gen game system. Until the 7800 came along that is. Could just as well have named *that* the Atari 5200 Pro System.  :D   

 

*No 5200 = no R&D costs. No janky analog controllers. No obnoxiously oversized console. No screwy single-cable RF/power supply "solution". No special oversized cartridge shells or proprietary PCB's. No modifying or re-configuring A8 games and software to work on the non-standard 5200 architecture. None of that time and money wasting nonsense. Wouldn't that have been nice

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, save2600 said:

 So... imagine an Atari Company that didn't squander resources* producing one of their biggest mistakes, instead focusing on and exploiting the 400 (could have increased RAM as necessary by 1982 also) as their next-gen game system. Until the 7800 came along that is. 

How would you convince consumers to pay the premium to jump from 2600 to A400?

 

Assuming that's what you meant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, save2600 said:

To zzip and jason's point... In_my_world, it was obvious Atari didn't really "need" to consolize the A8 line ever, yet they did it twice! The 400 was already poised to be a great game machine, that just happened to double as an entry level computer. And extremely important... used abundantly compatible 'standard' joysticks. 
 

The 2600 and its games were holding their own all throughout this time and longer, evidenced by the fact that besides Atari's own 5200, even next gen 3rd party consoles had adapters to play the old VCS games! So... imagine an Atari Company that didn't squander resources* producing one of their biggest mistakes, instead focusing on and exploiting the 400 (could have increased RAM as necessary by 1982 also) as their next-gen game system. Until the 7800 came along that is. Could just as well have named *that* the Atari 5200 Pro System.  :D   

 

*No 5200 = no janky analog controllers. No obnoxiously oversized console. No screwy single-cable RF/power supply "solution". No special oversized cartridge shells or proprietary PCB's. No modifying or re-configuring A8 games and software to work on the non-standard 5200 architecture. None of that time and money wasting nonsense. Wouldn't that have been nice

I think the 400 was a little too pricey for a games system.   But they did later release the 600XL in 83, and it was something like $139,  half the price of the 5200!  Very compact compared to the 5200, used standard Atari joysticks, and even had a great version of Donkey Kong!   This certainly didn't help the case for buying a 5200!

  • Like 1

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.

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...